30th May – 12th June 2016

It is rumoured that there is a loch out there somewhere but with the haar that has been hanging over this east coast for the last two weeks, it’s hard to believe. The weather forecast has twice said that the mist was breaking up and heading west but we are still waiting and as a result the fishing has been unpredictable to say the least. Just looking at today’s fly patterns in the catch records says it all …. to name but a few, buzzers, boobies, muddlers, dries, black foam beetle; in other words no rhyme nor reason and certainly difficult to categories.

On a positive note, the colder than usual weather is keeping the water condition good and the algal bloom at bay and as a result those people who are managing to catch  are describing the fish as being on steroids. Some bigger fish are also being recorded, Robbie Bell had one of approx. 8lbs, Graeme Witty a 5 lb brownie followed by rainbows of 5 and 6 lbs to name but a couple and there have been many reports of fish lost and hooks straightened.

Surprisingly, there has still been some good sport to be had on the dry fly and in particular in the evenings, when at times, despite the cooler temperatures, fish have continued to rise. It hasn’t of course been as prolific or consistent as it was in May, but following are some of the individuals who have had success over the past fortnight:

  • Andy Hudson fishing a zonker off the boat had 9 fish ‘Excellent day. Good fighting fish’ and on the same day Robbie Bell had 10 on a zonker and buzzers
  • Dave Moody had ‘great sport’ landing 10 fish to the boat, all on dries on one evening session and a fee days later landed 10 again ‘excellent, lots of missed offers’ to the CDC and dries
  • Bob Harrison and Judy Whitelaw had 7 to the boat on one short evening session and 5 on the next using CDC buzzer and lost twice as many again commenting ‘all the sport was in the last hour’
  • Leam and Paul Barnard fishing a short evening session had 9 to the boat on a black gnat ‘really good, nice fighting fish’
  • Robert Learmonth landed 9 to the boat on dries commenting ‘great day – top of the water sport’ and on the same day Peter Allen had 7 to the boat on dries and buzzers
  • K Sallon landed 7 to the boat ‘a good afternoon’s fishing’
  • Dan Watson had 8 fish to CDC buzzers and hares ear commenting ‘so many offers/follows/takes, frustrating but great!’
  • Pete Dann, regular bank angler has had a real purple patch despite the strange weather landing 10 (incl a cracking 4lbs)  and 8 (incl one at 6 and half lb) in a short session on the bank to the yellow owl and the black foam beetle, in swing gate Bay
  • Alec McMeiken had a ‘very god day, dry fly, all on top!’ landing 9 to his boat
  • Holiday guest Graeme Witty landed his first ever brownie at Coldingham which he estimated to be about 5lbs and came right up out of the water to take the hopper he had on offer
  • Bob Cockburn landed 14 to the boat on a Hawthorn on a day that was ‘chilly for June’
  • Neil MacIntyre (see photo) had 6 on damsel and buzzer fishing an afternoon and evening session with Craig Pennycook who didn’t fare quite as well with 2 to the damsel
  • Robbie Bell had 13 to buzzers and a variety of flies landing an 8lb rainbow amongst them which of course went
  • Gordon Boulding landed 6 on his bank session to the shipmans buzzer (black)
  • Billy Mackey had 8 to the foam beetle off the bank (Pete Dann was nearby sharing his fly information!)
  • Nigel Meekings holiday guest had 4 in a short session to the buzzer incl one at 5lb plus and one at 4lb (see Robbie’s Corner)
  • Stuart Younger had 12 on a long day session using cormorant and stating ‘excellent quality fishing’
  • On the same day as Stuart, holiday guest Graeme Witty, had a good end to his week of fishing with 8 to the boat on buzzers
  • Victor Brown returning to the loch after many years had 6 fish on a cold and misty Saturday including a 3lb brownie all to buzzers
  • Neil Keillor had 7 to the boat yesterday on a very wet and foggy day including a blue using FAB and buzzer – he resisted using his go-to damsel fly and still caught well when others struggled.


Robbie’s corner:

The Phone Rings.

Hello Gareth.

Hello Robbie

The usual pleasantries.

“Robbie I have a holiday guest here who his struggling to catch a fish.

Are you available for tuition tomorrow?”

Sorry Gareth I am off to Grafham in the morning to fish the Bob Church Classic.

“Good Competition!”

Yes it is invitation only to the UK and Irelands Top Anglers plus a few reasonable rods like myself to make the numbers up to 100.

I am busy sorting out my tackle right now but I have conflicting thoughts.

I would like to be super prepared for this competition by making up leaders, tying flies, fitting on new lines and generally polishing up my gear.

On the other hand a fellow angler needs some help and a bit of pocket money never goes wrong. 🙂

Anyway after a bit of chit chat I agree that depending on how my preparations go I may be able to do a half day that afternoon.

I arrive at the Loch at 14.30 hrs. and prepare the boat for a four hour session.

My client Nigel arrives soon after and he looks vaguely familiar.

It turns out later he had been in the shop a few times over the last few years.

Anyway off we go. Conditions are not great. There is a gusty cold wind coming in off the Sea and strong bright sunshine. Probably exactly what you don’t want.

There is also precious little insect life and only a very occasional and half hearted rise.

I spend the first half an hour going through the basics on tackle and flies and then tie in a bit of entomology for this time of year and how that relates to fly choice and how to fish them.

After a while and with no action I decide on a move down to Swingate Bay. Gareth had told me that one of his regulars, Pete Dann had a lot of fish there in a short morning session.

This proved to be a good move as Nigel caught a nice two pound fish. His first in a while……….. 🙂

With the sun going down a touch a couple of fish move so I do a quick demonstration on how to fish Dries and pass the rod to Nigel. The next half an hour results in four or five offers but no hook ups.

The wind has veered slightly by now and a calmish patch has appeared halfway along the south shore so I decide to give the Buzzers another go. You always have more control when fishing these in calmer water.

Good move!

A five pounder in the net. Nigel is a bit chuffed!

Another fish takes a hold but falls off halfway in and then it dries up..

We move again . A good move again.

Another fish gets off but a nice one makes it to the net.

Last Cast as it is now 19.00 hrs.

Chaos! A brute has taken hold.

It runs quickly to the side of the boat.

Try and keep it away from the anchor rope I shout as I frantically start to pull it in.

Too late.

Luckily though it is the fly line that is round the rope and not the Leader and the Flies.

We let the line go slack and pass the rod round the rope. Twice!

The fish is still on.

Barbless hook and all………………………

A couple of minutes later it is in the net. Six pounds plus!

Panic over and we have a good laugh.

It must have been quite a sight for the two guys in the other boat close to us.

Are you available the same time next year Nigel asks.

Robbie Bell, Scottish Borders Fly Fishing


Club News:

Cockburn AC landed 15 fish to their 7 anglers commenting ‘Good day – lots of patience needed to catch lots of rising fish’ Those that landed fish were mainly to the buzzers (green, claret) and cdc emergers, yellow owl

Heriot AC fished their annual evening session with their 9 rods landing 51 fish giving a rod average of 5.67. Trevor Gibson landed a cracking 8.5 lb rainbow which was safely returned to the water

Black Bull FC had 66 fish for 14 rods giving a rod average of 4.7 with the heaviest fish of 4lb 6oz landed by Dez Thomson

Arniston AC had their first visit to the loch and had a difficult day and a total of 9 fish, mainly to black buzzers on Saturday 11th – which was pretty grim and cold with a mist down all day. Most of the members had not been to the loch before and unfortunately they left not having seen it fully due to the fog – they hope to return next year on a clear and warm day like you would hope for in June! Their biggest fish was 5lb 6oz.

Spittal FFC had a tough day of it yesterday on a wet and foggy day with their 7 anglers taking 12 fish. Gary Hall had heaviest fish at 3lbs 3 oz to the buzzer Pawel had the biggest number landed and Eric had the heaviest bag of 8lb 10oz using muddlers


Visiting clubs next time:

  • Fishers Tryst
  • Morpeth Conservatives FFC
  • Mid Lothian AA
  • Ladhope FFC

We look forward to welcoming you to the loch and just hope that this easterly wind swings away to bring a much needed change to the weather for you



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