Mysterious depths: early season at the lochan

Mysterious depths: early season at the lochan.

Gartmore goodbye

First published in Fish and Fly, January 2007

I'll be sorry not to fish this little lochan again.

Every day this Christmas and New Year, we've walked past it with the cocker spaniel puppy: two minutes up the hill from my parents-in-laws' house, about thirty seconds further from where the Trossachs roll down to meet the strangely unfishy Forth.

When rain falls or snow melts on the steep, steep side of Ben Lomond, the Forth re-invades the garden, reclaiming a long-silted channel though the bushy rhododendrons, turning the big old Wellingtonias into swamp cypresses of the Everglades, never pulling the hoped-for salmon up into the rosebeds and the corner of the compost heap.

They've mostly swung right at the Teith, and only a few splashy little parr will ever snap at your flies on the Forth's long summer flats.

But this little lochan - not to coin a phrase or anything - is a completely different kettle of fish. Four or five acres at most, deceptively weedy and shallow at the boggy edges, deeper towards the dam and a pair of wild little islands, it's home to a strain of classic Scottish trout. Eight inches on average, they

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