Fraser on fishing: My rod gave way under weight of fish at Loch Fad

HAVING visited Loch Fad a few weeks earlier and not fared as well as I had anticipated, a return to the Isle of Bute was far from my mind.

Had it not been a fundraiser for the Scottish ladies and Scottish youths I may have thought twice about going. That said, it was a bag of mixed fortunes as I caught fish but also ended up with a broken rod.

Gale-force winds were expected but, thankfully, did not put in an appearance until the end of play. From earlier experience most of the fish came from along the dam wall and I expected it to be no different on this occasion. Holding close to the bank I fished the midge tip line with a two-fly cast of blue Blob and yellow Dancer.

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Within two hours, I had four fish in the boat and dropped as many more. Although the water was cloudy, the fish were in the top four feet and fairly active. What I could not fathom was that several boats were in the same area and were catching fish. I upped anchors and made for the opposite end of the loch. Having fished that area a few weeks back, I did not see, let alone catch a fish in that stretch of water. However, in the space of a few days most of the trout had made their way to the burn mouth at the top of the loch. It was only at the weigh-in when some real big fish came to the scales that I realised word had got round that some big fish were being caught.

Still, I couldn't complain until the last hour when a good fish lunged at my fly and that's when disaster struck. Just as the rod bent over I heard a familiar crack and looked up to see the tip of my rod had broken off. I managed to land the fish of about 4lbs and continued to the end just lobbing the fly out about 15 yards. Still it was a good day and the ladies and youths benefited from all who participated.