2nd – 15th September 2019


This last fortnight has continued to be a fairly tough period for many anglers fishing the loch. The good news is that we have seen the arrival of cooler temperatures at night and also during the day now, particularly the last few days. The temperature is of the water is now down to 12C which where we would want it to be for this time of year and this is beginning to have a positive impact on the fishing.

As always the days of good and hard fishing can sit side by side as happened this last weekend – Saturday fished very well but then yesterday was back to being hard going with just one angler catching into double figures and many others struggling to land a couple of fish. Having said that anglers weren’t helped by the very strong winds making it very tricky conditions to fish in.

 Anglers are reporting that generally fish are on top or not far from the surface and it seems to be that the fish are fairly well spread out now with anglers seeing fish in all areas of the loch. The usual suspects have been working – daddy, hopper, cdc, diawl bach, damsel, black f fly, nymphs, apps bloodworm and cormorant. In addition folk using buzzers have reported success with black, black and red, and black and green seeming to be favoured by some.

Some bigger fish have been reported being caught in the 4lbs plus bracket and also one or two estimated at over 8lbs and one at 9lbs that went back in the loch. We have also had a number of perch being caught though not in huge numbers. One was landed by Matt Baldwin a holiday guest who has not fly fished before (see photo) and was here with his dad, David, unfortunately here during the tough fishing period but nevertheless they both enjoyed their holiday and their first foray into the world of fly fishing.

The aerator is now switched off as the water is as reported in the last report we were still using it but with less frequency.

We had Jeff Prest, one of the editors for Trout Fisherman visit us last Monday as he is writing a feature about the fishing here at the loch. We asked Robbie if he would go out with Jeff and he did well to land 7 fish in four hours using mainly a damsel and blue cormorant (the fishing was still pretty tough at that point) and so gave Jeff plenty to write about in his article. Jeff is unsure which issue it will be published in, but it is likely to be spring next year and we will certainly let you know when we hear which issue it will be in.


Robbie Blog:


When I am teaching complete beginners I spend the first hour or so in the Hut going through Safety then some Basic Entomology followed by Flies and Tackle.

However it nearly always comes as a surprise that after casting out the line the reel is not used to bring it back in.

 The obvious exceptions are when moving from place to place or at the end of the day.

Which brings us to retrieving the line.

There are of course many ways to do this.

I suspect the most common is what I have come to call the Scottish Pull.

I am not sure when fly fishing from a drifting boat originated but the term “Loch Style” would indicate that north of the Tweed had something to do with it.

The first ever National Championships were Scottish and held on Loch Leven and this year was the 127th time it has been run with the Lake of Menteith being the current venue.

 Allan McLachlan is this year’s Winner followed very closely by last year’s winner Derek Pozzi with only one fish less.

So going back to the Scottish Pull this is a steady retrieve of about 15 inches taking around two or three seconds.  Very traditional and often effective on its day but not always.

Other days a nice steady Figure of Eight is often a winner. Our North American friends in Canada and the USA call this a Hand Twist which I find is a better description for Novices.

Long fast pulls seem to be very popular with the younger generation.

 Perhaps because they are fitter!

I believe this type of retrieve was banned in Competitions in the past.

It was deemed to be “Imitating the Minnow” and as such was not Fly Fishing.

Times change.

What also changes is what the fish want.

So if your traditional Scottish Pull is not working why not try something different.

It might just work.

Best regards



Tel:  01289 302 510


Other News:

  • As we mentioned in our last report, all places for the Lad(y)s and Dads comp are now full and the comp will take place as always on the last Sunday of this month i.e. 29th All monies from the day will again be donated to St. Abbs Independent Lifeboat so please, if you have not already done so, buy a couple of raffle tickets for this very worthy of causes.
  • There is still no sign of the lost rod and reel that went over the side a few weeks ago so if you are here and you do happen to snag it please let us know.
  • The last clutch of swallows in the boat shed fledged last week and are busy learning to feed themselves as the adults begin to gather in bigger groups and we guess they will be off as soon as the youngsters are strong enough

Club News:

  • Priory AC reported a ‘difficult day enjoyed by all’ landing 35 fish including 5 blues on various flies
  • Roslin Elite AC – unsure what the catch for their 4 rods was as the book not filled in
  • Leith AA fished the same day as Norham and also experienced difficult conditions landing a few fish between their 5 rods reporting ‘excellent day as usual – sunshine and trout!
  • Norham and Ladykirk had a tricky day reporting having seen lots of fish but difficult to get them to take they landed 27 fish in total with John Foreman winning the trophy (see photo) with the heaviest bag of 3 fish weighing in at 9lb 14 oz. The heaviest fish of 3lbs 15oz was landed by Laurence Taylor.
  • Eyewater AC fishing this last Saturday reported having had a very good day landing 58 fish to their 12 rods. Bobby Thomson won the day with the heaviest bag of 12lbs 12oz (using hoppers mainly) and the heaviest fish of 6lbs 3oz with Davie Jackson coming in second with a 5lb 6oz fish (see photo) and Robert Weir third with a 4lb fish
  • Kelso British Legion fished yesterday in very strong winds and had a much harder day of it landing 32 fish to their 14 boat rods and 5 bank rods. Not an easy day for them at all and fair play they stuck it out despite the frustration of fishing in such strong winds – we really hope next year the weather gods are much kinder to them.

Visiting Clubs:

  • Mid Lothian AC
  • Bank of Scotland AC
  • Ladhope AC

All of the above clubs will be fishing with us over the next two weeks. We extend a warm welcome to them all and hope that the coming period offers them some good productive fishing outings.


For the gallery please click on the image for full picture and use the arrows to scroll through – apologies for any heads chopped off! – this happens with large photos and is rectified when you click for the full image, thank you

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