Hard fighting fish, generally good weather, and perfect water conditions have been the story of the last two weeks. With the odd exception fishing has been, for the most part, very good to outstanding from both bank and boat and there have been some notable catches in terms of numbers and weights ….. more about that later.
Perhaps the main feature of the last two weeks has been the abundance of insect life in and around the loch and with natural food being in plentiful supply, fly choice has been even more critical. Particularly interesting has been the large number of hawthorns flying this year which is a change from last year when very few were seen. In addition there have been very large hatches of bibionids and green fly which in turn has encouraged ladybirds, which feed mainly on the aphids, to populate the banks. Large numbers of olive duns are also seen flying around particularly early evening and when the wind dies down the loch has been a cauldron of rising fish, all eager to make the most of the latest delicacy on offer. The waxy Alder Fly is also making an early appearance as is the crane fly or daddy as we would more commonly call them and a fair number of fish have been tempted to a daddy or sedge pattern over the last few days. Below the water the fish are also gorging themselves on daphnia (water fleas) and the many different types of buzzers heading for the surface before hatching and flying. Needless to say that with all this going on and as we said earlier, fly choice is crucial and then need to chop and change throughout the day to meet the changing diet of the trout is essential. Get it right and you are in for a treat, get it wrong and it can be frustrating to say the least, particularly when stood or sat next to someone who seems to be doing exactly the same things that you are but who is getting all the action.
So who stands out over the last two weeks as being worthy of mention:
- John and Jim McGee and their friend Charlie had a superb week whilst residing in Elm Chalet. The weather was amazing which matched the fishing and on a daily basis they returned large numbers to the boat.
- Equally impressive were the catches to Peter Bulger and John Salisbury who were also staying on site in Lodge Cottage. Double figures for most days was the story of their week along with a Caribbean sun tan up to their wrists and necks!
- Colin McIssac continues to impress from both bank and boat. Nearly always in double figures, Colin is constantly studying the conditions and invariably manages to crack the feeding habits when others may be less successful. Amongst his catches recently have been some superb blues and a notable brown.
- Ricky Taylor once again gets a mention as does his partner from the bank Nicky Stenhouse. Ricky landed a superb rainbow of 10lbs on bloodworm amongst his total catch of 6 fish for a four hour evening session whilst Nicky had 8 fish using hoppers and octopus.
- Ewan Mutch regularly enjoys good catches in the evenings and is now regularly landing the hard fighting blues which for most of the previous two seasons managed to evade him.
- Charlie and Linda Punton fishing the bank reported having their best day this season from the bank. Amongst Charlie’s 10 fish were six blues and all came to buzzers.
- Les Lockey whilst staying in Lochside Cottage for the week showed once again his fishing prowess. Catches of 12, 14, and 18 typify the numbers he was catching throughout his days fishing. Hawthorn, damsels, buzzers, black emergers, shipman’s were amongst his successful patterns.
- Ronnie Heck and Rosie James (see photo) caught 7 fish to the boat mainly using black boobies. Rosie caught three of the seven and this was her first outing ever. Her best was a 3lb 10oz blue whilst Ronnie had a 4lb 10oz rainbow.
- Ashington Kingfishers had a stellar day for their annual social event with 17 boat anglers and 6 bank anglers totalling 127 fish between them giving a rod average of 5.5. Winner from the boat was Scott Nellins with a total of 20 fish caught mainly on dries and from the bank Steve Bowden landed a total of 12 rainbows on his home tied dog hopper (courtesy of hairs from his old dog Flynn)
- Deed Firrit faired less well the following day mainly due to a complete change in weather conditions. Colder and with a stronger wind than the day before a number of their young anglers failed to match the conditions. Despite this they all seemed to comment positively about the day and are keen to redeem themselves next time. Great to see so many younger anglers in the club.
- Benedictine AC nine rods landed a total of 43 fish giving them a 4.8 rod average. Best catch of the day went to Ian McArthur with 14 fish. Adam Bound landed the heaviest fish which was a 4lb 1 oz rainbow
- Game Angler FFC on the following day and fishing bank and boat, landed 48 fish of which 9 were blues. All were catch and release and the 10 anglers managed an average of 4.8 per rod. Best catch of the day went to Peter Davison with 11 rainbows.
- Railway Inn FC on the same day their 8 anglers landed 16 fish giving them a 2/rod average.
- The hand digging of the path out of Swing Gate bay towards Lochside Cottage is now just about completed. This almost concludes the work around the banks and we are really pleased to hear from the bank anglers that they consider the access around the loch to be the best it has ever been. Hopefully this will encourage people to fish from the banks and to enjoy the great sport that this offers.
- With the mild winter we have had, plant / weed growth seems to be advanced this year. The top end of the loch near to the reed bed is showing signs of weed now and anglers may need to pick and choose their fishing spots in this area. Obviously it is still far too early for us to start cutting as this will only serve to strengthen the weed growth. We will however keep an eye on things and act accordingly.
- Still no sign of the swans hatching but our fingers are crossed for them. If they are going to be successful we should be seeing cygnets any time soon.
- Finally and importantly: It has come to our attention recently that two anglers fishing from a boat were breaking one of the basic and defining rules of our fly fishery by using bait. It was also reported that these same anglers had killed and taken a large number of fish. Unfortunately this came to light after these anglers had left but we would like to reassure all visitors to the loch that we will ensure anyone flagrantly breaking the fishery rules will be asked to leave the loch. The rules of the loch are on this website and in the lodge and it is the responsibility of all anglers to be aware of them before fishing. Thank you to the vast majority of you who continue to observe the rules so ensuring that the loch provides an enjoyable fishing experience for all and that it survives and thrives for future anglers.
And last but by no means least, over the next two weeks we will be hosting anglers from the following clubs:
- Wire Mill AC
- Invicta FFC
- Fishing for Everyone FFC
- Midlothian AC
- Heriots AC (Evening Session)
- Edinburgh Amateur AC
As always we extend a warm welcome to them and hope for good weather and fishing to match.
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