At the expense of sounding like a stuck record this period has again been dominated by stronger than average winds. So much so that we even had to close the loch on two separate occasions in the last fortnight to all boat fishing for safety reasons – pretty well unheard of for end of May/June. However despite this, the loch continues to fish well and a key feature has been the quality and hard fighting nature of the fish. You only need to look at the returns book to see the comments that are being received from all anglers.
Because of the wind the superb dry fly action that had started to develop has been somewhat scuppered although anglers like Bob Harrison who have remained faithful to the Hawthorns and at times the dapping rod, are still taking fish from the top, and a quick walk around the bank reveals that there are a massive quantity of fly life on and around the water. The other evening I found myself in the middle of a hatch of the infamous apple green midge a tiny little fly not dissimilar in size to a caenis fly. The apple green midge has, as its’ name suggests a bright green body and relatively very large wings and similar to the caenis the fish seem to have no other interest in anything else when they are about.
The clarity of the water is still superb and as we write this report the temperature is a steady 13 degrees and with the wind a strong as it is the water remains well oxygenated (every cloud has a silver lining). It’s very encouraging to us to receive comments from boat and bank anglers who are suggesting that the loch and its surroundings are in tip top condition and the abundance of wild flowers and sightings by holiday guests and anglers of wild life such as badgers otters hares, roe deer etc only adds to the magnificent surroundings. The otters are now a regular feature and are becoming less timid and more visible at all times of the day. Our current guests in Lochside cottage watched two otters outside of their window last night for a good half and hour and last week one of our guests from Lodge Cottage was fishing from the casting platform with one otter swimming in front of him and another sitting right behind him.
Back to the fishing: patience has rewarded those who have persisted with dry flies and top patterns have included grey wolf, grey duster, black gnat, hawthorn and hopper. Below the waves but not that far, bloodworm, black beetle, damsel and a variety of buzzers and diawl bachs are still proving to be very effective.
So with an improving forecast for the next 5 days and beyond it is well worth a visit to the loch. Boat and bank are fishing equally well and with lighter winds it could well be an exceptionally good period for dry fly fishing
Top catches for the two week period include:
- Graham Inkpen 8 rainbows using booby & bloodworm
- Brian Richardson 8 rainbows using a combination of bloodworm, buzzer & damsel
- Robert Learmonth had 16 rainbows using bloodworm and blob, Robert reported having a good day with the fish in first class condition
- Father and son Ken and Steve Salliss who were here on holiday had a superb week perhaps their best day saw them catch very well with a number of fish in the 5- 7lb bracket and one of approx. 10lbs then Ken had a 10 lbs rainbow a few days later after son Steve had to leave to go back to work – a few texts were sent back and forth to Kent!
- Stuart Anderson had 9 rainbows all to a black gnat on one session and another outing he had a further 8 with his boat partner Ian Douglas had 9 using various dries
- Dave Moody 15 fish including 3 blues all caught on black dries the best reckoned to be 7lb plus
- Bob Cockburn had 11 fish including one blue caught on black dries and hares ear suspender, best fish approx. 5lbs 6oz
- David McIntosh had 16 to the boat and their comment is worth noting “They say Lake of Menteith is the best in Scotland – this is up there with it”
- Bob Harrison had 9 fish including two blues and a couple caught on the dap
- Graeme Witty staying in Loschside cottage had 8 rainbows one day suing hoppers and blobs
- Ian Whyte had 8 to the boat using dries
- Bobby Thompson and Ian Callow had 14 to the boat
- Mick Kelley had 10 to the boat
A Fish on the First Cast
Now some people think this is a bad omen and you are doomed to a bad day if this happens.
What a load of nonsense…………………………………??
So when I hook three fish on my first three casts and land two of them I know I am just in for a fabulous day.
I had set up a floating line with a cast of nice slim buzzers on a 21 foot leader of 8 lb fluorocarbon.
The wind was south west so I anchored the boat between the cages and the buoys and after wishing my boat partner Ian Whyte good luck I cast out 25 yards of line slightly across the wind.
A couple of long pulls straighten everything out and I then dropped into a slow figure of eight retrieve.
30 seconds later everything went tight and a nice 2lb Rainbow Trout started leaping around.
This was safely netted and retuned. Great start I thought.
The next cast and the same procedure brings the same result.
Third cast Ditto. Except this one fell off the barbless hooks at the net.
Wow this is going to be some day!
Five hours later my net had thoroughly dried out!
To be fair I had hooked if only briefly 4 fish in that time. One of which did stay on for more than a few seconds but still fell off.
With only an hour to go and having tried most things opted for something I rarely do.
Lures on a floating Line. Normally when I am pulling I use at least an intermediate if not one of a selection of sinking lines I have.
I knew there were fish up as many had been seen regularly during the day. They were not really rising but just bruising the surface as thy picked off something small and flush.
Good call on the line and flies as I caught five and lost one in the last hour.
My partner Ian had a different day and ended up with eight fish which he caught steadily through the day on a mixture of methods. It is amazing sometime how two ends of a boat can be so different at times
However the main talking point for us however was the weather.
The loch was busy with most boats out as the forecast was for dawn to dusk cloud cover and 6mph winds.
What did we get? 80% sunshine and winds up to 20 mph.
Just as well those forecasters are not paid by results as they would be below minimum wage! 🙂
Robbie Bell Resident Instructor and Guide
- Wiremill FFC had 68 fish to 21 anglers bank and boat giving a rod average of 3.2
- Hoy n Hope FFC braved a windy and cold morning (see picture) and fished 4 hours as the weather was due to worsen in the afternoon and their 7 anglers had 11 fish commented ‘Terrible weather good fighting fish heaviest fish 3lb 5 oz
- Railway Inn FC fishing on the same day as Hoy n Hope had 10 fish to their 6 anglers again on a short session due to the weather but they reported it was still ‘Very enjoyable – weather mild, slight wind’ – which of course you can see from their photo below!
- Ferranti FFC and Newmarket AC could not fish their planned visits due to the loch being closed because of the strong winds
- Black Bull FC despite a strong westerly wind the lads fished today in brilliant sunshine and enjoyed a cracking days fishing landing 89 fish to their 16 anglers giving a rod average of 5.56 their heaviest fish weighed in was 5lbs 13oz
- Heriots FFC were due to fish on Saturday night but as this was one of the days we had to close the loch they came Sunday evening instead and hence their numbers were reduced, they enjoyed a good evening though the wind was still up a little and the fish were being tricky for some, they landed 27 fish to their 6 anglers giving a rod average of 4.5
- We are happy to say that the swans have once again produced a clutch of cygnets and can be seen swimming round the loch with their 5 youngsters in tow.
- A reminder that evening sessions are well under way and it is well worth pitching up for a four hour session. Rods are expected to be off the loch no later than 10 o’clock
- Holiday bookings for 2016 are coming in now and so anyone who would like to reserve a cottage for next year it is worth getting in touch with Carmel by phone or email Carmel at email@example.com . We do also have some spaces left in one or two of the cottages for holidays and short breaks this season so please get in touch if you would like further information on this.
Visiting Clubs in the next two weeks:
- Midlothian AA
- Thurston Manor
- TOTGA FFC
- Edinburgh Amateur AC
- Western AC
- Last Cast AC
- St Johns Fly Fishers
- Cockburn AC
We wish you a warm welcome and hope good weather and plenty of good sport in June.
To view photos click on the photo to enlarge and scroll through using arrows. Photos of the Heriots AC were takne by Colin Riach and are published here with his permission