6th – 19th May 2019

With insects of every kind bursting in to life the loch is continuing to support a very good stock of strong fighting trout. Hawthorn flies are plentiful and there is also the daddy flying around. Pond olives and the tiny but deadly apple green midge is also now on the scene again. Catches are consistently good and the fish have been well spread out with no particular hot spots to report although it has to be said that the top end near to the reed bed has been a favoured spot for a number of anglers over the past week.

Dry fly fishing has been very good with reports that if you are prepared to leave the fly alone, fish will come blind to take it even if you are not seeing fish.

Top flies have included  shipman’s buzzers, klinkhammer, yellow owl, beetle and summer bibio.

Fish have also been being caught using the washing line technique with something like a biscuit FAB on the point and a couple of buzzers on the droppers. Red and black or green buzzers have been catching best.

A number of larger fish have been caught recently too – to name a few: Shaun Eales caught and safely returned an 8 & half pound rainbow, Stuart from Mid-Lothian AA had a 6lb rainbow (see photo) Andy Hamlyn had 4 fish weighing in at just under 14lb, Neil Stobbart landed a 5lb 3oz rainbow, (see photo) on a black buzzer yesterday on a foggy cool morning and Robbie also yesterday caught two rainbow of over 6 lbs in a short session following a tuition in the morning, finally today Tam Donnelly had an 8lb brownie to a small dry from the bank near the reed bed, needless to say he was delighted.  

The water clarity is very good and temperature is currently sitting at around 10 degrees C which is just about perfect for the time of the year meaning that the quality of the fight that you are getting from the fish is as good as it gets.

You might remember that a couple of weeks ago we reported that an angler had lost his rod over the side of the boat whilst reaching for his de-barbing pliers to de-bard the team of buzzers that he had just added to his line. The good news is that he has been reunited with his rod and reel courtesy of Allan Cook who on his last retrieval of his mud anchor managed to snag a fly line. He pulled in the line on the end of which was the rod and reel but then noticed that something was tugging at the line on the other end. Unbelievably he landed the fish that took the rod over the side over two weeks before and it was still in top condition. The fish was safely unhooked and released. A great story and consequently, Allan becomes the first and, to my mind, the only angler who can claim to have caught a fish using a mud anchor!!

Club News:

  • Mid-Lothian AA had a very enjoyable if breezy afternoon and evening with a mixture of results for members landing 39 fish for their 11 rods
  • Ferry Fly Dressers had 6 anglers who fished over 3 days whilst staying locally had some good sport with some of the members being more successful than others and their rod average was around 4.5 fish
  • Oddfellows AC – 30 fish for 6 rods great day brilliant sport will be back
  • TOTGA FFC landed 21 fish to their 6 rods and reported having had ‘ a great day with hard fighting fish’.
  • Roslin British Legion FFC had 44 fish for 6 rods excellent  cracking day and biggest fish 4lbs 6 oz with a 4 fish bag for 13lbs 15oz, Ernie Gould 4lb 5 oz, Tam Cherrie 3lbs 14oz and Marcel Small 3lbs 7 oz
  • Norham and Ladykirk fished today and members enjoyed ‘an excellent day of dry fly fishing’. Heaviest bag went to John Foreman with 4 fish for 14 and half lbs. Rod average for the club was approx. 6/angler.

Our Youth Day was held on the bank holiday Monday of this last period and a successful and enjoyable day was had by a range of youngsters and all budding anglers for the future of our sport. Robbie’s blog below goes into more detail of the day and the results. A gallery of photos from the day can be found at the bottom of this loch report.

Our congratulations to Jamie Potts who won the trophy, well done Jamie. It is worth noting how tight a competition it was with just one point separating each of the top four places, so our congratulations and thanks to all those youngsters and their accompanying adults for coming along and taking part, we hope you learned something from the day and enjoyed it.

Our thanks too of course to Robbie for being ‘the main man’ of this event and to young Corben Skene for being willing to demo his fly tying skills. Our thanks also to Kenny Gault for sharing his expertise and enthusiasm in spending a Sunday morning here at the loch helping the group identify invertebrates etc (see Robbie’s blog below). Many thanks.

Robbie’s Blog:

Youth Day.

This went ahead on Bank Holiday Monday the 6th of May.

We had eight lads turn up with a wide spread in terms of ability and an age range from 7 to 15.

Our morning consisted of various activities starting off with a briefing on personal safety and respect for the Environment.

This was followed by around an hour with Tweed Trout and Grayling Biologist Kenny Galt.

Invertebrate samples were collected from the weeds around the Boat Shed and then displayed in white trays on the bench. Then using a guide sheet the many and varied creatures were identified by the youngsters. Details of their life cycle and then how to imitate them with artificial flies provided the boys with an insight into their fishing.

Videos of hatching insects were shown to illustrate various stages of their life cycle.

It’s not all about Blobs!

A tea break followed during which young Corben Skene gave a fly tying demonstration.

His first fly was a basic buzzer. Just black thread and a silver wire rib. Something anyone could tie and catch a fish on.

Next was a basic Damsel Lure.

Orange bead, Olive Marabou tail and a chenille body and this was followed by a simple F fly with just Olive thread and CDC.

Simple flies that fished correctly will always catch fish.

After the break we had a Quiz to see if the lads had been paying attention!

To make it easier every answer was 4. This covered Fishery Rules and Tackle. The teams of two all got 2 questions right so a 50% pass rate. Ha Ha

We then moved on to a casting accuracy competition with the boys split into two teams.

This was won (with a little help) by seven year old Joe Crawford and for this he won a bag of Rhubarb and Custard Cremes.

However before I could tell him to share them around he was off and stashed them in his Grandad’s car!!

A distance casting competition followed for the older lads and Jack Metcalfe managed to cast a full line although his “fly” landed about 4 yards behind the end of the fly line.

The last item of the morning was a demonstration by Gareth on how to properly release a Trout when boat fishing. Using a fishery net and a dummy fish he showed how the Trout can be netted, kept in the water and quickly unhooked and released.

Recent research has show that if a fish is out of the water for more than 30 seconds its survival rate starts to rapidly decrease.

If you have to take a photo then the angler holding the fish must have wet hands. The person using the camera should prepare it and perhaps take a few dummy photos and then the trout can be lifted, photographed and back in the water in about 10 seconds.

Or why not just photograph it in the net still in the water.

That concluded the morning and it was time for Bacon Rolls for Lunch kindly provided by Carmel and expertly cooked on the Barbecue by Gareth.

While the boys were enjoying the mornings activities the Anglers who were mainly Dads and Granddads were out on the water trying to suss out Tactics and Locations in preparation for the afternoon Boys Competition.

The rules for this were that the adults could provide any assistance the lads needed including casting.

However as soon as the flies hit the water the rod had to be handed over and the Boys would retrieve the line, hopefully hook the fish and play it to the net.

This means that any young lad or lass who has never fly fished before can take part.

The afternoon competition started off well for Jack Metcalfe with four fish and two more lost in the first hour.

Local favourite 13 year old Corben Skene was full of confidence coming off his recent win in a senior competition but unfortunately blanked in the first hour and although he made a great recovery he just missed out on the prizes.

The boys fished hard for 4 hours and a total of 40 Trout were netted and carefully released giving a rod average of 5 fish.

15 year old Jamie Potts was the eventual winner with a total of 10 trout with 4 bonus point for catching in each hour session

The first four Places were

  1. Jamie Potts 10 Trout and 4 Bonus Points  Total 14
  2. Jack Metcalf 9 fish and 4 Bonus points      Total 13
  3. Kael Ferguson 8 fish and 4 Bonus Points    Total 12
  4. Corben Skene 8 fish and 3 Bonus points    Total 11

Jack Metcalfe was very unlucky as only seconds after the final gun went off he caught a trout on reeling in his line. Hard Lines Jack as this would have given him the win on count back to the time of the first Trout caught.

A presentation ended the day with the Winners Trophy going to Jamie and a few small prizes for first, second and third.

A good day was had by all.

The Youth Day next year will be on Bank Holiday Monday 4th May 2020.

Youngster need to be under 16 any time next year and it is limited to 10 places so get your names down quick.    £10 for the Lads and/or Lasses and £10 for the Adults including Lunch.

An experienced Angler can be provided for any youngster who wishes to take part but has no one to fish with them so if you know anyone please get in touch.

Best Regards

Robbie

www.scottishbordersflyfishing.com

(44) 01289 302 510

Other news:

  • Lochside Cottage has an unexpected vacancy for a week in June 15th – 22nd please call or email Carmel if you would like to book the cottage. It is £645 for a week and this includes the use of the cottage boat for fly fishing (so any fishing taken is just paid for at bank prices).
  • Boat for sale – please ring or speak to Gareth for details
  • Ducklings are a plenty on the loch at the moment – two broods of 6 and 7 are regularly seen paddling around after their parents. They did start as 8 and 11  respectively so maybe the herons, crows and otters will continue to wreak havoc but let’s hope that a few will survive into adulthood.
  • Many anglers and holiday guests this time have commented on the amazing sound of the song thrush. He is currently belting out his incredible repertoire of songs from the same branch of a scots pine behind the fishing hut. You can’t help but stop and listen – his song is something else.

Visiting clubs next time:

  • Wiremill FFC
  • Railway Inn FFC
  • Heriots AC
  • Edinburgh Amateurs AC

As always we wish them happy and productive fishing here at the loch

Youth Day Gallery below:

Gallery of the last two weeks below:

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