Prolific on Skye

Prolific on Skye

THIS, or at least a very close cousin, is set to occupy my attention for the next few days in one of the UK’s most scenic fly-fishing locations.  Loch Fada on Skye is home to one of the most prolific mayfly hatches you are likely to encounter anywhere in the UK.

They are in your hair, inside your clothes, on your glasses, in your ears.  And, yes, inside the mouths of some of the normally wariest trout you might wish to encounter.

But for a brief 10 days or so right now, these trout, which can run to more more than 5lbs, seem to lose all sense of reason, and thankfully caution, for a short burst of massive self-indulgence.

The hatch is not guaranteed by any means.  Several times in the last few years, the weather has been grim, with late snow flurries, hail and treacherous bitter east winds.  Last year the hatch hardly materialised at all and the fishing was mediocre.

But hope, as we anglers know, springs eternal and the promise of top water fly-fishing to free-rising, hungry trout on a loch amid majestic surroundings is just about as good as it can get.

Loch Fada: annual bonanza

Loch Fada: annual bonanza

Until Stan Headley took it upon himself to give it a mention in a recent Trout & Salmon as a mayfly mecca, Loch Fada was discounted as the dour neighbour of the larger and occasionally productive Loch Leathan, collectively known as The Storr lochs, Skye’s best known fly waters.

The cognoscenti, however, worshipped its annual bonanza and the three boats were always oversubscribed. Will Headley’s promotion see the banks lined with eager anglers?  Will the hatch materialise?  Will my new ephemeroptera nymphs, the result of careful study of the naturals for many seasons, prove successful? Results later . . .

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