23rd June – 6th July 2014


Whilst it might be too early to get carried away with a change to how the loch is fishing, it is right to highlight just how well many people have faired during the second half of this period. At the start of this two week period the weather remained hot and bright which in turn raised the water temperature and sent the fish deeper in search of cooler conditions and better levels of oxygenated water. The temptation to switch on the aerator in an attempt to de-stratify the loch was strong but the cooler evenings and occasional windy day meant that nature was left to take its own course. Those that were able to change tactics to fishing deeper were well rewarded and despite the overall picture being one of difficult fishing, some good catches were recorded.

In the second half of the period the picture was distinctly different. Much cooler conditions and a few very sharp showers had the desired effect of freshening things up. Coupled to this, a slowing down in the number of insects hatching in and around the loch all helped to encourage the fish to be more receptive to the variety of flies being presented to them. Up one day and down the next, fly choices varied between

  • dries including, yellow owl, muddler, daddy, balloon caddis, sedges and hoppers
  • wets including, damsel, silver Invicta, blob, mini cats whisker

with the desired effect that some big bags were recorded and amongst the big bags some big fish to go with them. First to be noted was Bob Cockburn who landed 14 to the boat and reported losing at least as many again and missing many more. Bob shared the successful pattern with Dougie Barr fishing in a nearby boat who also then went on to record 8 to the boat.

However, highlighting the up and down nature of fishing at this time of the year, the Ellem Club fishing on the same evening managed only 21 fish for their 22 anglers and reported the evening session as “hard going”

Once again Les Lockey demonstrated his fishing acumen rounding off a fine weeks fishing with a total of 58 fish for 6 days, some of which were cut short to half days due to strong winds and driving rain. Les had a great deal of success using dry flies, particularly, yellow owl. Those lucky enough to be around when Les was in the lodge received flies from him and in most cases went out and caught fish. Thanks Les.

So into the second half of the period, Jock Hunter and Robert Learmouth got off to a great start with 9 rainbows and 1 blue to the boat. On the same day Neil MacIntyre and Franco Volpe had an impressive afternoon and evening session with 14 rainbows to their boat.

Robbie Bell whose blog is listed below had a total of 15 fish of which 11 were rainbows, 3 blue and 1 brown. If you want to read about the monster amongst this haul see Robbie’s corner below. Whilst on the subject of monsters Lochside resident Derek Tree had a brown of a lifetime which he reckoned was a double figure fish – see photos.

Bob Cockburn and his dad James fished the next day and Bob once again showed great consistency catching 15 fish mainly to dries, most fish were caught at the North end of the loch.

From the bank John MacGregor had a superb evening this evening with 9 rainbows to green shipmans and black midge whilst fishing in Swing Gate Bay. David Nunn and Nigel Adamson had 8 to the boat using a variety of cats whisker and black muddler.

So having just watched Countryfile it would appear that the forecast for the forthcoming week remains much the same and it looks like we can expect a mixture of warm sunny days interrupted by heavy showers. If this is the case we can probably expect some more excellent fishing and it may be worth considering evening sessions to catch the best of the rises.


Robbies Corner:

3rd of July.

Tuition morning with John Harrison. Conditions are difficult with the Loch Temperature still highish but perhaps moving in the right direction. There is some cloud cover and just a light breeze

We start off with some Dry Fly fishing as in these conditions it is the easiest form of fishing.

I show him some of the wrinkles that increase your chances and very soon he has fish coming to his flies.

However his lack of experience means he is just a tiny bit slow to react to start with but after about 30 minutes he gets the hang of it and a nice resident rainbow is in the net.

After an hour and some more offers it is time to move on to other methods and I go through a series of different lines, leader set ups, flies and retrieves with him as well showing him how to fish the “hang” which produces another fish to the net.

With half an hour of the session left we switch back to Dries and a few offers result in one more fish hooked but after a few seconds it decides to run towards the boat and John is just not able to keep up with the speed of the fish and the barbless hook slips out.

Never mind a good short session in far from ideal conditions.


July the 4th.

Independence Day

Greetings to our American Brothers, Sisters and Cousins.

I am looking after the Loch today as Carmel and Gareth are off to the Scottish Game Fair.

Not the Berwick one!  🙂

The weather is pretty poor with a strong wind and rain forecast. Still this is helping the Loch cool down and the cloud cover is welcome.

This has obviously put a lot of people off and “my” only customer is regular visitor Les Lockey.

One other chap turns up but decides it is too cold for him…….. 16 Degrees C.  ????

Big mistake…………………..

Carmel and Gareth had both urged me to have a fish so I thought it would be rude not too.

Anyway to cut a long story short by the end of the day myself and Les had given “Freedom and independence” to over 50 fish!

A bit like the “colonies” many fought hard and gained their own independence but around half were netted and subsequently liberated.

It did not seem to matter which flies I used as I caught on Buzzers, Lures, Dries and Nymphs.

All were caught on a floating line but with a 20 foot leader sometimes the buzzers were deep.

One highlight was a monster of a fish. A rainbow trout around 29 inches long with fins that were sharp as pins

The only comparable trout I have caught were in Manitoba. What a fish!

I had a hell of a job with it as at one stage it was 20 yards behind the boat in shallow water with my rod still in front of the boat with the tip probably touching the bottom.

Later in the struggle it dived into the weed and for couple of minutes it all went solid and I did not know whether it was still hooked or not. However the nylon eventually cut through and with a bunch of weed still on its face I managed to get it into my slightly small net. There were bits of it sticking out opposite sides of the 24 inch net as I lifted!

I was also lucky that at some stage my dropper had been ripped off.

Probably on the bottom of the boat………….. eeeek!

If it hadn’t I would not have got it out of the weed.

So how big was it in old money?

Well with the adrenalin coursing I thought it might be 12 Pounds but on reflection although it was a broad and deep fish it was also streamlined.

So between 9 and 10 pounds.

I would like it to be 10…………………………………….  🙂

What a day!


Robbie Bell         Resident Instructor and Guide



Club News:

  • Ellem Club fished an evening session and managed only 21 fish for their 22 anglers which was a disappointing result particularly as the daytime anglers had recorded such good catches. Let’s hope that conditions are kinder to them for their next visit in September.
  • Roslyn British Legion FC reported having a hard but very enjoyable day. Their 24 fish for 11 rods gave them an average of 2.2/angler.
  • Hoy and Hope FC fished today and a superb outing their 4 anglers had a combined haul of 36 fish giving them a rod average of 8.5 /angler. Stevie Cochran had the most number of fish whilst Willie Emery had the heaviest – a rainbow of 3lb 9oz. They reported having a very enjoyable day amongst very hard fighting fish


Other News:

  • Very observant anglers have noticed a very slight change to the clarity of the loch as we go through this mid-summer period and far from hindering fishing this does seem to have improved catching.
  • A reminder that at this time of the year fish need to be handled extremely carefully when being returned to the loch. Notices as to the safe handling of fish are on display in reception and fisherman’s lodge .
  • ‘Lad(y)s and Dads’ charity day reminder. This will be held on Sunday 28th September. Names for this are now being taken, please get in early as places are limited to the number of boats. This has proved to be a fun competition and all proceeds will again be donated to St Abbs RNLI.
  • As it is holiday period for Scotland now we are pretty quiet both during the week and at weekends so there is plenty of space on the bank and boats. We look forward to seeing you.
  • Local tackle shop Game Fair in Berwick now have a website where you can browse and purchase goods at your leisure at www.gamefairdirect.com

During the next period we will be welcoming the TOTAG club and hope they have a good days fishing with plenty of sport.



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