Sunday, March 22, 2015

Making a fresh start.

On Wednesday the weather forecast looked good with the wind in particular dropping away to virtually nothing so I headed west to Balmaha to fish for some of Loch Lomond's pristine roach. Unfortunately when I got there the pier was already taken by a couple of anglers who had made themselves comfortable and were fishing about half a dozen rods so I set up my mini seatbox on the rocks a little bit along to the right of the pier. It really was a lovely morning and as forecast there was hardly any wind at all. Maybe not ideal fishing conditions but sometimes fishing isn't just about catching fish and given the weather so far this year I wasn't complaining.

The surface of the loch was like a mirror and there was still a little bit of early morning mist over the water, hiding the mountains to the north. What a view!

Fishing a swim feeder of maggots with single maggot on my #18 hook it took a while to get a few little touches but I was quite content enjoying the peace and quiet. It was so quiet apart from the rhythmic noise of a woodpecker over on the small island opposite me hammering away and a couple of mallards diving around in front of me after any maggots that fell out of my swim feeder on the cast. There was also a small plane overhead lazily doing acrobatic manoeuvres, the pitch of its engine rising and falling slowly as it did. All very hypnotic, a bit like staring at my light feeder rod tip meaning I was sat there in a soothing trance like state. When the first decent bite eventually came my rod tip went over, I quickly lifted my rod and felt a good fish was on. My senses fully awakened again the fish was scraping away and I suspected it was a trout so kept my rod low to try and tire the fish before it got to the surface. Sure enough a silvery sea trout soon came into view and was out of the water twice doing its best to do an aerial display of its own but my soft rod cushioned these attempts to throw my barbless hook and after a few short bursts I slipped the fish into my net.

What a stunning way to open my 2015 freshwater tally.

Heart still pumping I released the fish and settled down again. The next hour or so was pretty quiet and I had returned to my chilled out state when my feeder rod tip pulled round quickly twice and I lifted into another nice fish. It fought a bit differently and I was confident it wasn't another trout but wasn't sure what it was. When another long silvery fish appeared from the depths I realised it was a powan.

Another beautiful silvery fish. One of the rarest freshwater species in the U.K. too so it always feels a little special when I catch one. 

Again quickly releasing the fish I settled down again to watch my rod tip and enjoy the warm sun on my face. There wasn't much happening for the next three hours however but I was quite happy just relaxing, enjoying the view and watching the wildlife around me.

Bright yellow flowers on the spiky gorse bushes.
A maggot drowning session wouldn't be complete without a little red breasted thief appearing and getting up to some stealthy tricks to try and steal maggots.

Things remained slow but pleasurable and I was pleased at catching two beautiful fish on such a nice day. I was just about to pack up when my rod tip went round again though and I soon landed a lovely roach. This encouraged me to have a few more casts but I called it a day shortly afterwards.

A lovely Loch Lomond roach in fine condition. 

The anglers on the pier had already left and some geese then headed off as well. I'd soon follow.

What a great day, it had been almost therapeutic. Balmaha pier is one of my favourite places to go fishing. I might try and get back before the ferry starts up again and the peace and quiet is spoilt by the never ending hordes of tourists that the summer brings. I'd like to catch a ruffe again and perhaps do some lure fishing for pike and perch. Now that I think about it I might return in the summer too actually as hiring a boat for the day is always an option to avoid the crowds and enjoy a day fishing in relative peace and quiet or I could always explore other spots around the shore too to seek a bit of tranquility and maybe some lovely Loch Lomond fish to disrupt it. 

Tight lines, Scott.


  1. Nice spring post there Scott, lovely line up of fish.

    1. Yeah. Glad to see the back of winter. Just need some settled weather and we can finally get out on Loch Etive! :-D