Bangour Trout Fishery
Bangour Trout Fishery a jewel in the crown it is approximately 35 minutes’ drive from Glasgow and you will not be disappointed. The fishery is Trout Master Water and is the winner of the prestigious 2012 Total Fly Fisher tackle Award. The fishery has 28 casting platforms which do not have the usual chicken wire covering, instead they have a non-slip astro turf type covering which is not only kinder to your feet it does not snag or damage your line. Each of the casting platforms also has its own bin, so there is absolutely no excuse for dropping litter. Including the dam wall there is enough room for around 33 anglers. The fishery allows a maximum of 28 anglers to fish at any time, by doing so this guarantees anglers will always be able to move around the fishery.
There is a well-stocked tackle shop and a comfortable lodge with patio where anglers can enjoy their lunch, tea, coffee and confectionery can be purchased from the shop. Bangour Trout Fishery is an official Hardy and Grey’s Test Centre, so if you are thinking of treating yourself to a new Hardy or greys rod and have a particular one in mind, have a word with Stevie and he will do his utmost to have it waiting for you to try on your next visit. The shop has a fantastic range of flies for sale, and just like the fishery, these flies are top quality. Don’t forget to ask what flies and methods have been catching fish lately.
As I have never fished Bangour Trout Fishery before I spent 10 minutes chatting to Stevie Reid who has owned the fishery since 2005. Stevie has a wealth of knowledge not only on the fishery but also on the sport itself. Casting lessons can be booked with Stevie who not only hold an AAPGAI single-handed advanced casting certificate he also has SGAIC qualifications in trout and salmon fishing. Stevie advised me to try the top end of the fishery as due to the warmer weather of the past few days, the fish would be holding out in the deeper cooler water.
The sun was shining and the thermometer was hovering around 17 degrees. There was the odd fish showing here and there, although they were barely breaking the surface they were still managing to create quite a ripple. I choose my intermediate line with a Red Holographic Diawl Bach on the dropper and a Gold Head Hares Ear Nymph on the point. When there is only the odd fish showing, it pays to count the fly down and try to locate the depth at which they are cruising. I generally cast out and as soon as the fly lands draw the line quickly about 20 inches. I have two reasons for doing this, firstly if your fly lands directly beside a fish, this does not allow the fish too much time to decide whether to grab it or not, generally, instinct kicks in and the fish grabs the fly. The second reason is it helps the nylon cut through the surface film and allows your flies to start sinking sooner.
I chose the last platform before the dam wall to start from as there is a nice weed bed in the corner and as it was a bright day, I hoped there would be a few fish sitting in the shade. I covered this weed bed thoroughly varying the depths by counting from 5-40, I also cast as close to the dam wall as possible as fish often cruise this area looking for beetles and bugs which live between stones all to no avail.
Fish were beginning to show further down the loch so I moved down a couple of platforms and changed to my floating line, I took the Gold Head Hares Ear off and put on a small Green Damsel nymph. This seemed to do the trick, as within a few minutes I was into my first fish of the day a nice rainbow of about 2lb 10oz on the Red Holographic Diawl Bach.
The rise begun to tail off, rather than change back to an intermediate line I decided change the point fly to a Gold head Pheasant Tail Nymph so the flies would fish a bit deeper. I cast out and started to count the flies down. I only got to 10 when I noticed the tip of my line begin to sink, I slowly lifted my rod and tightened into the fish, it went ballistic and started to drag line from the reel, I eventually got the fish under control and brought it to the net. This was a slightly bigger fish weighing 3lb, which also took the Diawl Bach.
Half an hour passed with no more offers so I moved back up to the top platform and concentrated on the weed bed, casting out and counting the flies down then lifting the rod up to make the flies shoot up towards the surface and then counting them down again. This method worked a treat rewarding me with another Rainbow around the 3lb mark once again on the Diawl Bach. This fish completed my limit so it’s catch and release from now on. When fishing catch and release please do not lift the fish out of the water, as this is totally un-necessary and will result in you being asked to leave the fishery.
As the evening wore on the water literally started to boil with fish, I managed to add another 2 to my total for the day once again these fish were around the 2 3/4lb to 3lb mark and were both on the Red Diawl Bach. All five Rainbows were plump and absolutely fin perfect specimens. I thoroughly recommend you treat yourself to a day on Bangour Trout Fishery you will not be disappointed.
When we arrived at the fishery, a fresh stock of trout had just been delivered. They were put into the holding cages to allow the fish time to recover from the journey and acclimatise to temperature of the loch. These fish were stocked at the end of the night and instead of just being released from the cages into the fishery they were put in a tank in the boat and spread evenly throughout the loch. In all honesty, I was very surprised to see the loch being re stocked as the water was boiling with fish for the last 3 hours, they may have been difficult to catch but there was certainly no shortage of fish.