Friday 4 May 2012

Townhead Reservoir - AKA - Banton Loch

The pull of the water got the better of me tonight and I headed down to Townhead Reservoir for a few casts in the last hour of failing light.

I wasn't going to go as I haven't fixed my thigh waders yet and it meant pulling on the chesties but my plans for the evening were scuppered due to my usual venue being closed for polling preparations so I thought I would re-visit the place where I caught my first ever brownie on the fly and see how I got on.

Townhead reservoir

First thing I noticed was that the water was really quite high, about as high as it gets, so I hastily put together a three fly cast. Zulu on the bob, Grouse and Claret on the dropper and my own wee Red wire Cruncher special on the point. I was going to use my new Sonik 3 but as it's quite a big loch, opted for distance over finesse and went for the 9'6" GSXI 8 wt with a WF floating line. I was going to take an intermediate spool but time was of the essence and just took the essentials thinking that the wire cruncher would get the point down a bit anyway.

I don't want to dwell on this but as I walked along the shore to a productive spot I couldn't help notice again how badly this loch is affected by "some" overnighters. The following pictures tell their own story and it's a sad one at that.

Burnt out and nearly burned down tree

Chainsawed tree

Fire left burning - not a 'sole in sight

The cargo had obviously run out and I guess that's why the fire was left burning.

I know the KFPA do all they can to clear up the loch and try to keep things under control but surely something more can be done to remedy this problem right in the middle of the central belt which is to all intents and purposes being ignored and it really pisses me off as this is a wonderful loch. I don't want to have to answer to council Bailiff's or cops while fishing and this is one of the attractions of the place but I don't want to have to navigate round this kind of thing either.

Anyway, onto the fishing.

Do you ever get one of those nights when you think I'm going to get a fish on ? well, this was one of them. I don't know what it was, maybe it was because I was back in this old spot, was casting well, there was a nice breeze and my flies were presenting well but I was just sure I was going to be into a fish. I think confidence in what you have on the end of your line and not messing about with fly changes has a lot to do with it too.

However, 3/4 hr later, 9.15pm and with the light fading fast, I was beginning to doubt my intuition. Then, just as I was making my last cast, the line went tight and a nice fight ensued. The fish came straight at me at first and I handlined it tightly but not too tight until it was almost at my feet. I was going to just bring it in at this point but thought no, that's not sportsman like. I must endeavour to ensure it is on the reel before bringing it to hand. It was a nice wee broonie about 1 - 1 &1/4 pounds when I finally saw it and it brought me back to being 13 years old again. Same spot, same conditions and a nice enough trout. It had taken the wire cruncher on the point.

Once it was on the reel I saw the white of it's mouth against the now ink black water and as I looked over my shoulder, neither fish or bank more than 3 feet away, the line went slack and the B****** swam of at a leisurely pace back to whence it came. That didn't happen when I was 13 !

So undispirited if that is a word, I cast again and again as more than several fish lept from the water to laugh at me in my disgust. The last 15 minutes was spent hooking trees bank and weed in the failing light but nerry another troot. Always tomorrow I suppose.

The night was not fruitless though and I've learn't two things from this escapade. If a fish is on the line, get it in because we never messed about and never lost a fish when we were kids. Oh, and I need glasses to tie my flies on - getting old is the PITS !

Hmm, that might just be three things I've learned. But, senility has it's plus points I suppose, as no-one seems to keep score any more   Smiley

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