As the trout season kicks off and the water temperatures start to rise, large stillwater boat venues are starting to come to life again. Let’s hope the weather is kind to us this year and we have yet another amazing trout season.

Marco Ezzi tying

After fishing for six years or so, I couldn’t go a week without fishing now. It’s one of the best things I have ever done and it’s so addictive!

Five years ago I took a step up and decided to compete at International level and this year I will be fishing in my 5th and final youth international. I currently have three gold medals and a silver medal. Fishing at an international level is exciting and I recommend it to any young angler out there. You meet some of the nicest people and make friends for life.

A recent trip to the Lake of Menteith, the day after opening day saw a great day of fishing but it was a challenge and that’s what I like about fishing, that’s what makes me go back. The weather was ideal for fishing, a bit bright, but for this time of year it was great considering there was snow on opening day.

After being stuck indoors tying flies, filling up the boxes again and fishing small waters, it was brilliant to be back out on a boat again. Nothing beats fishing from a drifting boat or fishing a loch from the bank.

rainbow trout

After a very slow start to the day, we found some fish but not a lot. Fish were coming to boobies mostly on an Airflo DI3 – a great line.

It is key to find the correct depth to fish because that plays a big part in any type of fishing. Most fish were taken right at the 10-foot hang marker; a very important part of the cast as fish will follow your flies right up to the side of the boat.


The best retrieve was a steady figure of eight but as the wind had picked up by this time it was hard to keep a steady figure of eight so I was forced to pull to keep up with the boat.

Areas are also a key part. If you have fished a venue for a while you will get to know where to locate fish at certain times of the year. If you’re new to a fishery then I strongly recommend asking the fishery manager or anyone who has fished there before.

At the Lake of Menteith most fish were caught in the east basin just out from Kate’s brae. It seemed to be holding numerous fish and is known to be a hot spot. I knew this area had fish in it as friends of mine had fished this area on opening day and the number of boats within the area made it easy to figure out that there were fish being caught there.

It was late on in the day before we had a shot at these fish but we were rewarded with quality hard fighting fish.


My preferred leader material is Airflo G3 7lb fluorocarbon which is supple. I use this for everything from fishing dries to pulling on sinking lines. If you’re not too hard when playing fish, this is great stuff to use. If this fluorocarbon is snapping when in use, step it up to 8lb or even go up to 10lb. If I can’t get this fluorocarbon, I like to use 6lb Fulling Mill fluorocarbon for fishing dries and 7lb Fulling Mill for fishing other methods. It is a lot stiffer than Airflo G3 but it’s strong.

Airflo G3

I am currently using a Wychwood RS 7wt which, in my opinion, is a great rod. I use this for fishing everything from dries to pulling. I also carry a lighter rod as its lots of fun to fish with when fishing dries, plus you get that lighter presentation for when the fish are easily spooked. The reel I use now is a Greys GX700. This is a fantastic reel but it was discontinued a few years ago. As I fish in many competitions, I have a lot of lines and I need a reliable reel.


At the lake, I fished my standard 16-18 foot 3 fly cast with a pseudo booby on the top dropper, a red holographic cormorant in the middle and a candy man booby on the point of the cast. Even though the cormorant wasn’t catching any fish, I kept it on as it’s an excellent fly all year round.

Fly Patterns

This is what I use to tie these patterns:

Candy Man

I always use this fly in a size 10. I have never needed to go down to a 12 and I am confident with the size 10.

  • Size 10 Fulling Mill heavyweight champ
  • Chartreuse uni thread 6/0
  • Flybox sunburst marabou for the tail
  • Opal mirage for the body
  • Flybox white marabou for the wing
  • Veniard yellow foam for the eyes

Candy Man

Red Holographic Cormorant

This is an ideal fly to use in a size 10 and 12 and will catch fish anywhere. I like to change these flies up by adding different cheeks with jungle cock or goose biots. You can also change it up by adding flash to the wing.

  • Size 12 Fulling Mill heavyweight champ
  • Medium red holographic for the body
  • Flybox black marabou for the wing
  • Jungle cock for the cheeks

Red Holographic Cormorant

Chartreuse Pseudo Booby

This fly was a killer on the hang and I often use it when fishing the washing line method.

  • Kamasan B175 size 10
  • Chartreuse uni thread 6/0
  • Flybox or Veniard white marabou for the tail
  • Chartreuse pseudo hackle for the body
  • White marabou wing
  • Yellow Veniard foam for the eyes

Chartreuse Pseudo Booby

These flies are perfect during the earlier months of the season. In fact, they can be used at any time of the year, in any fishery. Hopefully, in a couple of weeks, the fish will switch on to buzzers because this is a fantastic way to fish and the takes are awesome.

The areas on the Lake of Menteith that I would be looking to fish in the next couple of weeks would be lochend, the butts and the east basin. These areas always hold fish at this time of the year. As the months progress through to June and July I will be looking to fish areas such as the heronry, roman bay, gateside and the rookery. By this time the fish should have switched on to dries but if the summer is hot like last year, be prepared to go deep for fish and that goes for anywhere.

Last year, through the hot weather, I fished the Black Loch mostly and it was a lot of fun. The Black Loch isn’t a very deep loch, 24ft-26ft at its deepest and it fished amazingly.

With a very slow retrieve with an Airflo DI3 or DI5 line fishing, 2 boobies and a buzzer, you can’t go wrong. As the day progresses into the evening, the fish will start to rise up higher in the water as the water cools.

Tight lines and have a great season!