15th – 28th September 2014

As the weather continues to astound, so does the fishing. It’s safe to say that September hasn’t let us down and with October and November still to come it looks like we are in for a tremendous back-end to our fishing season.

Catching has been plentiful and the pattern seems to have been quite consistent over the last two weeks ie good returns morning and afternoon but trickier fishing into the early evening as the weather calms down. That said, if seeing fish is what you want then evenings have been typified by some tremendous rises with fish cruising all areas of the loch in search of the small chironomids that have been hatching in large numbers. Tactics too have been quite varied and again one needs to be ready to ring the changes throughout the day and be prepared to move in search of feeding fish. The south shore and Swing Gate bay at the start of this session were very productive and very predictable, and at times it has been hard to find a spot due to the numbers of boats and bank anglers looking for a spot. However the fish have now become more spread out and good catches are being recorded in just about all areas of the loch and as predicted in the last report good numbers are now being caught at the northern end of the loch in shallower waters.

Changing from wets to dries and back again as often as is necessary has been the key to good returns. Typical wet flies have included, Damsel, Cormorant, Pennell (Black and Hutches), Invicta, Cruncher, Wickhams Fancy. Lures have included, Cat’s Whisker, Yellow Dancer, Blob. Dries have included, Daddies, CDCs, Muddler, Hoppers.

Another key feature of the period has been the size and quality of fish being landed. Derek Tree who was on holiday in Lochside Cottage with his wife Julie estimated to have had three fish in double figures during one early morning outing – the best possibly touching the 14lb mark. He then rounded off his week landing a total of 17 to the boat on his last outing. And whilst this sounds impressive, the number of fish being recorded at 5lbs plus has become quite common. James Gardiner had yet another superb outing and amongst the 23 rainbows and 2 blues that he landed in a shortened session he recorded “lots of fish over 3 and 4 lbs two of which were nearer to 6lbs” Those who know James will appreciate the accuracy of his comments and a shortened session due to a sore arm from the number of hard fighting fish that he landed is testament to a great day at the loch.

Others worthy of mention are,

  • Bob Cockburn with 15, 10 and 14 recorded for his last three outings. The 14 was particularly impressive when you consider that a good two hours were taken out of his visit due to a fly in the cheek courtesy of his boat partner and a necessary visit to the hospital to get it removed.
  • Steve Bowden 8 rainbows from the bank in an early evening session.
  • Rob Frame had a very respectable 12 to the boat using cormorants and Cats Whisker and commented on the excellent quality of the fish.
  • James Gardiner on another outing from the bank had 10 rainbows and a blue and he told me later that he had changed his cast 9 times during the course of approximately six hours fishing not to mention his positions around the bank.
  • Neil Keillor had another cracking day from the boat with 14 rainbows and 3 blues with yours truly pitching in with a few of these in the afternoon.
  • Austin Churm 8 rainbows from the bank.
  • Shaun Eales and 4 of his angling friends rounded off what he described as a “Perfect break” whilst resident here over a long weekend in Lodge cottage. All 5 of this party enjoyed meeting the challenge of the loch and were rewarded with good sport and hard fighting fish
  • Brian Turner and Jim Campbell once again shared a boat and managed a very respectable 14 fish for their outing using a combination of dries and lures.
  • Colin McIssac continued to impress with 7 to the boat on one outing followed by 16 on his next. Colin’s ability to match the hatch and fish extremely small flies has to be seen to be believed.
  • Russell Dixon (see photo) completed an excellent mornings bank fishing with 11 rainbows the biggest of which was approx. 7lbs and safely returned. Sod’s Law he had already had his two in the bag!
  • J McCallister and D Carlin had three fish a piece from the boat but one was estimated at over 7lbs and the other at over 8lbs. Great quality and fin perfect.

In Club News:

  • Mid Lothian somewhat struggled on their midweek outing but were happy with the biggest fish of the day weighing in at 5lbs 4ozs.
  • Pencaitland AC managed 25 fish for 14 anglers with J. Lone landing the two biggest fish, one of 5lbs 10oxz and the other 5lbs 6ozs.
  • Cascade AC enjoyed their day and though did not report huge returns they were keen to say that the fish they caught gave them great sport and they hope to return next year
  • Ellem FFC – had a great day on Saturday. 16 anglers had a total of 58 fish giving them a rod average of 3.6. amongst the haul were rainbows of 3lbs 4ozs and 4lbs 2ozs and a magnificent blue of 3lbs 2ozs. Doug Bowie had the best bag of the day weighing four of his seven fish in at 7lbs 40zs.

Sorry but no blog from Robbie this time as he is away fishing in Czech Republic. Can you believe him choosing to fish there for 10 days over fishing in the Lad(y)s and Dads Competition? !!


In other News:

Only one item and it is The Lad(y)s and Dads Competition.

  • On Sunday we hosted our third annual Lad(y)s and Dads Competition and once again all boats were filled and the weather was just about perfect. Gordon Boulding again gave up his day to lend a helping hand and Glenys staying in Lochside Cottage with John Dow also pitched in with food prep and washing up. Many thanks to both of them for their invaluable help, it really is appreciated.


So with the weather perfect, all boats filled and all fishermen filled from their bacon sandwiches fresh from the barbeque the day began with the sound of the shotgun and it wasn’t long before the action started. Bob Cockburn missed or lost his first three fish within the first 5 mins whilst James, his dad calmly netted the first for the day. Karl Ferguson was also quick off the mark fishing for the lad(y)s team as was Alan Nelson fishing for the dads. Observing from the bank it was quite clear that the morning was fishing well and a quick walk and a chat confirmed that both sides were quietly confident from the start.


The rules for the comp mean that every angler has an identical patch of 10 flies (see photo) which are the only ones that can be used on the day and no one knows what the flies will be until they arrive. Not only is this a great leveller but it also means that people have to be careful not to lose their killer patterns. All fish caught are measured for length and returned and at the end of the day it is the combined length of the lads catch versus the combined length of the dads catch that wins the “L” of a Length charity shield. Thanks to Ian Fairgrieve for supplying the measuring gauges.


In the afternoon, following on from a splendid BBQ lunch the teams returned to the water and fished until 5pm when the shotgun marked the end of the comp. With the Dads having been victorious for the past two years the question was could they make it three in a row? As the fishermen packed away, Gordon totted up the scores and then everyone gathered for the results. Here’s how it all ended:


Winners were the Lad(y)s with a total of 36 fish caught for a total length of 596 inches. Mark Straughen was top lad(y)s rod with a total of 8 fish for 132 inches.

Runners up were the Dads with a total of 33 fish caught for a total length of 555 inches. Top rod for the dads was Neil Keillor, 7 fish for 119 inches.

Top fly on the day was once again the humble foam daddy which accounted for 35 out of the 69 fish caught on the day with Cat’s Whisker, Shipman’s Buzzer and Diawl Bach all coming in equal second.

The main story of the day however apart from being able to report that no one fell in this year, was that we managed to raise a magnificent total of £531 with a further amount of £50 from the sale of retrieved boat flies and also flies donated by Bob Cockburn. This total of £581 goes to  the local RNLI at St Abbs which was gratefully received by Alistair Crowe on behalf of the organisation and himself and the treasurer have since returned to the loch to formally accept the donation.

Carmel and I are extremely grateful to all who took part and gave so generously on the day and we look forward as always to next years event as it has now become somewhat of a highlight of the year for us and believe it or not we are already in receipt of bookings for the 2015  comp from people who were unlucky not to get a boat this year. The date for next years comp will be posted in the loch reports next year, so watch this space and book early to avoid disappointment!

There are numerous photos from the event which can be viewed in the gallery below. Please click on the photo if you wish to enlarge it.


Visiting Clubs:

Over the next two weeks we will be hosting the following clubs:

  • Breadalbane AC
  • Fife and Northumbria Police ACs
  • Bank of Scotland AC
  • Newmarket AC

Only the weather stands between you and some great fishing. We look forward to seeing you all here.


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