Angling Reports - with Mark Cloutier and Tony Christie


After a long angling life there comes a point in that journey where you find a way of fishing that brings the greatest reward. It's a personal thing, neither right nor wrong, it's just what in the end makes you happy. Highland Waters has allowed me to fish the way I want to fish, sight fishing the edges with a small dry fly looking for big cruising browns. It's unhurried, challenging, sophisticated fishing that demands your best. The fish get in very close and when on the cruise are looking for food, but you need to keep low, cast quickly and get the fly in front of the fish before it’s too late. My favourite fly is the Kelly Tag, but add a stick caddis, grey nymph and a march brown emerger and I'm just about ready for most days. The season just passed has been my best to date with plenty of big browns and some thumping rainbows adding to the mix.



One of my favourite days on Highland Waters is when the caenids are hatching. Most years they appear late November for a month or so but they can continue to hatch through until March as they did this year. Best days are warm sunny days with little or no breeze. You will see towering columns of them along the shore and little black and white dots on the water if a hatch is underway.
And you will see Browns... lots of them. And you will hear them... distinctive clicking sounds as they gobble them down. Most anglers use an iron blue dun or a black hackled dry with a white raffia wing similar to Laurie Matchamʼs pattern. Size 1a or larger if you canʼt see it in a ripple.
But the secret is not to be seen because the fish are close in and the water is shallow and clear. Kneeling down back a bit from the bank is good and you must get the fly exactly on the fishʼs path to stand any chance. Often I catch a couple before they see me and then I just sit in the sun and watch them feed, thinking how good life is at Highland Waters.