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Hoddom - The Return

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Location: Carrickfergus, County Antrim

PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2018 5:47 pm    Post subject: Hoddom - The Return Reply with quote

Some of us will remember the Scottish Social from about 6 years ago when a few of us met up in the grounds of Hoddom Castle to fish for sea trout on the river Annan. A truly memorable trip for the fun and the food. Friendships made that will last forever, square sausage and venison burgers. Boiled haggis and tatties. And of course a glorious victory in the pub quiz. The fishing unfortunately was not so memorable and what should have been perfect summer weather became a complete wash out. There was however so much more to that venture.

I finally got to return to the Annan last week in search of grayling. Grayling are a species not found in Ireland and having now been able to tick the barbel, chub, dace and even bleak boxes, it was finally time to score grayling off the bucket list. Four of us travelled on the morning ferry and made the river not long after lunch time. The castle grounds are closed up for the winter so we stayed in a b&b nearby. We did though park every morning at Hoddom bridge and made our way upstream or downstream from the little gate house that was so familiar from the last trip. We stayed for 2 nights and enjoyed 3 days fishing before returning home on a late ferry.

Fishing was excellent. The river was in perfect condition and the November weather was more than gentle. The many wooded areas along the river bank were breathtaking in their autumn colours. We caught huge numbers of small grayling on trotted maggots and a few larger specimens up to an estimated 2lbs. I spent as much time walking as I did fishing and made a point of walking back up to the castle and along the stretch where Chris, Rich and I made a rain sodden effort on our first evening last time.

It was really nice to visit the place again and I have to be honest and say that it rekindled a lot of very happy memories. Plans are already in hand for a return visit next year.

I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2018 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice one Michael.

Did you Photoshop the fleeting blue sky and the glimmer of sunshine?

Many moons ago I camped there and it was so hot that a few German lads, me and my son had to take to the river to cool off. Any time since then, it has been absolutely hosing down.

Glad you lot had a great time.


A good number of years ago, I was fishing there with my son and the old man. I was waddling up river from the bridge and came upon this guy who had hooked and was in the process of bringing a spanking fresh grilse to the bank. I was wearing a long waterproof jacket and deerstalker at the time, and remarked that it was a cracker. He told me that he only had a ticket for trout so I suggested that the right thing to do would be to return it. The old man and son were coming behind me and were admiring the condition of said fish and the guy said 'Aye, but the bailiff saw me with it and only had a trout permit'.
So, faither said 'What bailiff?'.
'That one up there'.
'That's my son you daft bugger'.
The last we know, the grilse was being treated to a half brick in the back of its head and seconds later, the dude was legging it over the fields towards the car.
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