Well, as is normal for us and all fisheries, the weather has been having its’ usual significant impact on the fishing and the past fortnight we have had a wide range of weather conditions to make every angler scratch their chin when deciding where the fish may be found, how far down (or up) they are and what flies may tempt them.
The first week of this last fortnight we have had cooler, though dry and bright conditions, with the water temperature staying reasonably low then the second week has given us warm and humid sunshine encouraging the water temperature to rise to around 17 C at its highest. However, this has been remedied by the huge downpours over the last few days and the accompanying lightning displays have been quite unbelievable. In the early hours of the morning one day last week the sky above the loch was lit up by lightening from all directions and was truly spectacular to see (from the bedroom window!) and the noise of the thunder was immense…though one or two of our holiday guests did sleep right through it all! How????
We then had torrential rain this last Saturday, so much so that some of the comments were along the lines of ……..“fished inside the boat – saved having to cast”; “life belt saved me – inside the boat!!”; and last but not least a comment that summed it up completely simply said “wettest day of my life!!”, but as they say every cloud has a silver lining and from a fishery owners point of view this at least brought the water temperature down and freshened things up a little. The water temp is currently sitting at 15 – 16 degrees C and with cooler weather forcast for the second half of next week things could really liven up on the loch.
So, ‘how’s it fishing?’ well, like the weather, it continues to be up and down at the moment and no two days are the same. Prolific fly life and the continuation of evening caenis hatches (although this is definitely slowing down), means that fish can continue to be fussy and tricky to tempt on to the hook, however the last few evenings have seen a turn in fortune for the bank anglers one or two of whom have been having some good returns using single dry flies fished static or with a slight twitch. Yellow Owl being the key fly.
A common theme over the last two weeks has been ‘I could have landed at least twice as many fish if only I had landed all that I hooked’. Which has meant the numbers in the book don’t accurately reflect the amount of sport anglers have actually had and enjoyed. But, as we often hear ‘That’s fishing for you.’
It is still probably the case that the best of the fishing has tended to be in the mornings and early afternoon though this last fortnight has seen some good returns in the evenings for some of the bank anglers who have been staying here on holiday.
Most successful fly patterns have been CDC buzzer, suspender buzzer, emergers, yellow owl, elks hare caddis, daddies and hoppers.
Here is a summary of respectable catches of the last two week period:
- Steve Bowden 7 from the bank during an evening session. Daddies worked for him.
- Les Lockey fished for the week missing one day due to bad weather. Returns of 8,9,9,10,10 and 6 showed once again what a good hand Les is and again it was predominantly dry flies that proved most effective for him. Les also reported seeing a double figure brownie swim under his boat at the top end of the loch but despite frantic efforts to attract the leviathan it remained unhooked.
- Gordon Boulding landed a whopping 12 fish on the last evening session of his weeks stay in Elm chalet – single dry fly fishing again worked for him.
- Holiday guest John Bruin had 8 on his first night fishing the bank mostly all on small black dries and cdc buzzers. Rain eventually ended his evening prematurely but still not a bad return for a couple of hours fishing.
- Colin McIssac had 16 to the boat which included two blues and a brown. Cdc olive hoppers and cdc pheasant tail shuttlecocks were his killer flies.
- Graeme Kerr reported having had “awesome fun” whilst landing his total of 9 fish which included two browns. Cdc’s again did the trick.
- John Wastle during an afternoon /evening session landed 11 fish. Hare’s ear hopper and fiery brown hoppers worked for him.
- Bob Cockburn reported having had good sport for his 12 to the boat. His catch included fish of 4 and 5 lbs and he reckons to have lost another of approx. 6lbs.
Visiting clubs over the last two weeks:
- David Neilson’s Group of 18 anglers many of whom had not fished here before enjoyed their first visit to the loch and we had good comments about the water clarity and beauty of the place but the fishing was pretty tough for many of them and a total of 50 fish were landed those that caught fish commented on their excellent quality
- Ladhope AC were here on the Saturday 4th and suffered the most torrential downpours the loch has seen in a very long time, it can only be described as biblical. After a thorough drenching the clubs 6 anglers landed 13 fish between them. Best rod on the day was J. Frater fishing from the bank with 7 fish, all caught in the morning.
- We have had plenty of folks interested to have read of Ian Whyte’s heroics regarding protecting the new-born fawn from the crows (see last loch report for story and photos) and we are pleased so say that we have since discovered this was actually one of twins born to this doe and all three are doing well and are spotted regularly by anglers and holiday guests around the loch. There is also another doe and fawn to be seen.
- Unfortunately (and almost inevitably), sorry to report that the swans lost two cygnets 2 this weekend both on the same the night so they are now down to 3 cygnets so fingers crossed that whatever took them – the otters being the most likely culprits we just hope don’t come back for the remaining ones.
- Anyone considering a few days break in the summer holidays please get in touch with Carmel as we have a few slots here and there in the chalets and one slot in Lodge cottage. Even if the fishing is quiet this time of year many families and friends enjoy the beautiful local beaches and miles of walking that are literally on the door-step. We have had anglers who have fished here for years and then come on holiday here and realise how close to the coastal path with the most magnificent clifftop walks.
A little while ago an angler up at the Loch noted in the returns book that he had had a hard day.
He only had five fish!
Now I am old enough to remember when two in a day was just about considered greedy.
My recent visits to Coldingham have resulted in 7 fish last Thursday and today 4 fish.
I described these days as for the 7 “having to work for them” and for the 4 “tough”
So times have changed and we all probably expect more these days. That probably includes in life in general as well as fishing.
Anyway today I started on a couple of dries. An Elk Hair Caddis and a small Black Hopper.
An early fish to the Caddis was pleasant and I carried on with them for an hour but no more.
A switch to a Fast Glass Line and a selection of different flies, retrieves and locations did not result in even a pull.
Back on dries an another fish and a couple of inspections.
Maybe the fast glass was going too deep even with a couple of boobies on?
A change to a Slow Glass produced the same result.
Back on the dries and a third fish but by now it is around three o’clock.
There are a few fish showing but certainly not all of them.
Out comes the Di7.
If they are not up they must be down.
Well they might be deep but they are not playing down there.
Back to the dries at around four o ‘clock.
Three fish come in the last hour.
One which felt very heavy is lost in the weed after giving me a good run around. One comes off at the net and just on five I get one in which turns out to be a very light Blue trout.
Ghost trout I call them (see photos below).
So four fish and two lost.
A “tough” day.
However it begs the question…… Should I have stayed on the dries all day and slowly built up a catch
Or was I right to try different things?
Years ago I would have stayed on the dries after my initial success so perhaps indeed times and anglers have changed.
Robbie Bell Resident Instructor and Guide
Over the next two weeks we are hosting the following clubs. As is normal at this time of the year club outings are fewer and so availability at weekends for day anglers is enhanced so it is well worth phoning to check availability.
- Newmarket AC
- West Lothian Flydressers AC