Large hatches of Olives during mid-afternoon has prompted a return to rising fish in just about all areas of the loch and the good news is that fish are once again being caught at the northern end of the loch, near to the reed beds. It’s been a while since the fish have occupied this area of the loch, instead choosing the deeper areas and Swing Gate Bay as their ‘go-to’ places but be assured that they are now back in good numbers.
Strong winds have been a feature of the past fortnight and unfortunately this has hampered where fishermen have been able to anchor and fish safely but that said, the catch returns have been very encouraging. As we said earlier, fish are now freely rising and as a result, a return to the dry flies has been particularly successful. Small CDC buzzers, Shipmans buzzers, daddies and hoppers have all been useful patterns and when the fish have not been showing on the surface a quick switch to a midge tip line using damsels, diawl bachs, and buzzers and even the odd FAB / Blob has kept the catching consistent.
Bank and boat are now fishing very evenly and a good number of fish can be located around the margins as well as in the deeper areas. Rainbows are making up the majority of fish being caught but during the last fortnight, browns and blues have been prolific and some of the blues have been of exceptional quality.
All this bodes well for the coming weekend when we will once again be holding our annual charity day, The Lad(y)s and Dads Competition in aid of St. Abbs Independent Lifeboat. A quick reminder to everyone that the loch will be closed on Sunday the 24th Sept to all other fishing due to this competition.
In previous years we have been able to raise a very respectable amount of money in support of our local lifeboat organisation and we are hoping to be able to repeat that, this year. As always we will have our fingers crossed for good weather.
So, it would appear that the summer doldrums are behind us now and if things go to plan we should be in for a tremendous final third of the season. I always look forward to this time of the year because as a rule the fish have been feeding hard over the summer, and the cooler water now means that they are in tip top condition and once again keen to look at the artificial offerings that we try to tempt them with. As a consequence what we start to experience is keen fish that once on the hook will generally give an extremely good scrap before coming to the net. Fly life over the water is still plentiful and as I mentioned earlier we have experienced large hatches of Olives alongside daddies and gnats. It’s also the time of year for the daphnia to be present in large numbers and so the fish still have plenty to feed on, not to mention the huge amount of fry life still evident around the margins.
As always though, we have seen mixed fortunes over the last two weeks and not everyone has been able to lock on to the fish on every outing. It’s quite interesting that within every day there will always be those that do and those that don’t, but that is the nature of fishing and perhaps the one thing that spurs us on to do better next time when we have had a bad day. The fish are there in big numbers but I’m always reminded of what Robbie once said to me and that is, “ that we have to remember that the fish have also got a vote, and sometimes they use it”. I’m pretty sure that I have mentioned this before but I make no apologies for using it again as a reminder that it is the unpredictability of fishing that makes it so compelling and frustrating in equal measures.
So here’s the list of those who managed to crack the code during the last two weeks and earn the right to a mention:
- Les Lockey had his usual September vacation and had a superb weeks fishing. He averaged 16 per day for the four days that he fished and landed a blue of approx. 4.5 lbs which he said “ will live long in the memory”
- Allan Cook fishing with Robbie landed 6 whilst their combined total was 20 to the boat.
- Bob Cockburn fishing with his dad had 19 to the boat including 2 blues. James contributed to the days catch with a further 5.
- James and Joy Gardiner had a very respectable 34 fish to the boat and reported having had a Fab day / Wonderful Fun.
- Pete Dann 6 from the bank on one outing and 8 to the boat on another.
- D Logan 12 to the boat including 2 blues and a brown. Black CDCs
- John Foreman 7 to the boat.
- Colin McIssac 9 to the boat on one outing and 15 on his next. Small CDCs.
- Robbie Bell 15 to the boat in a 6 hour session which included a brown of apprx 4lbs. (See photo.)
- Chick and John McGee had a cracking few days holiday and managed good catches on each of their outings.
- D Stevens 7 to the boat but said he lost count and it could have been 9.
- Sean Eales and his mates had a good few days holiday and again managed to catch good numbers on each of their outings.
- Neil Keillor fishing form the bank landed 11 and lost 3 or 4 besides. Damsel and diawl bachs.
- Jimmy Campbell had 10 to the boat whilst fishing with his buddies the Islay Fishers. In total the 4 anglers had 27 fish for the day.
- Leith FFC – 15 fish in total
- Fishers Tryst FFC – total of 6 fish.
- Norham and Ladykirk FFC – ?????
- TOTGA FFC – 14 for 4 rods.
- Mid Lothian FFC – 12 fish in total
- Railway Inn FFC – Fished on two consecutive days but unsure of the total.
- West Lothian Fly Dressers FFC – 31 fish in total
- As the nights are now drawing in quickly we have now finished with late evening sessions and so our closing time is now closer to 7pm. It’s still worth having a go!
What’s the Difference?
I was looking after the Loch a few days ago as the Bosses needed a day off to go to Edinburgh to get some bits and pieces for the new House.
Pots and Pans I believe…………………….
Now it was a quiet Monday with only one boat booked out as well as couple of Residents in a single boat who would just look after themselves.
So after I got things sorted I went fishing.
I did not start till after 11.00am but ended the day well into double figures.
With the longer nights and lower temperatures the trout have switched on again and my catch included a Brown Trout around 3 to 4 pounds.
I saw the two guys in the resident’s boat get some fish but it did not seem to be that many.
However the other two anglers did not have the best of days with only 3 fish between them.
Now I mean no disrespect but what was the difference?
The day was very windy with a stiff Nor’Wester.
That more or less meant we were all confined to the same area between the Boat Shed and the Buoys out in the middle.
So we were all fishing the same water with markedly different results.
I had passed on what Flies and Fly Line I was using at lunchtime so what does that leave?
Well it only leaves the leader and the retrieve.
I tend to use a very long leader around 21 feet.
This does take a bit of getting used to but I am fairly sure it helps.
Now I am often asked what retrieve to use with a certain fly.
The only answer to that is “It Depends”
It depends on what the fish want!
A blob can be fished almost static and as fast as you can pull and everything in between.
You will never pull faster than a trout can swim and they often seem to want it at a particular speed.
Buzzers are generally fished very slowly but it won’t be the first time I have been pulling in quickly to cover a rising fish when the line has stopped dead with a fish on
The only way to find out is to go through a routine of trying different things until you find out what they want on that particular day.
Some anglers seem to have a particular retrieve that they use all day.
Some even seem to use it all season!
However it probably works every now and again and that perhaps reinforces the idea that they just need to get the fly right.
Now of course there are times when the fly is important but I really think how you fish it is more important most of the time.
Obviously you cannot use a Tungsten Bead Epoxy Buzzer when the trout are in the top two feet and taking Emergers. So if you can get your fly choice in roughly the right ball park then eight times out of ten it is the anglers retrieve hand that makes the difference.
- Mayfly FFC
- Edinburgh Breadalbane FFC
- Cats Whiskers FFC
- Border Bears FFC
These are the clubs that will be visiting us during the next two weeks and as always we hope for tight lines and good conditions.
Please click on the photos below to get the full image