Who am I?

An individual, of no great importance, who is unable to see the natural world as a place for competition. I catch fish, watch birds, derive immense pleasure from simply looking at butterflies, moths, bumble-bees, etc - without the need for rules! I am Dylan and this is my blog - if my opinions offend? Don't bother logging on again - simple!


Saturday 28 April 2018

Kilchurn 2018 - the good bit

Whenever we make plans for a fishing holiday, the one factor that can't be guaranteed is the weather. Since 2011, I have fished Kilchurn Bay on seven, week long, sessions around the April/May bank holiday period, and have experienced some phenomenal pike fishing, yet endured some horrendous weather conditions. Why should we expect anything else? It's the bloody Scottish Highlands and, what us southern softies perceive as extreme, is part and parcel of this magnificent, rugged, landscape. This year was to see us tested by driving rain and powerful squalls, winds regularly reaching 60 mph. I suppose we were fortunate that temperatures remained well above freezing and there was neither snow, sleet or hail to contend with. As I stated in my original post, our gear was well able to cope with these conditions, The bivvies remained a dry haven in a sea of soaking bankside terrain, the two vans providing safe, dry, storage for all our back-up clothing and supplies.

Dawn on Sunday morning - it went downhill. rapidly, from here.
So why did we cut short our trip? In all honesty, we'd only gone back up to Loch Awe for a social. We are confident that our tackle and methods will catch pike from the fishery and so it proved. We ended our trip with thirty-nine pike (thirteen doubles to 19 lbs) and every one of us enjoyed the experience of doing battle with these hard fighting fish. What we weren't able to enjoy was each others company, stuck, as we were, in our bivvies; sheltering from the driving rain for the majority of our stay. Only one evening had the conditions abated, allowing us to light a fire, have a few beers and banter whilst listening to the Liverpool v's Roma game. The decision to pack it in wasn't all that difficult. Benno and Luke getting away very early on Thursday morning, Sye and I much more relaxed and getting thoroughly soaked because of it; leaving just after 10.15 hrs and not before thanking Kenny (& Krissy) Gray for their hospitality and the wonderful fishing they provide as custodians of Kilchurn Bay.

Obviously it didn't rain 24/7 for the entire period of our stay and I did manage to get quite a few additions to my year list as our stay progressed. The vast majority were as I'd expected, although a pair of Pink-footed Geese was a bit of a surprise when they pitched down onto the loch with a party of four Greylags. The undoubted highlight was an overflying adult Golden Eagle, as I was playing my largest pike of the trip. Alas no photos, but the others were able to enjoy prolonged views through their binoculars as the eagle flew across the bay and into Glen Orchy before spiralling up into the skies and disappearing over the horizon. This is only the third time I've seen Golden Eagle whilst at Loch Awe - a magical moment which was shared with the gang.

So that's the good bit out of the way! The next offering about the trip is a proper whinge, so watch this space.


  1. Rain, or no rain Dyl, all more memories to add the the others that you have gathered over the years. All good stuff.

    1. Great times but, perhaps we'd have been better off not going back for this last, final, Loch Awe session. After all, there are already masses of accrued memories from so many previous visits, going right back into the mid-80's. Can't deny that the eagle was a fantastic encounter - as you say in your latest post - these surprises are what makes birding (enjoying the outdoors) so exciting. - Dyl