Before we knew it I was stopping off and buying my season ticket for my home water of the River Avon. Rising in the hills of East Ayrshire it meanders it was along 24 miles of South Lanarkshire before merging into the River Clyde at Hamilton.
It had been a glorious day with sunshine and I knew then I should have bitten the bullet & stuck the traffic delays out & traveled up the night before as the forecast for Saturday was not good, Gail force winds and heavy rain for the full day, the winds wouldn't bother me much as I would be tucked down in the Avon Braes but the rain could & would spoil things. It was what it was I couldn't change things!
Sure enough 6am rise heavy rain all night and high winds, but I was determined I was fishing, I drove back through Glasgow and arrived within spitting distance to where I had been brought up and lived to the age of 16 when I joined the army.
Looking from the top of the Braes down the steep drop to the River Avon below filled me with excitement as it always has.
It was going to be slippy on the way down and I certainly wasnt looking forward to the trip back up but I was here to fish so started the decent. Some of my OLDER friends,
(Im a mere spring chicken at 49) who I associate with had asked if I would take a camera as they hadn't been able to make the trip down the Braes for many years, so I strapped the cam to my head-mount and off we went. It wasnt long before I had slide my way to the bottom and was looking back up at what I had just come down, Its not too evident in the video but here is a photo from an earlier visit which shows how steep it is back to the view point where I took the first photograph.
The river was in perfect condition, just the right height & colour but I knew it wouldn't stay that way for long so got on with things. I opted for a nymph as point with a couple of spiders as droppers and started searching my way upstream.
Well worth the effort.
I had not seen a single trace of another person, which doesn't surprise me as its only a couple of guys who fish this particular stretch nowadays and not very frequent, unlike in the past when all the paths down the braes were looked after, cutback and obstacles removed from the waters edge, and you could always guarantee to bumping into another fisherman or someone out with a saw cutting the trees back, nowadays its overgrown the paths have long since gone and this part of the river hasn't seen a fish stocked for more than 25 years which I personally think isn't a bad thing as the fish are wild.
As I fished up through the runs the New Zealand indicator I was fishing with stopped and I tightened into my first trout of the 2016 season. Nothing big but I was chuffed to bits that it had been an opener on my home river.
I made my way upstream to the infamous Mull End, an old hot spot for Big fish in times gone by, where I've seen 5 lbs brown trout caught and returned to fight another day, I heard through the grapevine that a similar sized fish was caught last year but not returned in this instance.
(The next couple of photos are from a previous trip)
The remains of the old mill on the right.
There has been a lot of speculation over the years about what the old mill was and after a bit of digging, there seems to be very little actually written on it apart from. that on a map of 1838 there is a mill known as Cloxy Mill (Clocksy 1864) near the remains of Ringsdale castle, the mill is still visible but a ruin, but no records of its origins.
Ringsdale castle used to sit further back up the braes behind the mill but has long since gone and all that remains is the mounds where it used to sit, we used to camp there as kids, crossing the river during the summer when we used to jump between two large stones so as not to get our feet wet.
The water as expected had started to dirty over and I could no longer see my feet, I wasnt willing to take chances wading a river I used to know like the back of my hand but that was many years ago and things move constantly so decided to call it a day and head back to civilization, wet but very content that I had a trip down memory lane and had a fish.
The 7 minute video is more a trip down memory lane for some folk, but does show the effort to get to the river is well worth it if your capable enough.
This part of the river is covered by the Avon Angling Club permit, more information from their website....Avon Angling Club