Anglers encouraged to submit catch returns from Water of Leith and River Almond

The Water of Leith, near Balerno
The Water of Leith, near Balerno
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The much-loved Water of Leith, described as a silver thread in a ribbon of green, flows 24 miles from its source in the Pentland Hills and winds its way through the city to Leith.

It is still popular with anglers and Nikol Stewardson, the head fishery officer, has urged anglers to send in their catch return forms as quickly as possible so they can make an assessment of activity.

Fishing is closed for the season but he reports that the upper river from Balerno to Slateford has generally fished well as the water levels remain steady and consistent.

The river, from Slateford down to Leith, has also thrown up some great sport in tight spots. He added: “The Water of Leith has a steady flow of people that fish the river which can generally be split into novices getting the feel for the river and developing their learning and more experienced hands who quietly do away at their own chosen spots.

“As urbanisation of the banks becomes more apparent from Slateford downstream, inventive casting can deliver interesting results in trout and grayling.

“The flood prevention scheme was handled in such a way that although there was some disruption to access on some stretches of the river during the work, the fish and other riparian wildlife have successfully recovered in a relatively short time.”

Flies which have worked well throughout the year have included grey dusters and small alexandrias.

Olives through spring and early summer and butchers or any other patterns with black and red in them have also done well.

Meanwhile, officials at West Lothian Angling Association and Cramond Angling Club – who both have eight-mile stretches in The Almond - have also urged their members to send in their returns.

Speaking of The Almond, the recent clean-up project undertaken by volunteers under the direction of The Forth Rivers Trust has removed hundreds of items from the river bank.

Meanwhile, Rosslynlee Trout Fishery near Penicuik report good sport on orange lures and it is the same story at Morton Fishings near Mid Calder with egg and muddler patterns plus yellow owls attracting interest here.

Glencorse Reservoir in The Pentlands has now closed for the season but the winter league at Tweeddale Millennium near Gifford starts on Saturday, October 27.

This popular competition is open to all and runs every second Saturday. There are cash prizes. Telephone 01620 810009 to enter.

And the Edinburgh and Lothians Coarse Angling Club are advertising potential winter league dates on their website.

Offshore, and Trevor Springford, skipper of Andara II based at Dunbar, recently voiced his hope for settled weather and it appears to has arrived. Now he hopes for improved sport, particularly for cod, in The Forth.