Firstly, apologies for the late posting of this report and secondly for the relatively brief account of the last two weeks and no photos. This is due to the fact that Carmel and I were away for most of the period celebrating her mile stone birthday …… better not mention which one.
Before we go any further we must also give a big thank you to our great friends Eileen and Dave who looked after everything whilst we were away. Many people have commented just how well they run the place and how well they look after the fishermen and guests. Thanks again to you both.
So on to the fishing. Hot weather again dictated that fishing has been hard and with water temperatures reaching 20 degrees C on some days it has been necessary to run the aerator during the evenings in order to de-stratify the loch and keep fish moving. As always at this time of year, fish will become lethargic in these sorts of temperatures and fishermen should be very aware of the need to handle fish that are to be returned as little as possible in order to prevent marking of fish and do their best to get the fish to the net as quickly as possible in order to prevent too much stress. It is not uncommon for us to find dead or dying fish the next day that have just not managed to recover enough to fight another day and we would urge people to consider this. That said we have noticed a reduction in the number of fish that we are needing to retrieve and so thank you to all those anglers that are doing their best to ensure the good health of the fish being returned.
Another feature of the hotter conditions is the onset of weed growth and usually by now we would be seeing a fair proportion of the loch showing signs of weed. Again unusually though, this has not happened this year possibly due to the large amount of blanket weed that was present early on in the season and which seems to have supressed the growth of the Watermilfoil and Canadian pond weed which are the two most active weeds in the loch. Nonetheless we have launched the weed cutter and have been taking weed out of Boathouse Bay where a small amount of weed was visible on the surface. There has been no disruption to fishing and all areas of the loch remain fishable. We will try to cut the weed at times when there are no or few fishermen and we would ask that if you see us on the cutter that you fish another part of the loch that is not being disturbed. Any weed not collected by the cutter will eventually find its way to the sides once we have a wind strong enough to blow it along but in the meantime try to avoid any obvious patches particularly when using the outboard motors.
Over the last few days there has been a cooling of temperatures in part due to the severe down-pours that we have had and this has definitely perked things up a bit. Yesterday and today saw some good returns and most people are reporting catching the majority of their fish on dries …… daddies and hoppers being the main patterns. A few anglers are also experiencing success on diawl bachs and buzzers. Hot spots are Swing Gate Bay and along the east shore beyond Lochside Cottage. Anglers are also reporting seeing lots of fish and having lots of fish show interest in their flies. However the fish are still quite wary and follows and plucks without a result are not uncommon. Be patient.
Just a couple of mentions before we move on to Robbie’s Blog
- Ian Anderson whilst having an “ improve your skills session” with Robbie Bell landed a very impressive bag of 11 rainbows, mainly on dries but an odd one to the buzzer as well.
- Jim Rail eight rainbows mainly caught on damsels
- Ronnie Hunter 6 rainbows on buzzers but the session was cut short due to a thunder storm.
- Trevor Robson 11 rainbows on yellow blob and damsel.
- Neil Keillor 7 and boat partner Darryl Young 10 mainly on diawl bachs.
- Karl Ferguson 7 using hairs ear shuttlecock and biscuit blob.
- Pete Hill and Pete Dann fishing from the bank last weekend had a good day with 6 and 10 respectively.
- Robbie Bell landed 16 yesterday and amongst the catch was a superb blue.
- Pete Davis also landed 7 yesterday in a two hour session
- Bob Cockburn today landed 8 in a four hour session
It’s a Game of Two Days.
I arrived early enough but after setting up the boat the usual Blether and Brew went on a bit longer than it should have…………….. 🙂
However it ended suddenly when the dreaded blue sky appeared on the horizon.
A quick dash to the boat and off we go.
Third cast and a fish on. Dries again.
The oaths when it came off were fairly muted, tempered as they were by the early contact.
Five minutes later and a fish in the net.
Ten minutes later with another good trout caught and released a certain smugness ensued as this one was under a blazing sun.
That was it for the day!
A good number of fish that were rising by the buoys proved to be “uncatchable” by me and a local expert Bob Cockburn. We threw most things at them. Bob lost one but I never had a sniff.
Tuition with Ian Anderson.
I started with the usual safety briefing and we decided to go straight to the actual fishing and leave the theory until lunchtime.
First thing in the morning is often the best time particularly at this time of year.
Cooler overnight conditions often bring the fish up and they have been largely undisturbed in the early hours.
I started Ian off on classical Loch Style Dry Fly fishing.
This provoked a lot of interest from the fish but no commitment. Fresh Air Shots I have heard them called but I usually class them as Inspections.
Numerous change of flies resulted in the same outcome. Interest but no contact.
A change of tactics but still fishing dries and Ian still had not touched a fish but we were seeing signs of the fish becoming slightly more aggressive.
One more change to the tactics and he was in.
Ian had a certain amount of experience but this was his first fish on a Dry Fly.
By lunchtime with six fish in the net and two or three lost he was delighted with his morning.
So was I……………………. 🙂
We did some theory with our sandwiches. Going through Preparation and Tactics and some questions and answers.
After lunch we decided to start on learning Buzzer fishing.
After going through this with a couple of different methods and at least one fish hooked and lost a voice from the other end of the boat said;
“Can we go back to the Dries?”
Of course……………. no problem………….. another convert………………….. 🙂
At five o’clock with 11 fish for the day netted and half as many again lost a happy Client and Instructor headed in to get the kettle on.
Ian is staying at the Loch this week so after a cuppa I left him a few flies for his fishing next day and headed home.
What a difference some cloud and ripple can make!
In Club News:
- Mid Lothian AC – fished a mid- week session and general found it quite a struggle. Numbers were low but all reported enjoying the day
- West Lothian AC – 24 fish for 7 rods caught mainly on buzzers and boobies.
- Bank of Scotland FFC – not recorded in the book.
- Benedictine AC – eventually had a good day after a slow start. Mainly fishing in Swing Gate Bay most people achieved their bag limit but actual figures are not available.
In other News:
- Weed Cutting is taking place but all areas of the loch are fishable.
- A reminder for the Lad(y)s and Dads on the 28th of September. Only a couple of boats are left so please phone soon to avoid disappointment.
- Evenings are drawing shorter but it is still just possible to fish through to our closing time of 9.30pm. There is good sport to be had in the evenings and soon the fish will be once again rising to the dries.
In the next period we will be welcoming the following clubs:
- Roslyn British Legion FFC
- Heriots and Invicta FFCs
- North Berwick AC
- Edinburgh High Constables
- Heriots FFC
Let’s hope for good weather but not too good.