A Few Trout from Loch Lubnaig

By happy coincidence we escaped to the forestry cabins at Loch Lubnaig for a few days, just exactly as lockdown ended in Scotland. This wasn’t a fishing trip but I did manage two or three hours chasing trout in the loch.

Day one was very windy and wet so I left my gear in peace and chucked another log on the woodburner instead. Next day was more encouraging and I nipped out just after 6.30 to try my luck.

I rigged up a silver Mepps size 0 spinner and got to work. There was a real chill in the air and I felt every little hint of breeze. Maybe this affected the fish as very few showed on the surface as I edged along the stones.

A thin but pretty brown trout from Loch Lubnaig

Twenty minutes of this and something grabbed the Mepps just a few yards out. A dogged fight ensued until a nice but thin little brown trout appeared. Quickly photographed and returned and I carried on.

This little stretch gave up a couple more brownies – both smaller but more energetic as they leapt out the water. The clear water and dull early morning sky seemed to favour the silver Mepps so I stuck with it.

A Mepps size 0 is a favourite trout lure
Mepps Size 0
Loch Lubnaig
Loch Lubnaig

I warmed up slightly as the sun rose above the horizon and I moved out of the slight breeze. A wee sweet spot added several more fish to my tally, but all brown trout – I had hoped for a perch or two as well.

By now a dog walker or two had started to appear and I needed some breakfast, so I called it a morning and headed back. Eight trout in total, and all returned, so I was perfectly happy with that.

A beautiful golden coloured brown trout from Loch Lubnaig

Back to Winter

Buoyed by success, I headed out again next morning. This time it was frigid rather than merely chilly! A light breeze blew down the loch but there was fresh snow on the mountains and swirls of freezing mist on Loch Lubnaig itself.

An icy cold start on Loch Lubnaig
A very chilly start

I wanted to try a different lure this morning, so switched to a small Rapala. Working the shoreline as before, I found the fish much less co-operative than yesterday. A couple did hit the Rapala but I only landed one. Perhaps they were spooked by my previous attempts, or put down by the cold, but there was very little action.

Switching back to the Mepps made no difference and I reached the end of my “beat” with no more success. By now the sun was emerging but I’d pretty much lost all feeling in my fingers and morale was low. The pull of a hot coffee proved irresistible, so it was back to the warmth of my cabin and a defrost.

This brown trout took a small Rapala lure

I was pretty pleased with the result to be honest. Maybe three hours in total and just fishing the shoreline along the site, so I’d no right to expect much. I’d hoped for a perch or two, and a char would see me punch the sky, but trout are fine by me!

Permits for Loch Lubnaig

Just a note on permits for the loch. The rangers assured me I didn’t need one if I was resident and just fishing the shoreline in front of the cabins. Since I wasn’t planning any serious fishing this was OK and gave access to about 500 metres of the loch. Otherwise you’ll need to fork out for a ticket, depending on which area you want to fish.

The cabins on Loch Lubnaig are pretty comfortable and we’d a good few days there – but they certainly aren’t cheap! With more time and a better forecast I think I’d take the kayak up next time. Good fun though.

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  1. Well done Doug.
    Those trout look fantastic. I’ve found Mepps & copper Tobys are both great in my opinion, the certainly both work for trout. I’ve only ever hooked one trout on a rapala whilst trolling it behind a boat, never casting. I know they work for Salmon on the river, but some owners insist one just one hook & even then a single. A good start to 2021, well done.

    1. Thanks Ash, next up will also be a trout camp’n’cook. I’m definitely not going over to the dark side, it’s just the way the weather dice landed this time! I didn’t think I’d really benefit from a tent stove in May, but it was Baltic up on Rannoch Moor.

      Mepps are definitely my first choice for trout spinning, but my largest trout took a Rapala so I have a bias there too. The trebles can be an issue, although I’ve generally stuck with how the lure was originally kitted out. I’ve got some single hooks for saltwater sized lures but I’ve still got to fit them (and then actually use them!).

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