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LOCH VENACHAR


Friday, June 21, 2013

WELL THIS WAS IT. MY FIRST 'CAMPING' TRIP ON MY OWN FOR QUITE A NUMBER OF YEARS AND BOY WAS I LOOKING FORWARD TO IT.

BEFORE I START, AND FYI, THE LOCH NAME IS PRONOUNCED VENAKAR; THE SCOTTISH 'CH' BEING PRONOUNCED TOGETHER.

THE DAY WAS SET FAIR, ALTHOUGH WE HADA COUPLE OF THINGS TO DO ON THE WAY, NOT THE LEAST OF WHCIH WAS VISIT THE FISHING SHOP TO GET MY PERMITS AND SOME BAIT. I DON'T KNOW ABOUT THE SYSTERM INT HE US OR CANADA BUT IT IS VERY STRICT INT HE UK. YOU CAN BE HEAVILY FINED AND YOUR GEAR TAKEN OFF OYU SHOULD YOU NOT HAVE OR REFUSE TO BUY A FISHING PERMIT. ALSO, AS YOU WILL SEE LATER, THERE IS ONLY ONE ROD INT HE WATER. AGAIN, THIS IS A CONDITION PLACED UPON FISHERMEN WHO VISIT THE LOCH. IT IS FOR THE PROTECTION OF THE FISH REALLY AS THE FISHERY HAS TO MANAGE THE FISH AND RESTOCK FROM THEIR RESOURCE CENTRE AS NECESSARY SO THAT THERE ARE FISH AVAILABLE FOR THE START OF EVERY SEASON. THIS ONLY APPLIES TO TROUT AS THERE ARE ALSOP SOME OTHER SPECIES THAT LIVE AND BREED IN THE LOCH AS WELL. TYPICAL COARSE FISHAND TH DREADED PIKE, A REAL PREDATOR. FUNNILY ENOUGH, IT DOESN'T COST YOU ANYTHING FOR COARSEFISHINGEXCEPTTHAT YOU CANNOT TAKE ANY FISH HOMEBUT YOU HAVE TO CATCH AND RELEASE. PIKE, ON THE OTHER HAND, IS ACTUALLY MORE EXPENSIVE TO FISH FOR THAN TROUT AND THERE IS A BAG LIMIT ON HOW MANY YOU CAN TAKE OUT OF THE LOCH. AGAIN, IT ISFOR THESAKE OF MAINTAINUNGTHIS SPECIES SO THAT PEOPLE WHO GO AFTER THIS SORT OF FISH CAN HAVE THEIR SPORT.

ANYHOW, I DIGRESS. WE GOT TO THE TACKLE SHOP AND UNFORTUNATELY, THE OWNER WAS NOT THERE AND HAD ALADYTO OPEN UP FOR HIM. SHE HAD NOT A CLUE AND EVENTUALLY SHE RANG THE OWNERTOG ETHIM TO COME IN. THE DELAY WAS BECAUSE I WANTED A TIMED PERMIT AS I WAS NOT GOINGTO GET TO THE LOCH BEFORE THE AFTERNOON.

THE LOCH ITSELF IS NOT THAT FAR FROM LOCH KATRINE, AND I HAVE SHOWN YOU THAT ON A PREVIOUS BLOG. ALL AROUND THAT AREA THERE IS A SERIES OF LOCHS, BUT UNFORTUNATELY, MOST OF THE ARE FLY FISHING ONLY, ALTHOUGH THEY WOULD MAKE IDEAL CAMPING RESTS. I HAVE NEVER LEARNT TO FLY FISH, SO UNTIL I DO THESE ARE OUT.

WE GOT TO THE LOCH IN GLORIOUS SUNSHINE AND MARY AND TRISH HELPED ME UNLOAD AND GET MY STUFF ONTO THE SHORELINE. ON THE WAY IN WE HAD CALLED AT THE FISHERY AND I HAD SHOWN MY PERMITS AND ASKED WHERE I COULD CAMP. I DULY TOOK THE ADVICE GIVEN AND SUBSEQUENTLY REGRETTED IT, ALTHOUGH IT WAS NOT THE FAULT OF THE LAD INT HE FISHERY SHOP BUT MARY WAS REFUSING TO GO TO THEOTHER SIDE FOR ME.

WELL, IT TOOK ME OVER AN HOUR JUST TO GET THE TENT ERECTED BECAUSE I HAD TO SPEND A LARGE PROPORTION OF THE TIME DIGGING STONES AND PEBBLES OUT OF THE GROUND SO THAT I COULD GET MY TENT PEGS IN. I AM GOING TO HAVE TO BUY SOME NEW PEGS AS I MANAGED TO BENDA FEW IN THE PROCESS OF ANCHORING THE TENT. I WAS REALLYSWEATY BY THE TIME I HAD FINISHED, I CAN TELL YOU, SO I WAS NOT EXACTLY BOTHEREDABOUT PUTTING EVERYTHING INSIDE NEATLY. I DID THAT LATER ON AFTER I AHD EATEN SOME FOOD AND COOLED DOWN.

AFTER LUNCH I DECIDED THAT BEFORE I GOTMY LINE WET I OWULD SORT THE TENT OUT PROPERLY, AND THAT INCLUDED INFLATING THE MATTRESS AND PILLOWS. NOT HAVING THE LUXURY OF AN ELECTRIC PUMP IT WAS TO PROVE A REAL WORKOUT IN ITS OWN RIGHT. ELECTRIC PUMPS REQUITE YOU TO HAVE THE USE OF A CAR BATTERY ORTO HAVE THE CAR ON SITE ANDUSE THE ON BOARD CIGARETTE LIGHTEER, (WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN NO GOOD IN OUOR CASE BECAUSE OUR CAR DOES NOT HAVE ONE). THE PILLOWS WERE THE EASY BIT BUT THE MATTRESS WAS ANOTHER SWEATY EXERCISE. IF EVER YOU WANT TO WORK OUT WITHOUT MOVING FROM YOUR CHAIRTHEN THIS IS SURELY AN IDEAL WAY OF DOING IT!!! BECAUSE THE WEATEHR WAS SO GOOD I WAS NOT GOING TO TRY THIS INSIDE THE RTENT AS THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN SO HOT, SO I DID IT OUTSIDE. NOT SURE IF IT WAS THE LESSER OF TWO EVILS, LOL.

EVENTUALLY, EVERYTHING WAS SORTED OUT AND I WAS ABLE TO RELAX. I COULD FINALLY GET MY RODS SORTED OUT. I WAS INTENDING TO SUE TWO RODS, ALTHOUGH NOT AT THE SAME TIME. THE ONE YOU SEE IN THE PICTURE IS THE LONGER OF THE RODS AND I USE THIS FOR LONG CASTING. I HAVE A COUPLE OF SHORTER ONES WHICH WILL CAST OUT TO AROUND 20 FEET OR SO AND ARE IDEAL FOR CLOSE SHORE FISHING. AS IT TURNED OUT, I WAS ONLY ABLE TO USE A WEIGHT AND NOT A FLOAT. I HAD INTENDED TO TRY BOTH AT SOME STAGE, BUT SUBSEQUENTLY, THE WATERS BECAMETOO CHOPPY FOR FLOAT FISHING.

AS THE AFTERNOON WORE ON I DISCOVERED THAT THE PLACE I HAD CAMPED WAS QUIT A POPULAR STOPPING OFF POINT FOR PEOPLE TO COME DOWN AND JUST RELAX. SOME WOULD JUST SIT ON THE BENCHES WHILST OTHERS WOULD WALK THE SHORE ANDBEYONE, (THERE IS A HIKING TRAIL ALL AROUND THE LOCH WHICH WOLD PROBABLY TAKE YOU ALL DAY TO DO). THE OPNE THING I WAS PLEASED ABOUT WAS THAT APART FROM THE OCCASIONALY HELLO I WAS BEING LEFT TO MY OWN DEVICES. AT AROUND TEA TIME THINGS STARTED TO QUIETEN DOWN A BIT AND I ONLY HAD THE OCCASIONAL VISITOR. PEACE AT LAST.

I WILL GLOSS OVER THE REST OF THE DAY AS THERE IS NOTHING REALLY TO TELL YOU ABOUT. I SIMPLY CHILLED OUT AND GOT LOST IN MY OWN LITTLE WORLD.

THE FOLLOWING MORNING I WAS UP WITHT HE SUN, OR AT LEAST EARLY ANHOW; LIKE4AM EARLY. I DECIDED THAT THIS WAS A LITTLE TOO EARLY TO BE GETTING UPAND BESISDES, I WAS REALLY COMFORTABLE. THE PREVIOUS EVENING I HAD FILLED A FLASK WITH SOME BOILING WATER SO ALL I HAD TO DO WAS REACH ACROSS AND MAKE MYSELF A CUP OF COFFEE WITHOUT HAVING TO GET OUT OF BED.WISH I COULD DO THIS ALL OF THE TIME, LOL. ACTUALLY, I WAS GLAD OF THE SUN BECAUSE THE TEMPERATURE DROPPED DRAMATICALLY DURING THE NIGHT, AS I DISCOVEREDWHEN HAVING TO GET UP TO GO FOR A WALK. I WAS SHIVERING BY THE TIME I GOT BACK TOT HE TENT AND PUT MY COOKER ON LOW JUST TO HEAT THETENT UP A BITSO THAT I COULD FALL BACK ASLEEP PROPERLY.

ANYHOW, EVENTUALLY I HAD HAD ENOUGH SO I GOT UP AND GOT MY BREAKFAST. I HAVE HAD TO GET INTO THE HABIT OF EATING BREAKFAST STRAIGHT AWAY BECAUSE THE MEDS I AM ON AHVETO BE TAKEN WITH OR JUST AFTER EATING FOOD. I HAVE TRIED TAKING THEM WITHOUT AND IT CREATES A HORRIBLE NAUSEA WHICH DOES NOT GO AWAY QUICK ENOUGH FOR MY LIKING.

FIRST JOB WAS TO GET EVERYTHING SORTED OUT. WASH MY PLATE, TIDY THE AREA AND PUT THE TRASH INTO THE BAG AND MAKE SURE THE COOLBAG WAS DOING ITS JOB. I ALSO SPENT A LITTLE TIME REJIGING THE INSIDE OFTHE TENT SO THAT I HAD MORE ROOM. THIS WAS TO PROVE FORTUITOUSAS YOU WILL HEAR.

AFTER THAT IT WAS TO BOIL SOME MORE WATER FOR THE FLASKS AS IT SAVES TIME MAKING DRINKS IN THE LONG RUN AND I DO NOT AHVE THE TROUBLE OF FIRING UP THE COOKER EVERY TIME I WANT A DRINK. I AM NOT MUCH FOR COLD DRINKS, PREFERRING MY CUP OF DECAF COFFEE OR TEA. THEN IT WAS GET THE TACKLE I WANTED TO SUESORTED OUTAND ONCE AGAIN GET THE LINE WET.

DURING THE DAY I DISCOVERED THAT THIS WAS NOT THE CAMPING SITE I HAD ENVISAGED. I WANTED TO GET AWAY FROM EVERYTHING BUT ONCE AGAIN THE PLACE WAS LIKE A TOURIST TRAP. IGOT A MORNING VISIT FORM THE LAD FROM THE FISHERY AND HE INTRODUCED ME TO HIS DOG. HE DOES THE MORNING VISITS AND BRINGS THEDOG AS IT LOVES GOING IN THE BOAT, WHICH IS THE WAY THE ALDGETSAROUND THE WHOLE LOCH. THE AFTERNOON VISIT WAS DONE BY THE LAD'S FATHER, WHO WASTHE SENIOR GHILLY, (THE PERSON WHO MAINTAINS THE RULES OF THE LOCH AMONGST OTHER DUTIES). HE ASKED ME HOW I WAS GETTING ON AND, TO BE HONEST, IT WAS NOT GOING VERY WELL. HE SAID THAT HE WAS SURE HE HAD A SWIM FEEDER IN HIS TACKLE WHCIH HE DID NOT SUE ANY MORESO I COLD TRY THAT. HE WENT AWAY AND AN HOUR LATER HE WAS TRUE TO HIS WORD AND CAMEBACK WITH THE PIECE OF KIT; EXPLAINED HOW TO USE IT AND HOW TO TACKLE UP, AND THEN SAID THAT I COULD JUST HANG ON TO ITAS IT WAS ONLY GATHERING DUST IN HIS TACKLE. ANOTHER BIT OF KIT GAINED AND FOR NOTHING. FRIENDLY PEOPLE US FISHERMEN, LOL.

THE REST OF THE DAY PASSED BY TOO QUICKLYALTHOUGH I DID GET A VISIT FROM AN ELDERLY CHAP WHO ACTUALLY BELIED HIS AGE. APPARENTLY HE WAS BORN IN ENGLAND BUT HAD EMIGRATED TO AUSTRALIAWHEN HE WAS YOUNGER AND ITHOUGHT HEWASAN AUSSIETHROUGH AND THROUGH. HE WAS OBVIOUSLY COMFORTABLY OFF AS HE WAS TELLING ME THATEVERY AUSSIE WINTER, HE SETS FORTH ON HIS TRAVELS TO WARMER CLIMES, SUCH AS THE UK AND OTHER PARTS OF EUROPE, AND THEN GOES HOME IN TIME FOR THE AUSSIE SUMMER. HE RETIRED AT 55 AND HAS BEEN DOING THIS EVER SINCE. HE IS 70 NOW SO OBVIOUSLY DID WELL FOR HIMSELF AS I COULD NEVER AFFORD TO DO WHAT HE WAS DOING. THE ONLY OTHER VISITORS I HAVE TO MENTION WERE FROM THE USA, AND I MENTION THEM FOR THE WRONG REASONS. I'M AFRAID THEY DID NOT PRTRAY TEH USA IN A VERY GOOD LIGHT. THE DAD AND SON DECIDED TO PLAY AT SKIPPING STONES ACROSS THE WATER. THATW AS FINE UNTIL THE LAD WENT OFF BY HIMSELF AND STARTED TO THROW ROCKS INTO THE LOCH. ANY CHANCE OF FISH INSHORE WAS LONG GONE. NOT JUST THAT BUT HE DID NOT RESPECT MY SPACE AND HIS MUM HAD TO SHOUT HIM AWAY FROM THE FISHING ROD. UNFORTUNATELY, AMERICANS HAVE A REPUTATION FOR BEING BOLD, BRASH AND BRAZEN AND ALSO VERY LOUD. I'M AFRAID THIS FAMILY ONLY CEMENTED THAT PERCEPTION ON THE OTHER PEOPLEWHO WERE JUST THERE TO CHILL OUT. I KNOW THIS NOT TO BE THE CASE OVERALL HAVING WORKED WITH AND MADE FRIENDS WITH QUITE A FEW PEO-PLE FROM THE USA IN THE PAST, BUT SOMEONE WHO HAD NOT GOT MY EXPERIENCE WAS GOING TO THINK DIFFERENTLY. SUCH A SHAME. I AM AFRAID TO SAY THAT I WAS SO PLEASED WHEN THEY LEFT THE AREA AND I WAS NOT THE ONLY ONE! BECAUSE OF THE FACT THAT STONES AND STUFF HAD BEEN THROWN INTO THE LOCH THERE WAS NOT MUCH CHANCE OF ANYTHING COMING ANYWHERE NEAR THE AREA SO I REELED IN AND LEFT IT FOR A WHILE BEFORE RECASTING.

THE EVENING WENT PRETTY MUCH THE SAME AS THE PREVIOUS ONE. I HAD BROUGHT A BOOK TO READ AND ALSO A CROSSWORD PUZZLE BOOK TOCOMPLETE. I DID THE PUZZLEBOOK DURING THE DAY AND READ THE BOOK AT NIGHT. I AM NOW UP TO DATE WITH EVERYTHING DAN BROWN HAS EVER WRITTEN, LOL. THE ONE DIFFERENCE WEDNESDAY EVENING WAS THAT ANOTHER COUPLE OF BLOKES PITCHED A TENT JUST DOWN FROM ME AND THEY WERE REALLY NICE. IN FACT ONE OF THEM NOTICED THAT I DID NOT HAVE A CAR PARKEDAND CAME ACROSS TO MAKE SURE I WAS OK AND THAT I HAD ENOUGH WATER ETC. HE OFFERED TO GO TO THE CAFE IF NEEDS BE TO REPLENISH ME, BUT I WAS ABLE TO TELL HIM THANKS BUT IWAS ALRIGHT. WE CHATTED FOR A WHILE AND I TOLD HIM THAT, APART FROM TIDDLERS, THERE WAS NOTHING DOING TROUT WISE, EVEN ON THE BOATS. I DID MENTION THAT PIKE WERE BEING CAUGHT AND H SAID HE WOULD TRY THAT AS HE HAD HIS PIKE TACKLE WITH HIM. WE WISHED EACH OTHER TIGHT LINES AND THEN I WAS LEFT ALONE. AS I SAID, THE FISHING COMMUNITY IOS JUST SO FRIENDLY AND WILL HELP ANYONE WITHOUT THINKING. SUCH A NICE GROUP OF PEOPLE TO BE WITH, AT LEAST FOR THE MOST PART.

THURSDAY MORNING WAS NOT GOOD. THE ONE PIECE OF EQUIPMENT I HAVE YET TO BUY IS A FISHING UMBRELLA, AND SO I ONLY HADA SMALL COLLAPSIBLE ONE. YOU'VE GUESSED IT, WE HAD RAIN. THER WAS NO WAY I WAS GOING TO GET WET AND SINCE I WOULD NOT HAVE A FULL DAY ANYWAY, I DECIDED NOT TO BOTHER WITH THE FISHING. I HAD NOT HAD MUCH JOY ANYHOW AND APART FOR A COUPLE OF SMALL ONES WHICH I AHD TO PUT BACK IT WAS A BUST, (NOT THAT IW AS CARING, OF COURSE).

THIS IS WHERE THE EXTRA ROOM I HAD CREATED CAME IN HANDY. I PULLED THE CHAIR INSIDE AND COULD SIT AND GET STUFF OUT AWAYWHILST I RODE OUT THE WEATHER. I HAD SOME COLD MEAT ROLLS FOR BREAKFAST, MEAT WHICH I HAD COOKED ON A DISPOPSABLE BBQ THE NIGHT BEFORE AFTER I HAD USED IT TO COOK MY SUPPER. (I MAY BE 'ROUGHING' IT BUT I SO NOT SKIMP ON FEEDING MYSELF, LOL)

FORTUNATELY, THE RAIN ABATED IN TIME FOR THE TENT TO DRY OUT BEFORE PACKING. THE SUN CAME OUT AGAIN AND ALL WAS WELL. I PHONED MARY TO SEE IF SHE WOULD COLLECT ME EARLY AND THIS SHE DID. I SUGGESTED GOING TO THE CAFE FOR LUNCH, BUT THAT WAS A NON STARTER AS MOSTLY THE MENU COMPRISED FISH WHICH IS A FOOD THAT TRISH WILL NOT EAT. INSTEAD WE DROVEAFEW MILES AND WENT TO A HARVESTERAND I TOLD OY ABOUT THAT IN MY POST YESTERDAY.
ALL IN ALL IT WAS A LOVELY TIME. OKAY, THE FISH WEEREN'T BITING AND THEREWERE TOO MANY VISITORS, BUT I DIDMEET SOME LOVELY PEOPLE ASA RESULT AND WILL BE GOING BACK AT SOME STAGE, ALBEIT ONTHE OTHER SIDE OF THE LOCH WHICH IS APPARENTLY A LOT QUIETER AND HAS GROUND THAT DOESN'T BEND TENT PEGS.

WHER ARE THE PHOTOS? (I HEAR YOU ASK). THERE ARE NOT MANY ASREALLY THE AREA IS SO ENCLOSED SO NOT MUCH TO TAKE. WHAT I DID WAS TO START OFF WHERE I WAS CAMPED AND GO FULL CIRCLE AROUND THE LOCH SO THAT YOU CAN HOPEFULLY GET A SENSE OF THE BEAUTY OF THE PLACE. PLEASE EBAR IN MIUND THAT YOU ARE NOT SEEING THE FULL EXTENT OF THE LOCH. IT IS NOT A STRAIGHT BODY OF WATER AND BESIDES, MY LENS DOES NOT EXTEND TO THE FULL DISTANCE. NEXT TIME I WILL BE ABLE TO SHOW YOU MORE AS THERE IS A WHOLE DIFFERENT VISTA TO PLAY IN.
AND LASTLY, MY HOME FROM HOME

HOPE YOU ENJOYED MY LITTLE JAUNT. 'BYE FOR NOW.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post:
CAROLIAN 7/21/2013 1:32AM

    I love it in that area but Ian doesn't like camping and he wont let me go on my own I was going to ask JJ to come with me sometime but don't know if sharing a tent would be appropriate him being of the male persuasion I t wouldn't bother me he is the same age as my kids. Just other people talk..
So glad you had a good time I haven't been fishing for about 14 yr we have an estuary about a mile down from me and at the moment there is loads of mullet with the water being so low they are in the deep pools under the bridge Have a ghood summer HUGS to you and family xxx

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JOYCECAIN 7/10/2013 9:40AM

    Loved the blog. With you, I can see some much and learn tons. I am glad you have a nice trip. Your pictures are lovely. Thanks. Love Joyce

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-WISPY- 6/28/2013 9:07PM

    Mac this has had me enthralled since I started reading. You tell a great story and the photos are just home to me.

We too experienced an assortment of holiday folk. No USA though. Ours were mostly NZ's and Aussies, oh yes and Chinese. Some lovely, some not so good just as you experienced.

I am amazed that you can do as much as you can and so happy that over all it was an enjoyable time away.

emoticon

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SHERRY666 6/22/2013 3:14PM

    I THINK YOUR LITTLE CAMPING AREA IS GREAT....... IT LOOKS SO QUIET AND PEACEFUL.... BUT I GUESS NOT WITH ALL THE VISITORS...... BUT EVEN SO IT'S NICE TO MEET PEOPLE AND HEAR THEIR FISHING STORIES...... I'M HAPPY YOU TOOK A PICTURE OF THE TENT.... I WAS WONDERING HOW BIG IT WAS.... BUT YOU HAD EVERYTHING YOU NEEDED AND MADE IT COMFORTABLE ENOUGH TO ENJOY.......... THANKS FOR SHARING YOUR FISHING TRIP WITH US MAC........ I'M GLAD THAT YOUR FIRST TIME BEING ALONE TURNED OUT SO WELL......

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CONTENTCHRIS 6/22/2013 12:07PM

    emoticon for sharing this experience. I will say this you do not sugar coat things and that is refreshing. I am always the one to grab a poor spot that looks amazing until I am set up. Cudos for your effort and finding joy in even a bit of a pickle at times. I enjoy nature for a few hours here and there but not like I used to when I was younger, Nice blog my friend!

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ARTJAC 6/22/2013 2:38AM

    emoticon emoticon

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DEE107 6/22/2013 12:44AM

    thanks Mac for sharing this

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ANJAYS-JOURNEY 6/21/2013 5:52PM

    I love Loch Venachar, it is so very beautiful and the lake is great for cooling of in on a real hot day!! Great to hear you had fun

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