8th – 21st May 2023
Loch Reports

8th – 21st May 2023

Yet another haar has dominated the last couple of days and this usually results in some very unpredictable fishing. The haar is also bringing with it lots of cold air which is a positive for us, in terms of keeping the loch conditioned.

We have received a first hand account of his fishing for the week, from Les Lockey. Many thanks to Les for this and we will use this as the main body of the report.

Fishing Report by Les Lockey.

7th May – 12th May 2023

The mornings at the beginning of the week saw the loch shrouded in thick sea mist accompanied by a light, but bitingly cold easterly wind, which for any angler like me whose first, second, and third line of attack is with dry flies, made for very challenging conditions indeed. Thankfully the weather improved mid-week, but the change in conditions didn’t lessen the challenge, as bright sunny skies and very light variable winds, often gave rise to flat calms that saw many anglers chase the ripple around the loch.

On Sunday and Monday I limited myself to a couple of hours bank fishing along the southern shore from Boathouse Bay down towards Swing Gate Bay and found large numbers of fish patrolling the weed bed just a couple of rod lengths out from the bank and feeding seriously on what I assumed was very small midge as numerous larger Bibionids were completely ignored. I started with a size 20 “Nothing Fly” and netted several fish before changing to a size 20 experimental pattern consisting of nothing more than a sliver of foam over a small black dubbed thorax and the results were remarkable, as virtually every cast received some kind of response from the trout.

Tuesday saw the weather improve and at last I was on the water in a boat heading towards the North end of the loch. However, en-route I found lots of rising fish at the top of the Narrows where I dropped anchor and again tried out my experimental size 20 micro hatching buzzer and the trout responded even more positively allowing me to net 18 fish including a lovely brown of about 4 and a half pounds.

Friday was another memorable day, albeit after a very slow start.  All morning long, a cold easterly wind resulted in very few fish showing, and even fewer willing to stick their snouts above the water’s surface. A small daddylonglegs left to drift out from the top of the North end did eventually take 3 good fish while a super rainbow estimated at around the 6 to 7 pound mark took a size 18 black CDC shuttlecock which was to be my reward for a cold mornings work. After lunch, a slight change in wind direction brought about a noticeable rise in air temperature, and almost immediately, an area of the loch that had seemed devoid of fish all morning long was now bubbling with rising fish as a substantial hatch of olives got under way. Interestingly however, it quickly became apparent that the trout were locked on to the hatching nymphs rather than the adult flies which were allowed to serenely float downwind completely undisturbed. I quickly replaced the daddy with an olive CDC hopper (the fly to tie and try for August 2021) and was instantly into fish. Two hours later, my tally had risen from 4 for the morning session to 19 by mid-afternoon, plus several fish lost and numerous missed offers. This brought my total for the week to 63, all taken on dries, despite less than ideal conditions.

Note:- For those anglers venturing out on the loch over the next couple of weeks or so, keep an eye out for a massive fall of hawthorn flies. The reed stems at the top of the North end of the loch are black with huge numbers of clinging Hawthorn flies just waiting for some warmer weather to allow them to fly off in search of a mate, and given suitable conditions, this abundant but sadly short-lived food supply will inevitably see catch rates rise significantly.

Les Lockey

Thanks Les for this, and thanks also to Mike Warburton for sending in some pictures. Mike is a friend of Les’s and was staying here with fishing pal Gary Cotterill the same week as Les and enjoyed some great fishing.


A couple of things that now need to be noted:

  • Weed – As is always the case at this time of the year, the weed in the loch is starting to grow. This is particularly evident at the top end of the loch, near to the reed bed. Whilst it is still perfectly fishable, care needs to be taken when motoring in and out of that area. Tilt or lift your motors to avoid any unnecessary foul-ups. It is far too early for me to think about weed cutting, this will usually start towards the end of July when the weed is at its fullest. It then gets cut and remains cut without re-growing. We ask that you remain patient and as we move in to late June and July just try to avoid the weedy areas. There will still be a lot of water to fish that will have no weed.
  • Warmer weather – As the water starts to warm it becomes even more important to handle the fish as little as possible and to ensure that they are properly revived before releasing. Please try to get the fish in to the net without too much stress, do not remove the fish from the water when unhooking and if you are taking photos, please take them with the fish in the net and still in the water. Barbless hooks are a must when fishing catch and release. If we all adhere to this it will mean that the fish will incur minimum damage and should be in good fettle to fight another day.

Club News:

The following clubs will be visiting us over the next two weeks:

Sunday 28th May – Berwick & District AC and Cockburn AC

Tuesday 30th May – Pentland Civil Service AC


Other News:

Please note that on Saturday 3rd June we will be holding our annual members bank competition. The loch will be closed for all other fishing on this day but will be open to members and holiday guests in the evening from 5pm until 10pm.