Angling Reports/News

Lake Of Menteith 24th September 2019

Water temp at 6ft 15c Secchi Disk Clarity Gateside Bay 2.1m

The weekend began with another very bright and warm day, the tactics were very similar to those of the day before. The weather on Sunday was completely different, it was overcast and wet. There were good bags of fish caught throughout the day particularly from Sam’s point, the Rookery and Lochend. 800 fish were stocked yesterday.

This last week has been busy at the lake, we had the pleasure of hosting the Senior 2019 Autumn International. The 4 teams spent 4 days practicing on the water with large numbers of fish being caught on a variety of methods, including dries.

The fog shortly before it lifted.

As is often the case, the weather changed for match day with early mist soon clearing to clear skies with warm sunshine. The day was mostly flat calm as well with only brief spells of light wind.
The 4 teams set out full of confidence and there was an even spread of boats all over the water.

And their off!

As the day progressed it was clear that the weather was generally making the conditions more tricky, certainly for fishing dries. The best success seemed to come from fishing midge tip lines with a Booby or Fab on the point and Diawl Bachs or Cormorants on the droppers.
When the boats came in at 6pm the rumours were that Team Ireland had done very well.

This was borne out at the weigh-in with the Irish team landing a total of 109 fish for a total weight of 251lbs 2.8ozs. (Three fish weighed and returned fish awarded 2lbs). This was great performance for the team and their first win away from Ireland for 22 years.

The Irish National team and 2019 International champions.

2nd place went to Team Wales who landed 104 fish for 242lbs 14.1ozs.
3rd place went to Team Scotland who had 94 fish for 229lbs 1.1ozs.
4th place and the dreaded wooden spoon went to Team England with 92 fish for a total of 221lbs 9.5ozs.

The Brown Bowl for best bag went to Arden Pollock from Team Ireland. He produced an excellent performance to land 15 fish for a total of 32lbs 7ozs. Arden caught all of his fish on a midge tip line with a cut-throat cat booby, cormorants and diawl bachs, mainly at Malling and Gateside.

Derek Hessett was top Scottish rod with 14 fish for a total of 31lbs 11.5ozs.
Mike Williams of Team Wales also had 14 fish for a total of 28lbs 7.3ozs.
Best English rod was Tony Baldwin with 10 fish for 21lbs 15.4 ozs.
Heaviest fish was a rainbow of 4lbs 9.4ozs and was landed by Neill Barrett of Scotland.

Allan Mclachlan playing a fish.

399 fish were landed for a total weight of 944lbs 11.5 ozs, giving a rod average of 7.1.

The presentation dinner was held after the match at The Buchanan Arms Hotel in Drymen. It was good to see our old friend Brian Peterson at the dinner.

Thanks to all of the organisers, boatmen and most of all the competitors for making this a great event. With the friendships that were made, everyone came away a winner.

Lake of Menteith 16th September 2019 Water Temp at 6ft 13.5C Secchi Disk Clarity Gateside Bay 2.1m

The 127th Scottish National Flyfishing Championships were held on the lake on Saturday the 14th of September.

The weather forecast didn’t look too good but thankfully the worst of the wind and rain did not come until the anglers were off the water.

66 anglers set out at 9.30am with a good spread of boats over the water. A westerly wind prevailed throughout the match with occasional rain.

Once the boats came in at 5.30pm it was clear that there were a number of good catches.

The 2019 National Champion is Allan McLachlan representing Costa Ecosse. Allan landed 23 fish for a total weight of 49lbs 10.4ozs, (3 fish weighed and additional returned fish awarded 2lbs).

2019 Scottish National Champion Allan Mclachlan.

In second place was the defending champion, Derek Pozzi of Thalassa AC. Derek landed 22 fish for a total of 48lbs 10.9ozs.

3rd place went to Martin McCafferty of Future FF. He had 20 fish for 42lbs 12.1ozs.

Craig Inglis of Grimm Anglers into a fish.

The other qualifiers for the 2020 loch style teams were:

Scott Aitken – Tartan Tyers

Calum Crosbie – Alba Orvis

Ben Robertson – Phoenix AC

Peter Batchelor – Harrow AC

Sean McCaffrey – Shetland AA

Gregor Fleming – Bridge of Weir Loch AC

Ronnie Gilbert – Menteith Ospreys

Peter Auchterlonie – Menteith Ospreys

Davy Ezzi – Black Loch AC

Toby Bracey – Dounreay FFA

Ally Middlemass – Blairadam AC

Brian McKenzie – Neilston FF

Gil Farid – Central Belters

Greig Davie – Thalassa AC

Jock Kettles – SANACC

Best of luck in the 2020 competitions guys.

Richard McHattie of Ormiston AC and Brian Mackenzie of Neilston Fly Fishers.

The heaviest fish was a rainbow of 4lbs 11.7ozs landed by Richard McHattie of Ormiston AC.

The prize winners were awarded clothing from sponsors Ridgeline UK.

The 66 anglers landed a total of 704 fish for an actual total weight of 2020lbs . The rod average was 10.66.

This coming week at the lake is fully booked due to anglers practising for the International which takes on Friday.

Pre National Final

Lake of Menteith 10th September 2019

Water Temp at 6ft 15C Secchi Disk Clarity Gateside Bay 2m by Connor Shearer

The weather this last week has been rather variable, we have had high winds and heavy rain to very low wind and bright sunshine (typical Scottish weather). There have still been good reports of catches particularly on the dry fly around Gateside bay, Malling shore and Todd Hole. The water level is now beginning to drop back to a normal height after a few dry days over the weekend.

We had the pleasure of hosting the Ladies National championship on Friday the 6th. The ladies fished well throughout the day, but the overall winner was Jean Ferguson with 11 fish, she won both heats making her the National and Overall Ladies Champion for 2019.

All the fish for this week were stocked on Monday 9th (800). Anglers and Boatmen in this year’s National Final at the Lake be aware of the risk of congestion at the Trossach’s motorway turnoff as the park and ride for the Solheim Cup at Gleneagles is also located just off this turnoff.

The resident ospreys now seem to have left the lake to head to their wintering grounds somewhere in Africa in the search of warmer weather. So, if you see one it is most likely just a passing also on its way to wintering grounds.

The northern winds at the weekend blew down quite a few heather/Bibio flies. Fisherman Fraser Renwick took this photo of this odd flat rainbow when he was out last week.

Fishes Up, Fishes Down?

Lake of Menteith 27th August 2019
Water Temp at 6ft 15.5C Secchi Disk Clarity Gateside Bay 2.1m

The temperature of the Lake climbed to around 19C at 6ft by the end of the day on Sunday which made fishing over the weekend and on Monday hard. This was in stark contrast to before the mini heat wave arrived on Friday 23rd when we had another new record catch at the Lake. 641 fish were caught by the 60 anglers taking part in the second semi final of the Scottish Club Championships (41 more than the previous semi). With an average weight of over 2lbs 12 oz, the total catch weighed 1733lbs. Top rod was James Litster of Glasgow Angling Centre with 31 fish on dries mainly in the Gap. His Neilston FF B team mates Brian MacKenzie and Tam Burnett did very well also netting 22 and 19 apiece, which created a new record team catch in the Scottish Club Championships; Neilston B with 72 trout. Owen cook of Townhill was second placed indivisual with 23 trout.


As of today Tuesday 27th, and after a chillier night, the fishing is definitely on the up again with the downturn in water temperature and a return to overcast conditions. Well known dry fly angler Jimmy Millar was well into double figures when he called it a day mid afternoon and gave me the benefit of the flies he was using. Pictured below, to quote Jimmy, on the left is a “bit of a bits” and on the right is a “crippled midge – one of Stan headley’s flies (both size 12s). The next boat to come in also had done well, again on dries – this time with size 10 grunters in the gap.

FYI some Dates, Facts and Figures

Lake of Menteith 20th August 2019

Water Temp at 6ft 16C Secchi Disk Clarity Gateside Bay 2.3m

The temperature at 6ft has dropped considerably in the last couple of weeks and the fish are spreading back out from the Inchmahome/Gateside Deeps. Best areas recently noted have been Gateside Bay, Malling shore and Lochend. The optimal tactic that I know of is a sink tip washing line type set up.

Douglas Fraser snapped this eager angler on Sunday. We keep a careful record of cormorant numbers during the year. We were blessedly absent of cormorants from April till August. In the first week of August, 2 were counted. We now have 3 in residence this week.

On the competition scene; congratulationsw to Fly Box A, Tartan Tyers A, Lintrathen B, Neilston FF A, Lintrathen A, RAF Fish Hawks, Balfron Piscatorials, Grimm Anglers, Alba Orvis A and Soldier Plamers in Qualifying for the Scottish Club Championship Final on the 27th September and good luck to the second semi contenders this Friday. The catch last Friday of 600 fish by the 60 anglers was a bit of an eye opener – especially with the mean weight being 2lbs 12.3oz and an individual catch of 25 trout from Scott Aitken.

For information we have reserved Thursday 26th September as a practice day and qualifying clubs can phone/text the fishery and reserve 1 ½ boats on this day and also apply to be put on the waiting list for any free boats. Any unbooked club final boats will be come available for public booking on the 9th September.

With regards to the National Championship, there are 5 days left to book a practice space and put your name down for any left over boats on the two days prior (12th and 13th Sept) to the National Final at the Lake. After the 25th August we will make any unused boats generally available.

2019 Menteith boat league Facts and Figures and Sponsorship.

Bill Ramage was winner of the 18th Boat League. There were 28 anglers fishing this year’s boat league and they caught a total of 1546 fish over the 14 weeks; averaging 5.27 fish per rod per night – up on last year’s 4.1 fish per rod. There was £700 of prize money allocated and £142 for charity on the final night.


The Lake sponsored the Competition to the tune of £652. The anglers donated £520 in registration fees. Successful competition Angler Michael Low sponsored the competition with 720 flies of his flies worth £1080. We look forward to next years event and we ask anglers who competed to contact the fishery by email with ideas for improvements for next year. We will then put the best ideas to a secret ballot.

Big Splash at Lake from Irish

Lake of Menteith 6th August 2019

Water Temp at 6ft 20C Secchi Disk Clarity Gateside Bay 2.6m

Congratulations to the Irish Youth Fishing Team on their International Win at the Lake Last Wednesday

The Irish (pictured cooling off above) caught 77 fish, 13 more than second placed Scotland. Wales were 3rd and England picked up the wooden spoon – although they were unlucky as they caught more fish than the Welsh and were an angler down for much of the match. Best tactics were a hi D line in Gateside Bay and the whole Inchmahome Deeps – with buzzers or diawls and a booby on the point. Other areas fishing this week have been the gap and a few on the roadshore. High Temperatures and thundery conditions have kept the fish deep. Colin Riach was out after the match and did manage 5 on the dry and sent me this photograph below.


Youthfull Visitors at the Lake

Lake of Menteith 30th July 2019

Water Temp at 6ft 19.5C Secchi Disk Clarity Gateside Bay 2.4m

We are hosting the YOUTH INTERNATIONAL TOMORROW Wed 31st July, between Scotland, England Ireland and Wales. The youngsters have been here practicing over the last few days and everyone is ready for the match tomorrow. There will be more on tactics after the match but suffice to say it helps if you have a high density fast sinking line and can count to 30…..Good Luck everyone and hope the weather gods move the furniture about somewhere else. Above: Welsh anglers exploring the Lake.

5 boats available Saturday 3rd August due to recent cancellations.

Above: The Scottish Youth Team.

Below right. Colin Cunningham Graham owner of Inch Talla and direct descent of the radical politician, writer and revolutionary Don Roberto Cunningham Graham (who is buried on the Island of Inchmahome). Colin called in at the fishery today to visit his islands and to try and protect some of the ruins on Inch Talla.  Colin’s grandfather was Robert Cunningham Graham’s brother and he was wearing as always Don Robertos’s golden seal chain.

Lake was slopping about in that wind 23/7/19

Lake of Menteith 23rd July 2019

Water Temp at 6ft 18.5C Secchi Disk Clarity Gateside Bay 3m

Fishing Well despite warm 6ft water temperatures (18C plus). Surface tactics (typically a midge tip or sink tip) have been working in Gateside and off the Malling shore……better, similar or worse than the classic hot weather Di7 tactics of chuck out in Gateside and count to 30.  The strong south westerly yesterday brought cooler water to the top at Malling and good clarity means the fish can come up from below. Next Wednesday is the youth international.

Stephen McCusker first (?) visit was most enjoyable and he took home these two fine bows of 4lbs and 2lbs. A lot of people are getting snapped by the stamp of fish which are around 2.5 to 3lb average weight. Anything less than 10lb is asking to be broken. Lures and nymphs and diawl bachs as well as the snake fished deep have all been responsible for top bags.  Lots of pinhead fry about. Congratulations to team Costa (Davie Mateer, Murray Hunter and John Buchanan) for winning the SCOTTISH CLUB CHAMPIONSHIP HEAT AND ALSO TO Neil Barrett and Robert Gibson for winning the SIERRA PAIRS Menteith Heat.

Way on down at the Lake 16/07/19

Lake of Menteith 16th July 2019

Water Temp at 6ft 21C Secchi Disk Clarity Gateside Bay 2.6m

The warm weather (see water temp) has sent the fish (not necessarily the pike) deep so pack your fast sinkers. Best areas of recent have been the Malling shore, The Gap and Gateside Bay. Gary Johnson and John Slaven sent in these fine photos. At these temperatures we have an advisory note to limit catch and release in the interests of fish welfare. The Scottish versus English Select match tomorrow will be fished to 10 fish catch and release and record the time of your last fish caught. Temperatures are thankfully forecast to drop over the next few days…..

2/7/19 Damsels and Jelly Fry

Lake of Menteith 2nd July 2019

Water Temp at 6ft 18C Secchi Disk Clarity Gateside Bay 3.0m

The Lake changed from dry fly optimal, to long sink tip or immediate line optimal, between Tuesday and Friday of last week. In these bright glittery conditions the fish are best found on a fast tip with blobs and boobies. Most recent good bags have been from the Malling Shore. A lot of damsel flies are on the move and in some areas the place is teeming with newly hatched coarse fry. Too late to be pike fry – more likely roach fry? If so, spawning time for roach must be around mid-June? The sequence according to some studies is perch first then pike then roach. The change in depth/tactics may not all be about an aversion to warmer water in the surface layers – although the heat last week was blistering.  It may have a link with the availability of a new menu. The pike have been very active this week and seem unphased by the mini heat wave – unlike the trout.


On the 25th Peter Auchterlonie won the SANACC semi final with 19 trout on dries in Gateside and at Malling. In second place was Gregor Fleming with 18 and 3rd Gary Ormiston with 17. Both on dries at Sams Point  and International Bay. By Friday the top method was boobies fished by Ronnie Gilbert (23 fish) with a fast tip at Kates Brae/Lochend. 2nd and 3rd were Alan MacLachlan (21 fish) and James Gardiner 16 fish – all fishing similar methods in the same area.


The Championships were interrupted by a large amount of thunder and lightening but only a little rain – and the boats all came in until deemed safe to head back out. The fish were in a fickle mood though and top rod was Gil Farid with 6 fish – helping East Kilbride into 2nd Place. 2nd top rod was Andy MacKay also with 6 fish – securing a semi final place for Port Glasgow B. Top Club was Brechin B with 7 fish.


A poor night for dry fly. Bill Ramage was top rod with 10 and Stuart Inglis was second with 9 fish. Bill Ramage was on his usual set up and Stuart on buzzers. The pressure is now on Bill Ramage and his team of diawl bach blob and cat. The League is his to loose? Stuart won the box of FARIO flys and Neil Barrett picked up the voucher.

Photo of blue, damsel, and rising trout to Dougie. Courtesy of Colin Riach


15lb pike captured on a damsel by Jim Twaddle

 Jelly Fry

Dougie and the Gentle Art