The countdown has begun. In two weeks’ time I will be easing down a grassy bank into my favourite July camping spot beside the Scaur Water, two miles up from where it joins the middle Nith, in turn half a mile from the top of our Closeburn Castle fishings. Usually I go up there with my dad who at 74 is as up for the camping as ever, but he may not make it this year as he’s recovering from a push-bike accident in which he broke bones in his casting arm.
The River Nith. It may not be glamorous but it’s mine (well part of it). I am slowly, slowly learning about lies, pools and methods. I have only ever caught 2 fish in a day (July 2007 when a mini summer spate brought a pod of silvery grilse into Porters pool. I lost one then had 2 after that, phew!). Last July saw a mini mini spate (3 inches) but it brought dad’s first-ever salmon into the head of Porters, where it grabbed a small Rapala he’d selected as being less garish than others in my box (12.5 lb see pic a few posts below). Grilse, however were absent last year, they’ve been running later and later.
So will it happen again this year – or rather will it happen at all (yes we’ve had blank weeks in the past although they’ve all been good holidays)? It has been dry for weeks and weeks up there (even the national weather forecast nods at how South-west Scotland needs some rain) but there have been some good signs such as many more sea-trout about than in the past few summers. And it’s raining up there as I write, with more forecast for the next 2 weeks [Stop press: river up 4 inches July 5th]. So we’ll see.