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Hamish Young

I had some leave coming.... Ben had some time off. Logical decision was for Ben to take a visit 'up north' and have a crack for a springer off one or two rivers in my part of the world :wink

Day 1. Monday. The Moriston.
OK, so actually this was day two.... but day one actually fishing. Day one was spent casting, terrifying ducks with 50+ yard casts, then casting some more. Oh, then later eating stuff I'd been smoking in my new toy. Anyway, I'd always fancied a crack at the Moriston and as it turned out so had Ben. Decision made. With plenty of snow melt the water was always going to be cold and it was. Very. Anyway, the beat available runs down to Loch Ness and fits (just) 4 rods. We were sharing the beat with a nice Welsh couple who come up every year, more on them later. Anyway, the lodge on the beat is better equipped than most houses :shock


The beat pretty much consists of two big pools and a 'run'. Unless you have snow run off or rain, the hydro system needs to be generating or you'll get naff all water.
The top pool


Remember I mentioned a Welsh couple :? She didn't flyfish and the beat allows spinning. First run down and the good lady of this pairing jumped in a few short yards beneath me. I wasn't amused. I was even less amused when this happened


After a long scrap it was successfully landed


I tended that fish (around 16lbs) for 15 minutes in the icy water before it swam off strongly. Nice springer. Bit bloody cold though, my hands were like ice for quite a while after. That was it as far as fish went, I had a 'pull' and Ben had a nice Brownie about 1.5lbs, but no more salmon. Cost:? £60/rod/day at the moment. If you can get on it's certainly worth a punt.

Day 2. Tuesday. The Conon.
Very kindly, I was offered some fishing on the Conon. Now this was another river on my 'bucket list' and we were down at the river sharpish the next day. Great water, lovely to fish. My day didn't get off to a great start when I 'blew up' my pride and joy B&W Powerlite Deluxe 15ft  :cry Fortunately, I had a spare and Ben (as always) had brought a mobile tackle shop with him 'just in case' or 'you can never have too many toys' etc
What can I say :? We caught plenty of kelts (and a couple of HUGE kelts at that) including (unusually) a couple of cock fish but no springers. Hopefully the pics tell the story:




Day 3. Wednesday. The Brora.
Yes, anther one of those rivers I'd always wanted to fish and with some late availability at £30/rod/day it was far too good an opportunity to pass up. A 'quick' run from my place to Golspie to pick up our tickets saw Ben looking suitably 'green' and needing to get on the river and out of my car. I was immediately and utterly smitten when I saw the river for the first time. Cut a long story short.... we caught nowt, despite fishing very hard. Although there was some less than great water most of the Lower Brora is simply lovely to fish, I cannot recall fishing any water for Salmon with more expectation of a fish taking. Never mind, maybe another time.  A few pics




Day 4. Thursday. The Ness.
Called off - high water stopped play. So we went casting and would you believe it, we bumped into two world spey casting champions. Amazing the folk you meet :wink
Gordon Armstrong

Scott MacKenzie

OK - there is more to come and I'll tend to that tomorrow night. Right now it's twenty to two in the morning, my session has timed out three times, I've had enough for one night and I'm off to bed :!

:z3
“When tired at last, he sat on the bank, while the river still chattered on to him, a babbling procession of the best stories in the world, sent from the heart of the earth to be told at last to the insatiable sea.”

Noel kelly

Excellent report Hamish! Looks like you are spoilt for choice of waters up there.

John Reid

What a way to spend a few days off work.  Thank you for taking the time to share the pictures and experience with us.  Looks like a beautiful area you have moved to.  :z16

I can imagine how happy you were with the Welsh lady hooking the fish from the pool after brienging (sp) in there in front of you.  :shock :shock

PS RIP B&W Powerlite  :cry :cry

Peter McCallum

That looks like a really soft rod that Scott's casting with judging by the bend in it....................................... or maybe not :wink :z12 :z12

Hamish Young

Noel - you'll just have to come up and see  :cool:

John - the B&W should repair. It'll be off to B&W today  :z6

Peter - that's an 18ft Mackenzie 'tournament' rod.... trust me, it's certainly not soft :shock The pics and videos I have show just how much a double hander bends during spey casting. Trust me, it's an eye opener :shock

I was in awe of Gordon and Scott, they're in a different league to most mortals with a double hander (probably why they've both been world champions.....) and the truth is, Ben isn't that far behind them. Git.

:z3
“When tired at last, he sat on the bank, while the river still chattered on to him, a babbling procession of the best stories in the world, sent from the heart of the earth to be told at last to the insatiable sea.”

Peter McCallum


Peter - that's an 18ft Mackenzie 'tournament' rod.... trust me, it's certainly not soft :shock The pics and videos I have show just how much a double hander bends during spey casting. Trust me, it's an eye opener :shock

the truth is, Ben isn't that far behind them. Git.


Didn't think the rod was anything other than a beast H.

Yeah the boy can send it out a way can't he.

Nice pics, you look as if you enjoyed the time :z12


Mike Barrio

Great stuff Hamish! :z16

Cheers
Mike
www.flylineshop.com   At the heart of your fishing ..... lies a great fly line!

Jim Eddie

Looks like you had a good time , I'm jealous  :wink

 :z18

Jim
"Because in a world where most men seem to spend their lives doing what they hate, my fishing is at once an endless source of delight and an act of small rebellion."

Matt Henderson

Looks like you had a good time , I'm jealous  :wink

 :z18

Jim

Make that very jealous!

Hamish Young

And so the story continues.... thanks for the positive replies chaps :z18

To recap, the water on the Ness was too high to fish so Thursday was a castathon. In itself that was fun and, as I'd never been to Ness Castle, a real eye opener. The fishing 'bothy' is more akin to a luxury bungalow, fabulous place though :z13 If you get the chance to fish there - go :z16

Day 5. Friday. The Conon.
Ah yes, you see it was four days fishing and I don't count the Thursday as we were casting and chewing the fat :grin
So, back to the Conon. By this time I had very nearly almost got over breaking my B&W and had already switched to my Orvis Shooting Star 14ft #9wt - very much my personal favourite in the Shooting Star range it did sterling work chucking a variety of tubes to 2 inches long on an AFS head with a fast sinking (very fast sinking) polyleader. The river was perfect, wee bit of colour but not much. The day promised much.....


But it was yet another kelt. A big cock fish, it went like buggery and for a while I thought it was fresh - but it wasn't :z10
Same thing happened to Ben, big well mended kelt which went really well.


Up the beat on another pool, but yet another kelt was caught..


By this time it was already very clear to me that my 'rough' waders were leaking and leaking badly :shock As I was a wee bit more than damp it was back to the hut to change into my 'posh' Orvis waders - which don't leak. Ben thought it would be a nice idea to cheer me up with a photo of a great pair of tits... but sadly the photo wasn't quite what I expected as he only managed to get one tit in the frame.....


Still, time to press on and try for more fish. We crossed to the right bank but again, kelts were the only fish on the menu. But it was an amazing spot to fish. Yours truly rowing back across the river....


I really have lost count of the number of kelts we caught on the Conon over our two days. If the size of the fish we saw as kelts is anything like representative of the size when they're fresh I can't wait for an invite to go back :! I'm positive one of the kelts we had was well in excess of 40 inches.... and that's a big fish :shock

In summary, we had a great time. It was my first outing of the year and it was a much needed break from work. For casting I learnt a lot from Ben, Scott and Gordon.... but it was a stark reminder to me that I need to get out and fish more.
I will.... and I realy can't wait  :cool:

:z3
“When tired at last, he sat on the bank, while the river still chattered on to him, a babbling procession of the best stories in the world, sent from the heart of the earth to be told at last to the insatiable sea.”

Goolager

Great reports Hamish!  :z16   sorry to hear about the B&W but I seem to recall an unsympathetic ear when I fragmented a Z Spey last season  :z7

Some big waters, rods and flies there, the body must be a hurting after that marathon.

Iain

Allan Liddle

Crackin report Hamish.  Looks like you lapped up yer few days.

Allan

Hamish Young

Although I was knackered, I was well rested :cool:

:z3
“When tired at last, he sat on the bank, while the river still chattered on to him, a babbling procession of the best stories in the world, sent from the heart of the earth to be told at last to the insatiable sea.”

Paul Garrigan

Great report Hamish. Thanks for sharing. You have some super waters on your doorstep!  :z13

Tight lines
Paul

 




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