Fishing: Bowden Springs giving anglers the best of both worlds

Bowden Spring owner Jim Gargaro gets ready to feed fish on the fly loch at his fishery on the A706 road above Linlithgow. Picture: Nigel Duncan
Bowden Spring owner Jim Gargaro gets ready to feed fish on the fly loch at his fishery on the A706 road above Linlithgow. Picture: Nigel Duncan
0
Have your say

It took six years of hard blasting and digging by hand, mainly by Irish labourers, before Bowden Springs reservoir opened in 1896.

The picturesque water in the hills high above Linlithgow was originally created to provide for nearby Bo’ness. Now it is a busy fishery.

There are two ponds, the fly of two acres and the bait of five acres and fishing started here in the 1980s.

There have only been two owners, Will Martin until 2004 and now Jim – a former international fisherman – and Jacqui Gargaro.

The couple buy trout from a river-fed fishery near Yarrow and the two lochs are full of hard-fishing fish of up to around 10lbs.

Anglers come from all over central Scotland and this week the fly loch has witnessed hawthorn and pond olive hatches along with a show of damsel flies.

The best method has been intermediate or floating lines with long leaders and a weighted fly.

Glaswegian David Mahon landed five fine rainbows for 15lb 8oz, the best being 4lb 12oz, and Paul Fannon of Livingston had two fish for around 9lb.

Edinburgh-based John Ferguson had one superb specimen of 5lb and he returned two others.

The best flies have been hothead damsels and buzzer patterns with diawl bach, okey dokey and mini yellow dancers also successful.

In the bait loch, the Woodside club from Cowdenbeath returned 40 fish for 107lbs.

Mike Sherrif landed the best bag of 22lb 6oz while James Blackwood accumulated a haul of 16lb 12oz. The best methods were running ledger and power bait or maggot.

Still in West Lothian, buzzers, F flies and white muddler have produced good catches at Allandale Tarn.

At sea, Derek Anderson of Eyemouth-based Aquamarine reports a bonanza for clients.

One angler landed 17 off Spittal and anglers also had good results just north of Berwick.

Aquamarine have spaces this weekend leaving harbour at 1pm and returning at 7pm on both boats.

The Bass Rock Sea Angling League has re-started and David Cooper won the first match at Belhaven Bay.

Cooper landed ten fish for 235cm and second was Stevie Burns with eight fish for 190cm

Al Brown was third with four fish for 98cm with Barry McEwan fourth with four fish for 85cm. Fifth was Craig Ogilvie with four fish for 81cm.

The longest fish was landed by Jamie McHale, a flounder of 34cm. The matches are every two weeks with the next one due on May 29. Venue to be confirmed.