Fishing the South Esk
Fishing the South Esk with a group of friends is something to look forward to especially as it's owned by a Director of the Atlantic Salmon trust.
After an evening flight to Edinburgh and an easy drive to Brechin we found ourselves in the incongrously named Indian restaurant 'The Swan'. A fine meal helped stoke our enthusiasm for the coming days, despite a fair storm that was sweeping through the East of Scotland.
John our Ghillie met us promptly in his faithful Defender outside the hotel and we were soon off to a lovely lodge on a beautiful stretch of the Esk. I was particularly looking forward to trying out the new Orvis Sonic II waders as they had come highly recommended. Jimmy in the Orvis shop in London was an excellent salesman. Needless to say they didn't disappoint despite the sudden drop in temperatures, I was warm throughout the trip.
With the water levels unseasonally low the fishing was difficult despite seeing the occasional fish, which were mostly dark in colour. The wildlife along the river was abundant with kingfishers, dippers and many other species to keep me entertained whilst I doggedly continued in my vain pursuit of a fish.
Meanwhile Peter, who was clearly a better fisherman than I, successfully landed two fish, one of which was a fresh fish and this gave us all some renewed determination and optimism.
In the evening we found ourselves in an interesting pub called The Stables, where Peter enjoyed his success and calmly imparted his sage advice on how we might break that duck.
The storm had managed to fill the river with leaves which were most deceptive as they had the ability to suddenly raise the pulse when one felt a tug on the line. On the last afternoon as I quietly worked my way down a beat I thought I was into a fish and for 15 seconds or so I was thrilled to have a fish. Sadly I managed to lose it but the combination of excitement and disappointment left me with a wry smile as I retold the story in the pub.
As with all trips it is the company that counts for most of the enjoyment and great fun was had by all on this super stretch of water.