7th – 20th July 2014

Well we started our last report saying it might be too early to get carried away with a change to how the loch is fishing… and we were right it was a bit early! The best way to describe this last fortnight is to say no two days have been the same and some days the loch has fished fantastically well and the next day it has been back to very tough going.

The weather has remained warm which has certainly pleased our holiday guests and both first timers to the loch and some of the ‘old hands’ all have enjoyed a restful time with the loch looking its beautiful best in the sunny days we have had.  This however has at times had a negative impact on the way the loch has fished.

With a good pair of polaroids on it’s possible to observe great number of fish swimming just below the surface and very near to the shore in Boat-house Bay, South shore and Swing Gate Bay but despite their obvious presence even flies dangled in front of their noses seem unable to provoke a response. There are also vast quantities of perch fry and stickleback fry in the shallows and the trout have been seen feeding freely on these and the abundance of other pond life still flourishing in the optimum conditions for growth.

Just last week Robbie Bell and I observed a large shoal of fish in Boat-house Bay which was fronted by a rather large brownie in magnificent condition and estimated at 7-8lbs in weight. The shoal also included a much smaller looking blue whose brightness of colour made it really stand out amongst the rainbows.

So how do you sum it up? If the Grand Old Duke of York was applied to the last two weeks we wouldn’t be far off….when they’re up they’re up, when they’re down they’re down etc etc  And so handing out advice has never been trickier or more open ended. This applies equally to the choice of flies and the often asked question ‘what’s working?’ if you look at the Catch Record book you will see that there is no rhyme or reason to the flies being used successfully and it is impossible to advise with any certainty.

Even today anglers who went out early fishing in what one might call perfect conditions got off to a flying start. Fish were being caught on or near to the surface and by 11.30 am almost everyone on the loch had recorded reasonable numbers. By 12 o’clock and with the arrival of a hot sunny day one could have been forgiven for thinking that you were fishing in a different location ie from midday onwards hardly another fish was hooked and landed successfully.

So the month of July continues to deal a difficult hand to fly fishers in just about every venue in the region as similar reports are being shared amongst the anglers visiting here.

Despite the degree of difficulty as we said earlier the loch has fished well on certain days and the people who have benefited from this are as follows;

  • James Gardiner had a creditable seven fishing DI3, DI5, fast glass lines in deeper water his choice of flies were black and green cormorants and blobs
  • Similarly but two days later David Auld used the same tactics to land 9 to the boat which included fantastic blues.
  • Judith and Stephen Copeland on a try fly fishing morning with Robbie Bell had a great time and Judith was happy to land 3 rainbow (see photo) and a perch….Stephen said he will definitely be back to even the score
  • Bobby Thompson & Ian Callow managed 11 fish to the boat using Super Ally, and fishing almost exclusively in Swing Gate Bay
  • Never far from the headlines Bob Cockburn recorded 8 and 12 for his last two full sessions and his dad James had a further 5
  • Max Keysell had a very respectable seven to the boat and on the same day Robbie Bell had 16 rainbows (see Robbie’s Corner below)
  • The next day Simon Menzies had 14 to the boat using mainly dries & a couple taken on lures and at the same time Graham and Duncan Inglis had a combined total of 11 which included one blue and two browns, the main fly of choice being dry midge (the very next day six anglers all recorded blanks highlighting the unpredictability of fishing in July)
  • A Marriott recorded having ‘an awesome day’ his best of 4 fish was a superb rainbow estimated between 6 and 7 lbs and safely back in the loch. Again all fish caught in Swing Gate Bay
  • Rob Woolston whilst resident in Lochside cottage recorded 20 fish for his various outings during the week of his stay and again reported catching most fish on dry flies
  • Karl and Bill Ferguson came in delighted with their days effort of 18 fish to the boat of which 5 were blues
  • Maybe not big numbers but still very worthy of a mention young Rhys Morgan fishing with his Dad Alan was delighted to hook and land his first fish completely on his own. Not to be outdone Alan also landed a fish on the same evening. Well done to you both!
  • Finally and perhaps leaving the best til last, bank angler Peter Dann whilst fishing without his regular Saturday fellow angler Pete Hill (who was on his annual holiday),  landed a fantastic total of 15 fish one of which was a blue and 14 out of the 15 were caught on daddies and the other to a tadpole given to him by Pete Hill the week before.


Robbies Corner:

July the 16th

Happy Birthday Carmel.

Only another year and you will be Thirty……………………….. 🙂

Anyway Gareth had a full day out meticulously planned and so he had asked me to look after the Loch while he amassed the Brownie Points.

Of course………..no problem……….took a nanosecond to think about it!

Might just have a fish…………………..?

I got everyone sorted out by half past ten and then set up two rods with Dries but different methods.

There was a brisk breeze and heavy cloud and the thermometer at the end of the boat shed read 17 degrees which was a distinct improvement over recent days. Good stuff.

I had a couple of hours before the rain started and brought on an early Lunch but with four fish netted and about the same again lost It was a pleasant morning.

In the hut were two senior Gentlemen from the Midlothian Club who had randomly met up and after deciding to fish together they were both happy with their morning and two fish each.

I had a leisurely bite to eat but despite the rain still flighting on I forced myself out again around two O’clock and had a real purple patch with seven or eight fish netted and many more “contacts” and “misses” while still fishing the Dries.

Around four o’clock, back on duty as the evening rods began to arrive. They were all sorted out around six o’clock and so I had another couple of hours.

By this time the weather had taken a turn for the worse with the sun coming out 🙂 and this put most of the fish down.

However an odd straggler still showed and finished off the evening in grand style.

No monsters caught this time but one around five pounds another around four pounds.

Mind you it is not that many years ago that fish of that size would have been monsters!

Times change……………………………….


Robbie Bell         Resident Instructor and Guide



Club News:

  • TOTGA have been the only club this last period and came with a grand total of two anglers! (see photo) taking a total of 3 fish.


Other News:

  • Sadly the pair of swans are down to four cygnets in number from their original seven and we hope they can manage to hang on the these to adulthood.
  • As the Edinburgh Trades week draw to a close clun bookings at the weekends are beginning to pick up  again however not in huge numbers so there are still plenty of spaces on boats.
  • We are pleased to see we are ranked at number 66 in the Top 100 Fly Fisheries in the UK by Trout Fisherman magazine. We are delighted by this and hope we can take the fishery from strength to strength.
  • Despite the hot weather the loch remains weed free with all areas still fishable. We remain on standby with the weed-cutter and will do whatever is necessary if and when it is needed.

During the next period we will be welcoming the West Lothian Fly Dressers AC, Bank of Scotland FFC and Mid-Lothian AC  and as always hope they have a good days fishing with plenty of sport.




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