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Fishing in Julember

It's cold. The air temperature today was 8 degrees up at Loch Horn. As well as this, the wind was going in every direction, squally then calm and back again.

Consequently the fish are down. Didn't see a single fish rise today up at the loch.

As the old saying goes, "if they're not on top of the water, they're still under it"

On went a slime line intermediate to pull wet flies on the float tube.

I tried all the familiar favourites with little success, then hit the pattern they wanted. A yellow hackled dabbler I call the "horny devil"

Had 10 fish all on the same fly on the top dropper, all 12-14 inches or so, then I got one of those wee brownies that goes ape- keech on your leader, and insisted on tying my leader into spaghetti.

Tied on a new leader, and while I did I'd drifted out well away from shore, further than I wanted to be.

So, I blasted the cast out further into the loch, intending to turn and paddle back towards the shore with the line well out of the way.

As soon as it hit the water there was an almighty swirl, I must have plonked the fly right into the path of this fish which took the fly hard and fast.

The rod bent double and the line started to fly off the reel!

This was no small trout.

He tore off at speed at first, taking it down to the backing. Then he slowed so I reeled in as much as I dared.

Suddenly, he dove straight down, pulling the rod tip into the water . Thump thump on the rod as he shook his head trying to dislodge the fly.

I reeled in again, bringing him upwards and keeping pressure on to stop him shaking the fly loose. He broke the surface. Every inch of 5lb and possibly more , dark brown flanks with black spots and a purple sheen to it. Then he dove again, hard and fast and "ping"

He was off.

Many swears were spoken through gritted teeth as I reeled in to find my dropper missing and just the knot sitting there.

The biggest trout I've seen up there by far and I'd lost him.

On went a new leader and I carried on excitedly as if I would have a second chance, knowing really that wasn't going to happen.

Managed another seven fish, biggest of 15 inches but nothing like the one I lost.

On the plus side, he's still in there albeit with a size 12 horny devil stuck in his neb!

On a more positive note, the road up to the loch is being repaired at the moment, much of it was badly washed out over the winter.

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