Scottish Fishing Days and Nights 1992
by John Gray
I have joined the
Allan Water Angling Improvement Association (A.W.A.I.A),
subscription £30 per year. Catches in recent years:
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
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
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
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
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
Wednesday 5th August
River Endrick, Cowden Mill, 10pm - 2am (1 sea
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
Monday 10th August
River Allan, 7am - 8am
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
Totals for 1992 Season
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.
5 salmon for 27 lbs
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.