Anglers should hit the beach as trout and salmon season ends

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With a very poor Trout and Salmon season (for me at least) well and truly over it’s time for weatherproof anglers to turn to beach fishing.

Some swap super light 3oz carbon fly rods for heavy weight beachcasters that need a tripod to hold them upright while you watch the rod tip for that all important sign of a fish running with your bait!

Being primarily a fly fisherman I am still happy to fish with any fishing rod for any type of fish. Sometimes those of us who get used to swinging a fly rod about our heads never encourage any other type of fishing.

This is a great pity.

I remember fishing about 10years ago on Loch Beag at Garynahine. With undertaker Angus “Keg” Macleod. He wanted to go fishing so he had uncovered an old spinning rod and reel. I never needed much encouragement to go fishing, so off we went. It was a wet drizzling evening and there was a decent amount of water. I was whipping away with my fly rod as usual without much success when my undertaker mate hooked into a fresh run Salmon weighing over 12lb. After an epic struggle he landed the fish on the bank. With my expectation levels now rising quickly but still continuing to throw out my Ally’s Shrimp with no effect my angling buddy hooked into another Salmon grilse about 5lb and with great laughter lands it safely on the bank. Two nil to the worm fisherman!

When we had enough we went back to the lodge to tell the keeper Malcolm Macphail how we faired. I remember a guest on the estate overhearing our conversation in the fishing room. His jaw dropped at the sight of the 12lb fish in the happy anglers hands and expecting to have the killer pattern revealed, asked what fly the monster fish had taken to which he was given the cautious answer “the garden fly” with a wink and a smile from the keeper. How do you fish that then was his puzzled question? Do you just chuck it and hope for the best? I think Angus would admit that was pretty much his tactic that evening to great effect, but great sport and enjoyment was had by fishing a method sometimes frowned upon by those who become converted to Fly Fishing.

However I have seen people enjoy all kinds of fishing. Another story that comes to mind was when I was out on a boat in the sea of Swordale with a Minister who had never held a fishing rod in his life. We hit a shoal of mackerel as you used to do in the summer months and he was dumbfounded as he reeled in 3 fish at a time on a 6ft Boat Rod and Multiplier Reel. Is it really this easy to catch fish” was his exclamation! If only that were the case!

I could hardly get him home that evening as his arm had become joined to my boat rod and I had great trouble separating him from it. When we did eventually get home the frying pan couldn’t get out quick enough as we both tucked into our fresh mackerel.

But then you can reach another level altogether and go fishing for giant Tuna of Harris and end up hooking into a fish of 700lb as Innes Morrison recently experienced while fishing with Angus Campbell of Kilda Cruise’s.

Whether it be a spinning rod, fly rod, boat rod a beachcaster or a basic hand line, or fighting a mammoth Blue Fin Tuna with the most powerful rod and reel money can buy, all kinds of fishing can be fun and provide hours of enjoyment for young and old alike.

Find the method that suits you. Begin with a boat rod fishing for mackerel move on to a spinning rod and have a go at trout and salmon then ultimately take up fly fishing.

I have to admit for me there is nothing to compare with a fighting summer grilse on a light fly rod bent double with your reel screaming as a fresh run salmon takes your fly. I can just about remember what it’s like!