Tuesday 8 May 2012

Fly Fish Islay 'John Lee, a brown virgin'

Fly fish islay.... the week
After a good nights catch up sleep for the lads it was a full Scottish breakfast in the morning  cooked by Peter and Fred..
We all pondered on our first days proper fishing and we decided fish on the our loch right outside our house..
Loch skerrols is a new venue to us and this was a great buzz to see what it was like... The scenery is quite different to most of the wild open lochs, it is surrounded by huge trees and lots of fallen one which gave away fish holding spots..
I wanted to get time with all the lads and see if I could help them in any way to get them there first jock brown..
John had not casted his a rod in his life, never mind a fly rod, I spent some time on the field next to the house helping him to cast a line..he soon got the hang of it and I got him turning over enough to hopefully get him his first ever fish..
Later that evening I took Fred and John out on the boat and fished some loch style drifting.. Fred is a experienced veteran and needed no help from me, just the odd pointer as to what I knew about how to fish these lochs..

I set John up with a single LTD sedge on a tapered leader, a simple method but quite deadly on certain days... we were all hoping of his first fish ever..
Fred was bumping into fish on wets and landing his shareful, John on the other hand was looking at the skyline on most occasions and his fly was getting smashed only for me to shout 'strike!!' John would be startled by my shout as his mind was somewhere else!! And then the strike would come about 3 seconds after the fish had engulfed his fly and spat it out...It wasn't just a strike, is was more like whipping the ass off a horse in the national only harder!!
John never landed a fish that night but to be fair to him he had never picked up a rod in his life, i needed to get him in the house for some homework...
A few days later i had not had the chance to spend any more time on the loch with John, and while he was out bird watching he spent the odd few hours waded into the loch thrashing the water to a foam around him...i could see from my boat he was really locked onto getting his first ever fish....it was time to get him in the house...
I spent hours with him showing everything from why a rod is used in fishing, the reasons on striking into a fish and keeping a tight line, how to play a fish until its ready to come to the net, all these small things come second nature to a fisherman of any sorts but when you have never fished its hard to take it all in...
I stood with John holding the end of the line pretending to be a fish yanking at his rod, running off then coming at him, he soon started to get the hang and was keeping a tought line and i knew he was ready..
He told me how good this was for him as he often wondered what to do when hooking a fish... i knew now that if he was able to set the hook home we were in good chance of landing one...John is a clever lad and he picks anything you tell him instantly, he just needed that concentration on the water...
Skerolds was overcast with a hard easterly wind, conditions were tough to say the least but i knew of a bay where i had taken fish earlier in the week (robbos bay) .....here is was calm and overhanging trees blowing lots of terestails on..
We waded right around on the edges taking careful steps wading... our second cast of the ltdsedge and the biggest fish of the week porpoised his fly!! strike!!! 2 seconds later John ripped the line off the water to thin air!! 'come on John stop thinking of birds!!
John was gutted with himself, i think me shouting strike was firing his head off the scale and he was panicking slightly...The same happening again further around into the bay but this time his timing was spot on but his stike was still to hard...
I then gave him the best lesson i could describe for a 'Strike'.......... 'Its like this John, imagine your in a brothel and there is a girl lying in full suspenders on the bed, she asks you to whip her ass with the leather whip' 'just a slight little crack of the leather whip then lift off quickly' 'the lift off is just like the perfect strike!!!'
Not saying John had ever done this type of action in his life but he nodded his head at me and seemed to get the drift very well lol
I just knew his time was coming, that feeling you get...i saw a fish boil under the surface and knew this was the moment, Woody had come around to see us and i quickly shouted at him to stop in his travels as not to spook the fish... Woody gazed from 20 yards away and john plopped his fly only 15ft from the end of his rod tip.... We both leant forward waiting then wallop!! 'strike' before i shouted strike he struck lovely 'leather whip style' low to his right...'Keep it tight' i shouted, he stripped his line back and i watched his rod loop over...bumping away he has his rod perfectly in the air..'just take your time now, there is no rush'..... my heart was pounding like i had just hooked a ferox.
I grabbed hi net off his back and lowered it into the water and told John to guide it into the net, these brown really do kick for there size and when it saw the net it tail walked hitting the rim of the net!! i moved the net away and there was a silence, i was crouched down and could not see the fish, its come off i thought...then John whacked his rod over and guided it straight in!!
YES!!!! we both shouted, then a load of cheers come from all over the loch from the lads who could here what a just happened...
I turned to John and shook his hand, he looked gobsmacked he had done it... the fish lay in the net and woody came rushing over to congratulate him...

A Picture speaks a thousands worlds...fact

That was enough for the both of us, anything else would not hit the heights of that fish...
Later that night we all had a drink for John Lees first ever fish, John come walking in with his trout on a piece of toast and a dram of whisky...his face that night was a picture and it made my week on Islay.
Some things happen in fishing and that one will stay with me for ever.... Well done JL
'You have  LIVED THE DREAM'.

nice one


  1. Great write up Glen - great memories strirred of whipping ladies of the night, ahem I mean nailing my first brownie!



  2. Another Spleg