Any way previously my mate Kev had taken me salmon fishing on the river Ayr with the result that we were out of pocket and the river must of been out of fish before we arrived (we reliably got told the fish had been caught the day previously ). Luckily Kev knew a group of trout ponds looked after by his mate Davey an avid fisherman. So off we popped one evening to see Davey and look at the ponds.
Straight away I was smitten with the ponds. Situated out in the countryside with glorious views and several ponds all with fish splashing about. We met Davey and he explained which ponds were for fly fishing and which were for bait fishing. Now I had never been fly fishing before and was a bit out of my depth and having heard stories about people hooking their own heads I was obviously a bit apprehensive. Davey showed me the ropes let me have a practice without a fly, and then when he thought I was not going to hook my own eye out sent me and Kevin with a fly to have a practice in the first pond.
There was a lot more to it then met the eye. Kev seemed to cast a good 30ft with out even trying and missed a couple of bites. I thrashed about like John Cleese angry at a mini managing o hook a good clump of turf from behind me and cast it 15ft if i was lucky. Unless trout were going to start grazing on grass or cows were going to start swimming it was not looking good. To make it worse Davey sauntered up seemed to cast with one hand while rolling a cigarette with the other and caught two trout in mere minutes (was this the mysterious salmon fisherman from the pevious day we had heard about). We finished of the day having a brew, watching the sunset and having a chat at the portakabins they used as offices.
To make me more keen back home Kevin had decided to sit me down and proceed to get his tackle out. This consisted of boxes and boxes of tool chest like boxes filled with hooks, bits of dead animal and bird skins and feathers, multiple reels of different coloured cotton reels, various mysterious looking clamps and brass devices and for some reason nail varnish. These he told me were for making fishing flys.
After showing me the ancient art of fly tying he then left me to have a go myself (I cheated and found a video on youtube). After four attempts one of which involve Kevin having to cut me free from the fly I finally managed a half way decent one.
Armed with my fly’s and borrowed rods we hit the ponds the next day. As expected my new found fly tying skills and casting experienced paid off. I was now casting clumps of turf further, in greater numbers and with more accuracy then ever before. Unfortunately the local cows had still not learnt to swim and the trout had not developed the ability to graze over night. So, so far “bugger all”. Kevin on the other had was getting bite after bite and came over to see how I was doing and why all the sod was vanishing behind me and the water level rising. While bragging about his fish with his long arms spreading wider and wider so that I thought he might dislocate his shoulders he produced a large fluffy fly that he had found hooked to a trout he had just pulled out. Obviously that one had worked so fingers crossed I replaced it with mine. As luck would have it several minutes later I got my first bite and with the help of another angler who was wise enough to bring a landing net I managed to land this little beauty.
Now I don’t know about you but I don’t really have much experience with cooking fresh trout and Kevins culinary arts stop at square sausage sandwich but we was lucky enough to get help from an unexpected sauce (source get it!). The landlord of the smashing little local pub The Drumley Inn we had been using in Mossblown where we were staying is also a full time chef. He offered to cook it for free of charge. Using plenty of butter, flour, spice and his own skills I had fresh trout cooked specially for me free by the landlord of a pub. Try and find service like that anywhere I dare you.
Actually this is not the one I caught, it was given to me by Davey who looks after the ponds. Mine I put back. Still it was very tasty and thinking of it now makes my mouth water.
Thanks for reading.