15th September 2020 Blog and Fly Pike Master Class

Secchi disk 2.1m: Temp at 6ft 15.5C

The Lake has been fishing well in between the gusts – thankfully we appear to be entering a more settled phase of weather.

Reported catches have been good – with one long time regular – Donnie MacBeth, reporting his best ever catch at the Lake this Sunday (13th Sept). The main action has been on floating lines or sink tip with a variety of styles. Washing line, pulling snakes and dries have all produced good bags. Todhole, The Butts, International Bay, Shear Point and Reedy Point have been the top areas. Colin Riach and Jimmy Millar were out on Monday and had a very good day on dries ……Colin was using a crippled midge and a clinkhammer to very good effect (all the takes were on the former – see  pic below).

The staff all had a wee masterclass from Pike Fly Fishing Guide Stuart Sutherland (with Loop Hat). Stuart gave out some priceless casting tips and general advice for fly fishing for pike and some of his favourite Lake spots. Stuart has arranged for some top quality pike hire equipment to be available at the Lake – courtesy of LOOP tackle. We were fishing the Loop Q rods 9ft (9wt or 10wt) with intermediate lines. Come to the Lake and try before you buy…… Stuart can be contacted for his guiding service via FishX on facebook or by contacting the fishery.

Lake Blog 8/9/20

  1. The Autumnal colours are starting to appear at the Lake  but the weather has been good and mild. Best areas have been Tod hole, Gateside, Malling, Around the islands and the Road Shore. Great catches are not generally easy to come by but Campbell morgan took some time off from his housework to get some Practice in for the Sierra Pairs and managed with some help from

Alan Porteous to net around the 25. A few other boats did equally well although the Ed. Waltons and the Rotary found the going a lot tougher. On Friday in the Ladies National the 7 boats netted 45 trout and Dione Roberts finished top rod with 8 fish and Jean Ferguson was in 2nd place.


Best tactics these days are washing line on a full floater – so we are told.

Above: Angling Coach John Milne playing a 6lb cracker last week on a buzzer. A great picture and a contender for the Brochure Front Page. We have a few spare boats this Saturday and Sunday FYI.

Regulars will be aware of the sad loss of two of our angling friends on the same day last week.

Sandy Boag was 72 and fished with Balbeggie AC.  He is pictured here in 2016 getting his photo taken for the capture of the biggest trout in the Anglian Water Heats. It was fun to be around Sandy to catch the accompanying banter exchanges.




Geordie Black fished with Luggie Bank AC and is pictured here in 2005 with a great looking resident trout.  It was always good to see Geordie and to benefit from his great zest for fish and fishing.


We will miss the visits of these two very fine guys and send our sincere condolences to their friends and families.

Gone with that north wind 1/9/20.

Water temperature 15.5C , Clarity 2.1.  Last stocked 1/9/20 422 fish; Previously stocked 26/8 450 fish.

Well that is a big seasonal marker when the swallows leave – kinda expect these developments at my age – especially when the north wind is blowing at the end of August. The Lake is fishing all over on dries at the moment but also the lures are working, Di 7 in Gateside Bay, but perhaps glass lines else where. Peter Lee and Bill Greer had 18 to the boat on Monday 31st Aug (16 on yellow owl and hare’s ear shuttlecock).

25th August Blog – Sundays are Changing from October

Water Temperature 17C at 6ft Clarity 2.2m

By popular request we are moving the start time officially forward from October on Sunday to a start time of 9 till 10am (previously was 12 noon but this was relaxed during Covid) and all boats in by 5.30pm.  Some anglers have felt that they miss the best of the day on the Sunday whilst others  complain about how late back they are. We also encountered shortened days in October so this move will give us more light.

Best bags in the last few days have been in the Tod Hole area twiddling diawls and nymphs often with a booby or fab or blob. Dry flies have also been working and produced some top bags recently in the Gap and the Rookery. The colder air temp should help to further improve the surface action. Alternatively some good fish have been caught in Gateside bay by pulling big flies with fast sinkers.

Craig Cowan netted and returned this brownie on Sunday.

Temperature falling gradually at the Lake – Currently 19C at 6ft – 19/8/20

STOP PRESS –  Most of the best catches today were on blobs pulled or static – or lures on slow glass lines in the east basin.

The Temperature at 6ft reached 20C on Friday 14th which hopefully represents a peak for the year (there is some wind on the way). Temperature dropped down to 18C but today was up a little to 19C with a clarity in Gateside Bay of 2m. Colin Riach sent these photos of his recent trip when the water was warm and he as always did reasonably well on dries. His track is shown in the picture below and shows where he was getting results. He was of the opinion that the fish were feeding on phantom midge larvae.  There are some well known schools of surface fish swimming around in the eastern basin which will not look at anything I am told – although they are nice to watch…..Advice I heard from yesterday was not to waste time on these fish but to stay out in the open water on dries where there were some very high catches taken. With the east wind prevailing the clarity in the western drifts has not been as good.

















The evening fishing is now over for the year. We are aware that the web cam is not showing online and will try to fix it as soon as possible. Also internet related – we plan to keep the current booking system until the end of this season.

11/08/2020 report

With our new thermometer we can confidently tell you the water temp at 6 feet is 18.5c and the sechi disk is reading 1.9 meters.

There has been reports of big shoals feeding on daphnia down at Todds hole and round the shallow markers straight out from the hut. Other areas that are doing well include Sandy bay, Roman bay and cages. Yellow owl, Grunters, Orange blobs, pearly cormorants and the minister buzzers are some of the flies that are catching fish.

On the second last boat league sponsored by Fario flies. Bill Ramage was top rod with 15 fish second was Craig Ingles with 10 fish Craig wins the Fario fly box and Bill gets the Voucher.

Just a wee reminder the evening fishing finishes this Saturday (15th August)

Colin Hutchison-Reddie with a nice fish

Neil Turner with a 20lb 4oz pike on the fly

Peter Lees close up with his fish taking a yellow owl.


Lovely Weather at the Lake for the fish.

The boats are half full of water and it is still lashing down – only a few hardy individuals out today. Not sure what Les Grant caught this on during the boat league heat last wednesday. A fine looking trout. Top areas recently have been Gateside Bay, Malling Shore and the Road Shore but reports of good catches still coming in from all over. Methods? The fashion is for a sink tip and a fab at the moment but pulling lures is also producing and I heard Graeme  Niven had a good day on Monday with a ginked up snakelet and some good catches on more traditional dries. Some lovely trout coming off the water this week as well as the brown (see below).   In the FARIO boat league the 15 anglers netted 87 fish. Top rod was Craig Inglis with 16. https://www.menteith-fisheries.co.uk/menteith-boat-league-2019/






Alan Dickson caught this 5lb 12oz fish on a blob.



















Lachie Bain’s was 5lb and Chris Hunter from Dalkeith had a goodie at 6lb 6oz.

Lammas Floods 28/07/20

My Dad always liked to sneek this phrase in when it rained at this time of year – and it didnt half come down yesterday – drier to day but with gusts to 38. It is not ideal harvest weather, but the fishing has been quite good! Visibility hasn’t been brilliant for a while and the washout from yesterday hasnt improved matters. Clarity is 2.1m on the Secchi disk and water temperature at 6ft is 17C.

Bill Ramage and Alan Bernard had a good day yesterday despite the rain – catching over 30 to the net. Bill was on his renowned cat – not sure what line. Best sport recently has been at the Malling Shore, Gateside, The Islands and the Gap and the Butts. Dries, washing line wth crunchers and diawls and lures on a di 3 have all had their moments.

Boat League 22/7/20 Results

Top bag was Ally Kennedy with 13 fish. Ally was on Diawls and snatchers with floating line in the International Bay Area and wins the SELECTION BOX OF FARIO FLYS. 2nd was Harry Green and I think he was mainly fishing dries..with 12 fish in various places. Harry wins a Boat League Night Voucher from the Lake. The last night of the League is the 12th of August. The 13 anglers caught 99 fish. Slight delay in new Lake booking portal. Will be next week hopefully. 6ft. Water Temp 17C but need to make sure it is calibrated ok.

“Fastest Moving Rainbow I have ever Caught” 21/07/20

Our thermometer is broken and the new one arrives tomorrow but the water temperature should be around 15C as further cooling is ongoing. Clarity is 2m. Catching has been pretty good in the last few days (top boat > 30)and 400 nicely conditioned bows were stocked today (top boat catch today so far 26). The dry flies are still working out of the wind and the top areas have been Malling Shore, Butts and Gateside. Tom McBride returned this cracker at the end of last week. This is the trout picture to beat for next years brochure and a free boat IMHO.

The change over to the new booking portal is scheduled for this week…maybe Thursday. It will be a one stop book and pay operation with special dispensation for clubs to pay with different methods on the day if required.

The PIKE FLY FISHING ASSOCIATION were out on Saturday with 12 boats and some fine specimens were landed 7 double figure fish (biggest 19lbs) and 14 fish of less than 10lbs. This from Dougie. It was a tough old day with many anglers struggling to find fish and many of you reporting lots of frustrating “followers” not in a taking mood. The big fish points were dominated by the English invaders who made the journey over the border to plunder our waters :). Massive congrats to Richard Grave who landed a cracking 18.04lb fish winning himself the VISION Big Mama reel, Big Mama line, backing, Vee cap and engraved tankard. Second place went to his boat partner Paul Varcoe with a fish of 15.08lb, winning a Grand Daddy line and Gillie cap.Third place went to Andy Cheetham with a 14lb fish, winning the Big Mama fly box and Natives 4.0 Cap. Fourth place to Marc Light with a lovely fish of 13.08lb winning the Mega Tungsten forceps. Congrats to all the winners and thanks again to VISION UK and David Bilbrough for their prizes and support and to the PFFA for prize donations.

PFFA – all smiling before the event….
Ryan’s 18 pounder which won him the Vision Big Mama Reel
Dougie Loughridge with a 19 pounder – presumably he didnt get a prize as organiser.

HERIOTS AC Got a great report from Colin Riach who was out on the 15th with Heriots AC ….and as he has a way with words and a camera. Thanks for sharing.

This from Colin….. We would have had between 25 and 30 for the boat.  We are still on dry mayfly patterns – shucks, emergers, duns, and spinners.  Jimmy had quite a few on a Found Link, and I am still getting mine on the paraloop spinner.

The fish had had their Weetabix!  Unbelievable strength in them at the moment!  I had 30 yards of backing out on one that then circled the boat… twice!   There was spray riding up the line as it cut the water like a cheese wire!  Fastest moving rainbow I have ever caught… and it wasn’t even one of the bigger fish.  Weighed the best one in the net and it went 5 lb. Here is the clubs full report:

The day gave us a fresh-feeling westerly breeze with a mix of ceiling – cloud, sunshine and showers.  I was still in ‘mayfly mode’, though the hatch is definitely petering-out.  I was hoping the residents were still recognising one when they saw it!  Bob Whyte and i set out to have a day on mayfly if we could.  We managed it, reasonably well.  The fresh breeze dictated the areas we might find rising fish – as per the GPS below.  We focused on fishing the creases between the sheltered and the open water – the lines where food is blown and then idles for the fish to find it.  We were both mostly catching on the paraloop spinner, though I got a couple on John Wastles Deer mayfly emerger.

The resident rainbows and blues are fit as butchers’ dogs just now.  I was on the backing several times, with the best of the day – around 4 lb – getting upwind of me and having about 60 yards out at one point. The takes were a bit different from what I’ve been experiencing recently.  They’ve been head-and-shoulders out the water, or exploding onto the fly aggressively.  Yesterday a lot of the takes were almost imperceptible… just sipping the fly down while barely making a mark.  Blink and you missed it.  We finished with 17 to the boat.

With social-distancing precautions including the avoidance of scorecards, Bob asked the members to send in a mini-report to give catch and method details.  So, without further ado…

Keith Logan and Peter Fionda – 16 fish

Peter got of to a flier with 6ft mini tip and washing line.  His best flies were booby and Kate snatcher fished slowly.  I started on dries, picked up a solitary fish on sedge pattern.  Switched to nymphs, picked up another couple on floater.  They seem to be partial to a quicker retrieve. My best line ended up as slow intermediate and best fly was red holographic diawl, best areas were Malling, towards Dog Isle and Rookery. KL

Stewart Barnes and Steve Kilpatrick – 6 fish

Well Steve and I were clearly the poor relations, but I will give the details. I don’t know if our lack of success was due to a poor choice of patterns or our choice of locations.  Steve had 1 on a small dry.  I had 2 on a small organza-bodied booby and 2 on an F-fly dry and 1 on a bibio dry.  We found fish at Arnmach peninsula.  I also moved fish at the plantation on my dries earlier.  SB

Dougie Skedd and Alan Duncan – 14 fish

We both started off with dries without success and lost the first hour accordingly. Changed over to the washing line with diawl bachs and a small booby and started catching. Found that the fish at times liked a faster retrieve and Dougie had success with the roly-poly often producing a decent bow wave as the fish chased the fly. Of my 5 fish all but one fell to a pink booby, whilst Dougie’s 9 fish were 50/50 booby and diawl bach, the most successful diawl bach having a holographic gold rib. Best sport was found in the Rookery and off the Malling Shore. AD

Adrian Coats and Trevor Gibson – 15 fish

We started at Stable Point and had a double hook-up almost straight away on washing line. That kept us in the west side of Gateside Bay for the rest of the day, apart from one drift across to the burnmouth and one almost to Inchmahome. Trevor had ten all on washing line (the first two or three were on a floater but he then changed to a ghost or midge tip). I had three on midge tip and two on dries.  Very few took the booby and most were on diawl bachs of various colours.  Figure of eight retrieve.  Trevor must be commended for spending at least five minutes freeing my line from both outboards after I was snagged by a lively fish. I had offered to pull for a break on several occasions but he persisted.  And the fish was still on at the end of it! AC

The Club’s 10 rods landed 68 fish.