Cuckoo, Cuckoo , Cuckoo , Cuckoo, ad infinitum.
The good news is spring is here.
The gorse is in flower everywhere, filling the air with its sweet sugary scent
The boggy ponds and waterlogged culverts are full of frogspawn and newly hatched tadpoles and newts by the bucketload.
The tree leaves are sprouting and the hill is gradually greening.
There's insects on the wing , and even the lizards are out sunbathing.
And the bloody Cuckoo is back.
On the one hand, hearing the Cuckoo is an evocative and reassuring sound and means the winter has finally passed. On the other hand, it's bloody annoying after the 300th "cuckoo" call and somewhere a poor reed warbler or meadow pupit is unaware that its about to spend all it's energy raising a monstrous parasite which will have murdered its nest mates.
But I digress.
Loch Lunndaidh was the destination today as I'd heard from another member they'd been having a few good sessions on the loch.
14⁰C in the morning with blue skies and a light breeze on arrival.
Setting up there were fish rising freely across the loch to something on the surface.
I'd brought the float tube as I wasn't sure if the road was useable ( it's been repaired)
Initially the wind was heading across from the south, and so I opted for a floating line with a couple of dabblers, thinking it might be March browns or an early mayfly hatch.
Covered a few fish but they weren't interested.
Switched to a team of Diawl Bachs on a figure 8 retrieve and Di3 line. That did the truck, picked up three fish with a reassuring pull each time.
By now I'd made my way down to the narrows and was fishing the far shore. Then the wind dropped and changed direction blowing up the loch gently. The takes to the diawl bachs dried up. Twenty minutes passes without a fish.
Suddenly there were rising fish everywhere.
Hundreds of insects covered the surface, and the fish were head and tailing them in droves. I headed over to a patch of insects, assuming from the rounded shapes I was seeing and the head and tail rises it was a hatch of buzzers.
Beetles , hundreds and hundreds of them.
And as ever, about the only thing I wasn't carrying a representation of.
I mean who anticipates beetles in April?!?
Thought I'd try a similar sized dry fly in about the right colours tan/yellow.
Swapped back to the dry line and stuck on three random dry flies, an F -fly, a CDC and deerhair caddis and a stimulator with a fluorescent orange thorax (so I could see the other two as the sun was bright)
The next 4 fish all took the stimulator.
You couldn't make it up!
What were you thinking fish?
A couple more fish and then the surface activity ended . Fished the dries for over an hour without another touch. Didntnsee a single fish move past the narrows or in shipwreck Bay. Weird.
Then the wind dropped entirely. Flat calm.
Back to a couple of soft Hackled wets on the di3 and paddled my way back into the shallows.
(See a pattern forming here??)
By now it was getting late in the afternoon, and the wind was now blowing strongly towards the dam.
Picked up three more fish on the wet flies before calling it a day.
In the end I had 14 fish to the net, and the cuckoo, cuckooed the entire time!