Nigel Duncan brings you the latest fly fishing news from the Lothians.
Cramond Cut Prices
Cramond Angling Club (CAC) have cut the cost of an annual permit on their nine-mile stretch of The Almond and there is more water to fish as the club has taken on an additional beat.
Adult permits next season will be £35 with seniors (over 65) priced at £25 and one child (under-16) will be able to fish free with subsequent permits for second and third child at £5 each. Students in full-time education can now fish for £15, down from £25.
The price cut from £45 for adults and £35 for seniors is due to successful discussions with landlords plus the Crown and Rosebery Estates and club bosses are keen to encourage people to get involved in the sport and, hopefully, bring friends along.
Permits are available now and application forms are on the website (www.fishalmond.co.uk).
The additional beat extends club waters from the Forth Estuary to around Newbridge.
New Bothy At Rosslynlee Fishery
Tom Russell and his father, also Tom, sat on a comfortable, grey couch with a panoramic view of the water at popular Rosslynlee Fishery. As they chatted the slate grey sky slowly gave way to warming, winter sunshine and the biting east wind eased. There was soon a pleasing ripple on the top of the water making conditions almost ideal for winter fishing.
John Dewar, the fishery manager, made them a thirst-quenching cuppa as father and son from Earlston in the Borders discussed tactics.
The roaring, log-burning stove provided a pleasant heat in the spacious new lodge which includes a reception area. Therein lies a small shop providing snack foods, including pies, and chocolate as well as some fishing tackle and flies. There is also ample room in the brightly-lit cabin for four tables and chairs so anglers can enjoy snacks and their own sandwiches.
The new addition yards from the spacious car park and has been well-received by regulars who will soon be able to use a nearby, new toilet and shower block with facilities for men and women and disabled anglers. And the work is part of a plan to improve Rosslynlee near Penicuik which currently enjoys support from a loyal band of regulars.
Included in them are 12 men who are currently engaged in a twice-monthly winter league where competition is keen. Jamie McLeary from Mayfield currently leads the title race. His best of the season so far is 10lbs 2oz. A close second is Brian Shackleton from Lauder and his best – a 13lb trout – was landed in the last round. And third is George Armour from Woodburn.
Rosslynlee, like other Lothians fisheries, is suffering highs and lows so far this winter and so much depends on the weather.
Buzzers have, however, tempted hard-fighting trout along with Egg patterns fished around 4ft down on a bung. The shallow end of the lake, towards the entrance gate, and the point area, have proved the best areas lately and winter hours at the fishery have just kicked in. They are open 8am to 4pm seven days a week.
Basic prices are £28 for an eight-hour stint killing four fish or a two-hour slot taking one fish for £16. An eight-hour catch and release ticket is £16 and a two-hour £10. The water is regularly stocked.
Trollies Removed From The River Almond
Shopping trolleys are a hazard when they end up in rivers and Scot Muir organised a work party to remove some from The Almond.
The members of the trolley removal crew, hosted by Forth Rivers Trust, worked for over two hours on Friday, December 6, starting at Howden Weir viewing platform in Livingston.
He asked volunteers to bring decent footwear and to dress for the weather and they pulled 33 shopping trolleys, three bikes and two scooters from the water.
Scot, who is a consultant with the Forth Rivers Trust, said: “There are issues in West Lothian, and in Scotland, where it seems to be a pastime for certain individuals to throw shopping trolleys in the river.
“I believe all the rivers in Scotland suffer the same issue and trolleys are dangerous to fishermen and wildlife.
“I really appreciated the guys who came along and removing the trolleys will improve the habitat and boost the river.”
FURTHER DETAILS: Scot Muir 07789 653763
Fly Fishing For Pike At Raith Lakes
Fly fishing for pike makes its winter debut on Raith Lake which popular with Lothians anglers.
The picturesque, 23-acre sheltered water on the outskirts of Kirkcaldy on the B925 Auchtertool Road (Boglily Road, Kirkcaldy, KY2 5NF) is home to pike of over 20lbs.
And the move by owner Rachel Scott is by popular demand.
Anglers must use barbless hooks and Rachel stressed it is best to book as there is no bank angling and fishing is from one of the lake’s 12 boats.
The on-site shop has trout files but not special pike flies and the suggestion is that anglers should use rods of over seven weight with a minimum line breaking strain of 12lb.
A comfortable lodge with a log burning stove will be available and a kettle is always on the boil.
Rachel said: “We get a lot of people asking about fly fishing for pike and we thought we would give it a try this winter.
“Pike of over 20lbs have been caught here surprising trout anglers by taking their flies.
“The pike fishing is on now until March and the water is popular with anglers from all over Fife and the Lothians. We are only 35 minutes from Edinburgh.”
Fishing is 8am to 4pm weekdays and 7am on weekends.