Thursday, 14 July 2011

Kyles of Bute, Loch Ruel and the Buttock

I stopped the engine off Buttock Point which is the most northerly bit of Bute, and let the boat drift to a halt. There was not a puff of wind from Buttock hill so I dropped my flies into the water and started jigging them up and down. The fish finder was showing quite a few fish below the boat but still not a nibble on my flies ? When I peered into the deep still depths, I saw lots of jelly fish instead of silvery fish.

The water was like a mirror and the sun felt warm in the still morning air. It was one of those days when I really was glad to be alive and out of doors, if only I could catch a fish I would have been in paradise.

A little bored of getting no bites, I lifted my lures and crossed the west Kyles to investigate an unusual looking lighthouse. It looked like it was moulded from clay.

On close inspection I found there were two clay “lighthouses” One at the entrance and the other at the exit of a hidden harbour behind the island Eilean Dubh which is at the junction of the east - west Kyles and Loch Ruel.

In a moment of madness, I opened the throttle to distort the mirror image of the land reflected on water. I was heading into Loch Ruel for another spot of fishing.

I wasn’t the only one fishing in Loch Ruel. This commercial fishing boat had a continuous “belt” of mackerel flies being turned round a winch wheel. The belt then disappeared into the water below the boat. The mackerel were hooked then pulled onto the deck where they fell off into fish boxes before the flies disappeared over the side again. It was catching a few too.

On the shore just to the left of the boat I could see another couple of anglers fishing from the rocks. I caught a couple of mackerel here too but then stopped as I only wanted two. One for breakfast and one for bait. I wasn’t relying on the fish to pay my bills though.

I started to head for the narrows at the junction of the East and West Kyles of Bute. This is the nearest I got to photographing a porpoise. The wake in the foreground was left by it's fin after it disappeared again. They are fast as lightning.

I watched the depth on the fish finder as I approached the buoys which mark the deepest part of the narrows. It read 19 feet deep at low water.

This time I passed the buoys the right way. The green buoy was on the side of the green fishing rod.

The red buoy was on the other side with my right looking towards the rear of the boat and the buttocks of Bute. I could see the tide flowing and trying to push the buoys along but it wasn’t strong enough to slow my boat. I was now through the narrows and heading for Loch Striven....

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