Staff Catch Report Cold Start - Hotspots
|Trout on the Snot Fly
"It's a nice day for a wee drive I suppose", was the sarcastic comment I got while I was scraping the car in the dark on Friday morning. You can't catch if you don't go and it was going to be a beautiful clear frosty day so at least there would be beautiful Trossachs scenery around the Lake of Menteith to photograph.
With a a fairly icy road on the approach I got to slow down and appreciate the scenes but I'd heard the fishing has been superb recently so hopefully the camera would be focussed on overwintered Trout. My colleague Stevie Francis had given me a few hotspots to aim for and recommended fishing static under the bung. I much prefer drifting and pulling wets on the big waters but you're best listening to good advice so I had two rods set up, one for traditionals, the other a much more modern approach.
Setting out over a glassy surface there was little chance of setting up a drift, but it did mean I could spot fish moving which does wonders for your confidence. In a flat calm if you want to cover water you've got to let the engine do the work and hunt out fish around a big loch. Give it some time in each, try to stay patient while fishing static but don't just wait it out as your rod rings ice up especially when there are fish on the feed. A Snot Fly and Cat Bugs had been the recommendation, so I had my bung set around 12ft with a two fly team.
|Snot Flies - not exactly traditional
I'd seen another angler netting a fish while I was warming my hands on a mug of coffee and clearing the rod eyes so I was sure there were some about. On the second or third spot I got a twitch, a dip and struck into a fish... for a minute before it shook itself loose but it was enough to keep me fishing hard. Getting into the zone of slowing everything down, letting it settle and fishing essentially static I moved along that bay trying a few more spots before swinging back around and restarting the hunt.
Whether that had given the day long enough to warm a little or the fish just switched on either way the blank was off as some fine-looking Rainbows took the Mojito Snottie. The pick of the bunch was probably over 5lb and this time there wasn't even time to strike as the indicator buried and the fish took off. Well mended, fully finned with a big tail that it put to good use stripping line off the reel. It's exactly why you'd drag yourself out in the cold and more than enough to justify sunset pics on the way back to the boatyard before the nice wee drive home.
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