Friday, June 13, 2014

A tale of two castles.

On Sunday Lillian wanted to go see Dirleton Castle. She really likes Castles. I'm not so keen but to be fair it was quite a nice one set in lovely grounds with well maintained gardens. Besides, she tolerates no end of my fishing related shenanigans so I like to keep her sweet.

Dirleton Castle.  One of East Lothian's many hidden gems.
I believe the estate agent jargon is "in need of modernisation".
My best catch to date. 

All castled out, or so we thought, the plan was to pop to the Dirleton Gallery for a spot of lunch and then head down to Yellowcraig Beach where I could mess about in the rockpools whilst Lillian did a spot of beach combing. However, we spotted a little book of sixty walks upstairs in the gallery and bought it. Having a flick through it whilst having lunch I spotted a short walk to Fast Castle, a place down the coast I'd always wanted to visit but wasn't sure how to get to. Heading back to the car I broke the news we were headed to another castle which made Lillian's day. Little did she know I still had a spot of fishing in mind.

Galleries aren't normally my thing either but this painting was quite nice. 

A short drive later we arrived at the parking area and I grabbed my ultra light fishing gear from the car. The walk down to the castle was less than a mile but it was down a fairly steep hill. Obviously this meant the walk back up was going to be a bit of a slog.

Nice views to the north as we headed down to the castle. 

Down at the ruins of the ancient castle which are perched on the edge of a cliff I put my cunning plan into action and asked Lillian if she would be up for climbing down to the rocks below so I could have a fish. She was up for it so after a quick scout around we spotted a way down and began our decent. It was fairly steep but we took our time and eventually made it down below the castle and started rock hopping around.

The ruins of Fast Castle. The rocks below looked quite fishy.
The ruins of Fast Castle from the fishy rocks below.
I start fishing in a nice looking deep gully.
First cast produced a small pollock.

I then spotted a couple of deep rockpools and caught a few long spined sea scorpions from them before heading to the end of a long finger of rock to try and catch some mackerel for our tea. I knew there was a chance of a bigger fish taking my lure and my setup would really be tested if it did.

One of three long spined sea scorpions.
Are the mackerel in yet?

Fan casting a small metal around it quickly became apparent there were no mackerel about and when a fairly large pollock took my metal, bending my rod to a rediculous degree as it powered towards the kelp, I knew I was in trouble. I managed to gain some line back and brought the fish up but on the second dive it snapped my leader so I decided to call it a day. Quite annoyed with myself I headed back to Lillian and we made the rather hellish climb back up to the path and then up the hill to the car. Despite the difficult access it's a mark I'd like to fish again with more appropriate tackle. I'll also need to have a look through the book to see which other walks I can do with Lillian and maybe squeeze a bit of fishing into.

Tight lines, Scott.

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