River Conon

photo 2

 

I was not sure if I would come back and „blog“ again- but there you are! After friends nagging me about the lack of posts I decided to have a go again.  I shall tell stories about rivers I yet never visited hopefully up North. In the unlikely event of catching a fish on a river known to me,  I shall report as well….

My question was should I change the name because my Alvis is neatly tucked away in my garage in Switzerland….. but Salmonyeti doesn’t sound right does it? There are no salmon in the Himalayas. I would have to go to the Yemen and change my car to a Mėhari. Oh God I am giving away my age now- who would know about a Méhari?  My Yeti is great though and he drives me safely through all the potholes on trackroads to the rivers!

Am getting sidetracked now as always when I start writing. My head just goes spinning. So back to the facts:

George and I went out on a warm summer day in May to fish Lower Fairbank Estates River Conon in Easter Ross County. As much as I wanted to show you how a fresh caught sealiced salmon looks I am reduced to boring you  with images and comments on the beauty of this Highland River Conon. But watch out there is a surprise at the end…..

 

 

This is our usual breakfast before we go fishing: Heart attack special i.e. bacon roll with a fried egg

 

George munching away happily (his of course with HP sauce!!!)

 

We stayed at the Ballone Guesthouse in Marybank which is a real treasure. Heather, our hostess made us more than welcome and provided us with succulent Breakfasts and Dinners.

But lets start at the beginning: George and I went down to the River first thing when we arrived accompanied by Water, Ice and a bottle of Pernod. Just have a look at the beauty of this spot:

This was supposed to be the fly that would be a success, btw……a „borrowed“ one of course. Shall we call it“ Death by Pernod“? No bad name for my taste. My head goes cringe when I hear people giving their flies names like bumble bee or even worse named after my husband/wife, ugggh. The evening was glorious, we saw birds of  prey, ordinary birds, dogs, humans but alas no fish! We slowly had a few Pernods and that wasn’t a good idea, at least for George. I am used to this french stuff but George! You should have seen him- he definitely doesn’t like the French. Next time we shall stick to water of life, I think.

Next morning we were picked up by Head Ghillie Derek Mair. George was not his usual self; in fact he never was that day, I wondered why? But all the same we had an enjoyable morning at a river we never fished before. I had a brief encounter with a big fish and when I say big it was enormous! He took the fly jumped out of the river in a big jump went back in – I waited,  raised my rod and the line went slack. The one that got away…..

After lunch Derek gave me some information about the River:

Don’t you think he is cute? Sorry Derek, no offence, I think you are one of the nicest Ghillies I ever met. He showed us all the pools with possible fish in them. The Conon is a river unlike many others I have seen. You can’t „read“ the river! That sounds strange but even Derek said so. A bonus is the wading: very easy wading, gravel on the riverbed just right and very little chance to stumble and fall in.

Next day, again gloriously sunny, Derek showed us all the other pools of his beat- and we did fish hard, tried every single fly on the planet (not true). We saw one fish that whole day. I think we will soon be reduced to fish the pools of salmon farms!

However, things can turn a lack of fish into a real treat and make up for it – watch the little video to the end…..

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