24th July – 6th Aug 2017

This last period has seen what we refer to as the summer doldrums take a hold of the loch and the catch returns book has many a comment with the words tough and hard featuring quite heavily. There have also been anglers seeing fish moving but not being able to see or work out what they are feeding on making the fishing an interesting challenge for those willing to fish in this period. The weather continues to be erratic with anglers ensuring they have their waterproofs with them even when they head out under blue skies.  Looking at the week ahead forecast it looks like the weather is set to stay unsettled so we may have more of the same over the next fortnight.

Rising fish are a little hard to spot at the moment though holiday guests out early morning and evening have reported seeing more fish activity at that time of the day.  Swing Gate Bay is still the pick of the hot spots with fish moving close in to the shore feeding on the large amounts of perch fry.

Please Note: We are almost sure that the shoaling up of fish in Swing Gate Bay is as a result of a cock fish being in amongst the hens. A large black fish has been seen by bank anglers amongst the shoal and this is almost certainly the culprit. We are asking anglers that if they catch this fish to remove it from the loch. (Another feature of this fish is that it may also have a large kype ie hooked bottom jaw.) We have seen this sort of behaviour once before, a couple of years ago, where the hen fish are showing all the signs of spawning even though biologically this is not possible but will do this when in the presence of a cock fish.  As soon as the fish has been removed we will of course let you know and this will result in the fish being more evenly spread out however even though there are currently large numbers of fish in Swing Gate Bay please be assured that there are still good numbers in all other parts of the loch.


Alongside fry patterns, there has been some success on dries the best in the latter half of this period have been the foam daddy, cdc emerger, yellow owl,  and hopper. Under the surface, hares ear, cormorants, white minkies, buzzers and damsels have brought success to some anglers.

Angler numbers have been small in the last period as is normal this time of year but here is a quick canter through people who have had some success over the last two weeks:

  • Colin McIsaac had a good day in the first week of this period landing 10 fish including a blue using black crippled midge
  • James and Joy Gardiner had 11 fish to their boat on snatchers and bibio
  • Bob Cockburn had 7 using daddy, hares ear, minkies
  • Pete Dann reported plenty of action and sport when fishing a couple of hours from the bank though he only landed two of the many that came to his yellow owl
  • Ronnie Hunter fishing a 4 hour session from the boat landed 6 to the yellow owl and daddy


Club News:

  • Kelso British Legion were the only club to visit in this period fishing today and had a very tough day with the top rod being Tam Brown who landed 8 fish on the bank including 2 browns using the yellow dancer.


Other News:

  • We have both spotted a kingfisher in the last week by the boat house then it flies across to the floating platform. It has clearly sussed out that there are numerous fry for it to feed on around the shore line. It has also been seen by Bob Harrison perched on the fish cage fishing for fry
  • Raffle tickets are on sale for the raffle we will hold on our annual charity day on Sunday 24th Sept and we ask for your help in supporting this event by purchasing tickets for the raffle. We have a beautiful print of puffins done by wildlife artist Jan Ferguson as well as an array of fishing prizes including a fishing bag, box of flies and non fishing prizes such as a bottle of St Abbs Independent Gin and a selection of their merchandise
  • We have started the weed cutting when the weather has been windy enough and boathouse bay has now had as much weed removed as we are able to. We will of course continue to weed cut as and when we can and will report here when it is done. If you ring to book fishing and we know we will be weed cutting we will tell you at the time of booking.

Robbies Blog:

Catching More Fish


I don’t suppose there are many of us who would want to catch less fish………………..

Of course there are some days when you get it really right. Then after a good few fish you might take a break for a coffee or perhaps to change lines and method but usually if you have nothing in the next half hour or more you will be very tempted to go back to what you were catching on before. J

So how do you catch more fish and how are some anglers better than others.

I have just returned from the National Rivers Final held on the River Ure in Yorkshire where myself and 31 others were fishing for the 5 places in the English Rivers Team.

On the second day morning I was fortunate to be controlling for Freddy Bainbridge who would be National Rivers Champion at the end of the day.

Freddy has great technique and when he was controlling me in the afternoon he very kindly said I was fishing exactly the same way he does.

However what sets Fred apart is his decision making. He has a great Fishing Brain and gets the most out of his sessions as proved by his 18 Trout and Grayling in his three hour session in the morning.

Now a great fishing brain can neither be bought nor taught although your experience can and will make you better.

However we can all improve our techniques and tackle.

Taking Tackle first what you can do is go through all your different items of tackle and equipment and ask yourself two questions.

Is this the best tool for the job?

If it is the best can I improve it?

Then if it is not the best am I prepared to invest in something better.

Now say taking a proper boat seat. Great for comfort and visibility but adding a rod holder, some foam for sticking flies on and a fly line sink rate chart and then it is much better.

For landing nets the one you use may be OK but investing £19.99 in a Greys rubberised 22inch diameter net and an eight foot telescopic handle for £10 and you then have got the right tool for the job.

Such a net enables you to land fish easily and is usually quicker so you will probably lose less. However it also enables you to use a greater distance between your point fly and your top dropper and so you probably hook more fish in the first place!

Other things just may make the day easier such as a waterproof bass bag which can have some water added at the beginning of the day. This can save you having to dip a cloth bag frequently which could result in a missed take.

So you may perhaps see that just taking your time to have a critical look at every single piece of your equipment could add a few more fish to your tally.

Then we come to technique.

One way to learn is to join a club and to fish with other anglers particularly in a boat.

I would politely suggest that although fishing with a good friend is always a pleasure your progress may be somewhat limited. By fishing with different anglers you can often pick up little tips and nuances that can add a fish here and there.

Have a go at National Championships where you could end up controlling Freddy Bainbridge for a River Session. On the Lochs and Reservoirs you could be drawn in a boat with Iain Barr or Jock Kettles.

So fishing with other Anglers can help but there is no doubt that tuition can significantly shorten and smooth the learning curve.

I should know as I have had quite a few in my time but I will add that I am not touting for business

Other Instructors are available. J

Going back a few weeks ago I wrote about luck.

Well I had good and bad at last week’s National Rivers Final.

One fish in the first morning session when the river was 5 feet, coloured and rising and I would be back in an England Team.

However in my fourth session I hooked and landed a 50.4 cm (20 inch) Brown Trout and this was the largest fish in the Competition.

That won me an $875 (£660) Loomis Rod.

I would rather have had that other fish…………………………….


Robbie Bell


(In Robbie’s  blog on our website, where there is a ‘j’ there should be a smiley face – for some reason our word-press system interprets smiley faces as a j)

Visiting Clubs:

Over the next period we have Heriots AC,  Roslin Elite FC and Border Bears FFC visiting the loch. We sincerely hope the summer doldrums are over by the time they come and wish them tight lines and an enjoyable outing.

Just a few pictures this time – please feel free to send in any of your fishing trips or holiday here and we will put them on the loch report

Please click on the pictures to enlarge


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