Wednesday, 13 May 2015

the only way is ferox


what is a ferox 
Ferox trout are a fantastic example of the genetic diversity that exists within wild brown trout.  Since the term ferox was first coined in 1835 by the renowned angler scientist Sir William Jardine, various authors have attempted to define what exactly a ferox is, for example:
Campbell (1979) offered the following definition:
‘Ferox are long-lived, late-maturing, piscivorous brown trout which in Britain and Ireland, are often present in large, deep glacier-formed lakes containing Arctic charr or whitefish species’
The status of ferox within the brown trout (Salmo trutta) species complex epitomises the debate about what is and what isn’t a species (see Ferguson, 2004). There can be no doubt however that ferox can be spectacularly different from other brown trout; in life history, genetics and habits.

ferox trout are found throughout the brown trout’s native range, wherever there are large glacial lakes.  In Britain they are found mainly in Scotland and Ireland but there are also thought to be populations in some Welsh lakes and in the English Lake District. In Campbell’s (1979) study, ferox were mainly found in lochs of over with Arctic charr present, however ferox do occasionally occur in smaller lochs 


 brian rutlands  31lb 11oz trout British record

( the fish unfortunately died and was not dispatched to claim the record)


i had know brians face (hard to forget) through this picture thats on a few websites out there with this stunning looking ferox , so when he contacted me to provide a special custom order for something (nope aint telling) i already knew who i was talking too , i have over the years had a few close encounters with ferox so when i got an invite to fish with him i gladly accepted the offer and the date was set.


for this trip i pretty much had to scales everything down in terms of gear , i had to sort so many boxes out and only take flies that would be specific to what i was going to be doing i.e trolling flies , although i was going to take a single fly rod as well for any opportunity to chuck a few for pike (be a crime  to be on loch awe and not get a quick 20 mins ) so i managed to thin it down to below 

thinned down all the boxes went into a lure bag (below) with a fly reel in a side pocked and other bits and pieces leaders etc went into a day carry wallet in another pocket and  my flys in boxes went into the main compartment , knowing where everything is is vitally important when your on a boat and you need everything to hand at a split seconds notice , i mean imagine cetting a fish on board and going right where is my forceps hmmmmmm . 

fly choice for ferox was going to be vital and i needed to think carefully what i was going to take so i took a mixture of brown trout , flash and flies with a lot of movement , i knew it wasnt going to be easy so i had to make the best choice available to me through the limited knowledge that i had and colours i knew had worked for folks before , let me tell you my brain really hurt by the end off 3 hours when id narrowed it down to give myself the best chance.


so after a pretty uneventful journey full of fishing talk and after a 3am pick up brian launched his boat around 6.30am  at the slip way at torran bay at the south end of loch awe once all brians micro fibre cloths had been accounted for and labelled and all the gear stowed away we fired out into the loch 


now those of you with a sharp eye will see that these are not fly rods , and yup youd be right but i was actually trolling a fly behind the boat , now this may raise a few eyebrows amongst the purists but its the way it had to be done and as a novice to trolling i had to go with brians knowledge (and he has a wealth of it) so was more than happy to follow brians lead on this and this was a whole new experience for me  i did have a fly rod with me but this was only going to be used when we went back to the dock .

loch awe is an amazing magical place over 26 miles in length and i believe the longest loch in scotland with depths of well over 300 feet quite mind blowing , so with that you can imagine its quite a needle in a haystack trying to find ferox in a place like this .

so who you going to call , well obviously brian , probably one of the most dedicated anglers ive ever met and one whos knowledge of the species and of the water itself is quite amazing , the guy is a ferox machine 

holy mother of god 

now we trolled around on brian well trodden pre travelled routes and came across this site many times massive shoals of char and i mean massive , i watched the sounder a lot over 2 days and was amazed at after periods of nothing on the screen we would suddenly come across huge shoals like this  quite mind blowing and you can understand why ferox grow so bloody big in here and the passion of the people that go for them   

a nice site an ospreys nest , nobody home though this time past

as with big lochs in scotland you can get 4 seasons in a day and these 2 days were no different from cold and overcast to bright and glass like to bouncing around on choppy waters in the space of 30 mins , welcome to scotland , always another layer to put on or take off 

brian locates a pair of scissors he lost in 96 in 325ft of water i swear if you had a pee in the loch brians lowrance would know where when and how warm it was , i know a little about sounders but this thing was amazing and thanks to brian for explaining various things to me and answering my constant stream of stoopid questions about it 

the one thing on this post about the 2 days away that your not going to see is brians methods and lures , its a very secretive thing about what they use and the tactics aint common knowledge but i really had my eyes opened to some amazing tactics and some quite amazing lures which brian was more than happy to give me a demonstration off so there will be no info on that sorry , although i will show some flies that i tried , now ok you can copy flies but you cant copy if you dont know whats inside them and how they are weighted ......good luck on that one lol

triple jointed ready to go , this was quite amazing in the water how on earth it didnt catch is beyond me but with bright conditions it wasnt the best weather for fishing

as we trolled back up the loch the ospreys had returned and made there presence and there annoyance very much known  

nice to see them 

end of day one and feeling a bit flat in more ways than one

sunset on awe

yup the dreaded flat tire but with the help of jocheim at the torran bay hostel for sorting out the flat , top bloke so onto day 2 


this was to be my fly of choice today and something special behind the eyes brings this fly alive in the water and add a wiggle fin to the front and you have a hell of a fly , i was feeling rather excited at my design coming to life in the water looked great 

(stewerts super sexy secret seducer)
if only you knew what was inside 

before we hit the loch brian decided to see if he could throw a dead rainbow trout around on the fly , not quite getting the concept there mate 

gies a shot , brian entrusted me to get us out into the loch and no thats not a big fly on my back and im happy to say nobody was injured while i was being captain pugwash .

the kiss of death , yup probably the worst conditions you could get for fishing unless you were trolling for marlin in the Caribbean (actually i prefer this) 

still we persisted after a day and a half with no fish on the boat youd think we would be tearing our hair out but you know that didnt even cross my mind , its such a magical place and actually knowing what could be down there actually really keeps you on the ball and ready for it, giving up as a bad job was simply not an option  in this case and we were preprepared to go right into dark on the quest .

so to break the day up we decided to head for an all day breakfast at a small place by the lochside and a welcome break it was , we sat down in the village shop come post office come local hangout and decided on a  full fried breakfast (best thing to see us through the day) , and as we sat there an older gentleman (i use that tern loosely) obviously sussed us as anglers (not rocket science really).

well he got talking to us and started to tell us a load of bollocks about the loch , you know the type all the gear and no idea, well he proceeded to tell us about this massive pike he had caught that was as big as him (5ft something) well to be honest it was going in one ear and out the other and brian had face planted his breakfast by this point and i just wanted him to shut up , until he said he had a photograph of it well this changed things maybe as he was the local ghillie there may be a shread of some truth here .

so the bell end produces a picture of him holding a pike of about mabey 15lbs , but he was holding it away from his body making it look a lot bigger oh ffs really not only that the fanny was holding it up using a pair of boga grips and zero support on the body ffs really what
 a fanny , well my self and brian informed him and educated him on the dangers of his actions and actually made him look like a complete bell end in front of the villages elderly lady population who no doubt he was trying to impress this bloke was a complete fanny and will no doubt he will continue doing what he does , as well hes the local man to go to .

no amount of talking will ever make people like this change there ways all we can do is pass on and educate a younger generation to do the right thing , sad really 


was nice to see current british ferox record holder brian rutland out on the loch and had a bit of banter with him at the dock side and in the torran bay hotel dinning room , lovley bloke and pleasure chatting to him , and sampling his fine whisky 

brian is a wealth of knowledge and his words of wisdom at 1:15 will stay with me for a long time thanks for that brian 

coming to the end of the day and still hopefull of fish 

the long troll home 

so with the sun setting we started the long troll home 26 hours trolling various things around this gigantic body of water with no takes is a hellava ride and takes a certain amount of madness that all of us anglers have. has this put me off doing it again , well the short answer to that is no , in fact quite the opposite im already looking forward to the next one what a blast .

if you want to find out more about ferox check out some videos from the ferox 85 group on youtube 

now i have to say special thanks to the half man half orangoutang brian salmo tuttra lawrance for his hospitality and taking me out and allowing me to use his micro fibre cloth look at his labels on his boxes, and most of all for the laughs , and i can tell you a more dedicated angler i have never met and a pleasure to fish with cheers me old tin of tuna . 

also have to mention the torran bay hotel at loch awe 

a fantastic base for angling or walking in the area. great rooms very clean and comfortable, a home away from home and very angler friendly please click the link below to find out more info or to book 


big thanks to jochiem at torran bay 

so with that im back at the vice and getting some orders out , next post on the blog will be a very special one from a well known guest angler on a subject that we need to raise awareness on this will be at the weekend hopefully so keep checking back 

and remember listening to black sabbath isnt a crime 

a cave in scotland 


No comments: