Friday, 17 June 2011

Loch Etive and the Trilleachan Slabs

Unlike the last time I tried to get to the head of the loch, this time it was flat calm. Not a whisper of wind to ripple the water. I had the engine on tick over and trolled a lure behind the boat as I was in no hurry. I was savouring every moment of the calm morning.

As I approached the ruins of one of the old piers, I stopped the engine and changed over to a set of mackerel feathers. I drifted slowly in the tide as I fished the bottom of the loch. I guessed it was around 100ft deep at this point.

I admit that I was caught hook, line and sinker when I saw these rubbery sand eels in the local tackle shop. They look and feel exactly like I imagine a real sand eel would. I threaded one onto the bottom hook and as I moved it slowly in the water, it had a very realistic action. I guess they are designed to catch fishermen better than fish. I never got a nibble.

I wound in my line and headed for the head of the loch, I had a feeling there was a blind starving sea trout up there somewhere , just waiting for me to put it out its misery.

The north shore is very pretty with its natural forest. Sometimes I have see deer lurking in its shady parts. I’m pleased to say the lumber men won’t be cutting this forest down as it’s a protected area of special interest.

Just one more point to round and I will be in the basin that is the head of Loch Etive. The twin peaks of the big and small Bauchailles form the distinctive V shaped backdrop.

But the most impressive mountain from this angle must be Beinn Trilleachian. The huge slabs of granite are a favourite for rock climbers.

I stopped the boat and lowered my hooks and latex eel into the depths of the loch as I scoured the heights hoping to catch a glimpse of rock climbers.

I didn’t have to wait long on such a sunny morning until a couple turned up. I have circled the lower climber. His partner is just above him and looked like he was hanging on by his finger nails. Its a long way down but it’s even further to the top, as they are still on the bottom slab.

I watched them through my binoculars as they slowly moved upwards. They were moving very slowly so I suspected they would be there longer that I was going to be sitting at my vantage point.

I admit that I was much happier in my little boat fishing, than to be climbing on the slabs. I never ventured onto them myself but when I was younger I used to climb a cliff or two. I don’t miss those days now and doubt if I could handle the adrenalin rush of such exposure at my age.

I just wished I could get my adrenalin flowing by catching a fish, but never the less ... I was at peace with the world.

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