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Category: 2014

  1. May Report

    Posted on

    Good Afternoon folks,

    May has been a month of mixed fortunes, mixed weather and mixed methods.

    The weather has been on and off this month with quite strong winds meaning the Angler is having to work for his fish. During windy conditions I have found that going down to a Fast Glass intermediate off the bank and a Di3 sinking line pulling a Cat Booby with an Orange or Tequila Blob usually does the trick. The ever popular Yellow Dancer has been proving its weight in gold also on difficult days.

    When the wind settles we are seeing a lot of fish moving in the top margins. The Fish are still hammering buzzers but are starting to take small Hawthorne flies, Emerging Buzzers and small black Beetles. Some fantastic sport can be had during these conditions but some anglers are finding the fish very tricky. This is where you have to understand the fish's Rise forms as stated in my previous report. If you are seeing small dimple sipping rise forms then the fish are taking flies dry on top of the water. If you are seeing head and tail rise forms then the fish are taking sub surface. if they are taking subsurface then you need to be suspending your nymphs under the bung or using washing line tactics. If you are unsure of these methods then don't be afraid to ask me on your next visit and I shall be more than happy to explain the method.

    We have had quite a few angling club competitions this month from Kelso RBL club Comp which was won by Peter Robson, Edinburgh Bredalbane Club Comp won by Scottish internationalist Jimmy Fairgrieve and Earlston Angling Club Comp which was won by David Scott. Congratulations to all and I look forward to seeing your later on in the year.

    Finally, Our yellow tagged fish was caught last week by Mr Peter Hottinger from Kelso. Peters prize for catching this fish was a Hardy Demon Rod. The fish was caught on a catch and release ticket and was released safely once the tag was removed and a quick photo was taken. It was estimated to be weighing in at around 9-10lbs. Both Peter and boat partner Freddie Carter had a fantastic afternoon catching 6 Rainbow's each with a number of brownie's added into the mix.

    Lastly we shall be starting our evening sessions as of next Monday. Should you wish to fish off the boat then we ask you to please phone and book so we can make sure everything is ready for your arrival. Don't forget that we shall also be running the open sweep competition's on Tuesday and Thursday nights. If you need any info on these competitions then please get in touch.

    I shall leave you with a number of pictures from the last few weeks and a few fly recipes which have been fishing well.

    Tight Lines


    peter hotinger from kelso with hardy demon rod

    yellow tagged fish

    earlston angling club

    earlston ac

    billy braithwaite into a fish with earlston aa

    billy braithwaite into a fish with earlston aa 2

    billy braithwaite with a fish from earlston aa

    norrie miller into a fish with earlston aa

    easrlston aa

    jimmy fairgrieve 5lbs tout

    jim youngman 10lbs rainbow

    Cat Booby - White Booby Chord, White Marabou Tail and Wing, Pearl UV Strands tied either side of wing and Yellow or Green Straggle Fritz for body.

    cat booby

    Black Buzzer - Black UTC thread, Silver wire rib, Hot Orange Goose Biot with three or four coats of Sally Hansens Hard as Nails.

    black buzzer

    Kate Snatcher - Black Thread, Black Seals Fur Body, Black palmered Hen Hackle, Silver Wire Rib and Hot Orange Hen hackle with Orange Goose Biot of JC Cheeks.

    kate snatcher


    Hopper Emerger - Black Thread, Brown or Black Seals Fur Body,  Medium Holographic Tinsel in red or green, Knotted Pheasant Tail fibres for legs, Black or red game cock hackle with CDC tied in as bubble.

    hopper emerger

    Shuttle Cock Emerger - Black Thread, Red Holographic Tinsel or Fire Orange thread as hot spot at the butt, Black Seals fur for the body, Red and Black Peacock Spectra Dubbing for the thorax and 4 Natural or black cdc feathers for wing.

    shuttlecock emerger

  2. April Fishing Report

    Posted on

    As the Watch Water ventured its way into spring, I have been reminded constantly of why this is such a special place to come and fish.

    One morning you arrive at the fishery just like any normal day taking in the scenery with the Ewes in the field and the Geese on the water. The next morning you arrive, you are greeted all the way down through the farm to the reservoir by newly born lambs and yet more Geese on the water. This is why I love this time of year. Spring brings new life and new beginnings with freshness in the air.  We have also been lucky enough to have quite a few sightings of the Ospreys at the beginning of April and I have had one very special sighting of a Peregrine near Greenlaw.

    This spring has also brought a lot more fly life with better weather to the Watch Water. As a result there has been no April Fools this year, The water has been fishing extremely well. Don't get me wrong though, we have had some difficult days as well! But, the Angler who is willing to move about the reservoir to find fresh water or area's with a slight bit of shelter, have been more successful on the difficult days.

    With the warmer weather that spring has brought us, there is a lot of Buzzer activity and lake olives. Fish have been taken quite regularly on dries since the start of April. Charlie Punton Jnr had a great day in really blustery conditions returning 9 to a Shuttle Cock Emerger. Other dries that have been doing the business are small Hawthorne flies or small hoppers, Yellow Owls and small Olive Double Deckers.

    When the fish have been nymphing, especially over the past week and a half they have been seen rising head and tail. This is always the tell tale sign that the fish are feeding quite heavily on Midge Pupa, i.e. emerging Buzzers and During these conditions the washing line method has been proving its use.

    Basically for the washing line I fish a floating line with two Buzzers. Usually Black and Olive with a big Dry Fly/ Bung acting as an indicator on the point of your cast. In a flat calm I fish it near enough static. If there is a slight ripple then I retrieve with a figure of eight at snail's pace making sure I keep in contact with the flies. If the wind picks up I will fish a Booby on the point instead of the dry teamed with a 3 or 6ft midge tip.

    When the fish have been down in the water Column during the mornings whilst the temperature has been a bit cooler, Pulling lures has been the method of choice. The fish have shied off Black and Green lures and are chasing more attractive "In your face" patterns such as Orange Fritz/ Booby, Cat Booby, Normal cats Whiskers and Yellow Dancers. Tequila Blobs have been working quite well too. I tend to go with a Booby/ Blob combo in the morning on a Fast Glass/ or Slow Intermediate line. However, some anglers have been fishing just as well on a Floating Line, straight lining with a Cruncher on top, Diawl Bach on middle and a cats whisker or yellow dancer on the point.

    The biggest thing to take out of last month has been that the fish are not far out from the bank at all. The key thing for me is to keep on the move and be mobile. You have to remember that the Watch Water is an actual Reservoir and not a concrete bowl. With this in mind the fish tend to move in and out of the drop off zones. So the depth of your flies and the line that you are using can sometimes make the difference.

    If you are unsure of which area's to start off from then make sure you stick around for a coffee and a quick blether in the lodge before you head out and we shall be sure to point you in the right direction and give useful advice on methods and flies to suit the conditions on the day.

    There has also been some Big, Big Fish taken out of the water. Congrats must go to young John banks for catching his personal best Rainbow at 9lbs, Charlie Punton for catching an 11lbs Rainbow and Dez Thompson for also catching a personal best Rainbow at 13 and 1/2 lbs. A special mention must go to Craig Young  from Dalkieth for finally catching one of the red tagged fish. The Red Tag pot has been building up since last year and Craig walked away with an 8lbs Rainbow and £280 in his pocket. Well done that man!

    Also special thanks go out to Ellem Fishing Club, the oldest fishing club in the world who have continued to support this fantastic fishery through thick and thin. All club members really enjoyed themselves last Tuesday with 35 fish weighed in,  including a  7 lbs Rainbow. I have to say that all club members are a credit to their Fishing Club and are true gentleman. I look forward to having you back next year guys and also seeing many of you throughout the rest of the season.

    Lastly I would like to remind you all that we have two competitions in May. We shall be running the Open Bank Competition on Saturday the 10th of May and our first Junior Bank Comp the following day on Sunday the 11th. Please see our competition section for more details. Also I would be very grateful if you could please spread the word regarding our Junior competitions. We are trying to encourage as many youngsters into angling as possible and hopefully this is something to keep them interested.

    Finally I shall leave you with a few fishy pictures from last month, There a few right big Clonkers there.

    Tight Lines



    andrew mccracken

    charlie punton jnr

    charlie young red tag fish

    john banks


    kai and father



    dez thompson

    ellem club chairman into a fish

    ellem club chairman

    ellem club member

    Ellem Club Weigh in

    ellem club weigh in

    ellem club member 7lbs er

    Ellem Fishing Club, full of tradition and a great bunch of guys

    ellem club