Small trout fisheries are not my typical venue of choice. On a holiday though, they are an ideal way to ‘scratch’ that fishing ‘itch,’ which inevitably infects me at some stage during my vacation. They require minimal gear to be packed in the car and you know for certain that you have fish in front of you and, on this particular venue, trout of a good average size too. The Kingennie fishery is located on the outskirts of Dundee and is situated within a stunning country park, which boasts its own golf course and many top notch timber holiday chalets. The fishery itself comprises of three manmade pools, all of which I have fished in previous visits. My favourite is the Boathouse pool, so called as the old boathouse overlooks the water. This magnificent stone built property has been converted into a holiday accommodation and has had a timber balcony and veranda added; the latter built over the pool itself. I can imagine that providing the midges contain their aggression, it would be a thoroughly pleasant place to sit, relax, have a drink and admire the trout as they cruise majestically beneath. Having enjoyed a leisurely holiday start to the day, I arrived at the fishing lodge at 10.30 a.m. to be told that there were already two others fishing the pool I wanted to fish. The Boathouse pool is a small water - at a guess, no more than 1½ acres in size, but there should be ample room for all of us. Apparently one of the anglers had taken a 5lb rainbow earlier in the morning. Tactics wise, I was advised at the lodge that the top end of the pool is the place to be and the favoured methods was stripping lures on an intermediate line. As I approached the waters edge, this was evidenced by the collection of lures, suspended in a rather ugly and ungainly manner, from a tree overhead. Just as had been suggested, the two resident anglers were positioned on two of the casting platforms at the top end of the pool. I was pleased to see the water was gin clear, which would suit the alternative method I had in mind. Wearing polarized glasses and keeping back from the waters edge, one or two trout could be observed and providing I kept still, they would happily swim very close to the bank. You can see the fish top right in the photo taken without a polarised lense. The two anglers were covering the bulk of the top end of the pool, where a feeder stream entered. One was stripping his fly in at quite a pace; the other taking things more slowly with a figure of eight retrieve. Over the next hour or so, the ‘stripping’ angler didn’t touch anything, other than the tree behind him, whilst his pal obviously missed one take, judging by his momentary outburst. With the water having ‘rested’ overnight, I was not surprised that a 5lb trout had been taken early doors by one of these anglers, but being such a small water, I was pretty certain that the other trout would wise up quickly and become increasingly cautious as the day went on. I’d fished this water 12 months earlier under similar conditions and finally secured some success using a tiny buzzer suspended 2’ under a buoyant sedge pattern. The trouble was that on a ruffled surface, the sedge dragged round, became waterlogged and eventually sunk. What I needed was a better indicator, but one that was not too large. In readiness for this years trip to the venue, I’d put some thought into how best to crack the water and purchased some floating jigheads from AGM tackle and by cutting the hook from them, this gave me what I hoped to be the perfect sized indicator, capable of supporting a couple of tiny flies. I had tackled up my 10’ Sharpes of Aberdeen fly rod (#7 weight) with an extra long Seagaur fluorocarbon leader. This was tied in three 7’ sections tapering from 15lb at the fly line to 5.5lb at the point. This would be fine enough for the small flies, but strong enough for the larger than average rainbows. I fished a size 18 red buzzer on a dropper approximately 18” beneath my indicator, with a similar sized home tied copper wired buzzer 18” below that. These flies would hopefully cover the typical cruising depth of the trout. What I wanted was a subtle presentation of small flies presented static, but right at the trout’s eye level. Hopefully, all the fish would need to do would be to detour its course slightly and engulf! There was a fair breeze blowing, and in order to keep the flies static, I needed to keep as much of my floating fly line off the water as possible, but at short range this was achievable. The fluorocarbon sank subsurface and this kept the flies all but static, despite the ruffled surface. A few trout passed close by, but they appeared agitated, no doubt due to having fly lines landing over them or big gaudy lures stripped past them for most of the morning. One trout did make a mistake however, but it was only a small fish of just over 1 lb. which was slipped back, but it was sufficient to encourage me to persist with my method. At 1 p.m. the other two anglers left the pool – presumably their time limit had been met. I put my rod down and took the opportunity to slowly walk round the pool, to see if there were trout showing themselves elsewhere. The bottom of the pool appeared all but empty of fish, which I found strange, as the wind was blowing from top to bottom and I’d have expected the fish to be feeding on the insects blown down there. The trout were very much in evidence in the top half of the pool, perhaps due to the influence of the feeder stream and its cooler water. Creeping round the margins, it was interesting to see that the fish were not scared of the casting platforms themselves. Obviously it was only when they could see anglers standing out like a sore thumb on them, that they gave a wide berth. Over the next hour, it was fascinating to observe the trout’s behaviour. Without the sight and constant vibration of the anglers on the casting platform and without being constantly cast at, the fish were definitely settling. Their movement slowed and instead of scooting past all swimming in the same circular direction, their pace had markedly settled and the trout no longer swam in small agitated shoals. Now and again, you could see the flash of a flank as a relaxed trout flicked something off the bottom to eat. By 2.30 p.m. the trout were cruising comfortably and close enough to the bank for my close range static buzzer method. Keeping well back from the edge and casting to a group of fish, it took less than 5 minutes before I had a confident take. It was a heavy plodding fight – the sort where you begin to get a bit bored after ten minutes and can be tempted to bully the fish in. Mentally, I reminded myself that the 0.165mm leader was not infallible and so I exercised greater patience eventually netting a cracking plump rainbow of around 6lbs. As I had kept pretty much out of sight throughout and the fish hadn’t splashed on the surface, the other visible trout didn’t appear to be unduly disturbed. By 3.30pm I had added two more fish to the tally, completing my three fish limit. The last two trout were real athletes and led me a fast and merry dance around the pool, but generously avoided doing a lap around the island opposite the boathouse, which would have been disastrous. Back at the fishing lodge the three trout were weighed in at a total weight of 12lb 12oz. The guys at the lodge were fascinated to see the tiny buzzers that I’d caught them on – amazingly, they said they are not tactics they see in use very often! Why??? The observation of the trout in the clear water and their changing behaviour very much made the day’s experience for me. Plus, the contrast from my heavy shark tackle made an amusing change. It’s not the sort of venue I’d want to fish that regularly, as it’s all rather artificial, but it is very good place for scratching a holiday itch!!