I needed to go to Stanley today to collect our permits for Monday, so it would be a waste to go all that way without having a cast. The water level has been up and down like a yo-yo the last week and today according to SEPA it was running at 7' 2" which is 2' higher than last week when Millar and I fished it. With the water so high, it was almost into the trees so a bit of easy wading was the order of the day to get some space for a cast.
It's a massive water and I often marvel at what we are trying to achieve, catching such a small fish in such a huge expanse of water.
Just occasionally though, it comes good and the bait is trotted down the perfect line and a fish sees it and intercepts!
The first fish - and it was a wee grayling - wasn't long in coming this morning and after a short fight I had my hands on it. This was a good start, getting a grayling almost as soon as I started and I was hopeful for more. Typically though, things quietened down and it was some time before the next fish - an out-of-season brown trout of about 1.5lbs.
Last week Millar and I saw a whole lot of salmon showing here, but things were much quieter today and I only saw a couple of kelts splashing. I tried various pieces of water over a few hundred yards and was surprised not to be getting fish in some of the swims. Although the water was high, it was perfectly fishable, so I knew it was only a matter of time. The next take came as soon as my float hit the water and I saw a flash of silver under the water so was happy to know that my second grayling of the day was hooked. It fought well in the big water and took a couple of minutes to bring to the net, when I saw that in fact it was a fresh sea-trout of about 1lb or so, complete with sea-lice.
So I had a grayling, a brown trout and now a sea-trout - all I needed was a salmon!
I fished on and having tried the nearside swims I was casting further afield and after several casts hooked and landed a second small grayling. Still no sign of the big battleship grey grayling that I know inhabit these swims, but it was fun to be out and being the Tay you never, ever know what the next cast will produce.
Trotting my float down the swim, with Stanley Mills in the background.
So with only a few hours spare today, I packed in at noon, having taken a couple of grayling, a brownie and a sea-trout as well as losing others, so I was happy with my lot and it was a fantastic way to end my 2011 season.
Looking forward to returning on Monday. All the best for 2012 folks.