It was a tough day's fishing on Saturday at the open competition at Loch Gorm on Islay. We fished from 1pm until 5pm in blistering heat and I'm paying for it now. I joined 22 other local lads in the competition. Many blanked because of the poor conditions but I managed to find some fish under cover in a weed bed and managed 4 fish putting me in 5th place. The winner, Kevin Morrison managed 14 fish and the second place was for only 6 fish.
In prep for this coming Saturday's open competition at Loch Finlaggan, I've been visiting the beauty spot to try a few patterns. I've taken loads of fish on the muddler and a few, better fish on the LTD sedge. I've generally been fishing a team of 3 flys, 2 muddlers on droppers and a small LTD on the point. Yesterday this set up managed 8 fish in an hour and a half.
As I type I'm sitting in the van over looking the loch. I've just fished the East bank in blustery conditions and am about to try the West to see if casting is a little easier.
Last night we hosted our first Feis Ile 2010 Rare Cask whisky tasting which went very well. We had over 30 guests from all over the world including Swedish, German, American, Dutch and Belgian enthusiasts. Our Wednesday and Thursday tastings look like they are to be popular events too. Of all the whiskys tasted, it was our new Rare Cask Bowmore 1999 that caused the most interest.
It's 7.45am. The sun is shining. This Angler and Drammer finds himself proud that he isn't suffering too much after a night out with pals at The Port Charlotte, especially given the fact that it is the first Feis Ile fishing competition this afternoon.
I'll spend the morning making deliveries and then at noon I'll meet up with David Morris and hopefully get a few tips for the afternoons fishing on the huge and wild Loch Gorm.
I had a couple of hours in the afternoon yesterday on the East bank of Loch Finlaggan. Their was a nice breaze and a good ripple and, initially, lots of confident rises around me. There was a hatch coming off but I couldn't see what it was.
After having had so much success in September with Glen's LTD sedge, I decided to give it another go, with instant success. The fly was being smashed by many a wee brownie, some of a good size too for Finlaggan. I did, howevern struggle to hook in to most of them. They seemed to take me by surprise on every occassion. I'd describe the attitude of these wild Islay brownies as livid and it's going to take me a little longer to adjust my technique and bag a few.
so it'll be off to Gorm then to be part of the competition that David Morris will surely win as ever. He's expecting to catch 100+ in four hours, and I don't doubt for a minute that he will.
It's 11.30am and I'm aboard Caledonian MacBrayne's Hebridean Isles bound once again for the Hebridean Island of Islay.
After hosting a whisky tasting last night in Kendal, I finally got my head down for a couple of hours at about 3am. I parked the van a little of the beaten track and made myself as comfortable as I could amongst the various boxes of whisky, wines and other luggage bound for Islay.
As I type, the sea mist that we have been shrouded in since leaving the tiny port of Kennacraig, is slowly burning off giving way to bright sunshine, hopefully a sign of good weather to come to last us through the Islay Festival of Malt and Music 2010.
I'm accompanied by various old favourites on my mp3 player....Pale Saints, The Wedding Present....even Radiohead's Kid A is getting a run out at last. Blimey, I must be in a good mood to be giving the last one a blast!
I've bumped in to a few whisky enthusiasts already. They were keen to know about our new Queen of the Moorlands Rare Cask bottlings and I promised to crack a bottle or two open for them later in the week.
No pics at the moment I'm afraid, but I'll put that right when Pointon arrives with his laptop and therefore the interweb along with it.
It'll be good to get Glen over to Islay again...he's had a tough job of it lately, not least because his shocking, and frankly quite unnecessary handling by one of the local fishing clubs. In my honest and very personal opinion, the members of it's committee who placed their votes against a top bloke, an angler that is nothing short of a huge asset to the club and furthermore it's members, ought to be thoroughly ashamed of themselves.
It seems freedom of speech is a concept that has gone right out of the window in some quarters, a great shame given the effort over the last hundred years that our predecessors put in to protecting it. Please, if you read my blog and you see or read something you don't like, make sure you choose not to visit again.
In week two I'm really looking forward to my family joining me at Bunnahabhain where we intend to have a very sunny holiday, a big party and a bit of a well deserved break together, for the first time in a very long time indeed.
Oh...and I'll have reached the dreaded 40 by the time I get back.
That's it. The van is packed full of enough, wine, whisky and fishing tackle to last this Angling and Dramming enthusiast a few years on the Hebridean Isle of Islay. As it is, i'll be there for a fortnight or so, the first week to be spent fishing the various plentiful lochs, and the second to enjoy a family holiday.
If all goes well, I'll be joined by the potteries fundamentalist angler, none other than Mr G. Tarquin Pointon and I'll be posting many a story of how we got on on the lochs upon my return. I'll be hosting tastings of our new Queen of the Moorlands Rare Cask whiskies for the Islay Whisky Shop, and meeting many friends from previous Islay Festivals that have travelled from all over the world to be on Islay at this very special time. If you would like to join us at one of our tastings (which take place on Monday 24th May, Wednesday 26th, and Thursday 27th) drop me an email at email@example.com.
Had a great couple of hours on Staffordshire's very own river Churnet on Monday evening with Trout attractor, Glen Pointon, who as ever, tempted many a wee Troot to the dry fly.
We found that the JT Olive and a very small Adams emerger were most effective. It seems that the fish are starting to switch on in the Churnet at least. I've been walking the Churnet in Leek quite regularly and there are quite a few evening rises.
Please click on the image below for a film of Pointon landing a lovely wild Brownie. He insisted that, as a soundtrack, I must include music from Schubert's Piano Quintet in A major, Op. 114, D. 667, Die Forelle (The Trout). In any case, It was probably a wise move as we've no need to worry about the fowl language that was escaping from his head. He's a bit like J.R. Hartley on smack.
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)