Friday 30th October 2020
It was a final chance on Friday at least on my own (Lomond) system to get out and wet a line since the weather forecast was brutal for the actual last day of the Season.
Driving to the Endrick then almost every car park or familiar parking areas were busy with cars, in fact I don’t recall ever seeing this lower and middle sections of the river so busy. Hardly surprising given the end of season approaching and forecast for Saturday.
After getting set up and a blether and a coffee at the car park, myself and fellow angler Colin headed for the water.
Given the recent rain and rising water I had swithered as to where to start, eventually opting for “Cowdenmill” and hopefully fishing downstream to “Kiltrochan“. An infamous and normally productive stretch but one until now that I had yet to fish.
I was also keen to “road test” a new line set up before the season ended in the form of a new “Trout Spey” line from Rio. This line with a 22ft head performed really well and proved easily capable of turning over a 6ft sink tip and heavy FITS TTT fly. Whether simply roll casting or spey cast it seemed ideally suited to this wee river where trees and branches behind and above always made any backhand cast a high risk if not impossible. All in all another great line from Rio and so much more enjoyable than having to work my normal Rio intermediate sinker for every cast.
Upon arriving at Cowdenmill I was pleased to see that the water looked great and reasonably clear without the debris and leaves I had feared. Fishing down the pool behind Colin we covered all of the likely areas noting the annoying obstacle of a tree stump that stubbornly remains right in the middle of the pool.
Working downstream we waded across (gingerly in my case) and fished a great looking section named the “Corner Pool“. Toward the tail of this pool I had noticed a decent fish splashing a couple of times and of course made several unsuccessful attempts to cover it.
Having almost reached the very tail of this pool I opted to take a smoke break and have seat. As I sat I watched this same fish as if in defiance continuing to show itself as if to say I’m still here. After finishing my cigarette and opting for a change of fly I walked a few yards back upstream determined to give this fish one last go. The fly had hardly hit the water when all went tight and I held my breath as the fish initially opted for the far bank then downstream towards a weir, fast water and eventually a bridge. Rightly or wrongly I tried to slow or prevent this run whereupon the heavy bend in rod suddenly disappeared as the fish and hook parted company! Cursing heavily (edited from the video) and retrieving my rod from the water below me I thought what an idiot why didn’t you simply let it run and deal with the fast water!
After meeting an chatting to a couple of anglers at the footbridge neither of whom had managed to land a fish yet I walked downstream to fish a stretch I had been keen to try – “Kiltrochan“.
Working down this narrow straight run I saw several fish rising, including what looked like the smallest well coloured wee grilse that I think I have seen and tight to the far bank which is not so far at all given the width of water here.
Wading down the edge trying to cast over my left shoulder so close to the bank was awkward but luckily no great distance needed. As I neared the bottom of this run there was a cold chill now in the wind as the sun was getting low I decided to call it a day for now and for the season on this beautiful stretch of the Endrick. A good day despite losing the only fish and roll on next season.
I learned later that my friend and seasoned Endrick angler Malcolm McCormick ‘collected’ that fish I lost in “The Corner Pool” as a wee ‘bonus’ to the 11lb fish he had caught earlier.
Until next season.