16th – 29th April 2018

It’s been buzzer time!

When you read through the catch returns there are two recurring themes, buzzers and dries. A lot of people have had great success fishing the washing line using something like a FAB on the point followed by one, two or even three buzzers and when the fish have gone deeper due to the bright sunshine replacing the FAB for another buzzer has worked well.

Fly choice is only one factor though with method playing an equally important role in determining whether you catch or not. This was aptly demonstrated whilst I was out fishing with Robbie during the week when fishing a team of buzzers he placed his rod down to reach for his flask. Only lightening reactions saved his rod from disappearing over the side as a fish aggressively snatched one of the static buzzers and attempted a quick getaway. Needless to say he landed it but not only that he then used that knowledge to land a further 3 fish before close of play using the same method. I believe that these are the small but important details that are lost on many of us who will often just revert to fishing the same way that we always do and don’t use the information around us to make the important changes.

I’ve also fished many times with James Gardiner and people will often ask me what he does that makes him as good as he is and I think that the simple answer is that he has the ability and experience to read the water and make that necessary changes almost before the fish do but certainly before most other anglers do. That, for me, is the most obvious difference and then he has the necessary skills to present the flies and adopt the right method and fish them to their optimum potential……. quite easy to explain but not so easy to replicate.

When the buzzers have not been working it has often been the dries that have replaced them and people have had a lot of success towards the top end of the loch, very close to the reed bed using a variety of dries including, crippled midge, emerging buzzer, yellow owl, shipman’s buzzer to name but a few.

Floating lines and the occasional switch to a midge tip has largely been the most successful choice of fly lines and the hottest spot on the loch has undoubtedly been around the buoys in the deeper water area of the loch.

It goes almost without saying that the weather is playing a key role in deciding what you should do and where you should do it, and the constant swing between warm and cold, windy and calm, easterly and southerly has created a headache for some people and a welcome conundrum for others.

So let’s have a quick look at those that seem to have made the most of the last two weeks:

  • T Averill had a superb 2 hour evening session from the boat with 17 rainbows in total. Fab and buzzers.
  • B Stark had 7 to the boat including one blue. Black buzzer and black pennel
  • Holiday guest Martyn Lucas had eight to the bank. CDC emerger.
  • Holiday guest Paul Black had several enjoyable sessions out on the loch landing 5 in a short session and on one evening landed a beautiful 5lb blue safely returned to the water. Buzzer.
  • Robbie Bell had 18 including a blue and a brownie. Boat partner Allan Cook also did well with 7 that day, Robbie had 11 on his next outing and 8 on his third outing. Buzzers and dries.
  • Bob Harrison and Judy Whitelaw had ‘sporty 4 hours, lots rising – missed a few’ landing 10 to the boat. Buzzers. They had a further 12 on their next outing reporting a superb evenings dry fly fishing. CDC buzzers
  • Zander Kenny had 11 to the boat including a brown. Dunkeld.
  • Bob Grant on a windy and very sunny day used slow intermediate had 7 to the boat. Buzzers and cormorants.
  • Ian Callow and Ian Thomson on the same day as Bob Grant had 9 to the boat stating they had a great day with a good rise early on. Yellow dancer.
  • Keith and John Renton had 22 to the boat in an evening session. Hopper, cdc, buzzers, dries.
  • 21st Robertson had 11 to the boat including a brown. Dries, buzzers, fab
  • Holiday guest David Todd had a cracking second day on the boat landing 24 including 2 browns. He and his boat partner Derek went on to land 29 on their next outing, 33 on their next, 6 on their next and 10 on their final day showing how the changing weather conditions can impact success. Predominantly dries
  • Young angler Fred Sloss stated ‘Good fun, great dry fly action!’ when fishing with his dad Robert. They landed 16 to the boat, 3 of these being Fred’s. Fab and F-fly
  • Darrel Young had ‘fantastic sport’ on both his outings in this period landing 26 including 4 blues on his first day session and a further 15 – 10 of which were blues on his second half day session. Buzzers and fab.
  • Stephen and Richard Potter had 11 and 8 to the boat on the second outing and reported having a superb weekend stay at the loch. Dries, fabs, diawl bachs
  • Mick Daly had 8 to the boat using cdc and diawl bach, one fish was over 5lbs on the dries.
  • A quick mention for Alistair Fyvie and John Wilson who had a great 3 days stay with us and thoroughly enjoyed their dry fly fishing. On one outing they landed 14 to the boat.
  • Colin McIsaac had 12 to the boat including two blues and one brown. Cdc buzzer and crippled midge
  • Les Lockey had 7 to the boat. Yellow owl and hatching buzzer
  • Bob Cockburn had 10 to the boat. Buzzers, dries and dancer.
  • Allan Spilsbury had 7 to the boat. Black and green lures.
  • Gus Skein had 8 to the boat on a short session whilst his grandson Corben was left eating his words that “he always beats his granddad”
  • Carmichael landed 7 to the bank yesterday doing particularly well on a day that proved tricky for most other anglers. Black lures.

Club News:

  • Edinburgh Breadalbane had a total of 17 fish for 7 rods. Buzzers and various lures.
  • Roslin Elite had 16 fish 5 rods. Buzzers, blob and fab
  • Bank of Scotland reported an ‘awesome day’ landing 74 fish for 10 rods biggest fish of 4lbs 4oz went to Gordon Manson. Dries, buzzers, cats whisker, booby
  • Wansbeck & Blyth AC had 16 fish for 5 rods. Dries, shipman’s, black buzzers.
  • Heriots AC had 73 fish for 10 rods reported having another great day very enjoyable and superb quality fish. The biggest fish a blue of approx. 5lbs went to Bob Whyte and was safely returned. Mixture of flies including dries, buzzers, fabs and boobies.
  • Edinburgh Amateurs AC. 17 fish for 9 rods with the best number going to Colin Clark. Green buzzers and white lures.

Other News:

  • We will be holding the previously postponed Youth Competition on Monday 7th May and hope that this is a success. If it is we will be opening this up to a wider audience next year. Full report in our next loch report.
  • We are now officially open for evening sessions. These will run from 5.30 – 9.30 with the last rods off the loch by 9.45 at the latest so we can close at 10pm.
  • We have had a couple of late cancellations in two of our most popular cottages in school holiday times (Lodge in May half term and Lochside in the first week of the summer holidays). Lodge (sleeps 6 and is dog friendly) has also had a cancellation in mid June. Please get in touch with Carmel if these are of interest.

Robbie’s Blog:

Resident or Stockie?

Rainbow Trout have a mixed reputation it’s fair to say.

Of course they are not the native trout of Scotland and I personally think they will never outshine the sheer perfection that you can often see in Brown Trout.

Now the Rainbow can also be a great looking fish but are often despairingly referred to as Stockies.

So when can a Stockie become a Resident and will it ever be a Natural?

I was out on the Loch last week and for the first time this year I did not have on the full package of thermals.

I was still multi layered mind you with lined trousers under lined over trousers and an extra layer under my heavy fleece. However that is much better than previous visits this year when I have had on more layers than an onion!

The day before I had set up two rods.  One with some small Dries and the other with Buzzers on a washing line.

As we motored away from the dock I said to my partner Allan that I would probably start with the Buzzers as there was nothing rising.   Thirty yards further on there were fish rising everywhere.

Very subtle rises that were probably taking the Buzzer just as it reached the surface. There was a fair wave on and so they were a bit hard to spot from a distance but once we were amongst them they were everywhere we looked.

So out went the Dries.  Half an hour later I had four fish in the net and at least the same again in missed fish

The morning slowed down a touch after that but by lunchtime I was into double figures and had lost count of the number of offers/inspections/misses.

Now these were a mixture of recent stockings and overwintered fish.

So if you are catching a fish on a very small Dry Fly and it has only been recently introduced to the Loch is it still a Stockie and if so how long must it be feeding naturally to be “promoted” to resident?

You would need immigration lawyers to sort that one!

Of course we all probably like to catch an over wintered fish but this could have been caught in March having been stocked in November.

Then how about a fish stocked in March that is caught in November?

Four months to seven months?

That day I was using a 10 foot 5 weight rod for the Dries. This is an old river rod of mine that I used to use for Czech Nymphing. It is very good for fishing a light line, fine leader and small dries.

However it does take a fair bit longer to net the fish than a 7 or 8 weight rod.

It also somewhat exaggerated the difference in fighting spirit between some of the fish.

This was not down to size or to Stockies versus Overwintered. Some of the recently introduced fish were much tougher than some of last years and vice versa.

Oh well just another part of the never ending puzzle that is Fly Fishing.


Visiting Clubs:

We welcome the following clubs over the next two weeks who should enjoy some better weather and some excellent dry fly and buzzer fishing.


  • Earlston FFC
  • High Constables AC
  • Kelso British Legion
  • Mid-Lothian AC (afternoon and evening session)
  • Eyewater AC
  • Norham and Ladykirk


This gallery are photos supplied by and published with the permission of Colin Riach from the Heriots AC and are photos of the clubs outing on Saturday 28th. The GPS one shows where Colin and his boat partner went on the water during their day’s fishing

Holiday Cottage Price List Download Booking Form