With the July and early August doldrums behind us now we look forward to some exciting sport in the last third of the season. The fishing has been challenging over the past month or so, and we have tried to highlight this through our reports and at the loch but despite this, it has been encouraging to see people doing well in these tough conditions. The algal bloom seems to be finally coming to an end and the water clarity is returning to what we expect for the time of the year. Weed cutting is also over and this week we will take the weed cutter from the water having completed another successful harvest with very little disruption to fishing.
A quick look into the shallows of the loch reveals a plethora of small fry, perch and sticklebacks and these will form a substantial part of the trout’s diet over the coming weeks and into the close season. It’s great to see that the loch remains a haven for all forms of wildlife and produces an abundance of natural food that ensures healthy and hard fighting fish, a feature that has remained constant throughout the year. The fish will undoubtedly turn their attention to the fry over the coming weeks but for now it seems that dry flies are still producing the best and most consistent action with patterns such as, f-fly, shipmans buzzers, sedge, emergers and hoppers being the most effective. It has also been the case that at certain times of the day buzzers and diawl bachs fished in a straight line have also been doing the trick. The key has been to change and be prepared to move.
The hot spot over the past two weeks has been Swing Gate Bay but yesterday all that changed and the fish have finally moved around and are much more evenly distributed. That said, it is still the southern end of the loch that is fishing best with very little action being observed north of the narrows ….. but watch this space as it will change again any time soon.
As you know we have put a lot of work in around the banks to make bank fishing more accessible for everyone and at the moment the banks are in prime condition and so I would encourage anyone who hasn’t had a walk around the loch for some time, to just take a wee stroll around and have a look. The bank is always a great fall- back position to fish from if the weather is playing up and on days that look a little uncertain, it’s never a bad idea to have the waders in the car, just in case. Those who do fish the bank regularly will tell you that the fishing is just as productive and equally challenging.
So who did well over the last two weeks?
- Darryl Young whilst on holiday here had a couple of superb outings. On one occasion doing very well on the brownies with 20 to the boat and on the next with rainbows, having 18 to the boat plus two brownies for good measure.
- Dave Kirkland reported having had a good day with 4 rainbows and 3 browns. His tactics were black gnat on top for the browns and elks hair sedge for the rainbows.
- Colin Cooper reported having a brilliant day with 5 rainbows a brown and a duck!! I’ll have to ask him about the latter.
- J Middleton had 8 rainbows using diawl bach and beetle.
- Bob Cockburn reported having good sport with 15 rainbows, 2 blues and 2 browns.
- Adrian Thomson fishing an evening session from the bank had 8 rainbows and 1 brown using black and white muddler patterns.
- Paul Hird managed 6 rainbows to the boat using his favoured buzzer patterns. He reported having a hard day but nonetheless enjoyable.
- Robbie Bell had 6 rainbows and 2 browns (see his report below)
- I Thomson had 8 rainbows form the bank using a yellow worm and his fishing partner P Fairgrieve had a further 4 using the same pattern.
- Bob Harrison finally ended a period of drought for him in a short session yesterday that saw him land 3 rainbows to the boat and miss a couple of others.
- It was our pleasure to welcome Billy Gordon with his wife Jen and daughter Maisie to the loch (see photo). It was Maisie’s first time fly fishing and they had a superb afternoon out on the water.
- Finally Sean Eales and his group of friends were once again staying with us in Lodge Cottage for a couple of days fishing. Despite changing weather conditions they had another great time. Day one was their best day, the 6 rods had 45 rainbows and 3 browns to the boats. Their comment at the end of their stay was “as always, brilliant.”
- Eyewater AC – Managed 31 fish for their ten rods. Davey Jackson was the overall winner on the day with a four fish bag weight of 10lbs 1oz. Brian Douglas fishing with the club as a guest had a great day with 12 rainbows to the boat … black and green dancer was his killer fly.
- Heriot’s AC – A good day with 43 rainbows and 25 brownies for 9 rods giving a rod average of 7.5 fish per rod. Three of the brownies were around the 2- 3lb mark. Top rod on the day was Derek Gilgour with 14 rainbows and 10 browns caught mainly on dries.
- Please note that on Sunday the 25th September we will once again be holding our annual ‘Lad(y)s and Dads Charity Day. We still have one boat remaining so please get in touch if you wish to enter. The loch is closed to other anglers on this day.
- We were once again delighted to have appeared in Trout Fishermans list of top 100 fisheries in the UK. It’s great to be recognised in this way and congratulations to the other waters that also made the list.
- Congratulations from us to Mark Straughen who is a regular here at the loch. Mark has made the Scottish Rivers fishing team for 2017 at the first time of asking. Well done and good luck for next season.
Keep On the Move.
I occasionally look after the Loch when Gareth and Carmel need a day off and so it was last Friday.
It was a typical summer’s day in August.
A Southeaster and at least half a gale.
And a triple spotter cloud was the afternoon forecast!
As a bonus the water temperature was just under 15 degrees which is great for Trout but this was balanced by a fairly strong algal bloom colouring the normally gin clear water..
Anglers were arriving in dribs and drabs so I did not get out on the water until noon.
I anchored just off the cages so I could keep an eye on things and managed a small brown on a biscuit.
Around 12.45 the stocking wagon arrived so up with the anchor and back alongside.
J.J. had already got the fish into the barge so I just jumped aboard the work boat and off we went.
Gareth had asked us to stock the fish at the top end as swing gate was already fishing well so we started putting the fish in at the narrows. J.J. was on the engine and I was manning the net.
Every twenty yards or so I scooped two or three fish into the net and over the side as we motored right up to the top and back down the other side.
Despite my best efforts there were still four or five fish left when we get back ashore!
I blamed the bad light and the fact that they soon learned to avoid the net.
In the afternoon I had a short spell fishing in Swingate Bay and managed a few Rainbows and one more Brown.
So back to the Title of this piece.
The best bit of advice I can give to anyone who fishes the Loch is if you are not catching……………………………. Keep on the Move.
This is particularly true if there are two of you in the boat using different methods.
You may well be doing the right thing but just in the wrong place on that day.
Although the fish are spread out when stocked they often gather up in a shoal again as that is how they have been brought up.
Half an hour to an hour is the most I would ever stay in one place.
Conversely if you have had a successful time why not move out and invite someone else to take your place especially if you see some obvious novices or someone in a boat teaching them.
Robbie Bell, Scottish Borders Fly Fishing
Over the next two weeks we will be hosting the following clubs:
- Gilmerton AC
- Edinburgh Post Office AC
- Priory FFC
- Roslin AC
- Norham & Ladykirk AC
As always we wish them a warm welcome and hope that they get to enjoy some good sport.
Please click on the photo to enlarge and use arrows to scroll through.