Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • An error has occurred, which probably means the feed is down. Try again later.

4 Seasons

Google Ads

Newholme House, Stirling

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

Share this:

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

Border Raid (ish) on the Bristol Barrows

The signs at the Number 3 car park

I was down to Bristol on Monday for work and took my travel 6 piece rod, my reel and a few lines, and a wee box of flies in the off-chance I had some time for a few hours somewhere. The easiest, cheapest option down there are the Bristol Barrows reservoirs affectionately known as the “tanks”. Last time I fished there was a few years ago and number 3 was out of service for maintenance. I haven’t fished three, that much as it is a bit tricky to access being surrounded as it is by a wall about 4 or 5 feet high. It’s fine for casting but if you catch a fish you need to be able to get it up that height to land it. This in turn requires a long-handled net and my old net I take down there while a reasonable length isn’t really that suitable. There is a slipway/ramp at the road end that allows easy access but when I arrived there was an old gent already set up and fishing there.

Not the clearest image but earlier on the quantities of Damsels was astonishing

There were a couple of chaps who had just started ahead of me though nearby so I rather cheekily maybe decided to fish near at hand in the hope if I did catch something they might offer to help with their longer nets! The weather was very warm and there is quite a bit weed round the fringes of the reservoir but… Continue reading

Fish to the right

I was up to North Coulter last night for a spot of fishing as the sun went down around the summer solstice. The days aren’t going to be getting any longer anytime soon!

I spoke to one gent who was it seemed just heading out to fish from the bank. He was saying there were plenty fish but were very hard to tempt and hard work. That didn’t sound great but standing talking about it isn’t catching fish, or for that matter getting a boat organised.

I did notice the loch is very full, the water level is right near as high is it can go, which is surprising given the relatively dry spell we have had, I recall last summer the water level being much lower.

Once out in the boat I moved up into the shallows along the dam and got some flies tied on for the drift down the wind, but it was blowing so hard that I was down to the boathouse level in the time I had them ready. A couple of bushy snatchers and one of Tommy’s wee midge patterns on point.

I decided to fish anyway there were hundreds of yards of water in front of me. A fish moved immediately to my right and I tried to cover it, but even though it wasn’t far the wind took the power out the cast and it lande din a heap. Another moved, again to my right, then another….. I decided to about turn and try tuck the boat more in to the right… Continue reading

2-0 in the World Cup

I love football tournaments and big match days. For anglers like me the World Cup is a rare treat. I was gutted when Rangers were kicked out of the SPL, no more regular Rangers v Celtic matches, leaving fisheries bereft of anglers on a Sunday afternoon. All the more space for me! The world cup means I should be able to get out and find places to myself a lot of the time.

The sun shone all day yesterday and it would be criminal not be out on the water. I fancied getting my line pulled a bit harder than usual so decided to take a short run down the M80 for an evening session at Burnhouse. Burnhouse is one of my favourite small water fisheries, not because its in particularly delightful surroundings or because it has gin clear water, it hasn’t, quite the opposite, it always looks very dark and murky but it has to be one of the most welcoming fisheries out there and I usually get something. I have never though fished it on an evening session but have heard it can have some fine top of the water sport, and if you know me, I do like my dry fly fishing.

So with my “private session booked” ( I arrived and there wasn’t a soul there – Ok one angler was leaving and there was the guy in the lodge) I looked to be getting the place to myself.

There was a light left to right breeze and little showing on top. I hoped the… Continue reading


I usually post reviews on items of tackle I am using on their own pages, but some items are pretty small and I felt it was maybe worth a simple post, as you might find these useful or indeed have better ideas or products.

Dry Shake and Density Mud

Two indispensible items for me when dry fly fishing, Troutwatch Density mud and Shimuzake Dry Shake

Top discovery amongst my tackle bits is Shimazake Dry shake. I actually bought this a while back as a replacement for my Orvis Hy-Flote Shake and Flote powder for dry flies (and yes I can spell float, Orvis clearly can’t) . I stumbled across a side by side test recently that suggested this stuff ( Shimazake Dry Shake) was the best fly floatant on the market and I thought…. “I have that stuff somewhere”. Located I duly opened it and it has become an indispensible item of tackle for me. It is without doubt the best fly floatant I have used and it even floats and restores slimed up CDC flies, no mean feat. I love it and highly recommend it. In terms of improvements the only thing I can think of would be a wee brush to stiple it into especially grubby flies.

Troutwatch Density Mud Tungsten degreasant paste from Troutwatch. Again stuff I wouldn’t be without in my pocket now. Very effective at degreasing tippets and also sinking them. There are a couple of ways you can help this process like having a three turn water knot in the length of your tippet… Continue reading


Recommended Kit