Nigel Duncan brings you the latest fly fishing news from the Lothians.
Cramond Angling Club
Cramond Angling Club Chairman Adam Cross officially opened the season with the first cast near the Fair-a-Far weir at Cramond. A number of members and non-members braved the snow, biting wind and freezing conditions to attend the opening social and breakfast BBQ.
Joe Arndt, the club’s secretary, toasted the river and provided a brief summary of the work being done by officials to improve fishing in The Almond.
The club had around 150 members last season and have upped their price by £10 to £45 for adults and £35 for senior citizens because of an increase in the price of the lease. There are concessions for seniors, juniors and students and outlets are posted on the club’s website.
Adam said: “It was a fantastic start to the season and there were some nice words and a toast from our secretary Joe. “The opening came during a cold snap and, despite the weather, it was nice to see some old and new faces.”
Evening Permits At Harlaw And Threipmuir
Evening permits will be available this season from Malleny Angling Club, who look after popular Harlaw and Threipmuir Reservors in the Pentland Hills, two miles south of Balerno.
The club have confirmed a new price structure and launched an initiative to attract more young anglers. Jim McComb, the chief bailiff, admitted that last season had been poor because of a hard winter followed by a dry summer and problems over the reservoir level which fell down to almost zero.
Fishing begins for the summer on April 1st and Jim said the water levels are now up.
He added: “We will be stocking fish before the first day of the season and carry on stocking throughout the year.”
The 2019 prices are £20 for a day ticket killing three fish, a day ticket on a catch and release basis is £15, an evening ticket killing two fish is £15 and an evening session on catch and release is £10.
Jim said: “We have thought about this (evening fishing) for a number of years and we see there was a market for that, guys coming up after their shift at night and who coming up for the night.
“Why should they pay £20 for two hours fishing? We hope that catch and release fishing for a tenner in the evening will encourage more people to come up.
“We also hope to attract young anglers. You can bring a one youngster with you on the ticket. The number of fish you catch will be between the pair of you but, because of health and safety, we want one-on-one for safety reasons.
“If you are bringing up two youngsters you will have to bring another adult.”
Groups with learning difficulties from all over the Lothians are increasingly homing in on popular two-acre Kailzie Fishery near Peebles.
Manager Jimmy Barrett who has been running Kailzie for 12 years, said: “We get a lot of people with disabilities from Mid and East Lothian. “We support them on the bait pond and then they have lunch.“If any groups are interested just pick up the phone. We can arrange a date and numbers and everything is ready for them on arrival.”
For anglers requiring special assistance there are car parking spaces next to the fishing hut which has disabled facilities. Trout of under 2lbs are stocked in the bait pond which is next door to the tackle shop which has been recently extended.
Clubbiedean Opening Day Competition
Meanwhile, 12-acre Clubbiedean above Colinton open their season with an Open Day on Saturday, March 16th with a trophy for the top rod. They offer fly fishing from boats and bait fishing from the bank.
Morton Fishings All Set
Morton Fishings near Livingston open for the season on Friday March 15th at 2017 prices. The 23-acre fishery will then be open every day from 8.30am to dusk. Boobies will be allowed on kill tickets only.
Day Tickets At Pottishaw
Pottishaw near Whitburn will be available from Sunday, March 24th to day ticket anglers for the first time in seven years.
Owner Fraser Thomson will introduce new fish to ensure good sport from opening day and the fishery will be stocked every two weeks thereafter.
Pottishaw has a rich and diverse range of fly life with huge buzzer hatches the highlight in May and August. Livingston-based Fraser, who has run the fishery for 15 years, said fishing will be from 9am and bank only but float tubes will be welcome and numbers will be limited to 15 per day. He added: “There has been a lot of interest in the day ticket move and we have some fantastic fish in the lake.”
Scotland Ladies Fly Fishing
Scotland’s ladies fly fishing team are hosting a fund-raising day at Drumtassie Fishery near Armadale in West Lothian next month.
It is on Sunday, April 28 with fishing from 9am to 4pm and the cost is £30 per angler and it is on a catch and release basis.
One of the organisers, Liz McLellan, said that a £15 deposit is payable via Paypal and a hot lunch will be provided.
There are prizes for first, second and third and a raffle and you can contact the fishery on 07939 249481 to book your place.
Liz said there are lots of prizes and the proceeds will help fund the ladies for international matches this summer.
River Fishing Dates
Trout fishing begins on The Almond and other local rivers on March 15th . The Water of Leith season starts on April 1st .
Nigel Duncan Scottish-based sports journalist and broadcaster who works for the national press and digital networks. Regular contributor on fishing to the Edinburgh Evening News, www.theedinburghreporter.co.uk , Crystal FM and Saltire FM.