Friday 3rd August 2018
Given the low water conditions I decided that the Endrick looked worth a cast as guage was showing 0.535M at Gaidrew. My initial thought was to to head to Ballochruin Bridge but after seeking some advice I was told that lower sections may prove a much better prospect. It was suggested that I try the run at the Meetings Lynn pool together with some really helpful information from angler Lee Taylor.
Arriving around 10.00am I parked up beside one other vehicle and quickly began to get geared up. As I was preparing another angler Bob came wandering up from the bridge path and after commenting on low water conditions was quick to explain the pools, runs and even flies, even kindly gifting me various lovely self tied flies. Always amazed by how freely and generously other anglers offer to share their experience and local knowledge.
After blethering for about 30-45 minutes I set off deciding to take the advice and start just above the “Island” upstream of the footbridge. I had already decided that low water conditions would not prevent me from enjoying the day and that I would treat this outing as a “recke” of this unfamiliar beat. Fishing down some beautiful runs I quickly realised I was too heavily loaded in terms of sink tip and flies and I was bringing in weed from the bottom with regularity. I carried on however deciding to see if runs deepened any as I worked downstream.
Reaching the footbridge I decided that a cold drink and some lunch were in order and began heading back to the car. On route I met local angler Colin where after we both bemoaned the water conditions he also kindly shared his detailed knowledge and experience of this section of the Endrick. It seemed I had made an error “skipping” some of the runs that I thought were unlikely to hold fish. Thanking him for his help and advice I headed for the car.
After some lunch I decided to lighten up the tip and drop several fly sizes opting to add a slow sink tip and two size 14 doubles. Refreshed I headed off to explore upstream of the footbridge. I fished “most” of the runs down to the once prolific Meetings Pool Lynn where the Endrick and the Blane meet. No interest thus far but had a good feeling about the Meetings Pool where perhaps some running fish may be lying awaiting next rainfall. I worked along the pool without success before moving to the tail of the pool which was a fast run with some interesting looking lies under the trees on far bank. The downside here was that the run was strewn with submerged trees and stumps making casting and controlling the swinging fly “interesting”. After connecting with one of these stumps I hooked and landed a few beautiful wee salmon parr despite my attempts to allow them to shake themselves off.
Below this run is a section of submerged and fallen trees that resembles more a mangrove swamp than a Scottish river which I chose to leave. About a 100 yards after this I came across a lovely looking run which whilst only 2-3 feet deep looked promising. I slowly worked my way down this run trying not to create a cloudy disturbance by my wading. All around small trout and parr were rising and almost immediately I hooked several more of these wee fish before briefly contacting with something a bit larger for a mere few seconds unfortunately.
By know it was around four o’clock and I had only explored about 75% of the dog legged section of the Endrick. I decided to walk the remaining section before cutting across the field to the footbridge and the car. At the end of this section there is a long “interesting” deep pool with a steep sandy bank on my (right hand) bank. My thoughts were that due to the steep drop on my bank this would be probably best fished from the other bank. Stopping for a rest on the bench I spotted another angler walking upstream towards me, it was “Ben” whom I had met and also chatted with earlier. After joining me we spent the next 30 minutes blethering but once more being offered some great advice and tips in addition to ben sorting out my landing net which had been dragging on the ground almost all day, thanks Ben.
We both walked slowly across the field and back to the cars me planning to pack up and “Ben” trying to decide to stay here or move to the Leven.
Whilst no fish for me I felt contented as I had enjoyed the day, learned a great deal and had discovered and explored a new beat for future outings.
Once again I am indebted to those local anglers who so generously shared their knowledge and advice. Particular thanks and gratitude to Lee Taylor for his kindness and patience in his numerous messages outlining the locale, tactics and other details.