Thursday, 21 April 2011

Roslin Glen, Some Nice Trout And My Worst Nightmare.

I've had a couple of very short outings down the Water of Leith since my last post but, didn't think I had much to report. A couple of small trout but not much. If I have to be brutally honest, its just not the same as what once was down the WOL. This will bring me to what I will talk about later but, for now, this is about the Glen.....

When your standing about Edinburgh, waiting on buses, in all your fishing clobber, you attract your fair share of lost its. First one of the day came in the form of this geazer which bounded up to me pointing at my fishing rod, asking me, you going fishing mate, aye? You have a fishing rod...... No, I am going to a Fancy dress party at my local Thursday morning nightclub, I thought I'd go as a golfer, there's my bus...
Loanhead bound I was, from there I was headed down the valley.

Looking Down The Esk Valley.

The Radio told me that morning it would be a high of no more than 13c, overcast and fog most of the day. By the time I was standing on this bridge, it was clear this would not be the case, already by 10.30am the sun was beaming down.
I planned to walk the whole glen, from the bottom up, which is no easy task, in fact it can be rather hairy at some points. It starts of easy but near the top is a different story.


Enter The Glen!

It didn't look like a dry fly day that was sure, it was still early and already way too bright. So, on with a Size 14 hares ear variant ( A wee bit twinkle added and a lot of lead) and a wee partridge and orange spider. The river in the glen is quite wild, very fast deep runs. Over millions of years the river has cut through this bed of sandstone, creating these parts where its no more than 5 foot wide but bloody deep. If there not on the top you need to get down there.


Most of the action was down this stretch, mostly dew to the weather, as soon as I turned this corner the sun blasted straight down the glen, blinding me and anything else looking up at it, no doubt.
First couple were both on the hares ear, nothing of any size really but, they were there.

One thing I have noticed this year so far is the fly life, I don't think I have ever seen it so good. I cant remember a year where I was scared to stand on the caddis fly larvae. Its a marked difference from years gone by, not only with the caddis but so many other things. Its good to see that after years of industrial abuse things can recover to this level.

The Esk these days has come on leaps and bounds, it used to run this funny tea colour when i was growing up, now it is as clear as a highland stream with the insect life to match. It makes you see that man does not need to help these places along to recover (other than stop polluting), the river will do it its self.
Next couple of trout were more like it, two decent sized fish, a little out of condition from the winter but, still nice trout.


As i turned into the sun it really did die, the odd fish on the rise but the weather killed it.
This brings me on to the second lost it of the day. Fishing away to my wee self i hear this voice from about ten feet above me.... Yie caught onyhin mate? A few, i answer. Aye, ah seen that wan risin just above yie. Aye, its no risin now i wanted to say but got to be polite, unless you want to risk a big lump o sandstone chucked from ten foot above your head. Aye, he said, the biggest ave had up here's been a twelve poondar...... But, that was on a lure though. Now what do you say to that? Who was he trying to impress? Me or the five year old kid with him? I figured the five year old kid didn't have a clue what a twelve poondar was so, it must be me. I quickly shuffled my way out of rock chucking distance.

Now to the nightmare.

I was trolling the Internet and come across this forum entry. It was a old post so i never answered but by hell am gonnie have a rant here!!!

http://www.fishingaround-scotland.com/apps/blog/entries/show/2146634-the-river-esk-midlothian

Right, There is only one part of this I agree with.

"i would like to see this river given back its life and would welcome any interest from anyone who would like to see the same so that this river can be fished by man and boy for years to come."

The last thing this river needs is to be pumped full of tame hand fed trout that only make the wild stocks compete. I have seen what this has done to rivers in the past, both with the lower reaches of the Esk and the Water Of Leith. Most of the stockies get killed by the maggot chuckers in the first few weeks (Fill the freezers of the locals, not even the folk who catch) and the wild stocks grow to no more than the size of your hand. The North Esk used to be stocked and the river was rubbish, that's why they don't do it any more, no? Why cant people just leave it alone to look after its self? I don't just mean, don't stock but, just don't kill, then there is no need to stock tame alien fish.

The fact is, maggot chuckers wouldn't be there if stupid fish were also, not there.
If your going to manage a river, do it right. That does not mean throwing a load of "Wan poondars" in the water.

This is the last year the Water Of Leith will be stocked, I am so glad about this. Give it 4 years and i hope it will be as good as the North Esk.
I am sorry if i have offended but, this is the way i see it.
I will now leave you with more pictures from the glen.....

Following the walk of the otter.



1 comment:

  1. This was a good read and really informative thanks. Im a learning fly fisher and this will be my first proper year and ive heard since i was a boy that the river was polluted its good to know its on the mend. I think ill take a walk up this weekend. Thanks

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