Tuesday, 4 April 2017

a winters tale and plenty of whisky

how the wild loch boys roll 

well it had to happen the first trip of the year with the bunch of special needs fellas from the wild loch group well actually it was supposed to be myself , scottish man beast hugh , jimbo , brian (highland guided fishing) , and marc the sheep worrier from river don land up north , well as it turned out marc got pissed on moonshine the night before and couldn't find his legs the next morning and brian was cleaning horse shit from a stable that weekend so he choose the  less smellier option , actually that a lie he was going to come but a speck of dust landed on his boat so he had to clean the whole boat in case anybody saw it dirty so it ended up with just the 3 of us , although marc said if he could find his van in the woods from the night before he would come along .

so as usual with these things we made a plan for food and whisky and snacks etc and i was providing the snacks and cat litter for jim we wernt going to run out of chocolate on this trip 

as we were staying in a bothy halfway up a mountain we wouldn't be going to any local shops so we had to take everything we needed with us we pretty much had a fireplace and that was it , and we suspected it was going to be slightly cold so arrangements were made for logs and coal as well and jimbo would be providing a curry in the evening and shug was going to bring along some stuff as well (mainly girly Budweiser) and his newly downloaded corries albums apparently for communal singing of songs of Scottish independence while pissed at 3am in the middle of nowhere , i however had bought along various pirate metal albums to keep the chaps amused , funnily enough they didnt get played , mainly because i couldn't work the mps player  after a bottle of whisky .....anyway

for me the hardest part of a trip like this on an unknown loch is to try and get as much info as possible on the water, contours, depth maps , were studied months beforehand  and the day before i opened my mothership to choose enough flies to do me for an overnighter where i would be mainly wandering around the loch with a fly vest and no bag as light as possible to cover as much water as i could , i think on a new venue its always wise to go hunting and to be honest i still really get a kick out of taking nothing but rod , reel , a few flies and a pair of pliers and doing some leg work which is quite strange as when im on the boat i take literally thousands of flies a mountain of unhooking gear just in case hey ho .  

so with all my shit spread out in the lounge it was time to thin things down a bit as i was just walking around with the fly vest and a couple of smaller boxes i would be still taking a couple of bigger boxes with some extras in case (theirs that word again) of losses as although i could see what i was fishing into i was still unsure of what was on the bottom so had to account for fly loss and stuff .

when it came to flies i would be taking some what i call generic flies that i use quite a lot and have great faith in as hunter patterns , these generally i make in slow sink and bottom muggers depending on what depth im fishing and these remote lochs can see very steep drop offs very close in one area i fished went from a few feet down to forty feet literally a few rod lengths out so it pays to do your research 

so here we have my overnight trip gear and consists of the following 

chest waders
rod tube with 2 made up rods 
loop 8/9 wgt with a fast sink line for smaller flies (was thinking perch)
pikesaber with a slow intermediate line ( great for layer searching) 
one bag of food 
one fly / gear bag (camo) 
evening boots (rude to be sitting eating curry in your chest waders) 
star wars neck pillow  
one sleeping bag 

rods made up and im ready for an early start in the morning

5am for whom the bell tolls

wed arranged for Scottish shug to pick me up at 5am quite late i know but it didn't get light till 8 am which was plenty of time to get up there for first light and we had to meet jimbo along the road so we could have a cool drive up and shug had dug out his one metal cd that he owns (black Sabbath greatest hits) which i was very grateful for as it could have gone badly as this sits in between his black lace and bucks fizz collection , close call there 

so we turned of the main road and onto the b roads as dawn was starting to appear keeping an eye out for jimbo who usually stalks about the laybys (im sure there a website for that behavior)

we got to our rendezvous point and no sign of jim we did ask the sheep but she said  not seen him for a week or so which is quite unusual as hes never usually that far away from sheep . although while we waited we did note the snow on the hills and didn't look that bad and the forecast was that no more was to be expected so the main worry really was if we got up there and it was frozen over   but we would soon find out 

jim eventually showed up despite us seeing him drive past on the high road ten times missing the entrance each time , i sometimes wonder how on earth he gets home from work 

anyway it was great to see the little spiky haired hobbit again as id not fished with him for a fair few months and besides he had the curry and whisky and the proper 4x4 in case we got stuck up the mountain ( hugh was in a poncy Chelsea tractor) im actually surprised the cops didnt pull us over thinking we had stolen it to be honest but then if i was a cop i would want to be pulling over Scottish shug 1st thing in the morning . 

so with out little convoy on the move with jimbo in the lead position we started off across a dirt track to where we thought the gate up the hill was or so we had been told .

so with the gate closed i jumped back in and we headed off down the track , we had a rough idea that we were in the vicinity as we had checked some maps earlier in the week so it was just a case of finding the padlocked gate 

so as we trundled across the fields we started to see the famous salmon river the tay but the fact you need to sell your wife your kids and a couple of kidneys to fish this beat we just resisted the urge to get the rods out as no doubt the second the touched the water we would have the whole of the local police force down on us for poaching , i mean you fellas in the states and Canada dont know how lucky you are to be able to fish for salmon fairly cheaply without fear of having your bollocks chopped off and thrown in the tower of London for such a heinous crime against the english owners , although when Scotland becomes an pendant country again we can claim our rivers and seas back from the tyrannical grip of the queen  and the Westminster parasites.

who gave you permission to fish here "William fecking Wallace thats who , would you like to discuss this further , no i thought not "

sorry was getting all patriotic there 

actually no im not sorry "FREEDOM FOR THE SCOTTISH PEOPLE"

anyway we had to face the fact we were lost and jimbo decided to call our lord and Savior and glorious leader 8ball Lawrence who at the precise moment was shoveling shit into a wheelbarrow and was as useful as a chocolate fireguard  although he did take the opportunity to call us a bunch of useless twats , cheers brian your helpfulness is only over shadowed by your stunning wind battered ginger beach face . i think he was somewhat jealous that he had to stay home . 

myself and jim where somewhat shocked to find out we had indeed taken the wrong turning and had actually ended up on some posh bit of the tay so we had to about turn and head back to where we had started and find the old estate house and the track we needed was right across from that so off we headed much to the delight of the local sheep seeing the back of jimbo .

so we found the padlocked gate and finally we where heading the right way (up) 

jimbo following behind , as it turns out this was a mistake as jims motor was far better equipped to be the pathfinder on this trip as we were to find out 

at this elevation the views were starting to get quite stunning as they are in Scotland 

halfway up shug decided to stop for a game of trees quite cool his outfit matched the tree took us ages to find him 

getting higher 

ok not the best picture in the world but above is a wild Scottish eagle , we watched it for a while before it dived after its prey on the deck , nature is great and to be able to see something like this is truly awesome 


so we got up above the snow line and it was all going so well until we went just after this stream and then we started to wheelspin and spin and spin so it was out the motor and a a bit of a push and a rock put to no avail we were stuck.

obviously we needed to get some grip under the wheels so jim following had our supply of logs so we got some out and stuck em under the wheels but just wasn't good enough as the logs were split into wedges and we couldn't get enough traction to move.   

i came up with the idea of digging around in the snow and finding some flat rocks which i knew there would be around here , i found some smallish but would do the job rocks and stuck them under the wheels with a bit of shoving on the back from me and jimbo we got enough traction to get up the rise 

jim followed and had no issues getting over the hump , although he weighs 2 stones extra in his motor , whereas me and shug weighed as much as a beached whale in his but hey thats what these trips are about fun and adventures and laughs 

we fired round the last few miles without stopping , shug put the pedal to the metal and fired through the bends and hills like a man possessed better hold on he said , screamed like a girl i did , nearly got knocked out a few times but hey we made it , we got to the bothy and laughed like children , jimbo was nowhere in sight but hey look the loch was not frozen threes a bonus .  

the bothy 

when jimbo arrived he was also laughing as he knew we had just gone for it and probably at some point saw me being tossed around in the front from his motor 

is it me or is there something very gay looking about this picture of jimbo arriving with his ladybag and although the whisky supplies are quite manly 

so this is how we roll in wild loch for one evenings drinking although its got to be said who bought along the budweiser that actually is quite shocking somebody bought along lady beer

cheers a wee salute to our pals who couldn't make it this trip 

so to business i needed to load the fly vest up with searcher flies , flies that i could fish very slowly but with maximum movement of course rabbit strip features highly in these flies as these along with marabou can be fished very slowly and bring results in hard conditions and these were hard conditions    

the light was starting to go and the chill factor was going up so i needed to get my chest waders on sharply as i was about to do this , hugh who was throwing dead fish around got one of those bleepy bleepy things they call a run 

i was delighted to offer my service as netsman 


so as it turns out this was the only fish of trip tell you what beautiful place but feckin touch conditions 

hugh lets it go 

and to a nice bow wave to see it off 

so that was pretty much it for day one not a massive amount of action but better to give it a try 

so ive been trying to finish this blog for bloody ages and its taking a lot of time so im going to just going to leave the images of the trip here .instead 

great mates great times im guessing no words needed 

thanks and good night 


                                                            below ,breakfast scottish style


bumbling nighttime drunks in a hut 

morning has broken (wind)

breafast jimbo style 

bad weather incoming 

                                                        beautiful scotland


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