Saturday, 24 September 2011

23/09/11 - North Esk

Time - 14.00-14.45 & 16.30-18.45
Water - About +10cm
Where - Dalmore Tunnel Bridge - Dalmore Mill & Above Weir at Mavisbank to about 1/2 mile downstream
Weather - Fair, a bit breezy with a hint of a chill
12 inch radge
Methods - Size 3 mepp
Total - 6
Species - Brown Trout
Size - 8.5-12 inch

First session at Dalmore started nicely with a follow and semi take by a nice fish under the Tunnel Bridge. No smaller than 12 inch. Then connected with the 12 incher which went mad jumping out the water three times and wrapping itself up in the line a bit. Managed to get it in and back without much trouble. No more luck on this stretch and had agreed to pick up B to try elsewhere.

Decided on the Mavisbank/Polton stretch behind Loanhead. B got a bite and lost one above the weir in the 7-8 inch bracket. I managed to extract a 9.5 incher below the weir. We then worked down the right bank initially. I took an 8 incher from a steep banked spot before we decided to head up and across and down the left bank.

9.5 inch
At the first (very) nice spot with a metal structure lying down the near side, I covered it for a few bites and three more fish all at or around 9 inch. Once done, headed down to B to find him in the process of unhooking a lovely 12 incher he'd taken at a wall pool with a nice run into it.

Access wasn't always easy from there down and we stopped at the first house.

As you can see from the two photos, a stark example of the difference in markings and colouration of the same species. Location, time of year, size, diet and probably sex all have a bearing on the appearance. You could be forgiven if you thought they were different species.

Friday, 23 September 2011

22/09/11 - North Esk

17.5 inch
Time - 18.15-19.35
Water - Up about 10cm, nice peaty colour
Where - Bridge Pool at Tunnel Entrance to Dalmore Mill
Weather - Fair
Methods - Size 2 silver & 3 silver Mepp with blue spots
Total - 4
Species - Brown Trout

Size - 10.75-17.5 inch

12 incher
I'd had a quick blast the previous day but the water was a bit too high and cloudy and no interest was registered. With a rainless day and information from further downstream that the river was in great condition, I headed for a quick evening session on the Auchendinny stretch and connected with four stotters. First up was an 11.5 incher. A few minutes later a 10.75 incher. Next cast a 12 incher, a lovely fish. Then, after a spell of calm after all the fish and interest, BANG, a 17.5 incher attacked the mepp and set off downstream with me in hot pursuit. A heck of a battle mostly fought in the rapids. I nearly had it and lost it a couple of times before finally being able to grab it and dive onto the overgrown bank. Four trout only, average length = 12.8125 inch!!! Delighted. Subsequently lost my size 3 mepp on the bottom just as dusk turned to dark.

The 'smaller' fish were all in excellent nick and carrying some chubiness. The bigger fish was a lot slimmer. While I wasn't sure what my all time Esk record was and had it provisionally at 12.5 inch, this is certainly the biggest brownie I've either caught or seen caught in the Esk.

11.5 incher

Friday, 16 September 2011

15/09/11 - North Esk

Dalmore Mill Weir & Pool
Time - 17.00 - 19.45
Water - Up 5-10cm, nice peaty colour
Where - Bridge Pool at Tunnel Entrance to Dalmore Mill
Weather - Fair
Methods - Size 2 & 3 silver Mepp
Total - 2
Species - Brown Trout

Size - 12-12.5 inch

Arrived at first pool to find an Angler in residence. He was set up with maggots & a swim feeder and also fly fishing the tail of the pool. Plenty small ones rising, incumbent claimed to have just set up and had no luck. He decided to pack up, so I was able to fish through the very tasty looking pool. Without success. Worked downstream through 2-3 nice pools, still with no luck.

12 inch
The pool below the weir produced 2 or 3 quick bites from fish no bigger than 8 inch. Moved to the left bank and got tapped by half a dozen or so, 2 or 3 of which were very decent, prob similar to what followed. One of the big losses took almost instantly in the froth right under the edge of the waterfall. Beats me how they're so alert and rapid. Waded onto the bottom of the weir to get a better angle across and under the trees on the far bank and hooked into a 12 inch brownie. This nudged my record up from 11.5 inch on the Esk. Delighted!!!

12.5 inch
After a quick celebration in the customary fashion to let the water settle, I resumed the contest. Another few bites, again including more than one stotter ended when Fish Two connected after uncustomary perseverance by myself. The fish were less prone to being spooked by the spinner as the turbulence of the water over the edge of the weir helped to cover up takes and misses.

Both fish required a fair bit of bossing as I wasn't in a great Landing Spot. Didn't need to worry too much as both fish had gulped the lure. The second fish tipped my Esk record upwards by another half inch. Despite continued effort, long after I'd usually leave a pool, no more were obliging.

Moving downstream I soon lost the triumphant size 3 mepp in a tree and switched to a size 2. Despite some nice looking runs and the odd half decent pool, I only managed two more bites in the next half hour or so before dusk set in and I retired with a 12.25 inch average.

Below is some half decent footage of the release of the second fish.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

08/09/11 - Eliburn Reservoir

Blank Buster
Time - 15.00-20.00
Water - OK, visibility 18-24 inches, pretty calm
Where - Middle Peg
Weather - Decent enough, not much breeze, sunny outbreaks amongst cloud
Methods - Rod 1 - Maggots, float, 3lb trace size 18 pre-tied hook link, Rod 2 - Meat
Total - 1
Species - Roach
Size - 7 inch

As unusually tough a day as I've had here. First note of interest at 17.30 on the mags. Started shallow and increased depth. Although bites did increase, nothing wonderful. Prob just a Perch or two, a Guj or two and a Roach or two. The Roach I did eventually get was a very tentative offer, on mag, about 3-4 feet down.

Worth noting I didn't have too many maggots (leftovers from previous visit) & they were in a bit of moisture & pretty unpleasant to handle so I wasn't baiting up as often as normal. If/when I did, interest certainly increased.

The meat rod had no runs, one pickup up & spit, and two or thee line bites as far as I could tell. Twas a different brand of meat from usual and I'd like to think this had a bit to do with the general underwater inaction.

Others Anglers seemed to be in the same fishless boat. Two younger dudes started in the Dam Corner Peg and about 19.30 got a Mirror Carp of about 6lbs. Method looked like maggots in a swim feeder.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

06/09/11 - Eliburn Reservoir

21 inch Common Carp (est 6lbs)
Time - 12.30-19.30
Water - OK, visibility 18-24 inches, a bit choppy, no film
Where - Second Peg on the arm, then Middle Peg
Weather - Very windy, nice to start with, drizzle increasing to really miserable at times
Methods - Rod 1 - Maggots, float, 3lb trace size 18 pre-tied hook link, Rod 2 - Meat
Total - 17
Species - Gudgeon, Perch, Common Carp
Size - 4 - 21 inches

If ever a day rewarded perseverance, this was it. Six Perch to 5.5 inches, ten Gudgeon to 5 inches in 6 hours until the meat rod finally paid off big time.
Started on The Arm, another gentleman started just before me on the First Peg using a pole. I began on the next peg along. Chucked the meat in near the lilies on the right, tried a few different lies, but nothing at all. The chunk had been quite well nibbled, but not by anything substantial and not enough to show any signs of a bite on the rod.
Extracted three Perch (including the 5.5 incher) & a fat 5 inch Gudgeon on varying amount of maggots. Started quite shallow (a foot or so) and got enough interest. Went deep and interest dropped off, although not altogether. Got stuck on the bottom a bit too often, although didn't lose any tackle so moved up to 1.5-2 foot and had most interest. Possibly the odd bite from an Ide, probably the odd bite from a Roach. A carp splurged in front of me about 15 feet out and despite the wave on the water, there were enough skimmer type fish louping out now and again to keep my interest up.
Decided to shift positions and see what was doing at the dam end. Spoke to Pole Guy. He'd had a small roach and a Crucian of about a pound and a half on pellet. Also spoke to guy on next peg round. He was using bread/float but had no joy. Observing plenty bubbles near the weed bed.
Happily the middle peg was free. I'd been thinking about a Dam end peg as it looked the most sheltered from the wind but the Middle Peg proved too tempting (another couple of guys were moving pegs too and were in Dam Outflow Corner Peg).
Lobbed some meat out in the usual spot and began efforts to connect with something other than Perch on the mags. A 5lb or so carp half splatted out of the water in front of me as I was re-setting up. However the wind was dragging the float right to left and into the shore too quickly. No chance of spotting surface fish and there were a few drizzly showers too. So I tended to fish no more than a rod length out with varying amounts of maggots and was able to get loads of attention mostly from Gudgeon and some Perch.

Gudgeon 4.5 inch (not the fat one)
The weather really closed in meaning a huddle under the brolly and a few missed bites on the mags. Another Carp flapped right out of the water about 20 feet in front startling me somewhat. Nothing happened for ages on the meat rod. Thought I had a wee bounce at one point, then eventually got a definite tap. But offers/attention were few and far between and I was missing anything that did show. There was one probable line bite too.
During a drizzle break I decided to move to the Dam Wall Peg. I collapsed the net and lay it on the fence and it was at this point that my meat line screamed off and up the lake. Turned, tightened and struck only to feel the hook and fish part company. No idea of size, but defo not a minnow!!! So had to stay put. I suspected it may have been a carp. Usually its more of a bounce than a run when the meat is taken. But as the day wore on I became a bit more convinced it was a Barbel (about 60/40).
One of the Perch I caught came off with the (pre-tied) hook and line disconnecting so started using a size 16 with the mags to no obvious slowing up in offers.
Was varying the distance from the bank with the meat rod (not too far, but sometimes quite close) and had another couple of bounces but couldnt connect. Meat often showed nibble marks. Noticed the barb of the hook was a little turned in, so straightened it in the hope it would help.
Then at about 6.45 the meat rod screamed off again (very satisfying sound) and this time the hook set nicely. I was able to turn it and exert a modicum of control. It didn't try to go too far (maybe just my increasing ability and composure in these circumstances). I'd been re-baiting the mag rod when this kicked off, so the water was clear in front to play it. Tried to get it up into the top of the water to get a look but it stayed quite low, and the fact it wasn't haring off uncontrollably meant I was happy it was a decent Barbel, confirming my earlier hypothesis. Eventually got it into view and was rather delighted to discover it was a friggin carp!!!
It might not have been uncontrollable, but it was still well heavy and difficult to get near the net. When it turned away it was also doing a good job of flapping its tail on the line. After 10-15 mins I was able to get it into the net without too many frights. The hook was securely in the top lip and no prob to disgorge.  Measured it, got a couple of photos and released it back.
It might be a sign of madness, but the fish seemed to be a reasonably chilled individual. It didn't scrap any harder than a 17 inch Barbel and felt less weighty by far in the water than my previous Common. It didn't flap about at all on the bank either, almost as if he knew the script and was waiting to be released. A very nice specimen. I didn't consider it's weight on the bank, but estimate it was about 6lbs for its 21 inches in length.
Although I continued on for another half hour, there were no more bites and I packed up.

02/09/11 - South Esk

Time - 17.00-20.00
Water - (Roseberry outflow) Up a little but quite clear, (Edgelaw outflow) Up a little bit also & a bit peaty
Where - Temple Road Bridge down to Corner Pool & upstream to Carrington Road Bridge
Weather - Fair
Method - Bronze mepp size 2
Total - 2
Species - Brown Trout
Size - 5.5 & 9 inches

A few taps here and there but fish generally on the smaller side. Didn't really fish too much, mostly showing B about. Both caught two of same size in the same pools.

Got a tap in the Concrete Shed pool but nothing else there. The pool has completely changed its character from previou sseasons and even the reent visit in higher water. The current always ran down the far bank, but now comes in the near side and swirls back upstream on the far bank. Strange to see how nature can completely trsansform the way things happen in such concise examples.

My first was in the first pool upstream on the Edgelaw outflow. B caught his first here too after a mis-cast into the current at his feet induced an instant hit off a wee broonie. I caught my second in the Corner Pool after the confluence. Spotted a big branch/log under the water behind the fallen tree that is straddling the pool. I only noticed it after a few unproductive casts and thought, if I can get a cast to the other side of that, there might be fish lying on the other side that haven't seen me or been disturbed yet. First cast at it, bang, fish on. Love it when a plan comes together.

Avoided the temptation to go on a Shroom pic quest again. Another time.

26/08/11 - Bonaly Reservoir

Time - 16.00-19.00
Water - Clear, flat calm mostly
Where - Dam wall
Weather - Fair, no wind
Methods - Dead bait, fly (lure), maggot
Total - 0

No fish, no bites, no sign of any fish whatsoever for that matter, but some nice photos including some more funghi!!!

Flat Calm
Lack of wind tempted me to give Bonaly an erstwhile effort. Some reasonably well to do yoof were camping on the south bank and making accompanying noises ruling out any angling along my favoured bank. Concentrated mostly on the weedbank off the dam wall at the northern end.

Plonked a mackerel section out a foot or two under the surface. Moved it a couple of times to tryboth sides of the weed bank.

Tried the Wooly Bugger & Cats Whisker on a sinking line. Varied the retrieves and worked my along the dam wall to the south bank. B spun a minnow for a short while and tried some maggots.

North over Edinburgh to the Forth

Bonnie heather (looking west)

24/08/11 - North Esk

View upstream from left bank
Time - 18.00-20.30
Water - Turning peaty from brown, 10 cm or so up
Where - Wooden Bridge to Ele's Hole
Weather - Damp
Method - Bronze mepp size 2
Total - 3
Species - Brown Trout
Size - 7.5 - 11 inches

Fairly typical session for time of year & conditions etc. Connected with excellent example of the Salmo Trutta coming in at 11 inches on the measuring tape. Twas such a nice fish I've added two photos profiling both flanks.

Note the vivid red on the tail and adipose. It emerged from quite close to the waterfall.

There were another couple of fish trying to jump the waterfall, nothing over 9-10 inch.