After bidding Allan a farewell and agreeing that we should really do this all over again next year I set off to meet my next and last guest for 2015.
For the third year in a row it was a pleasure to take my good friend Ralf, from Germany, out on a Highland trout escapade. This time he had expressed a wish to fish from the bank and explicitly one that was made of limestone. The weather was in our favour. Light southerly winds and a mixture of sunshine and clouds greeted our arrival at what has to be my joint favourite trout venue in all of Scotland. After discussing the requirements to catch these tackle shy trout such as smaller flies than he had been used to from the drifting boat and also an extra 1.5metres of leader we set up and set off in search of limestone silver.
To say that it was a hard day would have been an understatement. I have been brought close to tears by these trout before but this was truly one of these days where you had stop and wonder why you were even trying. They just didn’t want to know. I successfully managed to botch two good takes and Ralf had only a handful of refused takes. These are probably the worst. The water is so clear that you can see the dark shadow slowly approaching only to see it veering off again in a different direction at the critical moment. As hard as we tried nothing was accepted.
The main source of entertainment that day was the Italian family who, after walking round the entire length of the loch, decided to set up camp for a whole hour behind a dip in the hill and talk at a level equal to that of an RAF squadron practicing low level manoeuvres. Actually, come to think of it, there was an RAF squadron out that day and our Italian visitors were beating them. After about 30 polite minutes of listening and trying not to laugh at the hysterical exchanges between the siblings I had had enough. I let out a huge cough that resulted in five small heads appear sheepishly over the dip. Then all went silent and our attention could go back to the fishing. This is, however, one of the beauties of being in the Highlands. With so much space it is easy to forget that you might not be totally alone and when you do, it is always a landscape that captures you so much that for a while it becomes reality.
Sadly Ralf decided to call it a day at around four o’clock in the afternoon, as he had to drive back down to Inverness that evening. I begged him to stay as I was
sure of the evening producing some good sport but he insisted that he simply couldn’t stay any longer. As he drove off down the hill to the main road I felt the wind pick up and turned round to
see clouds building up from the North. Knowing already that unsettled weather had been forecast for the late afternoon I was a little apprehensive at first but soon found myself walking round the
shoreline to a favourite spot for a few more casts. No sooner had I cast out my flies a fit trout of around 2lbs smashed into the bob fly. It seemed almost ironic that after all our hard work in
good conditions I was now returning some limestone silver in ever worsening ones. In fact, it got so bad that I found myself scrambling under two massive boulders to get out of the rain. It all
came along in the next hour. Thunder, lightening, rain and at one point even hail. Maybe Ralf had been right to call off any attempts to stay up for the night and try his luck with an evening
rise after all? He didn't know what was to come...