Am I an angler or homing pigeon? Out for just the second time this year, and I find my way back to the same spot as last month. I’d a snowy forecast but a rainy reality, which was pretty much as I expected. I do find the forecasts always overstate the likelihood of snow down at sea level.
The little single track road in to Glen Etive was covered with snow, which always makes me think about my chances of getting out again if it gets nasty. However the snow disappeared at about 200 feet above sea level and before I managed to skid off the road, so the last few miles to the car park were uneventful.
I was alone at the end of the road so I took my time sorting out my rucksack and gear before starting to splosh my way along the trail. I have to say that this wet and boggy haul along the loch was cheered greatly by white-capped mountains all around.
I arrived at my campsite with plenty of daylight this time, so set up the rods and cast out before sorting out my tent and some extra firewood for the night. Given all the recent rain I was far from confident that the salinity of the loch would still be high enough to attract predators, but I’d plenty to keep me busy with or without actually catching a fish.
My hopes rose dramatically when I reeled in my first rod to find a disembodied whiting on the end. Definitely spurdog about! I quickly rebaited and cast out into the trench again.
Fortunately for me, the slight wind that was blowing dropped to nothing as I watched some sleet and snow flurries crossing the loch further down.
I got a decent bite not long after dark bite and retrieved a fine looking female spurdog. Nothing like as big as my beastie from last month, but a respectable 6lb plus.
I was hungry by now, so chicken, pasta, tomatoes, chorizo and chickpeas all found themselves bedfellows in my pan. I settled down with a coffee and watched the flames as my dinner got under way.
Pre-dinner drinks were interrupted by a couple more spurdog, but just small males this time.
Rain was falling steadily, but I was happy enough chilling out beside the campfire and checking the rods every now and again. Despite the snow covered mountains it wasn’t terribly cold and the flames kept some feeling in my fingers.
A final little spurdog and I decided to call it quits and head for the tent as I was getting a little soggy by now. Rain battered away on my tent but didn’t manage to keep me awake for long. The whisky in my coffee probably helped…
A New Dawn
Next morning was cold and grey as I poked my snout out the tent, but at least the rain had stopped. Hopping around in the semi-darkness I managed to pull on enough clothes to avoid hypothermia before casting out again.
Eventually the grey-dark improved to being just grey, but without a flicker of interest on the rods. A couple of re-casts later and a new species for 2020 surrendered without much of a fight. A doggie, more of a puppy really. I suppose the only surprise is that it wasn’t my first fish of the year.
By now it was definitely time for breakfast, so round one of bacon and eggs went on the rejuvenated campfire.
By round two of breakfast I’d attracted this little robin, who had a happy rummage around the seaweed whilst keeping an eye on me. I offered him some mackerel, but he clearly had standards and just ignored it.
The forecast was deteriorating later in the morning, and I needed to get back to do some dog-sitting, so I packed up camp just after breakfast and reeled in the last of the lines. Nothing else showed up, so it was just one little doggie for the morning compared with 4 spurdogs and half a whiting the night before.
Hiking out was easier initially, having burned the wood I took in and eaten a fair percentage of my body weight in dinner and breakfast. Sadly, good things don’t last and the rain caught up with me big time for the last hour. It was a very, very wet fisherman who stripped off in the carpark. Fortunately for them, there were no witnesses around!Share this: