My brother and I were looking forward to fishing Harvieston as the weather forecast was good (cloudy, light breeze and a chance of some drizzle). We set out in overcast conditions and arrived at the fishery in brilliant sunshine just as it was opening. After setting up and buying a four hour, three fish ticket for £18.00 we set out for the bottom corner, which was in shade. There were lots of fish rising and rolling and we thought we were in with a chance of catching our limit. I had a team of small nymphs on while Derek had his usual hot head damsel and a couple of nymphs on the droppers. After about twenty minutes I had a strong take and the rod bent for about ten seconds then it was off. That was all the action I or my brother had all morning and of the dozen or so anglers who were fishing, no one else got as much as a nibble. The only fish “caught” was by a young boy who noticed a Brown Trout, which must have leapt into the fishery’s rowing boat during the night and was swimming around in a large pool of water at the back of the boat, this was netted and safely returned to the loch. During our four hours we did a complete circuit of the loch and noticed that there is a massive amount of fry in the margins but nothing touched any lures used.
When we had finished my brother bought some duck and hen eggs from the bothy and I was given six hens eggs for free, at least we got something. We were just about to drive off when a young boy ran over with my brothers Orvis rod and reel, which he had left at the bothy. That alone made my day as it would have been so easy for him just to have taken it away with him.
I liked Harvieston Fishery, it’s small and a bit bowl like but the staff and fellow anglers were friendly and helpful. Casting can be difficult on the lower and far bank as it slopes steeply and there are a few bushes that can catch you out. Derek was caught out several times by the same bush, which can be seen behind him in the photo. It provided a bit of light relief to hear the flowery language he used when berating the plant.
A word of warning though, there are hens and ducks running around and one hen ran over my leader as I was setting up and got a bit tangled. Luckily it just stood and let me lift it until I got the nylon free.
If you google Alva and look about, there is an excellent image of the fishery before it was fully filled with water and you can easily see where the deep channels are.