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4 Seasons

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Newholme House, Stirling

The small pond with the big fish

We are currently on holiday in Nidderdale in North Yorkshire and while it isn’t, nor was it planned as a fishing holiday I am always on the look out for opportunities to wet a line. The cottage we hired for the week surprisingly came with permission to fish a small lake/pond for wild Brown trout. It wasn’t something I booked the house for, rather it was a bit of a bonus I discovered after we settled on the cottage for our week away. ( well that’s what I tell the wife ) . The morning after we arrived the owner took me to see the water. It was up in some woods and was so overgrown you almost had to stumble over it to find it.


A view of most of the fishable area of the pond, you can see its mostly over grown with matting plants and surrounded by trees,

The pond was one of two which took water from the hills and were fed through springs in the bed rock, the water is a constant 63 degrees Fahrenheit and gin clear. But it was almost entirely over grown with matting weed and surrounding trees. The ponds were constructed by a former estate owner and stocked with Brown Trout many generations ago which had simply been left.  To be frank the only way you could fish this easily was probably with a float and a couple of maggots. There were though a couple of casting platforms one on either side under the tree canopy whether you could use… Continue reading

The good, the bad…. will think about the ugly

Stirling International Angling Festival

What can I say about this. good idea, great video, poor use of social media, bad idea to charge £5 ( OK £3 plus a program for parking) and a bit of a flop, I felt.

I hear the competition angling that went on round it, went well and it was a good idea. The “hub event” at the cattle market behind Angling Active though, I have to say was a bit atmosphere-less. It looked like it was getting busier as I left on Saturday but it all felt a bit “awkward”. In my opinion the charge was the main problem, no clear social media published itinerary ( that I could see). In fact, the “Event” had a fB page but I don’t think I seen more than a couple of posts from it in the lead up. When you have these things you need to really fire on all guns, loads of posts really build on what attractions are to be there, maybe a few competitions that the prizes would be announced at the show- I dunno, just a thought. The 5 nations  competition too was a bit distant. Why not stream pictures of the anglers in competition back to the “hub”. You might think that would be hard but honestly I don’t think it would, it could probably have been done for buttons via YouTube with a couple of wifi enabled HD camcorders and some decent data connections on phones. We do have EE4G in patches here so not impossible, 3G would be fine… Continue reading

The duck has left the building

I went up to Pendreich last Sunday in the afternoon, and there were quite a few anglers about. I heard one had caught a few fish on a Hares Ear but bumped into another angler I used to see up there regularly, George I think his name is. He looked a bit hacked off. He told me he had been there for hours and hadn’t had a touch, and admitted it was his worst season ever up there, he had not had a single fish on the dries and unlike me, though he had had the odd fish, he was blanking an awful lot. I felt almost like I was listening to myself.

It didn’t bode well for a cracking session, and so it was to be. I started on the north bank, fished the weedy East end, and ended up on the South bank beside the club boat which seemed to have come adrift and was lying wedged to the bank.

A few fish jumped and leaped further out, but though the conditions seemed pretty good, it was pleasant but not overly bright, it really was pretty dismal. As I was getting ready to head back to the car, Will appeared and started to tell me what a fabulous season he was having there! His killer set up was a Pennel on the top dropper, a small beaded hares ear on the middle and a fly he tied himself he calls a Curmudgeon on the point. This fly is a size 16 black spider type dry with what appears… Continue reading

I caught a fish

I did I caught one. Really. It was a 2lb Rainbow from the Meadow Pond at Swanswater on an LTD sedge dry fly about 6 casts in to a 2 hour sojourn last night.

Was otherwise hard going, had a couple of pulls on a wee pink rabbit lure ( never a favourite way to fish but decided to give it a go after trying wets, dries, nymphs and buzzers),  and a couple of wee swirls at a buzzer. Plenty fish moving at least earlier on but hard to identify what they were taking, something microscopic. They were following flies right in to your feet trailing about 4 feet behind but you eventually run out of somewhere to go with your fly when its literally at your feet!

But I caught a fish!

Yeah not the best tale of late but normal service will resume when the fish decide to play again!


I did….. #icaughtafish

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Trout Repellant

Yin and Yang, Black and White, Forwards and Backwards, every action has an equal and opposite reaction. There has been a fair bit discussion in the fishing mags ( what little of them I bother to read these days) and in the online fishing media about Trout or fish attractants. An interesting video was posted by Fishing Britain a few months back showing a pair of static blobs one  treated with a fish attractant, the other not and left in the gin clear water of a fishery. I won’t go into the detail of that, its not really the point I guess, but to say where there is a fish attractant there too must be a trout repellant, and clearly I have found it! Eureka…. now I just need to work out exactly what it is!

I went to Harviestoun fishery on Sunday evening. It had been a beautiful day and not having been out all weekend, or indeed the rest of the week, I felt I needed to get out. I wasn’t hopeful of the prospects entirely, warm bright days aren’t generally that successful, but there was a bit of a breeze and I hoped as the sun set it might get a few fish moving, something to target at least eh?

Boy was I disappointed! I arrived around half 6 and was fortunate just to catch Dougie the owner leaving for his tea as I arrived. He quickly got me a ticket , told me to fish to half ten  if I wanted, and said the fly catching most was… Continue reading

They came from the East

I am a bit late in writing up Sunday’s last outing of my week off. To be honest there was little to report on what turned out to be a difficult and fruitless nights angling at Swanswater. With the World Cup Final on it was always likely to be quiet and I arrived up there at 18:00 for the last 4 hours of the day. It was quite bright but there was a fairly stiff breeze and I sort of hoped that this would make the fishing viable. Unfortunately Alastair admitted to me it had been a difficult couple of days though Friday, another bright day, had apparently fished well all day. Such fickle things the Troot!

As I made my way round the main loch and passed one of the two other anglers there, I said hello and asked how the he was doing. He had had one fish, a blue, on a gold beaded nymph but had seen nothing move since arriving about 3/4 of an hour earlier. I carried on my way to have a wee cast round the mouth of the burn which was cooler and in the shade. “The Unfamous Fly!, isn’t it… the website….” I was a bit startled then realised the guy I was speaking to was one of a pair of anglers who had been at Swanswater the last time I was there from over East Lothian, Tranent in fact, only a few miles from where I grew up in Musselburgh.

They had been up to Frandy but came away as it… Continue reading

Paying for it now

Regular readers of my blog will know I do suffer from “Aches and Pains” in general a bit more than is normal for my age. Last year I was grounded around this time, I spent most of the summer not moving much at all as it was too sore to do so, and my fishing was pretty limited. For reasons I don’t understand things have been a lot more tolerable since probably around November time, there have been a few sore days along the way but in general I am in a much better place than I was last year. My suspicion is it will be one of these things that will ebb and flow, times will be really bad others when I am about as close to normal as I can ever hope to be. At present I am towards the more normal end of the scale. So I have to take advantage of that while I can. I think a full day’s fishing would be out for me still, OK I could maybe push myself and get away with it as long as I take a lot of breaks but it wouldnt be hardcore full on. But 4 even 5 hours are achievable and this week I have , while off on a weeks holiday , tried to get out for some evening sessions.

You may already have read about Sunday and Monday at Pendreich and Millhall. I do like to go to places I haven’t been before and Millhall ticked that particular box.

North Coulter

Tuesday… Continue reading

Different day, different place, different results

Two short outings to different places with very different results

Sunday Pendreich

On Sunday around noon I took a wee run up to Pendreich to try my luck again. I have had a truly woeful season here so far this year. I have had days when nothing happened at all, one evening when I rose 12 fish and never connected with any, one session where I hooked and lost two fish in my first 4 casts then went on to get nothing else for the rest of the time. I have had the very odd knock or pull, but in a nutshell, one big fat blank.

Surely today would be different? Don’t bet on it! To be fair it was a bit bright and warm for the fishing to be great but it was nice to be out in a bit heat. And double bonus the boat was available its the first time  have been able to use it in 2 seasons!

I started down the North edge where I seen a few fish rise in the weedy corner and just out from there. There were fish moving all over the loch so I thought I was bound to get something. I started on dries and almost as soon as I did the rises dried up anywhere near me. A fish rose at extreme range I did my best to cover it, I got the range- probably in the high-end of 30 yards though the fly fell about 6 feet to the side from where it rose. After a few… Continue reading

A dour Glensherup

I had a planned outing to Glensherup arranged for yesterday evening for myself and my son. We don’t fish together regularly, he isn’t much of a keen fisherman, but we do enjoy a few hours in a boat together once or twice a season, where we postulate over why we aren’t catching any fish. It’s also a good excuse for a wee packed lunch cum dinner.

Bandits at 9 O’clock! The Lancaster bomber that made a strafing run over us as I pulled onto the motorway

We left Stirling, having a bit of bother to get out of town due to the road diversions in place for the Armed Forces Day event and Battle of Bannockburn 700 Commemorations. I had the privilege of having a Lancaster Bomber directly on my tail as I pulled out onto the slip road at Junction 10 of the M9 heading north.

The rain was tipping down. It was looking grim. However by the time we arrived in Glen Devon though some of the surrounding hills were shrouded in somewhat dank looking grey clouds, it was actually merely spitting.

There were a group of anglers coming off the water as we pulled up, I think maybe a club from around Dunfermline. They had had a hard time. “Barely a fish moving and though they will look at it , takes are hard to come by”. A couple of them had managed 4  fish, but there were a few singles and blanks in amongst them, some claiming not to have so much as touched a fish… Continue reading


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