Islay pics and some fish from today....

iainmortimer

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That's right up there as one of the best reports I have read in a while with a really good choice of photo's to illustrate it...and that's some way to end a holiday on your home turf!!! My self photo's would have been farm worse as my hands would've been shaking with the excitement ;)
 

Finglas

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That's right up there as one of the best reports I have read in a while with a really good choice of photo's to illustrate it...and that's some way to end a holiday on your home turf!!! My self photo's would have been farm worse as my hands would've been shaking with the excitement ;)

Thanks for the kind words Iain, glad you like the photos. As I've said before I have had loads of great advice on here and feel posting some nice pics is the very least I can do in return. Thank you.

Jamie
 

Markymac

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Hi folks, just thought I would post a quick report about a trip myself and my father had on islay recently....plus some bonus fishy pics! I have received lots of advice on this forum (especially recently) and I am very grateful for it. Anyway I thought perhaps some of you may enjoy some of these pics taken today and this past week.


Back to Islay.......We went with the hope of catching a sea trout in the salt water but unfortunately that was not to be. Not to worry though, we had a few days on the river laggan and caught a few fish. There had been a good flush of water on the Sunday just after we arrived and so things looked good for the week ahead. On the Sunday we went a walk out to a monument erected by the American National Red Cross. In 1918 two american ships (Tuscania and Otranto) ran into difficulties in separate incidents. There was a lot of lives lost and from reading the plaques it sounded like a completely horrendous situation. Here are some pics of the monument and the views....

View attachment 49997

View attachment 50000


View attachment 49998

In the above pic you can see the mull of kintyre in the background. In the pic below if you were to zoom right in you would see the outline of Ratlin island and then Northern Ireland beyond that...On another note, whilst up there we are fairly confident we heard the sound of whales.....

View attachment 49999

After the weekend rain we thought on Monday the river would have been rising most of the day but In hindsight I think the Monday would have been great too (we heard of a few fish being caught) but we weren’t sure how fast the spate would fall. It seemed to fall into a good height in half a day and so Monday afternoon and evening would have been good. I would say we have learned that for the next time but the estate secretary told us that how quick the river falls after rain depends on the corresponding tides and so It probably isn’t as simple as a similar size of spate always clearing in half a day etc.

Anyway, back to the fishing. We fished Loch Gruinart (sea water) for sea trout on the Monday with next to no success. My dad did narrowly miss a fish and saw it turn at the fly. We saw the odd fish move but there certainly wasn’t a lot of them about.

On the Tuesday we fished the river laggan. We were on beat 2 in the morning and then beat 1 in the afternoon. I had one small sea trout from beat 2 in the morning. By the afternoon we were champing at the bit to get on beat 1 and try our luck there. We fished through the beat with regular flies and had a few sea trout but no salmon. At about 7pm I tried the sunray and within 5 minutes had this little fish. Not fresh by any means but still very welcome…

View attachment 50001

My dad changed to a similar fly and caught this on a collie dog quickly after I had released the above fish...

View attachment 50002

Here is a quick pic of a nice 2lb sea trout my dad caught too.....

View attachment 50015

An exhausting but thoroughly enjoyable day.

We had the Wednesday off after fishing around 8-8 on the Tuesday. We visited the top beat that laggan estate have (beat 4) and had a look around. It looked great but, being tree lined, it certainly looked like it would be a lot more difficult to fish. Here is one of the very precarious bridges over the river....

View attachment 50011

After scoping out the fishing we visited Machir bay which really is lovely....

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That evening we had a quick check for tics too after having been in the ferns and trees without the protection of the chest waders. My dad had managed to pic up a tick but it was removed without any issues. It pays to always check!
And here is the fish forceps coming in handy for tick removal operations.......we stupidly forgot to take tweezers!

View attachment 50004

The following day we fished beat 4 without any success but it was great to fish some lovely water. We moved onto beat 1 in the afternoon and fished the regular flies again. After no success I changed to a small double stoats tail. First cast I hooked a salmon that I lost after around 5 minutes. Next cast I hooked and lost a sea trout from the exact same lie. After fishing the regular flies most of the afternoon I went back to a sunray (not the same one I had success with the other day, that was stuck up a tree on beat 4) but a much smaller one. After only 5 minutes of casting in very windy conditions I managed to hook and land this fish….

View attachment 50005

And here is a pic of the wee fly.....

View attachment 50006
The week flew in and before we knew it we were fishing on Friday. There wasn’t much point in thrashing the laggan, we had covered a lot of the water and there didn’t seem to be any fresh fish coming in, certainly none that we saw anyway! So back to the salt we went. We fished the blackrock mark on loch Indaal but the conditions were horrific. No fish again but we did meet a local keeper who said there were definitely fish there and that people catch sea trout where we were fishing. Hearing that picked out spirits up a little and renewed our optimism. Hoping to find better conditions wind wise we headed back over to gruinart. Again the surroundings were wonderful but there was just no fish willing to throw themselves at our offerings.

Here is a pic of the rough weather on Loch Indaal at Blackrocks....

View attachment 50007

Then here is a pic of gruinart....

View attachment 50008


By Saturday we were back on the ferry and heading home. There was a lot of rain forecast and back on the mainland the Annan was rising…… I have this week off work too so me and my dad headed down there for a cast. I managed these two fish today. First one I was myself and so couldn’t get a good pic. I estimated it was around 13-14lbs. The second fish I got right at the end of the day. I’m unsure about the size but felt it was closing in on the 20lb mark though maybe it was more of a high teens. Not exactly sure but certainly the biggest fish I’ve had! I’m elated!

Here is the first fish that I'm guessing was around 14lbs....the pic is terrible but I was myself and so was working one handed....

View attachment 50012

And here is a couple of pics of the fish I think is closer to 20......

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Thank you all for reading and I hope you enjoyed the pics.

Jamie
Well done Jamie looks like a great trip and great reading 👍
 

nickolas

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Hi folks, just thought I would post a quick report about a trip myself and my father had on islay recently....plus some bonus fishy pics! I have received lots of advice on this forum (especially recently) and I am very grateful for it. Anyway I thought perhaps some of you may enjoy some of these pics taken today and this past week.


Back to Islay.......We went with the hope of catching a sea trout in the salt water but unfortunately that was not to be. Not to worry though, we had a few days on the river laggan and caught a few fish. There had been a good flush of water on the Sunday just after we arrived and so things looked good for the week ahead. On the Sunday we went a walk out to a monument erected by the American National Red Cross. In 1918 two american ships (Tuscania and Otranto) ran into difficulties in separate incidents. There was a lot of lives lost and from reading the plaques it sounded like a completely horrendous situation. Here are some pics of the monument and the views....

View attachment 49997

View attachment 50000


View attachment 49998

In the above pic you can see the mull of kintyre in the background. In the pic below if you were to zoom right in you would see the outline of Ratlin island and then Northern Ireland beyond that...On another note, whilst up there we are fairly confident we heard the sound of whales.....

View attachment 49999

After the weekend rain we thought on Monday the river would have been rising most of the day but In hindsight I think the Monday would have been great too (we heard of a few fish being caught) but we weren’t sure how fast the spate would fall. It seemed to fall into a good height in half a day and so Monday afternoon and evening would have been good. I would say we have learned that for the next time but the estate secretary told us that how quick the river falls after rain depends on the corresponding tides and so It probably isn’t as simple as a similar size of spate always clearing in half a day etc.

Anyway, back to the fishing. We fished Loch Gruinart (sea water) for sea trout on the Monday with next to no success. My dad did narrowly miss a fish and saw it turn at the fly. We saw the odd fish move but there certainly wasn’t a lot of them about.

On the Tuesday we fished the river laggan. We were on beat 2 in the morning and then beat 1 in the afternoon. I had one small sea trout from beat 2 in the morning. By the afternoon we were champing at the bit to get on beat 1 and try our luck there. We fished through the beat with regular flies and had a few sea trout but no salmon. At about 7pm I tried the sunray and within 5 minutes had this little fish. Not fresh by any means but still very welcome…

View attachment 50001

My dad changed to a similar fly and caught this on a collie dog quickly after I had released the above fish...

View attachment 50002

Here is a quick pic of a nice 2lb sea trout my dad caught too.....

View attachment 50015

An exhausting but thoroughly enjoyable day.

We had the Wednesday off after fishing around 8-8 on the Tuesday. We visited the top beat that laggan estate have (beat 4) and had a look around. It looked great but, being tree lined, it certainly looked like it would be a lot more difficult to fish. Here is one of the very precarious bridges over the river....

View attachment 50011

After scoping out the fishing we visited Machir bay which really is lovely....

View attachment 50009

View attachment 50010

That evening we had a quick check for tics too after having been in the ferns and trees without the protection of the chest waders. My dad had managed to pic up a tick but it was removed without any issues. It pays to always check!
And here is the fish forceps coming in handy for tick removal operations.......we stupidly forgot to take tweezers!

View attachment 50004

The following day we fished beat 4 without any success but it was great to fish some lovely water. We moved onto beat 1 in the afternoon and fished the regular flies again. After no success I changed to a small double stoats tail. First cast I hooked a salmon that I lost after around 5 minutes. Next cast I hooked and lost a sea trout from the exact same lie. After fishing the regular flies most of the afternoon I went back to a sunray (not the same one I had success with the other day, that was stuck up a tree on beat 4) but a much smaller one. After only 5 minutes of casting in very windy conditions I managed to hook and land this fish….

View attachment 50005

And here is a pic of the wee fly.....

View attachment 50006
The week flew in and before we knew it we were fishing on Friday. There wasn’t much point in thrashing the laggan, we had covered a lot of the water and there didn’t seem to be any fresh fish coming in, certainly none that we saw anyway! So back to the salt we went. We fished the blackrock mark on loch Indaal but the conditions were horrific. No fish again but we did meet a local keeper who said there were definitely fish there and that people catch sea trout where we were fishing. Hearing that picked out spirits up a little and renewed our optimism. Hoping to find better conditions wind wise we headed back over to gruinart. Again the surroundings were wonderful but there was just no fish willing to throw themselves at our offerings.

Here is a pic of the rough weather on Loch Indaal at Blackrocks....

View attachment 50007

Then here is a pic of gruinart....

View attachment 50008


By Saturday we were back on the ferry and heading home. There was a lot of rain forecast and back on the mainland the Annan was rising…… I have this week off work too so me and my dad headed down there for a cast. I managed these two fish today. First one I was myself and so couldn’t get a good pic. I estimated it was around 13-14lbs. The second fish I got right at the end of the day. I’m unsure about the size but felt it was closing in on the 20lb mark though maybe it was more of a high teens. Not exactly sure but certainly the biggest fish I’ve had! I’m elated!

Here is the first fish that I'm guessing was around 14lbs....the pic is terrible but I was myself and so was working one handed....

View attachment 50012

And here is a couple of pics of the fish I think is closer to 20......

View attachment 50013

View attachment 50014


Thank you all for reading and I hope you enjoyed the pics.

Jamie
Great words and photos.
I see all fish from Box, that is a river that really has gone to pot, 40 years ago the catch for 3 beats and 3 months would be 300-400, now with 4 beats and 4 months struggles to make 100 in a good year.
Gruinart again 20+ years ago was great for sea trout and bass but they were eaten when that pack of seals turned up.
Have you been with no water and i see you like to go again. Make sure it rains if you do.
 

Finglas

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Great words and photos.
I see all fish from Box, that is a river that really has gone to pot, 40 years ago the catch for 3 beats and 3 months would be 300-400, now with 4 beats and 4 months struggles to make 100 in a good year.
Gruinart again 20+ years ago was great for sea trout and bass but they were eaten when that pack of seals turned up.
Have you been with no water and i see you like to go again. Make sure it rains if you do.

Hi Nickolas,

I'm not sure where the box is? There is 4 beats on the river laggan with the laggan estate.....

There is a video online of a chap fishing at gruinart 10 years ago and he runs into a lot of sea trout. Think he catches 4 on the fly within an hour. We have fished there about 7 full days now without any fish (we have visited there prior to this most recent trip).....

Jamie
 

nickolas

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Dear Jamie,
Box is probably the one of the biggest pools if you can call it that, it is basically the first non total pool on the river above the tide. The bottom of box they used to net the pool for the house, average single sweep would haul about 25 fish At the end of July. Fish used to spawn from there up river. Your photo is taken from the top of box just below the high sand dunes. I can remember years ago a fisherman fishing a spot about 50 yards above your photo where he caught 9 fish within twenty yards of each other before lunch, concluding he had had such a great morning went of and had 18 holes of golf. His host was so horrified he didn’t invite him the following year.
 

Finglas

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Dear Jamie,
Box is probably the one of the biggest pools if you can call it that, it is basically the first non total pool on the river above the tide. The bottom of box they used to net the pool for the house, average single sweep would haul about 25 fish At the end of July. Fish used to spawn from there up river. Your photo is taken from the top of box just below the high sand dunes. I can remember years ago a fisherman fishing a spot about 50 yards above your photo where he caught 9 fish within twenty yards of each other before lunch, concluding he had had such a great morning went of and had 18 holes of golf. His host was so horrified he didn’t invite him the following year.
Thank you Nickolas, vI had no idea! The pool with the high sand dunes seemed to be fairly good too, we caught a few sea trout in there a few years ago when we were there and there was fish moving there this time too, they seemed like sea trout. Then as that pool ends it sweeps right and then left and I think that will be the box pool? It is a long straight and it is deep off the edge, my dad nearly went in over his waders netting my fish......

Sounds like you know the place very well. When we were there a few years ago we met an older chap called "Charlie" I didn't get his surname but I think he had connections to the estate or to a farm on the estate. I think he fished it for years, maybe you would have came across him over the years.....?

I was surprised that even with the spate on the Sunday there didn't seem to be many, if any, fresh fish about.....that can't be a good omen?

Jamie
 

nickolas

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The latest I ever had a sea lice fish was end of August, if you had a spate on Sunday it will fish just after the water drops , Dunlost estate comes in first,7 or so miles upstream, sea trout first normally about 2-4 hours before salmon. depending on the dryness of the ground the and how heavy the rain the spate can be seen in the river between 4 and 12 hours following the start of the start of rain, you can get days when Dunlosit comeS into condition and the bottom beat not coming on at all till the following day by which time you have missed the best fishing on Dunlosit. I know Charlie, his family to but not well. When I first went the weeks fishing for one rod was £67.00.
 

Finglas

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Ahh I see, takes a while to get to grips with the timings after a spate. We should have fished it on the Monday after the rain on Sunday and into early Monday morning but we will know for the future! Charlie was extremely welcoming, he was staying in a kitted out Isuzu trooper down at what I now know as the box pool. He was a great laugh and keen to share his whiskey. When we met him there was 4 of us and he would probably remember us as being from Glasgow, July 2016, if you ever see him tell him we were asking for him. Do you still fish the estate then?

it's 50 quid a day now so prices have certainly changed!

Jamie
 
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