Fraser on Fishing: I cashed in after raiding the bank at Swanswater

SWANSWATER in Stirling has got to be one of the best bank fisheries in Scotland.

Apart from quality rainbow trout, the introduction of muscle-packed brown trout has begun and they are being trickle-stocked.

On a recent visit I watched Alasdair, the owner, stocking the main pond with some big beasties. I was only passing through on a flying visit but after watching some of the fish go in I was drawn hook, line and sinker into having a cast. It was cold and blustery and, not surprisingly, several anglers were calling it a day. However, as luck would have it, I managed to get a prime spot next to the dam wall. Although it was good for fishing it was difficult casting into the teeth of the wind.

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Putting on a gold-headed Black Dancer meant I had a bit of weight to punch the line out with. After half an hour I was wondering if I had made a mistake venturing out into the cold with freezing water flowing through my hands. However, my efforts were to be rewarded with an arm-wrenching pull. This felt like a good fish as I struggled to hold it back from making its way out into the main basin. It felt like ages till I caught a glimpse of the 4lb+ rainbow as it surfaced and dived again. Eventually it tired and just as well as my arm was aching with the strain.