AN evening of slight breeze and for a large part flat calm was what confronted Brechin Angling Club members when they arrived at Lintrathen Reservoir last Friday for the latest of their boat competitions.
Boats spread to every corner of the water in search of a breeze but around 6 pm there was none to be found and no sign of trout rising at all.
Indeed, the presence of several ospreys confirmed that fish were not in the top water as we saw not one swoop from the birds.
My boat partner hooked and landed a nice rainbow on his second cast but that was to be the end of our sport for some time as we joined the search, as boat went to and fro searching for a rise.
It took us some time to find fish and we did so in the corner of the dam in very shallow water.
We both hooked a few fish but only myself managed to get one into the boat as the very small hooks we were using lost us fish after fish.
The weigh-in was a bit of an international affair, with junior internationalist Martin Runcie just piping Jock Craig (senior international) by a few ounces, both taking their limit five trout.
Thirty-two trout were taken to just over 64 lbs.
My have the Esks wakened up with good sea trout returns from the south and a fair run of salmon and early grilse in the north.
Beats like Kinnaird top and middle, Finavon Castle, Inshewan and Cortachy and Dowriepark have all had good returns of sea trout and there might just be the start of a run of grilse and smallish salmon.
On the North Esk Pert, Stracathro, The Burn, Gallery, Upper Kinnaber and Morphie have all been experiencing good sport with some notable salmon to 25 lbs at Stracathro.
Grilse are also arriving in some numbers and sea trout are providing additional sport although not in the same numbers as the South Esk.
The West Water has been disappointing many Brechin Angling Club members but this may be down to it being continuously high and the water very dark.
One would expect it to be fishing well by now and I am sure it will be well worth a try in the next few days. The only way to get one is by going out and trying.
It is notable on the SANA website that they have endorsed their support to Brechin Angling Club in their complaint to the European Commission.
This brings total support from all national bodies and things like this are very encouraging despite total silence from the Scottish government.
by Bill Balfour.