Scottish Fishing Diary 1992

Needle Tubes and Tube Flies

Scottish Fishing Days and Nights 1992

by John Gray

Fishing Diary 1992

Diary Archive
1985 1996

I have joined the Allan Water Angling Improvement Association (A.W.A.I.A), subscription 30 per year. Catches in recent years:

  Salmon Sea Trout Trout
1990 546 394 1537
1991 175 304 1480

I have walked most of the upper river beat, which has some nice pools although some of the water has been lost through bad behaviour by members or by financial competition for privately owned stretches. Another concern is the ever increasing rents for the Crown Estate water.

Sunday 15th March

First day of the trout season I was out on the Allan below Kinbuck from 1pm to 4pm. The river was running at a good height and fairly clear. My first fish from the Allan was a trout of about 10 ozs, taken on a gold bead hare's ear nymph at the Fence pool. I missed another later further downstream. A nice day if a little chilly at times.

I have heard a rumour that night fishing may be banned due to poaching. This doesn't make any sense to me as the presence of anglers on the water should be a deterrent to poachers. I hope common sense prevails.

Wednesday 18th March

Johnny's Dam 2.30 - 4.30 pm (3 trout)

A very windy, chilly day. I caught three trout, keeping a nice half pounder, caught on a fly tied by Caroline - size 8, black wing and hackle, fluorescent green body. Still some patches of snow lying and the ground in general very wet, the result of a lot of rain over the last month or two.

Wednesday 25th March

River Allan  (1 trout)

I had two hours fishing at Kinbuck for one trout of half a pound (returned), taken from the top run at Kinbuck. Very nice water which might possibly be good for sea trout if it doesn't become too shallow in low water.

Wednesday 8th April

River Allan (4 trout)

The day before the Major/Kinnock election. Fished from 5pm till 7.30pm for four trout. A bright day, probably the best day of Spring so far. The river was running at a good height. It seems to hold its height quite well, which may bode well for night fishing. A lot of bird life, mainly oyster catchers. I walked up from the "fence" pool past the "long" pool and the "turn" pool up to Johnston's, I fished the run into Johnston's taking four fish between 6.30 and 7.30pm, the first a lovely fish of 1 lb in very good condition. The others were around 10 ozs, probably all stocked fish, but indistinguishable from wild fish. The pounder took a Partridge and Yellow, the others a Gold Bead harelug fished on the tail. I only saw two other fishers.

Wednesday 6th May

Loch Earn at St Fillans (day permit - 3)  -  13 brown trout

I fished around the large rock to the left of the jetty from 4.30 to 9pm. Early on I caught one or two small indigenous trout along the loch edge. A mild day with a good wind and wave coming from the west, and good cloud cover. Early in the evening, the fish, presumably stocked fish, all nearing the pound mark, went mad. There seemed to be a good number of fish possibly moving around in a shoal. I caught 13 for a total weight of about 9 lbs, including 3 at once on a cast of three flies. I beached them all at once. The three fish weighed about 2 1/2 lbs. It seemed a bit like mackerel fishing at that point! The effective flies (not that it mattered much I suspect) were a size 14 black seal's fur nymph, buzzer of dubbed orange/yellow antron and a Greenwell's Glory.

Won't be doing much fishing until I finish fitting the kitchen!

Comrie Angling Club

On May 14th, I had a phone call from Mr L Fraser, secretary of Comrie Angling Club, inviting me to join as an associate member. I wasted no time in posting off my cheque for 95 for the year's subscription.

Monday 18th May

River Earn at Comrie, 10 pm to 1 am

I found the river running low. A run of fish had been reported as early as April in higher water but the river has been low now for the past two weeks, as the Hydro station was not generating. I caught a nice 3/4 lb brownie (returned). I heard the odd sea trout moving but, after a warm sunny day, the night turned cold under a clear sky. It will be nice to fish on a mild cloudy night. Lovely sea trout water!

Wednesday 20th May

River Earn, Comrie, 10pm - midnight                (1 sea trout)

A milder night tonight, with the temperature forecast to stay above 8 degrees. Full cloud cover but dry until midnight when it turned thundery with heavy rain showers which continued through the night.

After about six casts shortly after 10pm in the Milton Burn pool, I hooked a sea trout on a size 8 Mallard and Silver (claret hackle). It was a very lively fish, making one strong run across to the far side of the pool coming out of the water a few times but after a fairly short fight I beached it as I hadn't brought a net. A lovely sea trout, my first from this part of the Earn - very fresh, truly a bar of silver weighing 2 3/4 lbs. I fished on till midnight with no further touches, giving up when the lightening was getting too close for comfort. A fellow angler I spoke to on Monday and Wednesday has had about one sea trout per night over the last few nights, also losing a few. The Earn seems to be worth fishing from April onwards.

Monday 25th May

River Earn, Comrie, 10pm - 1am                       (1 sea trout)

A mild calm evening with a clear hazy sky, following thunder earlier in the day. I fished the Milton Burn Pool, taking a sea trout at 10.30pm on a size 8 Mallard, Claret and Silver, the tail fly fished on a cast of two on a floating line. A lovely fresh fish of exactly three pounds, in beautiful condition, beached after three or four strong runs and acrobatic leaps. These early season Earn sea trout are the best quality fish I've caught for a long time, very strong, hard fighting fish. I was stopped again on the way home by the same WPC as last week - an occupational hazard for sea trout fishermen I suppose. I hope it won't happen every trip!

Monday 8th June

River Earn, Comrie, 11pm - 12.30am.

A thundery atmosphere, misty on the hills but breezy enough to keep the midges away. The river was a bit lower, probably now at summer level but still very fishable with a good flow at the Milton Burn Pool. One or two small sea trout moved but no offers except from parr. I have my dates for fishing the club water on the Ruchill - almost every Wednesday from mid August to the end of the season (mid October on the Ruchill)

Sunday/Monday 15th June

River Earn, Comrie, midnight - 2.30am       (1 sea trout)

River very low, at summer level. A mild night, clear sky and full moon, eventually rising behind some cloud. Another fisher had a sea trout of two pounds from the Springboard stream. I had a 1 lb grayling from the same spot around 1.30am. I then fished down the Big Arc pool and took a sea trout of 2 lbs 7 oz right in the tail of the pool at 2.30am, handlining a little to keep the fly moving - again a very lively fish, more out of the water than in, caught on a size 10 Mallard and Silver. A nice fish, though not quite as fresh as the earlier fish.

Saturday 4th July

River Allan

After some rain the day before, I thought the Allan would be worth a cast for a sea trout after dark. Trout and parr were active in the tail of the Long pool. I foul hooked a cock fish of about 2 pounds, presumably a sea trout, which I returned. This looks a nice pool for sea trout, especially the tail but there were no signs of other sea trout. I will try again after a good spate.

Sunday/Monday 20th July

River Earn, Comrie midnight - 1.30am      (2 sea trout)

I fished the tail of the Big Arc and had two sea trout around 1am, one on a size 10 Mallard and Silver, the second on a L/S Mallard and Silver, handlining  with medium paced figure of eight to keep flies on the move. The fish were 1 1/4 lb and 1 1/2 pounds, very thin, almost kelt-like and not so fresh as earlier May/June fish. These fish may have just moved into the pool from pools below. They were taken during or between heavy showers but the rain has had little or no effect on the river level. The inch or so of rain over the past fortnight has been insufficient for a spate.

Sunday/Monday 27th July

River Earn, Comrie. Arrived at midnight. The river had risen a foot or so after heavy thundery showers. It looked good but was perhaps too high for night fishing, or maybe no fresh fish had run up as far as Comrie on the recent spate. We have not had enough rain for a good spate on the Endrick yet. The Allan is a at a good night height but I have seen no sign of sea trout yet on the Long pool.

Thursday 30th July

River Allan

The level has dropped to summer level, a good enough height for night fishing but no sign of sea trout. Perhaps they'll arrive on the next good spate.

Wednesday 5th August

River Endrick, Cowden Mill, 10pm - 2am     (1 sea trout)

The river is now at a good night height, with a fair flow, following two recent spate early August. No fish were showing but I had one of 2 3/4 lbs, fairly fresh, on size 8 fly/maggot. Alec had a fish of about 2 1/2 lbs, a nice clean fish. Only four fishers. I should try the Earn and Allan again.

Monday 10th August

River Allan, 7am - 8am              (1 grilse)

I fished down from the car park above Kinbuck. The river was in lovely order after heavy rain the day before. I should have started  at 6am. In the Back Run, I hooked and landed a lovely fresh hen grilse of 6 1/2 lbs shortly after 7am on a size 10 Ally's Shrimp, a very lively fish that took some time to control in the strong stream. I hooked another about ten minutes later just at the fence end but the hook came out just as I was drawing the fish over the net. This is my first salmon from the Allan. Fished a neutral line, as on the Endrick.

Wednesday 12th August

River Allan

No sign of fish in the Ruchill yet. The Allan was running a bit high at 3pm but starting to drop, despite some heavy showers. I fished the back run above Kinbuck at the fence end and took a cock fish of 6lb 2 oz, not quite as fresh and lively as the last fish. It took a Magus size 10 double.

Magus Salmon Fly

The Magus


Thursday 13th August

River Endrick, Dam, 11.30 - 1.30am

River running slightly high but clear after a good spate the day before. There should now be a good stock of fish present but there is no sign of them. A very clear cold night with a full moon, temperatures dropped to 4 degrees.

Friday 14th August

River Earn, Comrie, 11pm - 1am

River running high for night fishing. The water must be from the Earn (power station generating) rather than Ruchill. No sign of any fish but may be worth a try when the level drops.

Wednesday 19th August

River Earn, Comrie

The river was running at a lovely night height but no sign of sea trout. There have been reports of a few decent fish off the Dam on the Endrick but not a lot.

Friday 21st August

River Endrick, Dam, 10pm - 1am        (1 sea trout)

The river is running low despite some showery rain. A few fish were moving in the Dam. Alec had one of 2lb. I had one of 1 1/2 lbs from the middle of the pool. Very poor.

Tuesday 31st August

River Allan 6pm - 8pm        (1 grilse)

The river was running fairly high, covering the stone at the fence end. I fished down the back run with no fish showing but hooked a very fresh and lively hen grilse of 6 1/2 lbs under the Sycamore tree on a size 10 treble Magus. I later heard that 15 salmon had been caught on the Allan that day.

Wednesday 1st September

River Allan and Ruchill

The Allan was running low at 10am so I took a trip up to the Ruchill, which was running high but surprisingly clear with just a slight peaty tinge evident in the rough streams. The Bailiff, though, thought it was too high, especially for the fly. I discovered one lovely pool (Tennis Courts) where the burn enters and another, the Schoolhouse, but it wasn't suitable for fly in high water. I caught sight of a red squirrel, deer and lots of pheasants but no salmon.

River Allan, 4pm - 8pm    (1 lost)

I hooked, played and lost a fish in the garage steam at Kinbuck and had a good pull in the run into the corner pool. On examining the treble tail fly, I found it had caught up in the cast and was fishing back to front. The level was rising during the afternoon but steadied by dusk. Quite a few fish were lost that day.

Wednesday 8th September 

River Allan

The Ruchill was running high again, same as last week with no sign of fish or fishers. The Allan was rising until about 2pm when it steadied and began to drop very slowly, clearing but slightly peaty. I had one very fresh cock grilse of 3 3/4 pounds in the garage stream, taken hard into the right bank on the dangle on a size 12 Drury treble Magus. Very few fishers were out and few fish caught.

Monday 13th September

River Allan, 6pm - 8.30pm

River running at a perfect height, with a couple of inches of the stone showing at the fence end. The back run looked good and I fish it till about 7.30 to no avail. John had two fish plus more offers in Johnston's and in the run below the island. I hurried down but a bit too late as darkness was falling. I did have one small knock in the stream below the island, having tied John's GP on the tail and an Ally's Shrimp on the dropper. In the dark I hooked a fish on the dangle just above the bush in Johnston's, whereupon the fish jumped into the bankside reeds and threw the hook. I gave up in the darkness at 8.30pm.

Score so far for the Allan - 4 caught, 3 lost. Seems better value than the Endrick at the moment.

Thursday 17th September

River Endrick, Dam, 9pm - 1am          (2 sea trout)

A mild, overcast, fairly calm, very dark night, the river running at a perfect floating line height. Six fishers on the Dam caught 5 sea trout, including two about four pounds. There were not a lot of fish showing and no sign of any really decent run of sea trout. I had 2 fish, one lovely fresh hen fish of about 3 lbs around 9.30 near the top of the pool and another of about 1 lb (returned) caught below the burn mouth.

Catch so far from the Endrick - 4 sea trout, but I've only been down about half a dozen times, so hard to say if the fishing is any worse than recent seasons.

Monday 27th September

River Allan

In the morning, the Allan was on the low side but fishable in the faster runs. A dull, misty morning but very mild. Plenty fish moving in Johnson's. I had two offers first run down then nothing more.

River Ruchill                     (1 grilse)

In the afternoon, I parked at the picnic area and walked about a mile upstream to fish my way back down. I was surprised to hook a good fish in a rocky pot, having seen no sign of fish. The fish took me down through the fast neck of the pool below where I beached it, a lovely fresh cock fish of 7 1/2 ponds, taken on a size 10 treble Magus. The Ruchill was running clear and not particularly high while the Earn was running high but clear, with the generator on full.

River Earn                        (1 grilse)

Later in the afternoon, I fished the Meadow Pool on the Earn, just below the generator outflow, a nice run for the fly. I caught a coloured hen fish about 3 pounds, again on the Magus. I wasn't sure if it was a grilse or sea trout but it went back anyway. I had one further offer which didn't stick.

Monday 5th October

River Allan 6pm - 7pm    (1 grilse)

The river still running at a reasonable height, with about five inches of the stone showing at the fence end. I took one fish at the top of the Garage stream, a coloured cock fish of 5 lbs on a size 12 Drury Treble Magus (with pink fluorescent floss replacing the jungle cock of the original version first used on the Endrick).

With no rain towards the end of October, the season ended on a quiet note.

Totals for 1992 Season

River Endrick

4 sea trout for 7 3/4 lbs - my poorest season ever, although I spent much less time on the river, preferring the Earn at night and the Allan during the day.

River Allan

5 salmon for 27 lbs

River Earn

5 sea trout for 11 lbs

1 salmon of 3 lbs


1 salmon of 7 1/2 lbs

Season Total 7 Salmon, 9 Sea Trout

Tuesday 26th November

AWAIA AGM in the Braeport Centre, Dunblane

An attendance of about 60 members heard Secretary Tom McKenzie report an excellent season of approximately 650 salmon, 550 sea trout and 1650 brown trout caught for a total of 500 members.

I must explore the night sea trout possibilities, further upstream around  the Muckle Burn and Railway Pool.

Subscription to rise to 40.

next page

Book - Sea Trout Nights


click to enlarge

Map of the River Allan

Map of the River Allan


River Allan Salmon Fishing - Greenloaning

River Allan at Greenloaning



River Allan Salmon Fishing - Cromlix

River Allan at Cromlix



River Allan Salmon Fishing -The Back Stream

The Back Run, River Allan



River Allan Salmon Fishing above Kinbuck

The Sycamore Tree, River Allan



River Allan Salmon Fishing

The Garage Stream, River Allan



River Allan Salmon Fishing at Kinbuck

River Allan at Kinbuck



River Allan Salmon Fishing - Ashfield

The River Allan at Ashfield 



River Allan Salmon

An Allan Salmon




click to enlarge

Map of the River Earn at Comrie

Map of the River Earn at Comrie



The River Earn at Comrie

The River Earn at Comrie



Comrie Angling Club water on the Earn

Comrie Angling Club water on the Earn


 Salmon Spinhead






Grays of Kilsyth

Salmon Flies

Trout Flies

Fly Fishing Knots

Sea Trout Fishing

Sea Trout Flies

Tube Flies

The Tube Fly Shop


 Slim stainless steel salmon and sea trout flies
HMH Tube Fly Tool





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