This last fortnight has again seen the continuation of warm weather however we have at least had some spells of rain here at the loch, though nowhere near the amount that we need to get the level back to normal, any amount has been welcomed. So the summer doldrums continue to a certain extent, however, as discussed in the previous loch report none of us should be surprised by this – we are still only in early August.
We have also just fitted a new aeration system after the old one finally decided it was giving up the ghost. This new system will be on the whole time but is significantly quieter than the previous one and is not as visually spectacular. You may remember that there was a big mushroom bubbling into the centre of the buoys in front of lochside cottage? Well this is more of a quiet fizz though still visible, the system diffuses far more bubbles across a wider area and so should provide a large area of de-stratified water for the fish to take refuge in when the conditions warrant it being on.
We have therefore removed the four of the five buoys that we used to rope off this area when the aerator was on. We now have just one buoy which is attached to the new system and marks it for us to use when we need to do any maintenance work. In the past some anglers have (at times) used these buoys to tie to as an anchor point when the loch has been windy but this one remaining buoy must not be used as an anchor point.
We have had some rain in this last fortnight, and, at times, cooler winds, and this has impacted the loch in both a positive and negative way. The positive side is that the water temperature has dropped and over the last few days has been hovering between 14 and 15C…good news indeed. However with this drop in water temperature we are now experiencing the inevitable algae bloom. The water is by no means thick with it but there is a definite colour and suspension. It has not significantly affected the fishing so far and hopefully with cooler weather being forecast for this weekend we will see the water temperature continue to fall and as the loch settles back into more normal conditions, the bloom will hopefully begin to dissipate.
Generally, fish have still been rising and taking from the top, though as always there have been quieter periods and the we are still suggesting to anglers that fishing in the morning and evening may be the most productive periods in the current conditions. There are of course days when this trend has been bucked and a few evenings ago we have plenty of boats out with few fish caught and the day before anglers had reported that the afternoon was the time with the most action. The flies that have shown the most success in this last period have been black beetle, daddy, cdc and buzzers. Anglers fishing the bank have generally done better than the boat – fishing both swing gate bay and the eastern shore at the top end of the loch.
We have not had huge numbers of anglers over this last period, so the following ‘who has done what’ over this last fortnight may be shorter than usual. We don’t usually include anglers landing less than 5 as the list would be very long but have included a few 4’s and 5’s here as in the comments column these anglers have reported having a good day:
- John Tait did very well in an evening session landing 10 to the bank including 3 browns. Alexandra
- Allan Cook landed 10 to the boat, most of them in the morning as the afternoon became very windy. Buzzer and dries
- Charlie Kennedy landed 7 to the bank in a short evening session one night and the next morning another 7 including one brown. Grey duster and balloon caddis, black beetle
- Pete Dann had 8 to the bank in a short morning session. Black hopper, snail
- Neil Keillor had 10 from the bank including a rainbow reporting ‘best day on dries lost 15’ . Cdc, owl, caddis
- Kieran Johnson who is a recent convert to fly fishing did very well on his first ever visit to the loch by landing 3 to the bank. Black beetle
- Joe Brock landed 5 on one session and 3 on another – a rainbow, a blue and a brown. Bog eyed beetle first session, diawl back second session
- Gordon Boulding reported ‘excellent evening’ landing 6 on the bank. Daddies and hoppers
- Bob Cockburn fishing from the boat landed 15 including 2 browns and his dad James landed 6 rainbows. All on dries – daddies and beetles
- David Auld reported another good day landing 9 to the boat. Dries cormorants
- John Finlay landed 4 to the bank on a short session reporting ‘superb evening’. Cdc
- Roger Wheater landed 4 reporting ‘ a good challenging day’ . Daddy
- Last but not least we have to mention Colin who was over on holiday from Belgium and landed his first ever rainbow trout on a Stillwater (see photo). He fished on an evening that saw an absolute deluge come down (John Finlay fishing off a boat the same evening described the rain as ‘biblical’ which was the best word for it) and in a short space of time before the rain stopped play, Colin landed 3 rainbows on the bank and reported ‘fantastic fishing’
No clubs visited this last fortnight.
- As reported in the last loch report, Lad/Lady’s and Dads Charity day 30th Sept is now full. Thank you to those of you who have been buying raffle tickets and we ask those who can’t come on the day to please support us and this very worthy local charity by buying tickets for the raffle. Prizes include a fly box of 140 flies tied by the Scottish International Team of 2017, a bottle of St Abbs Independent Lifeboat Gin, Oyster catchers print by wildlife artist Jan Ferguson, a set of cards by Jan Ferguson, a bottle of whisky, St Abbs Independent Lifeboat clothing – T shirt, cap, fleece/hoody
- The days are just beginning to shorten and the nights drawing in that little bit earlier. The two cygnets are growing and the huge numbers of swallows and house martins are an extraordinary sight particularly up near Stable Cottage and feeding on the loch when there is a hatch on. The warm summer has clearly suited the wildlife if not the anglers!
These probably come in more guises these days than ever before.
If you go back thirty or so years there were probably no Boobies, no Blobs or Fabs.
Foam Daddies and Superglue Buzzers were still in the future as well as Snakes and Shammies.
If Apps Worms were around they were still a secret.
Crunchers were still to come as was (just) the Crisp Packet Buzzer.
Bungs had been “invented” but were mainly confined to New Zealand.
Specific Barbless Hooks for Flies were non-existent and you had to de-barb your own although even doing that was probably rare.
So what’s changed?
Well some of it is down to new materials as well as new uses for old ones.
Then there are tens of thousands of Fly Tiers plotting away through the winter!
New ideas and fads will always come and go. Some stick around.
I suspect that not many tie on a Soldier Palmer or Wickham’s Fancy these days
So today Fly Selection is probably more difficult and your Fly Boxes probably need to be bigger and more numerous.
Or do they?
I think that a lot of Anglers and at times I include myself, get fixated too much on the flies and not on how we are fishing them.
Of course it is no good using a Tungsten Bead Buzzer when a size 16 Dry is needed.
Or a size 18 Top Hat when the Trout are Fry Bashing.
If the fish are on Buzzers there are probably dozens of patterns that will work equally as well as each other as long as they are in a the approximate ball park.
Likewise if the Trout are taking Damsels does the Marabou used in the tail really need to have been on a south west facing window sill for the first two weeks in May to bleach it to the exact colour!?
If you cast well and fish a tidy leader at the correct depth and speed then you must be in the game at least 8 or 9 times out of 10 as long as your fly is in the ball park of what is required.
Of course that does leave the 1 or 2 times when the fish use their voting rights and you do need that special fly.
(44) 01289 302 510
We look forward to welcoming Heriots AC during this next period.