As you will see from Robbies report some sweltering weather has kept the algal bloom going longer than we would have liked, but despite this, the wind has generally assisted by gathering it up and moving it to one corner of the loch or another. With judicious use of lines and flies fish have been located throughout the loch and for most people, the introduction of a number of brownies has provided a welcome addition to the catching possibilities and the variety of sport on offer. Just yesterday James and Joy Gardiner, along with a good number of rainbows reported landing in excess of 16 brownies with the best at around three quarters to a pound in weight. Their evening session ended in a near flat calm with fish showing all over the place but still fussy about what they will and will not take.
We also had the stormy weather this last week that affected many parts of the UK (see photos) and the two boats that had been out earlier in the day soon came in when thunder was heard to rumble in the distance. Like most fisheries, it is in our regulations that fishing stops if there is stormy weather around as it is not worth the risk of being struck by lightening and we ask all boats to come in until the storms passes. Gareth took the picture of Eyemouth high street in the gallery below on weds afternoon after flash floods meant the high street was closed and the sand bags were out.
We have also been busy with the weed cutting having seen weed surfacing in the narrows and towards Rainbow Point. However despite motoring up and down for almost two hours Ewan Whitelaw and myself could barely muster enough to fill a decent wheel barrow. Yes it’s there and yes it looks like a decent mass of weed but the reality is that it looks a lot fuller in the water and when cut amounts to very little. We will of course keep our eye on it and if possible try to cut whenever we feel it is necessary. The weed though, provides valuable oxygenation to the loch and harbours many forms of aquatic life, important for the eco-system. The trick is to take enough to enable the fishing but no too much that upsets the balance of the loch.
A couple of weeks ago I was sure that the caenis flies had finished for the season but I was wrong. Just last night we saw yet another large hatch and once again the loch was full of surface feeding fish transfixed on the fisherman’s curse. Conversely there have been very few daddies so far this year but it is still early in the season and with luck we should get something of a hatch in the not too distant future.
So in general the fishing is tough going which is par for the course in mid-July but with the prospect of cooler nights not that far away we remain hopeful that there will be an up-lift in average returns. Some people have managed to hit it right and here is a list of who did what over the last two weeks:
- Dave Turpey had 6 rainbows on a short session using daddy
- Ken Wood landed 8 to the boat, 6 rainbows, 2 browns with one of the browns estimated at 2lbs plus
- Colin McIsaac fishing from the boat had a superb day with a total of 21 fish which equated to 15 rainbows and 6 browns using a selection of elks hair caddis, grey sedge and black and green snatcher
- Bob Cockburn had 10 to the boat – 8 rainbows and 2 browns using dries and on his next outing Bob had a further 8 fish, 3 rainbows and 5 browns on a shortened session and he reported it as hard going
- Mr & Mrs Todd had 7 to the boat caught on black muddler, bibio and dunkeld
- Rob Woolston staying at Lochside had a total of 13 rainbows using various dries
- Joe Brock aged 4 and half, fishing with his Grandad Steve (see photos) had his first ever trout – a cracker of about 3 and quarter lbs
- John McGregor had 7 rainbows and reported having a cracking night an his total should have been double
- Darryl Young reported another good day with 7 rainbows and 4 browns, most coming to a dunkeld
- John Renton fishing the bank on a short evening session from the bank had a total of 8 rainbows and 1 brown using nymphs and buzzers
- Ronnie Hunter fished a brilliant 4 hour evening session and managed 13 rainbows to an orange FAB. Most fish were caught in Swing Gate Bay
- J Wright had 2 rainbows and 5 browns using greenwell glory and black pennel
- John McGee fishing with his good friend Chick, had 2 cracking days when they were here as holiday guests. On day one John had 20 rainbows and 2 blues, and Chick had 15 rainbows and on their second day John had 20 rainbows, 1 blue, and 2 browns and Chick had 23 rainbows and 5 browns. They reported having had their best day at Coldingham
- R Woods fishing from the bank, had 2 rainbows and 6 browns and his bank partner John Donaldson had a cracking afternoon following a quiet morning with 8 rainbows and 20 browns using a variety of black wets and orange FAB
- Ben Robertson and his boat partner fishing today had 6 rainbows and 9 browns and again reported it being ‘good sport and hard going’
In fact the hottest day of the year.
So a bit of trepidation.
Ronnie Watters was my client for the day and to be honest I was a bit worried that we might not even get a take.
Still, I think I had managed his expectations as best I could and the warm sunshine and a gentle breeze made conditions good for learning the theory at least.
I arrived early to set up the boat and was further dismayed by the thick algae.
“It is not so bad further out” said Carmel.
All these Fishery Owners will say that was my first unkind thought. Apologies! J
Ronnie duly arrived and I went through the usual procedure of the Basic Entomology which leads on to the artificial flies and then the equipment to deliver them. A short safety briefing, the donning of Lifejackets and with Hats and Glasses already in place, off we go.
The algae was no near as bad out in the middle but with a blazing Sun confidence was only marginally lifted.
I cast the first line out to do a demonstration of the retrieve and a small brownie not much bigger than the fly latched on. A quick pass of the rod gave Ronnie at least an inkling of how to play a fish.
The same thing happened next cast and then that was it.
For a while at least.
My boat seat fly patch was filling up and despite moving around and changing lines and retrieves nothing was happening.”
No follows, swirls or takes. Zilch!
As lunchtime approached I said “Let’s try a Di3 medium sinker” more in hope than expectation.
First cast, a countdown of about 20 and some long slow pulls and everything went solid.
For a complete novice Ronnie played the fish really well. Perhaps those obliging Brownies had provided some basic practice.
His First rainbow and it is over 3 pounds!
Lunch was then a bit more relaxed that I thought it would be!
During our break the wind had changed slightly so instead of coming out of Boat Shed Bay it was coming out of Swing Gate Bay. It had probably only shifted a couple of degrees but that is often enough to swing it from one side of the hill to the other.
With wind where it was now I decided to go down to Swing Gate to find it much clearer than anywhere else. A good move I was hoping.
I set Ronnie up with a Di 5 fast sinking line. This is often a percentage bet as your flies should go down through the fish at the start of the retrieve and back up through them at the end of it.
Well with another 5 fish netted, three lost in play and a few more pulls I certainly had a Happy Chappie at the other end of the boat.
Hottest Day of the year………………….. Pie Meat!
Touch Wood! Touch Wood! Touch Wood! J
- Cramlington Renegades fished yesterday, reporting it as ‘hard but good’ and all I can say is best rod on the day was A Calvin with 6 rainbows
- A reminder that we are raffling a Greys GRS700 reel (kindly donated by Game Fair of Berwick) for the St. Abbs Independent Lifeboat fund. We have also been given a fishing cap Ronnie Hunter donated that he brought back from one of his fishing trips. Tickets are on sale at reception for £1 each and the reel is worth approximately £100. Tickets will be drawn at the end of September.
The next two weeks sees the following clubs visiting the loch:
- West Lothian Fly Dressers AC