Today was a memorable one. With a good SA friend, we experienced a brilliant afternoon and early evening on The Watch today with 15 fish to the boat on small dries. The water literally heaved with rising fish from late afternoon and was still doing so at 7.30pm when we left. The Watch is well known for massive falls of flying ants, and this was one of those days. The warmth and gentle breeze from the South obviously created the right conditions for the ant flight. We were going to fish the river tomorrow, but it's back to The Watch again after a morning at the tying vice with much hope that the ants are on the move again. Ants must be a tasty morsel to the fish as they voraciously feed on them right up to within a few feet of the boat and tight into the margins of the bank. Size 18 black seal's fur dry and a 14 claret shuttlecock were our best flies.
Whilst some fisheries have been experiencing the doldrums of fluctuating temperatures and dour fishing, The Watch has consistently produced during the summer period. Perhaps this has something to do with height above sea level, different barometric pressures and the water being that little bit colder. One can only guess, but whatever, anglers have enjoyed some great sport. Those venturing out on the boats have had some memorable days fishing right down the centre of the reservoir. The most productive returns have been by those concentrating on fishing in the top 6 inches of water with floating lines, midge tip and slow intermediates. Biscuit blobs and fabs, sparklers and mini lures stripped fast back to the boat have produced good results and exhilarating sight fishing with lots of follows, swirls and solid takes. Elsewhere, boat and bank fishers have scored well with dries and hoppers. Recently, one angler had a great day on the lodge bank on a scoury day fishing the heather fly. The wind can be, for some anglers, a great bonus on The Watch as daddy long legs and heather flee are blown off the surrounding vegetation. Ant falls have not been reported so far, but on those few flat calm days look out for the water surface simmering with sipping fish. As the mean temperatures dip towards the Autumn we look forward to The Watch continuing to build on its reputation as one of the best top of the water fisheries where quality blue and rainbow trout can be targeted.