Wednesday 21 December 2011

The troops head north as told by GG

Two days in the frozen North West
I'd been holding on to a couple of days floating holiday hoping for nice big East winds and some decent cod bashing in the far flung parts, but as we all know the weather has been a bit hash over the last few weeks. A couple of weather windows appeared between storms, so thought it a good idea to make the best of them?

Thu 15th I headed up to Loch Sunart with TheHappyHooker and his nephew Ross who was visiting from sunnier climes in Australia. The roads North were ok on the way there and we got afloat and settled for the day on a favourite mark near Salen. The bigger spurdogs have not been as abundant this year as they have over the last two years, but we managed a steady stream of fish throughout the day up to 11lb. Ross got educated in how not to get spiked and everything went well.
………….That was until about 5 minutes after we left Salen on the way home and heavy snow began to fall. By Resipole the road was completely white and by Strontian we came across a snowplough that had got stuck in the snow! We helped dig this out along with other drivers and slowly got back to Ardgour for the ferry. The road up through Glencoe was “testing” to say the least and the whiteout continued all the way to the top of Loch Lomond when it changed to heavy rain.

Sun 18th I was lucky enough to get an invite to fish Loch Etive on the Tartan Spartan. We were accompanied by Winston and The Wee Mincer who were fishing on Paisley Pete. The sweep was agreed to be the heaviest fish with the losers to buy the pints in The Drovers on the way home.

Leaving Taynuilt we turned left and headed to the West of the Loch. I had fished last week further east with very poor results. Paisley Pete was already on the mark early on and within the first hour had managed a fine spur of 9lb 5oz – a difficult target to beat.

The sunrise was quite spectacular over the cloudless hills and soon bathed the loch. Like prize eejits we thought the day would continue like this – how wrong were we? Later in the morning I managed a decent fish of 9lb 2oz, but this wasn’t good enough and was still leaving us two pints out of pocket! A few dark clouds came over from the South West and ten minutes later we were in the middle of a thick snowfall. Zippo handwarmers – you are a lifesaver. The skipper decided to head for another mark and we got settled down. Things weren’t going too well though with only a small doggie bite in the first hour. A couple of sausage’n’bacon rolls were devoured with great delight and then the fish came on. In a frantic spell we had boated three thornies and my rod buckled over with a decent spurries banging away. This one decided to take a wee tour round the other lines in the boat on the way up, but we got her on board and she weighed in at a beer winning 9lb 10oz.

Just after this, Jason had a nice thornie at 5lb, and then we saw paisley Pete sailing towards us. We thought she was joining us at the new mark, but this lily livered crew of noodle wristed big lassies decided to pack in early because their wee tootsies were getting cold and giving each other a cuddle was no longer enough to keep them warm.
More importantly, they were welching on the bet – unforgivable