June - A new loch

When you live in an part of the world that has dozens of lochs within a short drive and a short/long walk it is to
become a bit local in your fishing efforts. There is something nice and comforting to head for the same spots which after 15 seasons have become old friends, always nice ones that are good to see.

However there is still an urge to explore the new and the un-certainty of what you might find is always there. The 26 mile drive to Town takes 40 minutes or so and you pass many lochs that invite the wandering flyfisher. For the record brown trout loch and stream fishing on most of the Lewis lochs is free. The only spots to avoid are obvious signs of salmon and sea trout, well kept paths and boats are a give away, even if you find yourself on water where you shouldn't be all that is likely to happen is that you will be asked to move on.
The loch I targeted for this warm sunny June day was a short distance from the road and the walk through the heather bodes well as clouds of Midges and the odd Daddy are spotted, the loch from 100yards has a light ripple, I head to a sheltered bay with a nice right to left ripple. The trusty 9 footer aftm 6 rod partnered with a DT5 Floating line as assembled, while doing this there are trout rising to my right, nothing changes the sight of rising trout is still the thing that focuses the mind and makes knots harder to tie. It's not hard to choose the flies to use in my standard two fly 'Hebridean Cast'. All round the margins lightly coloured Silverhorn Caddis are airborne so a light coloured Deer Spider #14, ginked,  goes on the dropper, the ever present midge dictates a buzzer (#14) on the point, a copper wired job that will fish 2 feet down where the fish will have been taking ascending pupa. The leader construction ends up like this: 7ft of tapered leader, this used to be 9 foot but has been nibbled back to 7, 4 feet of 4lb nylon and 3 foot of tippet (2.5lb). I have been testing a new dropper system and first impressions are good try this:

A rise to the left, I cover him with the Deer Spider, first cast and a fish on, the rod bends as a 12"+ fish fights like crazy for its freedom, two jumps and a run and he is off. We are used to modest sized fish fighting well but this was exceptional. As I carefully shuffle along the bank new fish are covered and the net receives a steady supply of well marked fish that take the dry Deer Spider and the sunk Copper Wired Buzzer, takes to the Buzzer indicated by the Deer Spider skating across the surface and in one cas being dragged under by a confident feeding fish. The average size of these fish was around the 12 " mark, all fit strong wild trout that defy the belief by many that island trout do not rise in bright sunny weather. I supsect the hatch of flies had been going on all morning/afternoon, the warm suns rays cooled by the sea breeze, as the eagle flies less than a mile or so away, create good conditions for surface feeding fish. After fishing out this bay  head off for fresh water. This is the bit that's nice on a new water as you never know what is round the corner. An island in the middle of the loch creates a wide channel and from the high bank fish can be spotted rising in the ripple. There is no sign of surface fly so my guess is that the hatch is over and the fish are taking trapped emergers, drowned adult midges and other pupa as the wind, a 4/5 inch ripple here drifts them through the channel. I stick with the Deer Spider, one to test the mood of the trout, it's the sort of fly that might induce a take and it is also big enough to be spotted in the ripple with the Buzzer fishing deeper. After covering several fish both are completely ignored. Lifting the rod to induce a take fail to interest the fish, one in particular is feeding in a small area of water and is gobbling up insects drifting down his feeding lane and judging by the solid water movement as he does looks a fair fish. The two fly team is tricky to cast cross wind and 15yards so off they come and on goes a single Antron Pupa.  I tie these in a range of colours mainly on size 14 Caddis hooks, the pink, white and lime wings are there to hang the body in the film and to give you a chance of seeing them even in a wave. I hit the feeding lane first cast and the white wing shows well sat in the film. The fish rolls over the fly, it's nice when it works, I tighten and he is away. It is not a 6" fish. After several jumps and runs a splendid 16/17" trout , neared 2 than 1lb, graces the net. At the end of the day a good fish is one that you enjoyed catching which is not always measured in inches or pounds, but he was a nice fish to catch and such a good looking trout that I slipped him back (small fish are just as nice to eat) without inconveniencing him for a photo, I didn't need one as he is well photographed in my memory.