New world record Brown ? 46.9lb

Cap'n Fishy

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No google, off the top of me noggin.
Ferox in Ennerdale, Wastwater, Windermere and Crummock and Thirlmere.

Used to fish Crummock a bit in my youth. Funnily enough we used to catch minnows by the boats to troll for trout, failing that we used spinners. Caught a few char on the spinners but no ferox. Not surprising really as Ron Greer states in his book that they only caught one ferox on small spinners; really need to use a lure that is bigger than 3 inches in his opinion.

Ask Mark Hirst how many ferox he has caught on intermediate line and size 8 and 10 traditional wet flies. You will be staggered by the response. He doesn't fish anything else for them.

Our best effort was 10 of us for a week on Lochy and Arkaig and Shiel (and I accept the Shiel fish are not ferox, but big browns), under Mark's guidance, caught 8 fish over 6 lb. Total weight of those eight fish was 80 lb, best at 16 lb 12 oz (from Lochy).

Matt Eastham and his mate went up for 3 days with Mark and fished traditional wet fly on Lochy and Arkaig and had one at 12 lb and one at 15 lb.

This is Matt with his fish...



The main diet of the ferox is char, but they are opportunists. We were on Arkaig one day and the trout were rising to a fall of coch-y-bonddu beetles. My boat partner caught a ferox of 11 lb 12 oz on a Silver Invicta. And it was coughing up coch-y-bonddus in the net...



Imagine hooking that on a size 16 dry fly!

Reading those papers on ferox, yes, they will dive to 30 m in pursuit of char, but they spend a lot of their time in water between 15 and 25 feet deep (which is the sort of depth Mark targets), and they hold station not that far down. The water being gin clear, they will come up and take a Kate muddler or Mark's favourite Stone Goat... if you are in the right place at the right time.

Col
 

codyarrow

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Ask Mark Hirst how many ferox he has caught on intermediate line and size 8 and 10 traditional wet flies. You will be staggered by the response. He doesn't fish anything else for them.

Col

I nearly added an 'although Ron Greer's book was written a while back' but decided against it. :) and to be fair he was referring specifically to the trolling of artificial lures for ferox, and my reference was also around spinning for trout that also contain ferox.
A small slow moving fly may meet the energy exerted/potential gain criteria for a ferox, a small 1/0 mepps moving at speed may not be worth the effort?
 

Cap'n Fishy

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I nearly added an 'although Ron Greer's book was written a while back' but decided against it. :) and to be fair he was referring specifically to the trolling of artificial lures for ferox, and my reference was also around spinning for trout that also contain ferox.
A small slow moving fly may meet the energy exerted/potential gain criteria for a ferox, a small 1/0 mepps moving at speed may not be worth the effort?

Ha-ha - I nearly added that the big difference is probably down to whether you are trolling for them when they are in char-hunting mode, as Ron Greer is doing, or prospecting for brownies with the chance of a ferox when they are basically just chilling... which is what we are doing.

Col
 

coire

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When it comes to catching large trout on standard size wet flies, are Lochy and Arkaig not more of an exception than the rule? On most other lochs with ferox, even when fished regularly with standard wet flies, catching ferox by that method seems pretty rare compared to the frequency of such catches on Lochy and Arkaig.
 

Cap'n Fishy

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When it comes to catching large trout on standard size wet flies, are Lochy and Arkaig not more of an exception than the rule? On most other lochs with ferox, even when fished regularly with standard wet flies, catching ferox by that method seems pretty rare compared to the frequency of such catches on Lochy and Arkaig.

You may be right. I've fished Loch Shin often enough without a sniff of a ferox on wet fly - though time of year may be a factor - early and late seems to be best. Another factor is knowledge. Mark has been based on the shores of Lochy and Arkaig for over 25 years, so he knows where to look for them. That time we did the 10-man trip, we had 4 of our own boats trailered-up there, plus Mark's boat with him in it as a guide, so everyone took a turn at going out with Mark. Of the 8 big fish caught, 5 came to Mark's boat.

I don't know if it was even just a passing phase - something to do with their behaviour, perhaps - as I have not heard much about ferox coming off Arkaig and Lochy to the wet fly, the past 2 or 3 years. :unsure:

I wouldn't mind another go for them, just the same... 😜 (y)

Col
 

coire

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I don't know that part of the country very well so I'm not sure what the catches were like in the past. I do, however, bump into one of the locals from time to time who is a regular on them. When I first met him about 10 years ago I couldn't believe the size of trout he was catching with standard wets - his best then was about 17lb. When I last met him a year or so back he did mention it was a slow season.

It was Shin I was thinking about, given the number of fishers on it; Cam and Veyatie also when it comes to being relatively well fished by regular trout fishers with few ferox turning up in their catches. I seem to remember hearing about a big trout from one of them a few years back - from the bank but I think it was on a lure rather than a size 10.

I've never fished Lochy or Arkaig but hope to do so before too long - they certainly seem to be the places to go if you want to catch a seriously big trout on wet flies. Hope you get another cast there next season:)
 

codyarrow

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I've never fished Lochy or Arkaig but hope to do so before too long - they certainly seem to be the places to go if you want to catch a seriously big trout on wet flies. Hope you get another cast there next season:)

Here is my theory of why this is (based on no real evidence :giggle: ). In Rannoch the density of ferox estimated between 70 - 100 individuals, the relationship between prey and predator balance. In Lochy and Arkaig this balance has changed with the super fat char so there are far more ferox, or large trout available per acre. More importantly. he guessed, is the abundance of food makes the fish far more willing to tolerate one anothers territory, and a higher density of ferox are found where the char are found. There was a piece of footage about polar bears coming together to feed on a whale carcass. Normally they can not tolerate each other, but the massive food source put these feelings aside. I guess this is what is happening with the ferox, and fishing in these areas gives you a reasonable chance of a hook up, where as in Rannoch you would be lucky to even cover one fish with a fly because of the territory each individual ferox has?
 

Cap'n Fishy

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Here is my theory of why this is (based on no real evidence :giggle: ). In Rannoch the density of ferox estimated between 70 - 100 individuals, the relationship between prey and predator balance. In Lochy and Arkaig this balance has changed with the super fat char so there are far more ferox, or large trout available per acre. More importantly. he guessed, is the abundance of food makes the fish far more willing to tolerate one anothers territory, and a higher density of ferox are found where the char are found. There was a piece of footage about polar bears coming together to feed on a whale carcass. Normally they can not tolerate each other, but the massive food source put these feelings aside. I guess this is what is happening with the ferox, and fishing in these areas gives you a reasonable chance of a hook up, where as in Rannoch you would be lucky to even cover one fish with a fly because of the territory each individual ferox has?

There may well be higher numbers of ferox in Arkaig and Lochy than there is in Rannoch, and it could be connected with food supply. All the papers on ferox tend to class them as non-territorial, wandering nomadic fish, however. And the ferox we have had off Arkaig have been spaced miles apart from one another. Our wee group doesn't have much ferox data for Lochy, as the weather was forever spoiling things for fishing Lochy when we were there. Mark Hirst will know infinitely more about all this than me. I will try to remember to ask him next time we speak.

Col
 

easker1

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I know a guy who had an 11lb fish from Veyatie on a size 10 zulu from the Bank, we had lots of 1/2 -3/4lbers the last time I was there best fish coming from Mhadail some over the lb. easker1
 

Cap'n Fishy

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I know a guy who had an 11lb fish from Veyatie on a size 10 zulu from the Bank, we had lots of 1/2 -3/4lbers the last time I was there best fish coming from Mhadail some over the lb. easker1

I've only fished Veyatie once. I knew it was known to produce ferox, but we didn't have a sniff of anything over 12 oz on our day. We had no info on where we should be trying though...



Cam also - which I thought was a cracking loch - pity we got both in a cloudless sky and cold easterly! :(



Also fished Borrolan, which gave us great sport. It doesn't look like a ferox loch, what with the Alt Motel on its shore, with attendant tourists and spinning rods...



... but apparently it produces them. A guy who was due to fish Shin but was prevented from going out by high winds, came down to fish Borrolan and had an 8 pounder on the fly. Again, our best would have been about 12 ounces. That was the day someone set fire to Suilven...



Later that day...



Col
 

Cap'n Fishy

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Here is my theory of why this is (based on no real evidence :giggle: ). In Rannoch the density of ferox estimated between 70 - 100 individuals, the relationship between prey and predator balance. In Lochy and Arkaig this balance has changed with the super fat char so there are far more ferox, or large trout available per acre. More importantly. he guessed, is the abundance of food makes the fish far more willing to tolerate one anothers territory, and a higher density of ferox are found where the char are found. There was a piece of footage about polar bears coming together to feed on a whale carcass. Normally they can not tolerate each other, but the massive food source put these feelings aside. I guess this is what is happening with the ferox, and fishing in these areas gives you a reasonable chance of a hook up, where as in Rannoch you would be lucky to even cover one fish with a fly because of the territory each individual ferox has?

Do you not get ferox being caught in Loch Calder? It's big enough and deep enough and has (or at least had in the 1980s) a good head of char in it...



I would think that drop-off down the east shore would be a good haunt for them?

Col
 

easker1

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Borrolan has a decent char in it, My pal is a calder Junky when he's up that way, but seems to get 3/4lb and 1lb fish , easker1
 

Cap'n Fishy

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Borrolan has a decent char in it, My pal is a calder Junky when he's up that way, but seems to get 3/4lb and 1lb fish , easker1

Aye, it's a bit unusual for a loch with the 'char & ferox' combination, given it has no great depth to it, eh?



The trout aren't big, but they are bonnie fish...





That one has a bit of the 'blue patches on yellow belly' we associate with the Loch of Swannay fish on Orkney.

Col
 

codyarrow

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Do you not get ferox being caught in Loch Calder? It's big enough and deep enough and has (or at least had in the 1980s) a good head of char in it...



I would think that drop-off down the east shore would be a good haunt for them?

Col

A few in the 4lb to 6lb class are caught by trad wet fishing. I know a slightly larger fish came to a worm. Not huge numbers though, sometimes none in a season. The 2lbers could be ferox?

You can add about 20 feet to those depths from the survey and some extra fishable water. Used as a water supply for Caithness now.
 

easker1

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Never fished calder but had a couple of days at Olligeny, some Great hatches of Green Drakes and an Osprey kept us entertained one after noon, must have been a young one as it wasn't that successful. eleven goes before it hit a fish, a great afternoon we had fish as well, easker1
 

Cap'n Fishy

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A few in the 4lb to 6lb class are caught by trad wet fishing. I know a slightly larger fish came to a worm. Not huge numbers though, sometimes none in a season. The 2lbers could be ferox?

You can add about 20 feet to those depths from the survey and some extra fishable water. Used as a water supply for Caithness now.

Ha-ha - yes, I realised after posting it it was missing the big bays at the south end and I remembered the water level had been raised. So, if anything, it is even more suitable for char and ferox these days. Do you know if those 4-6 lb class fish are reckoned to be ferox? Ever been sent for analysis?

Col
 

Cap'n Fishy

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Never fished calder but had a couple of days at Olligeny, some Great hatches of Green Drakes and an Osprey kept us entertained one after noon, must have been a young one as it wasn't that successful. eleven goes before it hit a fish, a great afternoon we had fish as well, easker1

I fished Calder one year at the beginning of August and encountered a cracking hatch of mayfly!

Col
 

codyarrow

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Never fished calder but had a couple of days at Olligeny, some Great hatches of Green Drakes and an Osprey kept us entertained one after noon, must have been a young one as it wasn't that successful. eleven goes before it hit a fish, a great afternoon we had fish as well, easker1

If you do come and fish it make sure the tides in. March, April, May are ok for launching off the boat jetty. Last fished it this August on my own, water level down a few feet, needed to use a bit of 3x2 I had in the van as a lever under the boat to get it moved the 20 yds to get a float. Totally knacked by the time I pulled the engine cord. :)
No idea if the fish have been sent for lab test in Calder. Always believed they were ferox as that is what is stated. Assume fish that get to that size with water of that PH have to be?

Mayfly in Caithness means it may fly off in any month. Seen hatches in Sept.
 

Cap'n Fishy

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Always believed they were ferox as that is what is stated. Assume fish that get to that size with water of that PH have to be?

Yeh - for sure - I'd expect them to be ferox. Interesting they are only ever 4-6 lb class. Wonder why never a real big lump into double-figures?

Col
 
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