Four Casts . . . Four Fish

Monday 15th August, 1988

After heavy rain over the weekend and a high spate on Sunday, the river Endrick had dropped by Monday evening and was running clear, at a perfect height for the sink tip line. Others thought so too as five fishers had gathered at the dam for a 9.30 start. A warm night with some encouraging cloud cover and no moon but, with the tractor lights from the haymaking disturbing the pool until 10.30pm, things were a little slow to start.

Cowden Mill
Cowden Mill

I had one smallish fish of around 2¼lbs from behind the stone in the middle of the pool, lost another and foul hooked a grilse, which was duly returned, all before midnight. Alec had two fish and two others were caught early on. Things went very quiet between midnight and 3am, by which time all but myself and two others had left. It was looking like a fairly average night.

Just occasionally, though, we experience an exceptional day or night’s fishing, when all the time and effort spent on the river seems worthwhile – when, as Alec puts it, we are rewarded for good attendance. This was such a night. In the space of no more than half an hour, between 3am and 3.30am, without moving my stance, I hooked, and landed, four sea trout in four casts. The total weight of the four fish was 19¾lbs and the biggest was 8lbs, then my biggest ever sea trout. I might have added to my bag but, deciding enough was enough, I called on Robert, who had been fishing some way up the pool, to take my place at the “hot spot”. This was one of my favourite spots, about ten yards or so above the Dam, casting to a narrow gap in the overhanging trees on the far side. The fish usually took just as the flies emerged from under the trees. Robert, on this occasion, had no success. I, though, had had a magical half hour, never to be forgotten, or repeated. I must have been casting over a shoal of large fresh fish, ready and willing to take my flies after entering the dam minutes earlier. I fished the usual 2 flies, one size 8 Pheasant tail spider on the dropper and one size 10 black and silver spider on the tail, both sparsely dressed and adorned with a few maggots. That night I was certainly in the right place at the right time.

5 Sea Trout – 8lbs, 4lb 12 oz, 3lb 8 oz, 3lb 8 oz, 2 lb 4 oz  ( total 22 lbs)

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