A good day at the start of this period saw James and Joy Gardiner return to the loch and needless to say it wasn’t long before they were well on their way to their usual high numbers of fish using a midge tip line and a combination of flies including red and black cormorant. On the bank Brian Palmer managed to figure out what was working around the edges and also managed a very reasonable tally for his outing.
Day two however once again saw the loch closed, this time to strong South Westerly winds and we were left wondering when, if ever, the weather would finally relent. Thankfully we didn’t have to wait long as on the very next day a visit from the Northumbria Police AC restored everyone’s faith. Their 10 anglers managed an impressive 65 fish for their trip giving an average of 6.5 per rod and had they managed to land all that they hooked this could have been even better.
This really seemed to be the start of a cracking eight day period when the weather warmed up a degree or two and with it came a number of very large buzzer hatches made more obvious by a feeding frenzy from both trout and swallows alike. Needless to say a switch to dry flies was the order of the day and those that were fortunate enough to have been fishing here were treated to some very early season top of the water action. Amongst those enjoying the fun were Bob Harrison and Judy Whitelaw, Tony Averill accompanied by yours truly, Ewan Mutch (his first outing since the birth of a new baby daughter, Katy just a few days earlier. Congratulations go out to him and Laura on their new addition), Philip Bilborough and John Cowell. In between the dry bonanza, buzzers and diawl bachs eked out those fish lying just below the surface and those patient enough to fish an almost static line were amply rewarded for their troubles……. Ronnie Glass being on hand to aptly demonstrate just how it should be done.
It was also during this period that we were treated to a visit from one of our youngest anglers to the loch. Andrew Cook brought his son AJ aged 5 (see photo) to show him just how good dad is at this fishing game. Dad came to the fore and landed a lovely rainbow much to the delight of AJ. Let’s hope that it won’t be long before he too picks up a rod as we desperately need to see a new wave of younger anglers coming through to carry on this fantastic sport of ours.
In other club news we hosted visits from Pencaitland AC, Cockburn AC, Earlston AA, Spittal AC and Edinburgh High Constables AC.
Pencaitland had their usual bus trip to the loch and their 17 rods yielded a total of 79 fish (rainbows and browns) – Average 4.6 fish per rod.
Cockburn AC managed 15 fish for 4 anglers giving an average of 3.75 per rod.
Earlston had exactly the same average by doubling up the numbers i.e. 30 fish for 8 anglers.
Spittal fished bank and boat and their 11 anglers returned a total of 40 fish for the day giving an average of 3.6 fish per rod. Colin Spowart on his first outing since October was amongst the trio of bank anglers and managed to win the trophy for 2nd heaviest bag (11lbs 10ozs) and had an impressive 4lb 2oz rainbow amongst his haul (See photo). Eric Piercy who earlier in the day dropped half his reel into the loch landed a brace of trophies (see photo) for heaviest bag (12lbs +) and heaviest fish a 4lb 5oz rainbow……. this must have helped to offset the frustration.
Edinburgh High Constables fishing on the same day as the Spittal Club had a fishing day of two halves. Their 10 anglers managed to land 21 fish before lunch but only managed to add another 2 to their total before the end of play. This gave them an average of 2.3 fish per angler with the average weight of fish being 2lbs 8ozs. Biggest fish of the day went to Alistair Beattie, a 4lb 2oz rainbow.
So all in all quite a productive and mixed picture of fishing during this period with an early soiree into dry fly fishing backed by some tremendous sub surface action on the buzzers and nymphs. With an ever improving weather picture, let’s hope that we are getting closer to better predictability and more hatches to whet the palate. Whilst catching has been good and the rod average impressive, not everyone has found it easy and for every success story there is another less successful one to be told. However the encouraging feature for the anglers that have not fared quite so well is that lots of fish are being seen in the loch. How to catch them on any one day is what we are all tasked with.
In other news:
- Bob Cockburn reaches a mile stone birthday recently but we won’t say which one! Many Happy Returns Bob.
- Work to the south west corner of the bank is now complete with a new section of pathway in place. This now means that it is possible to get the ride on mower up the west side of the loch thus reducing strimming time. There is method in our madness after all!
- Evening sessions are under way and at the moment it is possible to fish to almost 9pm meaning that a four hour ticket from 5 -9 is viable. Some of the evening rises lately have been quite special and can only get better as the temperature rises.
During the next period we are pleased to be welcoming Mid Lothian AA, Heriots AC, Breadalbane AC, Fishers Tryst AC and Norham and Ladykirk AC. As always we hope that the weather behaves itself and all clubs enjoy a memorable visit to the loch.