With the worst of the weather hopefully behind us now it’s time to look forward to a more settled period of fishing. Buzzers fished as a straight line or in the style of a washing line using a FAB or similar to hang the line has continued to be extremely effective. Unusually for us, the dries have been less effective at this time of the year, and I’m sure that this is a consequence of the up and down nature of the weather. If the dries have been working it has been the humble Shipman’s buzzer that has been most effective with black and white being the colour of choice.
The loch has been fishing particularly well in the deeper area around the buoys but suffice to say, fish are being caught in all other areas too. Due to the strength of the wind, Swing Gate Bay has had less attention than usual from the anglers but my suspicion is that over the next couple of weeks this will certainly come to life as will the ridge that runs down the majority of the north shore. Water temperature and clarity are superb at the moment and I would consider the conditions as near to perfect as possible for the time of the year. Boat and bank fishing are keeping pace with each other with good success coming to both sets of rods.
We are keeping the main report intentionally quite brief this time due to the length of Robbie’s blog which details the events of the inaugural youth competition that we held here last week. Overall I think that we would consider it to have been a successful day and as a consequence will be trying to attract a greater number of youths under 16 years of age to next year’s event.
So before looking at what Robbie has to say about the day here is a quick look at the success stories of the last two weeks:
- Bob Cockburn on his first outing had 20 to the boat including one blue and on his next a further 7. Black dry, black suspender and red buzzer
- Freddie Carter had 10 to the boat and reported losing at least another 10. Buzzers and blob
- Robbie Bell had 10 to the boat and a further 10 on his next outing. F fly wormy and dries
- Jim Pike rounded off a good stay with his mates with six to the boat on an evening session using sedge and FAB
- Bobby Thomson had 16 to the boat including one blue and his boat partner Ian Callow had a further 7. Buzzers and nymphs
- Sanders Nicholson 9 to the boat including 2 blues and boat partner Chris Zandiski had a further 7 including one blue. Snatcher, bibio and buzzers
- James and Joy Gardiner capped off a fantastic first outing with their new pups with an amazing 39 fish to the boat. The dogs loved it and so did they. FAB, quill buzzers
- Jim Hadaway had a great day on the boat with 13 including 3 blues. Cats and dawson’s olive.
- D Halliday had 7 to the boat including 2 blues. Buzzers
- Neil Keillor had a great day on the boat with 13 including a blue and followed this up with a great day on the bank landing 11 rainbows and a blue. Buzzer and biscuit FAB
- Jim Campbell had 9 to the boat. Buzzers and CDC.
- Keith Orr had 8 to the boat using black buzzer and damsel
- Neil McIntyre and Craig Penicuik landed 20 to the boat.
- Allan Cook had an excellent day form the boat landing 14 rainbows. Squirmy worm
- Bob Grant also 14 to the boat reported having a great day with good sport all day. Buzzers and diawl bach
- Colin McIsaac fishing from the bank landed 14 including 1 blue & 1 brown and the blue he estimated at 3 – 3.5 lbs and fin perfect. Pearl bodied black snatcher.
- John McGregor had 6 in a short evening session including one brown. Black Pennell
- Andy Brown and his three mates managed a very creditable 36 fish to their two boats using FABS & damsel
- Ron Shenton landed a lovely 6lb rainbow (see photo) whilst staying for a short break in Lochside cottage with fishing mate Andy
- Earlston FFC – had 75 fish for 11 rods
- High Constables AC – 22 fish for 4 rods
- Kelso British Legion – 77 fish for 22 rods
- Mid-Lothian AC (afternoon and evening session) – A total of 44 fish were landed to the 10 rods. All anglers caught and with the session incorporating a BBQ in to the schedule all anglers reported having a very enjoyable outing.
- Eyewater AC – had a cracking day reporting ‘great day, good quality fish, thanks’ landing 132 fish for 11 rods giving an amazing rod average of 12 on a bright sunny day was a great result
- Norham and Ladykirk – 11 boat rods and 3 bank rods landed a total of 69 fish. The day started with rain but quickly developed into a beautiful sunny day with occasional cloud cover.
- We are currently in the process of buying new nets for use on the boats and the bank thus eliminating the need for anyone to bring their own nets. We consider this to be a step in the right direction in an attempt to reduce the risk of transfer of diseases and other such things. We are purchasing rubber Greys nets for both disciplines ………… long handled nets for the boats and large scoop nets for the bank. Initially we are prepared to run this without a deposit system but will obviously have to see how this goes.
- The swans are once again nesting in the reed bed area at the top end of the loch and we are hoping for cygnets in the next few weeks. We will keep you posted.
So I thought I will volunteer to organise a Youth Day. I will do some Theory and Coaching in the morning and we will fish in the afternoon with a little competition thrown in to spice things up.
Most sports, clubs and other activities are struggling to attract a new generation these days so instead of just lamenting about it I decided I should do my bit. FOC of course.
The idea was to get some youngsters into fishing but as it turned out they were all fishers to begin with anyway. That is something we may have to work on for next year.
The day took a lot more organising than I thought it would. There were people dropping out and others forgetting. Then we had to cancel because of the weather and co-ordinating a new date with school holidays on either side of the border being different was a tad stressful.
Anyway the day dawned and very disappointingly only 4 of the 5 youngsters booked in turned up!
The adults who accompanied them were mainly Granddads and with me recently becoming one perhaps that is something I can look forward to.
The weather was kind in the morning if not perfect. Slightly cool after a hot one the day before but light winds and a fair amount of cloud cover. However by the afternoon it had become scorchio and very bright.
I took the boys from nine o’clock for talks and demonstrations on quite a few different subjects.
We started off with Respect for the Environment and the Fish. This was followed by a discussion on Safety with a particular emphasis on Life Jackets and Safety Glasses.
Then we covered Basic Entomology and how this applied to our choice of flies. Rods, Reels and Lines followed and how the Rod Rating system allows us to balance our tackle not only to its own individual components but to the fish we are liable to catch, the environment they live in and the stature of the user.
Knots and Cast Construction and Preparation for a day out followed. Then we moved on to how to set up a boat for safety and efficiency.
Competition Secrets were discussed!
I did not have time for a full casting session but did manage to pass on a couple of tips and tricks on how to prevent the most common errors and increase your distance. I also demonstrated and talked through how a Roll Cast can catch us more fish.
We had a tea break in the middle of all this and the lads set up an impromptu Fly Tying Session on the picnic table. Keen or what!
By the time I got through all the various subjects it was Lunchtime and Bacon Rolls were expertly provided by Carmel and Gareth.
Lunch hour passed in a flurry of setting up the rods in conjunction with the adults who had spent the morning out fishing to try and find the methods and hotspots for the afternoon competition amongst their respective young uns.
The boats left the dock as soon as they were ready and with a shot fired by Gareth at precisely one o’clock the first casts were made. Alfie Dodd who was the youngest in the group was the first to land a fish with only 10 minutes gone. Corben Skene, the second youngest was next with one in the net only 5 minutes later.
The competition was only for the fish caught solely by the Youths so some of the adults did not fish at all in the afternoon and most of us only had the occasional cast to see if something different might be working.
We had our work cut out anyway with changing flies and sorting out tangles as well as giving advice on techniques!
The final result could not have been closer with 3 of the Lads on seven fish each with Corben getting his last fish in the dying seconds of the match. Always fish to the last moment!
This was a Catch and Release Competition with totally Barbless Flies. However the points scoring system rewarded the angler who caught consistently during the afternoon as opposed to someone who landed on a hot spot.
So with 7 trout for 10 points the winner was our youngest angler Alfie Dodd.
Corben and Jack both had 7 trout for 9 points but with a quicker first fish Corben was second and Jack third.
A total of 23 fish were caught by the Lads so not bad for a four hour session in unhelpful conditions.
Anyone under 16 interested in taking part next year should register with the Carmel and Gareth as soon as possible. No experience or tackle is need for the youngsters. Lads and Lasses welcome.
Over the next fortnight we are very pleased to welcome the following clubs, and with a more settled period of weather being projected we hope that the fishing will be at its best for them.
- TOTGA FFC
- Roslyn British Legion
- Hoy and Hope FFC
- Wiremill FFC
- Railway Inn FFC
Youth Competition Day photo gallery