‘Spring ……. My a**e !’ as Ricky Thomlinson might say. The last two weeks has thrown every weather condition there is at us, and on some days we’ve had the proverbial four seasons in one day (see photos below). The poor swallows must wonder what has happened to them having made the long journey here to feed and breed they are having to swap their usual diet of juicy insects for snowflakes and hail stones. Ah, but on the bright side we are only a day or so away from May and the start of the summer weather is just around the corner … we hope?
The wind played havoc with us during the last week with three days cancelled due to extremely strong N / NE gales. In fact on Friday, three of the boats were swamped at the jetty by the over-lapping waves and it was a huge effort to get them back afloat in time for our visitors the next day. The forecast said 29 mph with gusts up to 40mph but, having nearly been blown into the loch off the jetty twice, I can tell you it was much stronger than that. It always seems impossible to me that one day you can be out there enjoying a spot of dry fly fishing and the next be confined to barracks.
Despite the unseasonal weather there has been some excellent dry fly fishing at times, especially in the early evening which has been a bonus for holiday guests staying with us as they have been able to keep an eye on the loch and then go out as and when the trout are rising. So, on the days when the weather has allowed it, the following anglers have had a good time of it. As always apologies if we have left anyone out!
- Two of our most senior regular anglers Sandy Amos and David White had a good morning, both having their bag and landing 5 fish to the boat on the yellow owl
- On the same day J McNeill landed 7 fish to a black lure and Bob Harrison in a couple of hours late afternoon had 6 fish to CDC buzzers stating ‘super few hours lots of rises and lost 2 to the dap’
- Holiday guests Peter Bulger and John Salisbury had three good days fishing despite windy conditions on one of their days and including landing two beautiful browns using diawl bach and buzzers
- Robbie Bell and Bob Cockburn fished together one day and Robbie had 14 to bloodworm whist Bob had 21 to small black dry and an olive lure. Bob fished a further session on his own the following week and bucked the trend by using a DI5 and olive dancer landing 23 to the boat most came by the method but one or two to dries and buzzers
- Adam Bound fishing a couple of hours late afternoon off the bank had a few good sessions landing 5 & 6 and on tinnies and buzzers stating ‘covering rising fish – brilliant sport!’
- Willie Mirtle and boat partner Martin Reynolds enjoyed a superb late afternoon session with 19 fish to the boat including one fabulous brownie estimated around 3lbs
- A Borthwick & F Grey managed 20 between them mainly to buzzers
- A Moffat & S Whitehead also had 20 to the boat on a ‘cold but good day’ they took 4 fish for 9lbs 4 oz
- Mike Connet continued his form with 16 to the boat to a booby dragged across the surface
- R Robertson had 13 using cats & buzzers this included one superb brownie
- Dave Moody fished a four hour late afternoon/early evening had 15 to the boat using buzzers
- Freddie Carter continued his good form fishing top of the water with a washing line and buzzers and landed 16 to the boat
- Holiday guests Alistair and Dan Bradley fishing with their mates Allen, Les, Andrew and Allan enjoyed two good days fishing but unfortunately lost their third day due to bad stormy weather, this was also the case for Lochside guests Andy & Ron
- Andy Richmond and Ricky Taylor once again showed how productive the bank can be with 18 fish between them, apparently the afternoon was the best of the session
- Mick Kelley also fished the bank using buzzers & diawl bachs and had 8 fish
- Bob Harrison also fished the bank yesterday and recorded ‘ a superb afternoons sport suing CDC buzzers’ and had twelve rainbows in a four hour session
All Kinds of Fish,
Most stocked Stillwater Trout Fisheries that we fish these days have all different kinds of fish in them.
Of course there is the obvious of Browns, Rainbows and perhaps Blues.
But what I mean is the variation in the predominant Rainbows.
Those fish that will take a certain fly one day or one week but not the next.
If you think about it there are Trout that were stocked yesterday, fish that were stocked last week, last month, three months ago and even last year.
So we have the “different” kinds of fish and as a general rule they can be very different in their behaviour.
Of course we all know of the fresh stockies who will grab anything in sight. Especially after a few days when they have not been fed and they have acclimatised to their surroundings.
And we all know how they can go off the Lures especially after a few days when they have been caught once and perhaps jagged another time and in between seen a full spectrum of flies pulled past them.
These still reasonably fresh fish then have to learn to feed naturally but perhaps they only know or recognise the one thing to start with.
Maybe they only start feeding on size 16 buzzers and ignore your size 12!
But perhaps after a week or so they learn to take buzzers of all sizes and perhaps colours and your three or four fly cast of mixed buzzers makes you king of the castle. 🙂
However your mate on the other end of the water struggles with his perfectly presented Wet Flies or Diawl Bach’s
Another week or two down the line the wet flies and nymphs as well as the buzzers are working but a realistic damsel fails as these fish have never seen one.
Another month further on and these fish have just about seen everything the lake has to offer and are reasonably catholic in their taste and perhaps a bit hungry and will fall for most well- presented flies.
They may have also become a bit territorial and will be snapping back at the blobs and boobies. Full Circle?
Now until the trout start talking or writing some books then this is all conjecture.
Maybe though, just maybe it is one possible explanation why what worked for you last week is what is not working for you this week. 🙂
Another different kind of fish!
- Edinburgh Breadalbane FFC – A mid- week outing and a bright day with fish rising in every area of the loch. Despite the surface activity DI3 with an olive lure seemed to be what the fish were after. A good days fishing saw the 11 anglers net a total of 3.7 fish giving a very acceptable rod average of for the outing.
- Kelso AA – a reduced number of boats saw the 6 boats / 11 anglers take to the water in cold conditions. The weather however was to improve as the day went on. A fish on the first cast for one boat signalled a good day for some. The 11 anglers caught a total of 44 fish between them giving a rod average of 4. A good days sport was recorded in the book.
- Ellem Club – Unfortunately the day was cancelled due to extremely windy conditions. (Tuesday 26th April)
- Heriots AC – Picked a good day in the middle of two very windy days. Their 11 anglers manged a total of 93 fish giving a rod average of 8.45, most fish came to buzzers and dries (see Colin Riach’s photos below)
- Walbeck and Blyth AC also fished the same day as Heriots and their 4 anglers recorded having a good day
- Hoy and Hope AC began fishing on a windy morning and a day that steadily improved. Their 16 anglers returned a catch of 88 fish giving a rod average of 5.5. Peter Down won the overall heaviest bag.
- Evening sessions are now open as it is possible to fish to 9pm and beyond. A reminder that evening sessions can be booked from 5pm onwards, finishing at 10pm. For what it’s worth, we are experiencing some of the best dry fly fishing to be had during the early evenings ……. So if dry fly fishing is your thing, don’t miss out.
- A very early heads up that our annual Lad(y)s and Dads charity competition in aid of St. Abbs Independent Lifeboat, will be held as always on the last Sunday in September (i.e. 25th Sept 2016). This has become a very popular, fun event and places are given on a first come first served basis. I advise that you book early to avoid disappointment.
In the next fortnight we will be hosting the following clubs:
- Northumbria Police
- Norhet FFC
- Edinburgh AC
- Roslin AC
- Norham and Ladykirk FFC
As always we extend a warm welcome to them and hope for a memorable days fishing for all.
Gallery below please click on the photos to enlarge, with thanks to Colin Riach for his kind permission to use his photos taken on Saturday when he was fishing with the Heriots AC