With the first month of the 2017 season now under our belts and the sound of the chiff chaffs ringing out across the loch we can safely say the season is well under way and with a good strong start to the fishing.
The days have been dry and often sunny these last two weeks with some strong winds at times but and with plenty of natural fly life on the loch the fish are getting stronger and on some days a little trickier to tempt.
Early April is often significant for the start of the real buzzer hatches and the arrival of the possibility of dry fly action, and this past fortnight has proved this to be the case for many anglers enjoying the early season fishing. There have been some days blighted by strong winds but those hardy souls who remained undeterred were amply rewarded even though at times they were somewhat limited to boathouse bay and the northern end tucked into the reed bed as a place to fish.
As in the first fortnight of the season, most of the fish have been caught on or near the surface and we have once again seen some spectacular rises with good numbers of fish being seen in just about all areas of the loch. The northern end, tucked into the reed bed has had some amazing hatches with fish being tricky to catch on some days and many anglers reporting hooking fish but losing them after some play. Boathouse bay has also fished very well especially this last week when the winds have been northerly.
Buzzers, cdc buzzers and emergers have been the main successful fly of choice. Anglers report the fish being picky about style and size and colour of fly and the main success has proved to be fishing them static and then a small twitch at times. Black and skinny buzzers have shown their worth for many anglers along with black and green and black. As in the last period, dries have also been very effective at certain times of the day with top patterns including yellow owl / cdc buzzers, hares ear suspenders and small muddlers.
Here’s a brief run-down of those who have had success over this last period and as always we apologise if we have missed anyone out.
- Holiday guests John McGee and Chick were here for the first week of this last fortnight and caught their usual sun tan’s alongside some good fishing days including John taking 11 rainbows one day on a rabbit, 19 fish on lures another day (16 rainbow, one blue and two browns) and 10 another day on cdc. Chick landed 8 one day, 11 another day and his best day was 15 all on the yellow owl
- M Faucus had 10 on damsels
- John Askell and Billy Mackey both landed 8 each on a windy day off the bank to a black buzzer
- Don Bradley had his annual trip from Cheshire with his brother Alistair and friends Les Lockey, Alan Spilsbury and John Morgan. They had varying success but all enjoyed better weather and fishing than last year’s trip (when they were unable to fish one day due to wind and snow!). Les had 12 on their first afternoon on a hatching buzzer with the others in the group having a few between them. Then John and Les had a beano day together on the boat Les landing 22 rainbow and 6 brown and John landing 12 rainbow and 3 browns all to the hatching buzzer at the top end of the loch
- On the same day Robbie had 16 rainbows, 2 blue and 2 browns to the biscuit blob and buzzers
- David Todd fishing from the boat had 15 rainbows and 4 browns to the cdc and boat partner Derek Todd had 12 rainbows both anglers commenting they had a great day with brilliant sport A second visit from David saw him land 27 rainbow and 3 brown on a day when others around him struggled to land more than a few though on the same day Pete Davison arriving for a few days holiday here landed 7 on a short session from the bank using Apps Bloodworm and buzzers
- Scot Mitchell and Russell Dixon (see photo) have fished together twice in the last fortnight and both visits saw then landing plenty of fish and having great sport using suspender buzzer on the point and two buzzers on the droppers fished mainly static but at times movement was needed to get them interested. Scot had 16 and 25 with Russell following closely behind with 15 and 19
- Darrel Young had 14 to various flies including buzzers, cdc, cormorant
- James Gardiner had 11 on a short session from the bank using cdc buzzer, hares ear
- Colin McIsaac enjoyed a great buzzer hatch at the top end in the last hour and a half of his day on a boat landing 16 fish to cdc buzzer, black buzzer and f fly
- John Sutherland landed 10 to a green buzzer reporting the afternoon as being great afternoon on buzzers
- Bob Cockburn had 18 fish reporting excellent sport and on the same day his dad, James had one of his bets outings landing 7 to black buzzer and a few on dries
- Bob Harrison landed 6 and lost a number too today on a short session from the boat using damsel
So I have Tuition booked on the Sunday coming and I had not been up to the Loch for over five days so it was best I brushed up on the place……….. J
My friend Alan booked a boat for us on the Thursday and up we went.
Due Diligence you know. A Tough Job but somebody has to do it. Cough Cough!
It wasn’t a perfect fishing day with a strong breeze and only a few clouds which would eventually disperse leaving a clear blue sky.
Nobody had informed the trout it wasn’t a good fishing day though………. J
Gareth told us that before the wind picked up there had been Trout rising everywhere.
Particularly in Boat Shed Bay and up at the Top End. There were still fish moving as we went out but of course were a bit harder to see in the wind.
Regular visitor Les Lockey and his partner headed up the Loch so I decided to fish the Bay.
My partner for the day Allan is a novice so the shelter there would make life a little easier for him.
Fish came fairly thick and fast at my end of the boat but Allan was struggling. I was on a Midge Tip and he was on an Intermediate. I had given him the catching flies but he still had no luck.
So after a bit of persuasion I managed to convince him to borrow my spare Midge Tip.
It wasn’t instant success but he did start to catch.
Around 11.30 I had built up a healthy score but then the takes completely dried.
After about an hour I let us down 15 yards on the anchor rope but still no joy so after another 30 minutes with no action a more positive move was called for.
This was only about 30 yards but it did give us instant success.
Same line, leader and flies but now takes and fish were coming regularly.
Alan ended up with his best ever day and mine was brilliant as well.
Les and his partner had a Beano up at the top end and stayed there all day catching fish consistently and ended up being top boat on the day.
So the half days Tuition came around and I had Gerry and his two young sons aged 10 and 13.
Well the diligence paid off with Dad getting two nice trout with the biggest being about 3 pounds.
The two boys netted 3 fish between them and lost another one each at the net.
Well done Boys and Dad.
A late booking saw me back at the Loch the next morning for a half day with Mark (see photos).
He was completely new to Fly Fishing but had done a little bit of spinning and bait fishing.
We had a superb four hours with Mark getting around 15 takes, 12 Trout hooked and 8 to the net.
One of my best half days with a client.
He even finished with a pound and a half Perch and is now a convert to fly fishing.
“Worth every Penny” he said.
Robbie Bell Resident Instructor and Guide
- Leith FFC had anglers fishing the loch but we were unable to identify final numbers in the book so we can’t report on their day, apologies
- Pencaitland FFC reported having had a super day seeing plenty of fish and landed 62 fish giving a rod average of 4.4. The conditions were not favourable as it was sunny and strong north westerly wind so the members did well to catch in the numbers that they did.
- Earlston FFC fished today from boats and their 9 rods landed a total of 53 fish mainly to the buzzer but some members having success with orange fritz, green fritz and pheasant tail nymph. Their 53 fish gave them a rod average of 5.8 Dougie Scott was the winner of the heaviest bag by just 4 ounces.
- We were delighted to see the arrival of the first house-martins making the most of the abundance of fly life at the northern end of the loch on Weds 12th April and they were followed by the sighting of the first swallow yesterday morning Sat 15th April – exactly the same date as they arrived last year.
- Don’t forget you can advertise any tackle you may have for sale/exchange on our board in the fisherman’s lodge and this provides a good place to have a look if you are looking for any spares or additional tackle
Clubs are once again arriving at the loch at the weekends for their various seasonal outings and over the next two weeks we will be hosting the following clubs both during the week and at weekends:
- Edinburgh Breadalbane
- Bank of Scotland AC
- Border Bears FFC
- Pen-Ex AC
- Ellem Club
- Heriots AC
- Roslin Elite FC
- Edinburgh Amateur AC
As always we wish them all successful outings and weather to match.