“ Probably the best dry fly fishing that I’ve had in 36 years of visiting the loch.” This was the quote from Les Lockey as he rounded off another successful visit to Lochside Cottage with his wife Sue. Les fished every day whilst on vacation and averaged over 20 fish per day with the majority being caught on a Yellow Owl or similar fished as a single fly with no movement. Steve Kelley was here last week and also managed to catch the tail end of the dry fly heaven which seems to have been with us for almost the whole of the month of May ……. But good things never last and it was only a question of when the fish would switch off to the dries. We didn’t have to wait long to find out. Last week saw a very unsettled pattern of weather with the loch closed mid- week for two days to strong winds and a thick sea mist hanging over the east coast and shrouding the loch all too frequently. As a consequence, the fish, whilst topping in just about every area of the loch were extremely tricky to tempt and our Saturday and Sunday visitors reported frustrating fishing, being able to see the fish but unable to unlock the secret of what they were taking.
Perhaps one answer now is the proliferation of natural food that is obvious in and around the loch. Just yesterday the fishing hut was surrounded by a huge hatch of hawthorn flies and when the fish have so much choice it is sometimes extremely difficult to persuade them to look at an artificial pattern. So we are back to that time of year when every fly in the box gets properly looked at and sometimes used and in some ways it is good to know that catching is not merely a formality but an art …. And an art that we are constantly trying to master. But surely that’s the essence of what keeps us coming back ………… uncertainty mixed with anticipation is a sure fire recipe for excitement.
As we move into June we should also expect there to be an uplift in temperature and as we know this can also lead to lethargic fish however at the moment the colder evenings are keeping the loch in great condition and those that have fished here recently will testify to the clarity and general overall superb condition that the loch is in. Boat and bank are fishing’ Even Stephens’ and just yesterday it was a bank angler that won the a club competition which included anglers on both bank and boat.
Notable catches over the last two weeks:
- Bob Grant had 15 to the boat using FAB, buzzers and yellow owl.
- C Connolly had 11 to the boat one day and 14 the next
- Wilson 15 to the boat using buzzer and blob
- Bob Cockburn 13 using small black dries in one session. Next, 15 including one blue and on his last outing 14 again.
- Bob Harrrison fished a four hour afternoon session landing 14 to the boat including two blues using CDC buzzers.
- Robbie Bell had 13 to the boat and again had a very good day fishing with the Ellem Club.
- Gary Hall whilst fishing with Robbie Bell (see Robbies Corner and photos) landed a cracking brown.
- Grant Kerr and Ian Thompson had 10 to the boat. Yellow owl and black buzzer fished well for them.
- Iain Douglas whilst fishing with Stuart had a cracking brownie (see photo) that he said came right up from below to take the hopper he had, the ultimate brownie take!
- Robert Sloss fishing with his young son Angus, had 18 to the boat.
- Sean Eales fishing with his usual buddies and staying in Lodge Cottage had a great three days with almost too many fish to mention.
- G Downie fishing hoppers and diawl bachs had 9 to the boat including one at 5lbs and two at 4lbs.
- Mid-Lothian AC – their 8 anglers had 17 fish commenting that they had had a very enjoyable day with more fish than usual for them!
- Last Cast FFC – 6 fishermen had 11 fish and described it as an outstanding day.
- Eyewater AC – 37 fish for 7 anglers gave them an average of 5.2 per angler. A good day had by all.
- Railway Inn FFC – had a total of 19 fish for their 8 anglers and reported having a superb days fishing with lots of fish showing but hard to tempt.
- Wiremill FFC – 46 fish for 16 anglers gave the lads an average of 2.9 per rod. Scott Mitchell landed a beauty of approx. 8lbs and took the heaviest bag with two fish for 10lbs 8 ozs.
- Ellem Club – most had a frustrating day but some rods did very well. Approx. 34 fish for 16 anglers gave them a rod average of just over two per angler. Winner on the day was Ricky Amos with 3 fish for 7lbs 13 ozs and the biggest fish was caught by Duncan Graham – a rainbow of 3lbs 7ozs.
- Ashington Kingfishers – A frustrating day saw the 24 anglers catch a total of 41 fish. However the bacon sandwiches in the morning and the slap-up BBQ at the end of the day helped to ease the pain of their annual social outing. Steve Bowden fishing from the bank had the best bag with 5 fish – all returned.
- A reminder about the Lad(y)s and Dads competition, 25th September … Book early to avoid disappointment.
- As the holiday season kicks in the weekends are often more roomy than in April and May so it’s always worth ringing us if you fancy a day fishing off the boat even of it is at the weekend
Buzzers Buzzers Buzzers
I have fished the Loch on the last two Fridays.
The first one was with my friend Gary Hall.
Gary has been fishing for a most of his 27 years but without much input from successful anglers he has been a bit limited and patchy in his techniques and success.
He has recently significantly upgraded his River Skills as he attended a Rivers Masterclass in the Czech Republic organised by myself and World Champion Lubos Roza and attended by Gareth and a few other Coldingham rods.
However he still has a long way to go when the water is still.
That first Friday I was fishing the washing line with a FAB on the point and a team of buzzers above it. Now although I hooked the first fish it came off and it was Gary who landed the first one.
A nice fish on a pulled damsel.
However after that I started to catch regularly and as often happens when one angler is catching and the other is not, he speeds up and starts to make regular changes of flies.
Moreover the angler who is catching slows down and has no need to change the flies that are clearly working.
Now a real life buzzer is a small creature that usually takes usually takes three pulses up and two back when making its way to hatch at the surface. It will also take a few hours to make a journey of just a few feet from its home in the mud to the water surface so as far as the trout and the angler are concerned it is static.
So by the end of the day the static buzzer had well outscored the pulled fly.
A similar thing happened a week later when I was fishing with the Ellem Club.
We had sixteen anglers fishing and with the exception of two or three they were all pulling.
I once again started with the washing line and had my three fish bag limit inside 40 minutes and all on the buzzer. So without wishing to blow my own trumpet I continued catching through the day to end up in double figures.
Now when trout are locked on to buzzers and dries 99% of them will ignore anything pulled.
So when it came to the weigh in it was obvious that most of the members who had pulled all day had struggled. There were blanks and a few ones and twos and only a handful with their 3 fish to bring to the weigh in.
Now after our competitions we always go for a meal locally. This year we were at the Scoutscroft and a very pleasant affair it was. I was seated next to Dr Jimmy Mitchell.
Jimmy is a sprightly 92 year old and had enjoyed a nice day out with his grandson albeit with limited success.
During our far ranging conversation which include sorting out the Referendum he asked me what I caught on.
However he went on to ask the much more fundamental question.
How was I fishing them?
My reply was that I throw them out and have a cup of Tea.
This was a lie.
I have Coffee in my Flask. 🙂
However the underlying fact is that you have to imitate the natural and they are more or less static.
Just keep in touch with the line and wait for it to go heavy or as sometimes happens it gets pulled out of your hand!
As another nonagenarian, my old boat partner Bob Dalgleish used to say when fishing buzzers.
If you are going as Slow as you can you are going Too Fast!
Visiting clubs over the next period:
A warm welcome is extended to the following clubs during the next two weeks.
- Heriots AC
- Black Bull FFC
- Arniston FFC
- Spittal Club