Sunday, 21 October 2012

16/10/2012 - Loch Dunmore

Loch Dunmore
Time 1300-1600
Weather - Light shower or two, around 6 degrees
Water - Still, pretty clear, lots of lilies
Method - See text
Total - 0

Spending a week at Tummel Bridge with the family obviously had me looking around at potential fishing destinations in an area where you are spoilt for choice.

With the trout season gone, trouting on Loch Rannoch, Loch Tummel or Dunalastair Water were all out as was a shot on the River Tummel or River Gaur (incidentally, its the Gaur you can see behind the cooncil lager in my profile pic). Salmon on the River Tummel or River Garry (Pitlochry Angling Club) were my next thoughts. Being early season rivers the prices are quite reasonable this late, but the season ended on both on Monday, the day of my arrival. Similarly Loch Faskally's Salmon had ended the previous Saturday (shoddy scheduling by the school holiday planners). Pike and/or Perch on Loch Rannoch or Loch Tummel then? Seriously daunting waters for a relative novice like myself and also the possibility of getting through a session alone in severely testing weather conditions (there was a dusting of snow on the hills on our first night) didn't really appeal. I'd prefer to try these types of waters when I can go after Trout and Char as well.
Next to the Boathouse

I remembered a small water I'd found a while ago on Google Earth adjacent to Loch Faskally and looked it up. Loch Dunmore is a small sheltered coarse pond just outside Pitlochry run by the quite appropriately named Dunmore Angling Club. Details were sketchy online but I found a contact email address and sent off a hopeful enquiry not really expecting a response, never mind the quick and excellently detailed reply I received later that day.

At this time of year, the woods surrounding Loch Dunmore are converted into The Enchanted Forest once darkness falls so you have to be off the water by 1630. Holding Perch, Rudd, Roach, Tench and Carp (Crucian's as far as I can tell, although maybe some of their larger cousins too), most of the common baits apparently do the trick with maggots probably being the best starting point. I was warned though that there was a fair bit of growth, mostly lilies which, whilst not ideal once a fish was on, provided plenty of cover for the inhabitants. Tickets are £6 and available in a couple of places, I got mine just down the road and round the corner at the Faskally Boat House. Incidentally, there is no Tackle Shop in Pitlochry just now, although the Boat House sold some gear, mostly Salmon and Pike lures. I was also tipped off about a couple of pegs, but in all honesty, once there, they all looked pretty sweet.

So, I arrived just before 1pm and was immediately impressed. It is difficult to overstate the beauty of this location and nestling in woodland it's nicely sheltered. There was another dude fishing next to the little Boathouse who looked like he knew what he was doing and his son was also fishing. Indulging in a quest for as much info as possible I made straight for them. They'd been there all morning and it had been raining quite a lot but the Dad had taken a small Roach and a couple of Perch on maggots. The boy reported a lost Tench right at the bank from the other side of the water and a Carp that had snapped him. Both had been off the bottom with a red & white maggot combo using a pole and float. The Dad was set up with a float, fishing it quite deep.

How can this possibly fail?
I decided to fish the peg next to them at the other side of the boathouse and employ my standard coarse tactics, devised over a couple of years at Eliburn. Rod One has the float slipped onto the mainline and held in place by a couple of small weights (enough to right the float in the water), then a swivel clip to which I attach a fine pre-tied hook/leader, usually about 2lb b/s and a size 18-20 hook. For smaller silver fish I find if you get too bulky they tend to be a lot less likely to take. This can cause problems if something substantial decides to wolf down the maggots instead, but this is rare. Rod Two is a bit more speculative. I add enough weight only to hold it firm on the bottom about 2-8 inches away from a specialist carp hook about size 8-10. Obviously all these tactics can vary, but that's the general starting point.

Despite my best efforts I searched all round with my float rod but couldn't find any fish. I opted for cubed luncheon meat stuffed with a few pellets and still loosely attached to another couple of cubes (see pic) that certainly looked scrumptious to me, but not it seemed to the fish. This was plonked out to my right in front of the boathouse along with some more meat as groundbait and some maggots. For good measure some floating pellets were thrown out, but all with no response.
Mark two view to the right

In the meantime my neighbour extracted another wee Perch so at least there was hope. I decided to move and made my way half way round the pond to another outstanding looking peg. The same tactics were deployed, all the while lengthening the depth of the maggots under the float. For the first 150 minutes or so I only had two solitary bubbles appearing as my only encouragement. Whether simple gas releases or Tench feeding, these are sometimes the only encouragement when staring at a potential blank especially on a new venue.

Mark two view to the left
I switched from maggots to Isome on the float rod and tried a beard of maggots on a smaller hook on Rod Two. Finally the beard did the trick and the rod started to twitch. When it pulled I struck, but didn't feel a fish. Probably a Tench, I focused on the 'hotspot' but didn't get any further interest.

So a slightly disappointing blank, but more than enough to peak my interest. It is certainly a venue I intend to return to. Enhancing the natural beauty of the place from an Anglers point of view, it's very well maintained with many pegs available and all in good condition. In my opinion an excellent balance is struck between the natural setting and the requirements of the Angler. A lovely example to all other small coarse fisheries.

View back to the Boathouse
On my return from Pitlochry to Tummel Bridge I stopped to take a couple of photos of Loch Tummel, as displayed later in this post.

Although I didn't push for any more fishing passes from the wife, later in the week we ventured up to Kinloch Rannoch where I took a neb at Loch Rannoch. Catching it not long before sunset the view up the Loch was outrageously stunning and I let my cameraphone do the work. If you enlarge the photo's you can see the odd ring of ripples showing the rise that was well underway along the near bank by what I expect were small trout. A proper assault on Loch Rannoch is high on the list for 2013, my anticipation heightened on the holiday by delving back into Ron Greer's outstanding book Ferox Trout & the Arctic Char which I'd highly recommend to anyone interested in fishing, even stockie-bashers who come in for a bit of a tongue-lashing. Informed, Insightful and Intelligent, I'll leave the i-superlatives there.

Loch Tummel

Loch Tummel & Schiehallion viewed on the way back to the Lodge

Loch Tummel, same spot, different view

Loch Rannoch

Stop the car!!!!!

And the photos still don't do it justice

Looking across to the south eastern shore

Photography made easy

Fetch me my rod Jeeves?

OMG, as they say

North east shore

Hold the camera horizontal you fool

No comments:

Post a Comment