Last night after getting totally fed up with the fact that my petrol strimmer won't start and neither will my lawnmower after lazing about in the shed all winter, I decided to throw in the towel as regards grass cutting and thanks to our extremely mild March here in Scotland go fishing.
It was my first trip of the season and to be honest it's probably the earliest I have been out for a very long time.
So, I pulled all the necessary gear together - this year cutting everything down to a minimum - having dispensed with the accoutrements of the stillwater fishery angler i.e. everything apart from the kitchen door - and headed off to the Horsemill Inn between Larbert and Bonnybridge for a chuck on the river Carron.
For anyone who is interested, this years necessary gear will be the essentials:- Thigh waders for crossing bogs and burns, a rod, a reel, a spool of tippet/leader material, small knife, small box of flies ( none of this my fly box is bigger than my piece box stuff ! ), tub of leadasink a bottle of gink and clothing as appropriate.
To my dismay, not having been to the Horsemill Inn stretch of the Carron for a couple of years, I found the wee parking bit was closed off so I headed down to the roundabout near to where the old re-chem plant used to be. I was surprised to find that when I got there a couple of guys named Chris and Alex had arrived just before me and were already tackling up in the fading light of almost 19.30 hrs for a wee bit of maggot drowning. I wasn't so much surprised to see they were fishing the " mathe " but more so that they seemed to be as daft as me tackling up for the last hour on a cold April evening.
Anyway, we had a wee chat and they headed up river as did I. My intention was to wade the river further up than their pitch and work my way back downstream with my two fly cast of a goldhead stonefly representation and lure fished on the dropper " Endrick " style.
" The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men " however, as the Bard said " Gang aft agley ".
I knew my cheapish thigh waders ( they do serve their purpose when they work ) had a slight leak just above the wellie boot bottom. Over the winter however, this leak had become worse. Maybe it was the meeces O' Burns' Ilk, who knows ? But as soon as I got above the boot mark in water I had not one but Twa' wet feet. Bu***r , what do we do however ? We fish on ! Fly fishing in the Carron from the bank is not a good idea though and all I caught for the next half hour was trees. **** , and double ****. I finally gave up when my flees decided they preferred the trees to the water though. Endof fishing for the first outing of the season for me, meethinks.
But, all was not lost ! I wandered down the bank amongst the wild garlic Allium ursinum
till I found what seemed to be Beaver sign on the riverbank
before I met Chris and he relayed to me the story of the decent Sea Trout around 2 1/2 lbs he had taken the Saturday before just below the spot where the trees bent my rod double and broke my cast.
His pal Alex joined us at this point and as they fished into the gloaming - if that's what you can call it in April.
I returned home to try to mend my leaky waders !
Roll on Oban and the Easter weekend