Sunday May 16th

Lochindorb, nr Grantown on Spey, Scotland

Lochindorb is a spectacular loch. Or rather it sits in a most scenic location. The loch is surrounded by moorland and you can hear red grouse in the heather as you tackle up. It was the heather that made today a special one. For the warm sun brought out the heather beetles, and the gentle breeze carried them out over the lake. There they landed, not in ones and twos, but in millions. The trout seized their opportunity and the result was predictable carnage.

Trout rose all around the loch. Some made delicious looking swirls, others sipped in the trapped beetles. Still other made splashy rises, which was strange considering the beetles were firmly glued by surface tension and were going nowhere fast. Casts had to be made quickly to where fish showed as the trout were moving rapidly and in no particular direction. A team of wet flies worked as well as small beetle patterns; another puzzle to ponder.

Lochindorb has acidic peaty water and so, like many moorland lochs, is home to a large number of small feisty wild brown trout. They are beautiful fish with buttery yellow bellies, big brown blotches and a scattering of scarlet spots. Whilst I was happily engaged in catching the fish, a pair of black-throated divers flew around the loch and later another skilful fisher, an osprey, prospected the scene. Fishing with the gods in god's own country?

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The old boat house

heather beetles

Heather beetles on the shore

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