Rich pickings at Allandale

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Despite bright sunshine and freezing conditions, Allandale Tarn in West Lothian was my destination, writes STUART FRASER.

Shaking off the festive spirit, I decided that the floating line and single Hothead Damsel was possibly my best tactic. Starting in front of the lodge and fan casting the area in search of a biggie was my objective. But, despite several tail-nipping offers, nothing solid.

Moving round to the side of the fish cage and casting the nets across the edge, I locked on to a nice fish. Apart from just holding on to this trout, I had to put plenty side strain to keep the line from getting caught in the nets. Luckily for me, the 8lb rainbow made for deep water, leaping and turning on more than one occasion. Keeping strain on the fish till it tired I worked it back to the bank before releasing. It was a nice clean fish with full fins and tail and in prime condition.

Travelling light, I kept to the same flies and went on to pick up a further three fish. Although not as big as my first fish they all fought well from different parts of the water.

The regulars seemed to be taking fish on the Yellow Dancer, Rabbits, Damsels and Tadpole variations.

To begin with, the majority of trout were cruising close to the banks but as the session wore on, they moved further out into deeper water. I will definitely return to Allandale Tarn soon.