It's so easy to forget the sheer wonder of what is on you're door step, the Trossachs are more than Dr Findlay Country, they are fishing heaven.
For a chap who enjoyed several years in the area of Stirling, who enjoyed the Trossachs, like an idiot I didn't take advantage of the fishing. It was 1970, I was at the new Uni of Stirling, there was a loch on campus for crying out loud! Big wild brownies, free fishing, free love, why venture forth?
The Trossachs are fishing heaven, rivers, lochs, scenery. I've just discovered these wonders over a few visits to the area. The lochs, wild brownies, not big but so fighting fit the they are Amir Khan punching like Joe Frazier, running like Usain Bolt.
After years of fishing on stocked waters I rediscovered what made me an angler. I found that a relatively small fish can still get me shaking like a leaf, my heart hammering. You never know what you are into until you see the fish, unlike a fishery where the minimum size is clearly stated and all you want to do is let the smaller fish slip the hook so they doesn't screw up your potential big fish bag limit.
In the Trossachs I fretted at every fish I lost when I didn't see it. All fish lost were monsters, specimens or so they felt, can you prove otherwise? The rediscovery of wild angling stories to relate; it was so big, what power it had to be a serious fish, that size (arms outstretched), bound to be.
One of the best hits encountered was from one of the smallest trout I caught in my last visits. Damn near ripped the rod from my hand, stripped line, went deep, pounding and pumping, reel screamed. I was shaking because the hit was a 1.5 to 2 lb fish. Half a pound in the net, I'm still excited!
All of the fish were 8 to 12 ozs, surprisingly long for their weight because they were slim and fighting fit, but beautifully proportioned. Sharp pointed heads, disproportionately large fins designed to give speed off the block. Lets face it in an area with lochs populated by pike in the 20 / 30lb range speed off the mark has to be a Darwinian essential. Survival of the fittest and all that.
What the heck would a 2 pound brownie be like!
Then off course there are the minutes spent drifting, rocking in the waves, breathing clean, pure air. Hills and mountains changing minute by minute, clouds and sun fight to set the scene, now startlingly beautiful, now moody and oozing history. Bang! A three quarter pound rocket decides to rip into your tranquillity.
Funny thing is that as I visited atackle shops I get tempted by all of the new fangled noblers and widgets, my fly box is full of budgies masquerading as flies. What did the business in the Trossachs? Bloody Butcher and Kate McClaren, I knew it would be so.
Tried and tested for years these flies have been filling baskets for generations. Fished loch style on a drift close in casting around features and inflows, shallows and over hanging trees you cannot go wrong.
These fish are so competitive for food they have to hit at 100mph just to beat the other guy or girl from getting the grub. As a result of their ferocity they leave you remembering that size doesn't matter. It's the act of angling that matters, the thinking through, the surroundings, the explosive wake up call that could be a specimen wild fish. A stunning wild brownie, beautifully crafted by nature, bespotted and golden, dark coloured from over there, greeny hued from over here. Pink fleshed or white fleshed according to the whims of nature. That's what makes wild fishing in the Trossachs heavenly. Maybe one day the fish of a life time, hard earned after years of praying to every and all of the deities, a once in a life time fish.
Fishing as it was meant to be where the product of all efforts is a trout as nature intended. Give it a go, the uncertainty will re-energise your enthusiasm for fly fishing in the wilds.
Call 07974 358 110 for bookings, boat only fishing for trout and pike