17th – 30th May 2021
Loch Reports

17th – 30th May 2021

After the frostiest April on record and the coldest/ wettest May on record we are finally starting to see some good weather coming our way. The sun is out, temperatures are rising but the lingering east coast haar is also coming and going. And so, I don’t think that we can call it summer just yet.

The hawthorn flies are around in big numbers and just the other day I saw my first daddy of the season followed closely by my second. Needless to say, always worth a shot with the dries when flies like this are around.

That said, people are having a lot of success fishing buzzers / nyphms just below the surface, and once again, the washing line with a FAB or similar on the point and buzzers adorning the droppers, is not a bad shout.

Over the last couple of days there have been quite a number of blues and browns caught (see photos) and it’s pleasing to see the variety and quality of the fish being caught since the start of the season.

Whilst the warmer weather is a welcome break from the freezing easterly winds that have been dominating the forecast over many weeks, high temperatures bring a host of other issues with them. You will notice that the aerator is once again running and we intend to leave it on for the foreseeable future. Use of the aerator early in the season should help to prevent the water from stratifying and hence reduce the likelihood of an algal bloom later on. But as with all things in nature, there are no guarantees. Warmer temperatures also affect the fish and if the water warms too much this will slow things down, as it does every year. The fish may also lie a little deeper in the water to avoid the direct sunlight and so the ability to fish of different methods becomes important.

I often say to those that ask, that the nicest time to fish is often the hardest time to catch  ….. but again, we will see as the season progresses.

So lots of good fishing to look forward to over the next couple of weeks and moving in to the fourth month of the season let’s hope for more of the same that we’ve experienced in the first three.


Robbies Blog:


As you may have heard there have been some huge falls of these flies on Freshwater lakes, lochs and rivers around the country,

Including at the Loch.

I was out last Monday with fellow member Allan Cook and at times there were some impressive numbers on the water.

These Flies (Bibio Marci) which are terrestrial are not the best of fliers and gusts of wind brought some reasonable numbers on to the water and once there they are probably goners.

We are all Doomed as Private Frazer would say in Dads Army. 😊

Their only hope is to finds some reeds or other structure to climb out on.

And on to the Trout’s reaction.

Of course they eat them but some of them seem to be either fussy or incompetent!

There were many times when a fish would try and take the fly and it was just left there.

Now these flies are trapped well in the surface and should be easy meat for these fish. They are also alive and often struggling so again should be a perfect target for the trout but they seemed to just miss them.

What I also found interesting was that most of the time they would not come back to have a second try at the fly. Perhaps only about 20 to 30% did.

Although I did see one fish manage to get one on its third attempt.

So when you see what I tend to call inspections or fresh air shots at your artificial then perhaps we should not be too disheartened.

Our best flies are only a poor imitation of a struggling natural.

However some of the trout are in the mood and after covering about one in ten we get a hook up.

That kinda was the way of it and we ended up with a good tally, a good day albeit with a smidgen of frustration.

Keeps you coming back.

Robbie Bell


Fishing reports sent in from members:


  • Mon May 17th: :Arrived to light easterly breeze & plenty of cloud cover, a bit cold but decent conditions. Started with dries, grey foam suspender on point, black gnat on top with a grey buzzer suspended between. Spent most of morning drifting East side, lots of offers to both dries & 9 stuck ( did get one on hares ear fishing washing line mid morning. Most of the fish were taking the suspender. Moved into boathouse bay & anchored for lunch. After lunch had a few diagonal drifts from South shore & netted another 4 (suspender again) but it was now quite windy & no clouds to be seen. Went for a final drift up East shore & got no 14 on the gnat before anchoring above the narrows. No 15 took a biscuit FAB here. Packed up ~ 15:30, another good day. Have attached a pic of the suspender, this has taken a lot of my fish the last few weeks. Bob Cockburn
  • Mon May 17th : Hi Gareth and Carmel, Sorry I didn’t see you on Monday to let you know how I got on. Fish were extremely finicky and are still refusing anything dry I throw at them! I found the most successful method was a washing line fished static. All my fish came to a peach fab and buzzers. I chapped a couple weighing just over 4lb and another 5 were returned giving me 7 fish for the day. See you next time. Best wishes Simon Menzies
  • Weds 19th May: Had ten for the day, lost two or three. Fished mainly in the narrows, in the morning there was a hatch of tiny black smuts.  My smallest black dry fly size 18/20 accounted for a few, then the wind turned into the South East and the hatch stopped. In the afternoon there were fishing showing but almost impossible to tempt, I think they were taking what I would describe as the Grouse wing, it darts around the surface and is two or three mill long. Quite a tough day so I am happy with ten. Regards Colin McIsaac
  • Thurs 20th May: After not seeing a fish rise for over an hour I walked up the west bank. One solitary but solid rise was followed by another soon after so I put on the hawthorn. A good sized rainbow took it first cast. That was that for a while so I walked further round the northern reed bed, full of hawthorns. In a 30/40 minute period, 3 more solid rises and 3 brownies all took the hawthorn. Good sized fish too around 1.5/2lb. Definitely the best fishing so far this year. Graham Brown
  • Thur 27th May: Fished today 9.30am to 3pm. Overcast conditions, with a cold breeze from the east. A few fish showing at the top occasionally in various locations, they seemed to be taking tiny smuts. Persevering with various small emergers I caught 3 rainbows, all returned safely. Colin Macaulay
  • Sat 29th May: Another fantastic day on the top of the water with buzzers and hoppers – 12 fish to the boat, 10 rainbows, 2 blues. Dropped too many with lots of pulls and line jumpers.  Darrel Young
  • 23rd – 28th May The weather for the week was more like early April rather than late May with everything from hailstones to bright sunshine, but always accompanied by a cold and sometimes very cold variable wind, which did little for the dry fly sport I had promised Mike, my fishing and fly tying pal. Undaunted, throughout the week, we found fish quite close to the shore particularly in the narrows although on our last day, the North end came alive for a couple of hours before a change in wind direction put the fish down. Over the first few days, the washing line using a long midge tip with a sunburst FAB on the point and two skinny cormorants on the droppers was my most reliable method although when the wind died, a single Summer Bibio or suspender black buzzer in sizes 14 and 16 worked quite well. Later in the week and particularly on the 28th the sun shone and the wind was a touch warmer and the fish duly responded to a detached foam bodied parachute hawthorn and a black foam beetle. We finished the week with a total of 48 fish to the boat, which considering the time of year, was less than we might have hoped for, but nonetheless, being back at Coldingham is reward enough and meeting up with friends old and new was a bonus. Les Lockey


Visiting Clubs:

 Next week our club day is Saturday 5th June … Wiremill FFC and Edinburgh Medical AC

The following week our club day is Sunday 13th June  …. Black Bull FFC

As always, we extend a very warm welcome to the visiting clubs and hope for good weather and great fishing for them.