April has been a somewhat interesting month due to the high numbers of fish that have been caught and as we move in to May the good news is that there are no obvious signs of things slowing down. The only fly in the ointment has been the loss of a couple of days last week due to extremely strong winds and unfortunately for the Ellem Club one of these days prevented them from fishing one of their annual outings here but thankfully we have been able to reschedule this for later in the month. As you know we normally update our blackboard every couple of days to inform people of where the hot spots are and which flies are doing the business. However the information has remained largely unchanged due to the fact that the hotspots are still either end of the loch and the killer flies are still a combination of dries and buzzers. Some people have had successful days using white lures, black nymphs and damsels but overall the humble buzzer in its many forms has still been the number one fly of choice.
Depth has been important, and as a general rule the fish have once again been located in the top couple of feet of water with weather conditions altering this slightly throughout the day and as always the instinct to change has been important in order to keep catching on track. The forecast for the next week seems to suggest moderate easterly winds as a continuing theme but I’m sure that this will not affect things too much.
It’s also quite apparent now that the days are getting longer and we are hoping to start our evening sessions in the next couple of weeks so watch this space. Once we feel that it’s possible to fish a four hour session from 5.30pm onwards we will be letting you know.
We would like to thank Patrick, Carmel’s brother for standing in for us last weekend and for the work that he has done to the south shore path leading in to Swing Gate Bay. We also managed to clear a few more whin bushes from the eastern shore making access that bit easier for the bank anglers and we intend to continue this work over the coming season.
Here’s a brief run-down of those who have had success over this last period and as always we apologise if we have missed anyone out.
- Austin Churm had two great days fishing the bank in this last period – one day catching 9 and fishing yesterday he had 14, both days using the yellow owl
- R Battle landed 10 to buzzers and dries
- Simon Nichols and Guy Nicholson reported ‘superb fishing’, Simon landing 27 and Guy 12 from the boat using buzzers and fabs
- David Auld stated having ‘great days sport’ landing 13 rainbows and one brown on black buzzer and on his second day fishing this last week he landed 21, again to the black buzzer stating ‘Fantastic day (could have landed many more)’
- On a windy day Peter Allan reported great sport in the wind landing 5 to the black buzzer on the same day Freddie Carter landed 6 to buzzers saying he had an excellent day – not huge numbers you might say but having sport and enjoying the day even when windy is what it’s all about
- Colin Bruce landed 9 on bloodworm and buzzer from the boat
- Peter Tuck and Neil Stobbart reported ‘excellent sport – lots dropped’ landing 13 to the boat including two lovely browns
- Ricky Taylor fishing from the boat had 16 on spider, bushy black badger and buzzers reporting a ‘great day again’ boat partner Iain landed 7 including a brown to dries and buzzers
- Neil Keillor had a ‘grand day, plenty of fish on top’ landing 14 fish to buzzers and FABs, and boat partner Darrel Young had 8 to buzzers and cormorants
- On the same day as Neil and Darrel, Bob Harrison had 14 fish to the damsel on a short session reporting ‘superb afternoon – best session of season!’
- Mikey Fullerston had a ‘great day!’ landing 10 rainbows using buzzers, cdc’s, and bloodworms
- Holiday guests Ron and Andy had 15 fish over two days fishing including a big rainbow at around 8lbs and were happy to be taking some Coldingham trout back home for their freezers. They had success with white lures and a daddy
- Chris Hodgson, Ali Brown and friends had an excellent day on the boat despite it being cold using blobs, buzzers and foam emerger – Geoff Hobson landed 5 including a brown stating ‘good day on dries’
- John Askell and Billy Mackey landed 14 between them fishing the bank
- Robbie had 14 rainbows and 2 browns to the crippled midge one day and 18 rainbows using dries on another day
- Freddie Carter landed 10 using buzzers when fishing the boat saying ‘Excellent day. Lost many fish. Best fighting fish in Scotland!’
- Neil Stobbart had 9 including 2 browns to buzzers and on the same day but fishing a short session Andy Caird and boat partner Danny Grey had their bag limit each and stated seeing ‘fish rising all day very selective superb fight’ they used cormorant and green pseudo diawl bach
- Our two most regular senior anglers, David White and Sandy Amos (see photo) have not been able to fish in recent weeks but we were delighted that they came back this week, both catching their bag and David having 3 more besides to a cormorant and invicta
- Colin McIsaac enjoyed great sport on a boat landing 14 rainbow and 4 brown, one of which he thought was around 3lbs using cdc nymph and then today in a strong wind and fishing off the east shore he had 9 fish including 2 brown using cdc and black gnat
- Bob Cockburn had an ‘excellent day’ landing 18 rainbow and two brown and his dad, James had another great day landing 7 – both were using black dries and black suspenders
- On the same day Mick Kelley ha 26 fishing on his own off the boat had 26 using black and brown suspender buzzers
- Pete Dann fishing a short session off the boat had 4 and then yesterday, back to his favoured bank fishing he landed 5 to the foam beetle, buzzer and damsel having dropped a few and plenty missed
- Gary Surtees on his first time at the loch had a ‘great day, missed loads’ landing 6 to the hares ear
- Mikel Benatincski fishing his first time on a boat at the loch had 8 fish including a rainbow just under 4lbs (see photo)
- John McGregor on an afternoon session had 9 rainbows and 1 brown using damsels and cdc
This for many people is the epitome of Fly Fishing.
It is highly visual of course and it is very exciting at times.
Sometimes it is a big snout heading up and over your fly.
At other times it is just a bruising of the water around where your fly used to be and sometimes it is a real crunching take.
Last week I had a great day fishing a small Daddy at the top end by the reeds.
However Dry Fly is not my personal favourite!
That is heresy to some people but for me there are few things about fishing Dries that just don’t quite work for me.
The first thing is that a lot of the time it is either too easy or too hard and not very often just right.
When it is hard the frustration levels can build up when you have tried most of the flies in your box and still not found the One!
At other times, admittedly not that often the fish will take almost anything that is reasonably presented.
One of the main things about Dry Fly, particularly with CDC flies that I am not so keen on is the maintenance you need to regularly undertake. Washing the slime off after a fish then drying it off with Amadou or tissue and then using hydro dust to suck the last bit of moisture out and then applying more floatant.
Not the worst job in the world but a bit of a faff just the same.
However for me the real problem with Dry Fly fishing is the concentration it takes.
You need to watch your fly or flies continuously and that is the rub.
When I am out fishing I like to be able to look around for wildlife, have a chat with my partner, leisurely drink a coffee, keep an eye on the coming weather and note what other anglers in boats and on the bank are doing.
I can do that when fishing Buzzers or Nymphs, Wet Flies and Lures but not really when on the Dries.
So I will have to be a heretic but don’t tell anyone.
Robbie Bell Resident Instructor and Guide
- Edinburgh Breadalbane AC had a challenging day reporting ‘windy, sunny, tricky’ and landing 31 fish between them using a variety of flies, the cormorant being the one that was the most successful for them that day
- Bank of Scotland fished this last period but unfortunately we can’t make out from the catch returns book how well or not they did.
- Border Bears had a mixed day and we think (from the book – again not entirely sure) that they had 32 fish for 10 rods using shipmans buzzer, diawl bach, and buzzers
- Pen-Ex AC had a ‘great day despite winds’ landing 19 fish using buzzers, blobs, orange cdc. Yellow owl, yellow dancer and dial bach
- Roslin Elite FC had a ‘Fantastic day. Will be back soon.’ They had 25 fish for 6 rods giving an average of 4.7 per rod.
- Heriots AC had a red letter day yesterday in cool and breezy conditions having an unbelievable 179 fish to 11 rods – averaging 16.3 per rod. They reported ‘Fantastic sport – lots of fish caught on buzzers and dries – large brownie (weighed in the net at 6lbs) as a bonus. Everyone very happy’
- Edinburgh Amateur AC fished today on a very windy day plus bright sunshine making conditions very difficult at times. Despite this, some people did well and were able to tempt the fish with a combination of buzzers and black nymphs.
Clubs are once again arriving at the loch at the weekends for their various seasonal outings and over the next two weeks we will be hosting the following clubs both during the week and at weekends:
- Western Angling Club
- Northumbria Police AC
- Mid Lothian FFC
- Eyewater AC
- North Berwick AC
- Edinburgh High Constables AC
- Roslyn British Legion FFC
- Norham and Ladykirk FFC
As always we wish them all successful outings and weather to match.