I've not had chance to update on Angling and Dramming, we've never really stopped for more than 5 minutes between each fishing session.
On Monday morning we set off for Dunlossit estate office to buy tickets to fish Loch Ballygrant. We used two boats on the loch and set our drifts so as to cover as much of the water as possible. Ballygrant is a stunning location, totally tree lined with the Paps of Jura as the backdrop.
We set up with various teams of traditional wet patterns but the fishing proved to be quite difficult and it was only down to the skill employed by Peter Pollock and a wee black sedgehog, that a few brown trout were managed.
Peter and Ian decided that it might be a better idea to get in a spot of sea fishing so it was off to Bunnahabhain to enjoy some fine pollock sport from the rocks beside the wrecked trawler 'Wyre Majestic' . Between them they managed no less than a dozen of these hard fighting fish from racing waters in the rocky depths in front of the distillery.
Mark and I made our way back to Loch Finlaggan. I felt that we'd not taken advantage of the loch, particularly as it had been literally on our doorstep and Mark, writing an article for a fishing publication, needed more pics of the stunning location. So we made our way up the West bank, past the visitor centre and the remains of the ancient causeway that once was the only way of reaching the fortifications on the two islands at Finlaggan.
Once again the fishing was tough and the wind was strong and fresh in our faces but we managed a few fish on our way around the loch. We decided to make our way over to the East bank in search of more favourable conditions and this involved crossing the narrow but incredibly deep burn that flows out of the loch towards Ballygrant and Loch Indaal. We made our way through the trees and high reeds and picked up many a tick on the way and eventually found the tiny footbridge over the burn constructed of just two planks. As soon as I saw it I thought we would have to turn around and return the way we had came as the footings of the bridge on our bank had given way and it was a gamble as to whether we'd make it across without getting wet but Mark convinced me that it could be done and with a little swearing and a bit of a adrenalin rush, I was eventually over and we battled our way through the incedibly tough terrain and fished the other bank in much better conditions and winkled out a few more wee broon troots.
We returned to the house and tucked into a huge lamb stew that Pollock had kindly put together and washed it down with several pints of Saligo Ale.
Yesterday was a chance to show a couple of the lads some favourite spots on Islay, and so, after delivering one or two cases of wine to customers on the island, we made our way to Lagavulin distillery where we enjoyed a dram of the distillery only limited edition.
Lunch was had at Kilchoman distillery and we had the chance to taste their fantastic summer release along with the famous Kilchoman Victoria sponge. It was good to catch up with John Mac and tony, my pal on a free transfer from Bunnahabhain.
Last night we enjoyed great food and the best pint (Saligo Ale) I've ever had on Islay at the Port Charlotte hotel.
And now we're on the boat awaiting a Calmac full breakfast and preparing ourselves for the mainland and the dreaded M6. It will be good to be home but it has been another wonderful trip to Islay in great company and we've stayed in sheer luxury at Finlaggan House.
Our next angling trip will be in April followed by a visit in May during Feis Ile 2011. Places are still available for both trips so please get in touch ASAP if you would like to join us on the magical Isle of Islay.
I'm a keen angler and whisky enthusiast. I'm lucky enough to have lived and worked on the Isle of Islay in the Scottish Hebrides, angling and dramming paradise! I fish for wild brown trout and sea trout whilst up North, back in Leek in the beautiful Staffordshire Moorlands I like to meet up with my pals and fish for wild brown trout, grayling and other river species in the Dane, Dove, Churnet, Manifold and Wye.
(firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to contact me)