Sunday, 27 December 2009

Santa brought me a canoe trolley and a nice bottle of malt+ the usual chox and sox etc
Merry Christmas........

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Loch Oich.

A couple of weekends back, a wee group of SOTPers, that's me William Wallace, Ossianic Tales, Pedrothebairn, and Johnnytheboy accompanied by a wee group of non SOTPers, My son Andy, grandson Josh, Don, Thomas and Ot's buddy Mel, had a weekend fishing and canoeing trip to Loch Oich. We are all members of the Central Branch of a club called the Pike Anglers Alliance for Scotland, and also subscribe to SOTP that's a forum/website called Song of the Paddle.

We arranged to meet at Dalwhinnie for a coffee then head up to the Oich from there.
On the way we stopped at Laggan Dam to look at the awesome spectacle of the overflow spouts as thay had had a lot of rain in the area. This feeds the River Spean, a popular river with kayakers, and you can see why.

After a brief blether and a few piccies we carried on through Spean Bridge to our log cabins at Loch Oich. After sorting out our rooms and gear myself Josh and Andy got stuck into making the supper. Nothing fancy, just a wee starter of Bruschetta, thats toasted hand cut bread rubbed with garlic, squishy tomato and olive oil, topped with Italian meats and cheese.
This was folowed by Lasagne Bolognese, French Fries of Maris Piper, thin cut and twice fried, and a layered salad. OT made a superb Lemon Merangue Pie which was devoured in minutes, then we all headed off to the bar. I cant remember much after that for some reason, must have been the Highland air.
Next morning I was up before all but Don, who was out fishing at first light, and got stuck into making a healthy breakfast of sausages, bacon, eggs, black pudding and a muesli skirly, toast and a pot or two of real Italian coffee.
After breakfast we heard that Don had already had a pike so got our fishing heads on.
Andy, Josh and I decided to head up the eastern part of the loch as there are some good pike holding features up there.
First thing we did was get a wee fire going. Josh paddled over to the island to try for some dry wood, but it wasnt any drier than that on the bank. The canoe is quite an old Pyranha made from royalex. My mate Phil kindly lent it to us for the weekend. Nice boat, very light and turns on a sixpence.

Lots o reek but no much heat but he eventually managed to get it lit, and soon we had a brew on.
This is my boat with a rod either side.

Pedrothebairn and Johnnytheboy in Pedro's Mobile Adventure, chucking lures around to no avail.

This is Meggy, my English Springer Spaniel, happiest when she's covered in mud and shivering with the cold.
This is a view of Loch Oich at sunset, with 40 minutes of paddling left.

Getting ready to head back to the cabin for a sauna and a shower.

Josh in his usual position, picking his nose when he should be paddling.

So we headed back to the cabin for a sauna and a swim. Meanwhile, Johnnytheboy had been busy making a huge pot of Chilli con Carne which we had with loaded potato skins, wraps, garlic bread, guacamole, salsa and soured cream. It was so good that I went back three times.
Then we went off the the bar. I have a recollection of a bottle of Havana Club in the wee small hours but its rather vague.
Next morning was horrible with rain, snow, sleet and avery other kind of weather thrown at us so no-one seemed very keen to get out fish except Don. Don is a man of the mountains, lochs and streams, and was totally unperturbed, and very well prepared for this. He had 3 pike for the weekend and was the only one to catch.
After a huge fry up, Andy, Josh and I decided to head for home, while the others were staying for another night.
A great weekend with top scran and the best company, hope we can do it again next year...