Two weeks of changeable weather has meant an up and down returns due to numbers of anglers. Thankfully for us however the weather on the day that we needed it to be good, i.e. for the Charity Day, Lad(y)s and Dads competition, was superb.
Once again all boats were taken for the competition which was in its sixth year, and once again, I think that it is fair to say, that it was a raging success, not just because of the amount of money that we were able to make for our chosen charity but equally because of the amount of fun that people had on the day.
Whilst it is a competition it was never meant to be taken too seriously, however it never ceases to surprise us just how involved people do become, and that is great to see. As I said earlier the weather was very kind to us and this meant that with the right flies there were lots of fish to be caught. Top fly on the day was the hot head diawl bach tied and supplied on the day by Neil Keillor and it’s no coincidence that Neil also had the best bag of the day predominantly using his own fly.
As always the ‘L’ Of A Length Trophy was at stake and it was the ‘Dads’ that managed to pull it off this time, meaning that the series is now leveled at 3 apiece and therefore all to play for next year.
But as we all know by now, the main reason for holding the day is to try to raise as much money for the St. Abbs Independent Lifeboat as possible and we are delighted to announce that once again we managed to raise over £1000 pounds. This is a tremendous effort and we would like to thank everyone who supported the event through the purchase of raffle tickets and boat flies, or who took part in the day itself. I know that the Lifeboat Charity will be delighted with the amount and we look forward to handing it over on behalf of all who supported it,and we will of course share the photos of the event in a future loch report.
The day itself now runs very smoothly, and this is in no small way due to the extra support that we receive from our regular team of volunteers …. Glenys, Alison and Gordon. Our thanks once again go out to you and to everyone else who may have contributed raffle prizes or other bits and pieces to help make the day the success that it is. A special thanks this year to Dave Walley who did a great job as official photographer. Some great snaps were taken and we have now been able to upload them all onto this report and they can be found in the second gallery at the end of this report.
We are already looking forward to next years event which as always, will be held on the last Sunday in September and we strongly advise anyone wishing to take part to book early to avoid disappointment. We will be taking bookings at the start of next season and will be announcing the event in the loch reports.
So back to business as usual, and here is a quick look at those individuals who caught well during the last two week period:
- Pete Dann 8 to the boat including 2 brownies. Foam daddy
- Tam Kerr 12 to the boat including 6 brownies.
- Neil McIntyre + 1, 20 to the boat. Sugar Loaf fly apattern.
- Bob Cockburn 16 including 2 blues. 17 on his next outing which included 3 browns. Bob then had 18 on his third outing of the period. Minkies, Daddies, Black Dries.
- Rob Frame 18 to the boat. Hoppers, CDCs and buzzers.
- Colin McIssac 20, including 2 blues and 3 browns. CDCs and F Fly. Colin then fished the bank for his next two outings having 8 on this first occasion and 12 in a four hour period on the next. He reported the last outing as the best four hour s of fishing that he’s ever had.
- Neil Stobbart and Peter Tuck 15 to the boat. Neil getting the upper hand.
- Les Lockey once again had yet another successful week at the loch and averaged around 15 per day for his efforts. Beetles, daddies, buzzers, diawl bachs to name but a few.
- Mackenzie fishing with Iain Thomson on his first outing to Coldingham had 8 to the boat and reported having a great day and will be back.
- Neil Keillor buoyed from his success in the Lad(y) and Dads fished the bank on Sunday and landed 9 and reported losing 4 times as many.
- Mayfly FFC – 20 fish for the 4 rods.
- Islay Fishers – 27 fish for 4 rods
- Edinburgh Breadalbane FFC – 62 fish for 10 rods.
- KAHTS Whiskers FFC – 32 fish for 10 rods.
- There’s still eight weeks of the season remaining and in front of us there will be some of the best fishing of the season to be had. Evening session are now effectively over so make sure that you book your day sessions in advance.
- The egret and the swallows have now departed for the prospect of better weather further south. It’s always sad to see them go but we look forward to their return next year.
To Barb or not to Barb?
For me that used to be the question.
Nowadays I only ever fish the Loch with Barbless Flies.
These are almost all Flies that are tied on specific Barbless Hooks and not de-barbed Hooks.
Very, very occasionally if I cannot find a specific fly on barbless hooks I will buy a fly on a barbed hook and carefully de-barb it
I do this by twisting a set of de-barb pliers around the barb and then giving it a quick rub with a needle file. This will remove some of the protective coating on the steel so I give it a touch of varnish to preserve it.
This is a bit of a chore but worth it if you cannot buy the Barbless Fly you are after.
However these days there are ever more suppliers of quality Barbless Flies available as well as a superb range of Barbless Hooks if you roll your own.
The ranges of these are increasing year on year.
The vast majority of small waters around the country insist on Barbless or de-barbed flies even when you are taking fish for the pot. Additionally larger waters like Coldingham and others insist on this once you have your limit or if you are fishing catch and release from the start.
Barbless Hooks these days have been specifically designed to have extra holding power by having slightly longer points. In addition these points often have other feature to increase holding power.
This can be Eagle Claw points or some have a slight sideways off set. Others have a small bump where a barb would be and Spear Points are common. Many have more than one of the features.
Specially designed Barbless Hooks were developed due to the demands of Competition Anglers.
Events like the World and European Championships and others have always insisted on Catch and Release and on Barbless Flies or De-barbed Flies. The Anglers Flies were rigorously checked by a Controller using a fine piece of cloth and even a minor infringement would cost an individual or a team dearly.
I believe that the Czechs and Poles were the first to manufacture specific Barbless Hooks with the Knapek Company leading the way. Today there are many others selling them including Tiemco, Fulling Mill, Mustad, Trout Legend and also a local company Fritz n Flies.
So what are the advantages?
Well they come out easily!
They come out of Fish, Landing Nets, Clothing, Waistcoats, Hats, Boat Ropes. Lunch Bags, and anything else they can catch on during a day’s fishing!
Especially Boat Partners on a Windy Day!
On that note if you do not wear some sort of eye protection even when Bank Fishing but especially in a boat with a partner then you are just plain daft.
I could use stronger language here but will refrain!
So do you lose any more fish when using Barbless Flies.
Well it depends…………….
With small “sprackly” Trout on a River I think you do and that is a good thing. It saves you netting and/or handling them.
On a still water with most Trout around the two pound mark and with modern carbon rods which have a lot faster recovery that glass or cane then I do not think you lose any more.
You can of course lose many a Trout on Barbed Hooks and I believe that on the stocked Lochs with two pound fish you do not lose any more with good barbless flies.
I also believe that Flies on specifically designed Barbless Hooks lose less fish than de-barbed flies.
To me a day afloat or on the bank is just so much more hassle free with barbless hooks that I would never go back.
I f you would like to give them a go perhaps these links may be useful.
During the next two weeks these are the clubs that will be visiting the loch. Again, let’s hope for good weather and fishing to match.
- Ellem Club
- Bank Of Scotland FFC
- Heriots AC
- West Lothian FFC
- Pencaitland AC
Photo gallery below for this period – apologies to Robbie that we did not include the photo of his brownie in our last loch report so that is included here and has also been added to the last report
This next gallery are photos taken by Dave Walley on the Lad(y)s and Dads Charity Day in aid of St Abbs Independent Lifeboat. Anyone wanting copies of the photos please contact Carmel and we can get them to you. Once again thanks to Dave for taking the photos and allowing us to use them and pass them on.