'Boating weekend', Friday 14th June
A lot of rainfall over the last week and Glenastle was as full as i can remember it, two inches of water covering the entire jetty. Overcast with sunny spells, time for an evening session on the Glenastle boat. Seven o'clock start and a fairly strong breeze would mean a difficult row close in to the bank until i reached calmer water at the far end of the loch. Attached to my 9' 6" - 6wt rod on a floating line was a 12' cast with a three fly set-up. An olive muddler on the top dropper, a bibio in the middle and a cock-eyed kate on the point. It was a bit more sheltered at the far end and was going to be easier to fish. A gentle ripple reached out 40 - 50 yards from the bank until the wind would pick up again. The first hour was spent doing short drifts within this calmer area and proved quite successful. Six fish to the net up to 6oz, five were taken on the olive muddler, the other on the kate.
As the night wore on the wind started to drop and so i ventured out in to the middle for a couple of longer drifts The fishing was pretty quiet for the next while and i changed two of my flies a lot, i even tried the Cortland ghost tip for a spell but other than a couple of tugs nothing was brought to the boat.....Surely an evening rise would come on.!!
Up until about 9:15 only a few fish had showed on the surface (that i saw). Gradually, in the quieter water round the edges, fish began to rise and splash on the surface. I changed to lighter tackle and a single CDC hopper and covered fish hoping to enduce a surface take but dries were not to be the answer...With the light fading fast i changed tactics again, i tied on a black muddler with a sparkle through it and a black pennell on a two fly cast... Eureka!!, first cast, a fish of 4oz, small but lively. The next half hour saw some tugs and some losses but another six fish landed and returned, the biggest being 11oz on the black muddler. All the fish were in good condition and put up a decent scrap.
Three hours, twelve fish...cant be bad!!
First cast of the season, March 2013
A cold north westerly was blowing when i arrived at the fishing hut at Glenastle loch and i didn't hold out much hope of a big bag of fish. Having realised that i had left my prefered rod at home i set up my smaller 4/5 weight rod that i keep in the car in case of such 'emergencies'. I set up a three fly cast on the floating line to begin with, attaching a blue snatcher, PTN and a gold bead nymph.
I started to fish in the bay beside the jetty, casting a few short lines parallel to the shore just to ease myself into it. Sixth cast and i was into a fish, a minute or two later and my first trout of the season was in the net, a fairly lean trout of just under 6oz. It had taken the size 14 blue snatcher on the top dropper and so i thought i had cracked it..how wrong can you be!
For the next four hours i changed flies countless times, i changed to an intermediate and then back to floating when i saw a couple of fish on the surface but all to no avail..Total bag for the day, 1...The weather being so cold and being so early in the season made for very difficult fishing but it was good to be out and wetting a line once again.
While on a trip to Islay, the highlight of Graham's trip was ........"a trout weighing 15.5 ozs which I took from Upper Glenastle Loch on the 12th June after I joined the club when I was over. The fish was taken from the bay next to where the boat is moored. The fly used was a size 10 gold head with a green palmered body and black tail."
Good day on Glenastle
Having got some flies that i had not fished before, I made for glenastle on the morning of 12th April hoping to land one or two fish. After an hour without touching anything i had 8 fish in the bag, 3 of which were at least 8oz. After a lull of 20 min's, i got another 6 so that made me fish for another 10 min's. The flies that worked well were goats toe and malard blue and silver.
First day of the season on Glenastle
After waiting for what felt like forever, the start of the season had arrived and I decided to go to Glenastle as it was supposed to be the most likely place to get a fish on the earlier part of the season. The weather was slightly better than the same date last year, so there was not the need for the same amount of layers as then which meant that casting should be more enjoyable with less restriction. The winds were down to 15mph at the most, the light showers that came were few and far between and the temperature was about 8 - 9 C.
On arrival at the loch I saw that there was only 2 other anglers had been as keen as me to get fishing on the first day, Dod Dunbar and Colin Tocher were fishing on the north bank of Glenastle, the easterly wind was stopping them from fishing on their more favoured south side. It was now 1.30pm and I thought that there would be more people here by now. It turned out that this would be the final total for the day as nobody else turned up here, Ian Lawrie did however make the trip to Kinnabus where he landed and returned 2 brown trout. I set up my new rod, a Greys greyflex 10' #6/7, and loaded it with a wakesaver sink tip fly line as getting under the surface was the obvious aim. As far as flies were concerned, I was only going to us 2 for the simple fact that I hadn't cast a line for 5 - 6 months and the wind was going to test the rustiness. A green and white shrimp on the point with a yellow hot spot P.T.N. on the dropper, and I set off.
Just to get into the swing of things, I went to Glenastle loch (the first of 2 lochs, the second being Lower Glenastle) and had a few casts to get the feel of the new rod, and I was very impressed. A couple of dozen casts later and I was closing in on Dod and Colin so I went to see how they were getting on. Dod had landed and returned 5 healthy trout between 6 - 9 oz and Colin had a few good offers but nothing taken. It was noticable that Dod had also opted for the slimeline where Colin was trying out his new Airflo ridgeline. So it was encouraging to say the least that fish were being caught and I headed off to Lower Glenastle, just a 2 minute walk away, the 2 lochs are joined by a small outflow of only about 40-50 yards. The water levels were at their peak as you would expect and the ground around the lochs and in the fields were soaked as a result of all the rain that we had put up with over the last few weeks.
I started fishing at the near end of the loch and had no intention of going very far down because I could see that the wind was having a much worse affect on the water the further west it blew along. After only a few short casts, and just as Dod was arriving through the gate behind me, I was into my first fish of the season. Not a monster by any stretch of the imagination but a fish, and that was all that mattered to me at the time, the blank was avoided! A wee 5 oz trout with plenty of heart as it leaped and danced on top of the water when it was being landed, then shot off healthily as it was returned. I didn't move because I had not covered any water at all yet from where I stood so I continued fanning around and slowly increasing the length of the casts. I was getting more and more pleased with the new rod and I was starting to reach greater distances with ease than I would have done before, and this was with a lot of fine tuning still to be done on my technique.
About half an hour later and just about to move on when I got a good solid take on the line. a nice wee bend on the rod and I knew it must have been a good enough fish, and so it turned out. A nicely coloured trout of about 1lb was landed on the bank and, after a couple of photos, was returned. Again the fish shot off in great health considering it was on the tail end of a long winter, hopefully a sign of good things to come in the season ahead.