14th – 27th June 2021
As predicted in the last report, the caenis are once again here and so too are the damsels. All week we have seen some quite spectacular hatches of caenis flies during the early – late evenings and if you look at the boat shed, you will see the spent cases from the damsel fly nymphs that have made their way out of the water to hatch. These are just a small representation of the abundance of fly life currently on and around the loch and inevitably, the knock -on effect of so much food, is that the trout become quite choosey. To increase your chances of catching at this time of the year it becomes even more important to cover as much of the loch as possible, rather than staying in one place for too long. We have also found that mornings are often the best time for catching with fish becoming more lethargic as the day progresses and temperatures begin to rise even higher. We also believe that fish are able to sense when a hatch of say, caenis flies might occur, and this too can add to their indifference towards your flies.
Whilst temperatures are obviously rising, the loch remains in very good condition for the time of the year. The water is still crystal clear and whilst the weed is inevitably growing, it is not yet breaking the surface or causing any particular problems.
All areas of the loch are holding good numbers of fish with no particular hot-spots to report and boat and bank are fishing equally well.
One point to note: From Monday of next week, i.e. 28th June, the catch recording book will once again be in the fishing hut and so we would ask that you return to recording your catches at the end of your sessions in the normal way.
Our club day next week is Saturday 3rd July when we will be welcoming Ferranti FFC.
The week after, the club day is Sunday 11th July and West Lothian Fly Dressers will be here.
As always, we extend a warm welcome to the visiting clubs and hope for good conditions for them.
(Members are reminded that they can still fish on Club Days but need to phone us here at the loch to check for availability on those days.)
End of an Era?
Well I have decided to hang up my Instructing Boots.
It is something I have done for about 20 years.
I just want to do my own fishing now with friends and indeed on my own.
Now during that time I have met a lot of people and all of them have been great.
A small number of them have gone on to be good friends and I fish with them regularly.
FOC of Course. 😊
My particular favourite has been with the Youngsters who have caught their first Trout.
Especially when they proudly present it to their Family with a beaming smile.
A joy for them and me and hopefully they will continue on as Fly Fishermen.
It is also been interesting observing the different abilities of how people pick up things.
Some have been slow starters who then learn quickly.
Others have been quick out of the blocks and then keep going.
Probably the most interesting for me are have been Fly Fishers who have years of experience but still want to improve.
Pointing out “mistakes” and then going on to explain why doing certain things differently ends up putting more fish in the net.
Then when it works it puts a smile on both of our faces.
Fishing the Hang is probably the most obvious one.
Now if any Member would like a day out with me, (I will be Fishing myself) I would be happy to do so for a small donation to the Youth Day Fund.
We would of course need to find a mutually agreeable date.
During the day I would not mind answering a few questions but would not want to endure the Spanish Inquisition! 😊
Contact me direct or through Carmel or Gareth.
Congratulations on your retirement Robbie and many thanks from us for offering tuition here at the loch – it’s been a pleasure for us too to see happy faces after a session on the water having landed possibly their first ever trout. Well done, thank you and enjoy!
Carmel & Gareth
Reports from fishermen:
- Tues 15th June 21: Fished 9am-4pm. Light westerly breeze in the morning was followed by strengthening winds which strangely veered all around the clock for much of the afternoon, making casting awkward. Fish were rising in modest numbers but I found that small dry flies would attract a lot of attention. Most efficient in inducing ‘proper’ takes were a size 16 parachute pattern in grey, and also suspender buzzers. Caught and released 6 rainbows and lost 2 more with the hook being thrown. Lovely day’s fishing! Colin Macaulay PS There was a family of stoats on the north shore of Swing Gate Bay. 5 youngsters were running about fearlessly right next to me, watched at a distance by their mum!
- Thursday 17th June 21: Sun and wind to cloud and ripple/calm – with equal extremes of catch rate – not always as expected however. They were really keen right from the start in that bright sun and I had 9 on size 14 and 16 dries before the clouds came over. Strangely fishing gradually got harder until the flat calm made it “impossible”. Next breeze brought the trout back on and I ended on 19 rainbows and 1 brown. The wee sedge (your suggestion) did well at the start then lost its “magic”. I tied it back on when having a “break” after a long quiet spell – 3 in 10 minutes! – then the magic was lost again. Regards, Ronnie Glass
- Friday 19th June: Beautiful warm day yesterday driving to Coldingham loch for a late afternoon and evening session. The ripple across the water and the slight overcast sky looked absolutely perfect, or was it? The easterly wind and that biting breeze were something you would have expected on opening day not in the middle of June and according to the oracle a wind from the east fishes badly. Fishing with Tom Mullen who was equally sure Scotland could handle England without our support we ventured out with slight but quiet optimism. Clearly the lack of top of the water activity gave us two options, the fish were deep driven down by the conditions or they were watching the game and we should just go home. Fortunately, we opted for the first option and set up for some mid water activity with a Cortland blue and 12 feet of 8.5 pound power flex plus. All very straight forward and not too difficult until choosing the implement to cause maximum damage at the sharp end. I’ve always believed that matching the hatch is only half the battle and water colour has a bearing on the fly colour. Clearly matching the hatch with the half chicken box was going to be quite difficult we would need to look at colour. Early season when the water colour is brown and tainted with runoff water from the moors I tend to stick to black and brown through orange, but when the weed and plankton give the water that glow of phosphorescent I tend to move into the green and yellow through white. Then the reality that this is probably absolute crap and I am going to go for a fly which has done the business before, an olive Fred’s flapper with a red- hot head. Well that’s it, setup complete and now the easy bit of casting out and making contact with one of the large amount of hard fighting fish just waiting to make our day. One hour in, only one fish to the boat and we are staring to question whether watching the game would have been less painful. At this point we are feeling like most of the fishermen who have ever picked up a rod and similar to the look on a child’s face when they are lost. An old friend of mine said once it’s all about varying the variables and to be honest it is but when you open up that boat box and look at the 5000 variables you start to question your sanity. So, I am confident in the fly line, leader and depth the fish are feeding but still having little if any activity. The only area left to focus is that of the retrieve, and that was it, holy mother of god. Nip, nip, nip, bang again and again beautiful bars of silver perfection. You know when you have got it right but more times than not you know when you have got it wrong. Just so you are aware confirmation of the fruits of your labours usually comes in the form of that rolling voice from a nearby boat “excuse me hope you don’t mind, but can you tell me what your catching on? – take this compliment in the way it was meant, we have all been in this position and isn’t it great to help others. We could have conventionally stuck to dries but if one thing I’ve learned you have to fish to the conditions. Last night was so cold if you’ll offered me an ice cream I would not have eaten it, a bit like the fish with the dries. Although cold an excellent night with 14 fish and 5 for my boat partner “ he did stick to the dries for a while but I think this was only to prove I was right”
Thanks again Gareth and Carmel great sport and a great location, nearly perfection if you could only control the weather. Oh yes, the retrieve well that’s a secret I’m not that public spirited. Actually, it was the slowest figure of eight retrieve just to keep in touch and after around 5 meters start to bring in the intermittent 12” pull. To be honest if they had been taking dries I would have needed someone (Tom Mullen) to give me some tips. C’est la vie. Brian Douglas
- Weds 23rd June 5pm-7.30pm conditions partially overcast, light winds dying to flat calm. Struggled to get solid takes on dry fly today, eventually caught and returned 1 rainbow by sheer persistence. Bank angler at Swing Gate Bay had 5 or 6 in half an hour on buzzers, but dries were not working for me. Finished when the caenis appeared. Colin Macaulay
- Thursday 24th June Fished 9am-4.30pm today. Light variable winds today, some surface activity but fish were being fussy. I had 4 rainbows by 2.30pm. The wind then steadied to blow from the north and grew stronger. I put on a Chernobyl Ant and in the next 2 hours caught a further 7 rainbows. They wanted that ‘Ant’! All fish safely returned. Colin Macaulay
- Thursday 24th June Report/returns for evening session24/06/2021.Booked online. Returned 1 rainbow about 2lb, turned a few and lost a good just past far end of lily pads. Fly= black and red hopper. Gave up at 18.30hrs when the rain set in. Settled for Chinese takeaway instead lol. See you again soon. Chris Paterson
- Friday 18th June Had a great days fishing with plenty of fish activity and landing 11 fish and brother Callum landing 3. The highlight of the day though was sitting on the boat watching two Roe with fawns on the shore of the loch (see photos) Rod Entwistle