Army training limits fishing space at Glencorse Reservoir but there’s plenty trout still to be had

Bill Taylor, a doyen of the trout fishing industry in Scotland, soldiers on. He reopens at Glencorse Reservoir on Wednesday, April 28, after a delay caused by Scottish Government Covid-19 restrictions. However, the Army has confirmed that training will take place until April 30 with soldiers launching themselves into the water at the top end of the popular, 100-plus acre fishery.

Saturday, 24th April 2021, 8:39 am
Bill Taylor reopens Glencorse Reservoir on Wednesday, April 28.
Bill Taylor reopens Glencorse Reservoir on Wednesday, April 28.

Anglers have been advised to stay away from the parts of the lake affected as troops will take in the water every two hours.

Traditionally, stocked fish congregate in the shallower water of the reservoir above Flotterstone in the Pentland Hills and the shallow end is where the soldiers will train.

However, Taylor assured anglers that there are quality fish in other parts of the reservoir which is considered one of the top waters in the Lothians and beyond.

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Buzzers and nymph patterns normally do well in early season and other anglers use FAB, blob and cormorant flies. Taylor is expecting another good season.

He hosts two rounds of the Scierra Pairs, one of Britain's leading fly fishing competitions, later in the summer and his bookings are already healthy for the season.

Glencorse is home to blue, brown and rainbow trout and Taylor is open from 9am to 4.30pm six days a week but is closed on a Monday. Anglers should note that Taylor must have at least two of the 11 boats on-site booked before he will open.

Elsewhere, anglers at Rosslynlee fishery near Penicuik have travelled home happy as the water has experienced the best day of trading since the new owners took over.

Nicola Perfect said that more than 40 anglers were on the water during opening hours on that day and six had to be turned away.

The water has also received glowing comments from customers as Rosslynlee continues to fish "brilliantly".

Nicola said: "We really appreciate the mega feedback we have been getting and the water is so good people are paying extra to stay on."

Included among the happy Rosslynlee anglers is regular Alex Rowley who caught 32 fish on diawl bach and nymph. Ben Grieve beat his personal best with 22, using daddy and egg patterns to tempt his fish, while Tam Preston was another angler into double-figures with 15 on bloodworm.

Harlaw above Balerno has also been fishing well and a variety of patterns have been working including Millennium bugs, okey dokey and chartreuse blobs.

Bailiffs Sean Williams and Jim Flynn are among those who enjoyed good days with double-figure hauls and fishing around 5ft under a bung has proved one of the most successful methods.

Chairman Jim McComb reminded anglers that day permits are only available online currently at and they must be bought before arrival at the water. They are not available bankside.

Bowden Springs near Linlithgow have closed their fly pond on Saturday due to a club booking but the bait pond remains open and owner Jim Gargaro said there are some quality fish in there.

He added: "Recently we've see some fish of over 5lb hooked and most anglers have gone home with their bag."

On the fly pond, John Kearney hooked 15 fish, the best an 8.5lb brown trout, and an 8.5lb rainbow. He switched between an egg pattern and a black snake.

T Riley was rewarded with 13 in a total bag in excess of 30lbs with a best of nearly 7lb on a range of wet flies.

Nearby Linlithgow Loch report good catches with and favourite flies being buzzers, diawl bachs, snakes and boobies, mostly on floating or intermediate lines.

Boat anglers have been concentrating on the Town Bay but bosses say that relatively undisturbed trout at lying in the top half of the loch called the East End.

Ian Dobbie has been among the most successful anglers. He returned 12 and then ten in another session on buzzers. He then added diawl bachs to his armoury in another session and returned 22.

Mr McKeln returned 12 on black buzzers and Trevor Gibson and partner kept four for 10lb and returned ten all on black buzzers. Jim Russel returned hooked 15 (buzzers) and Andy McAdam netted ten on snakes while Nigel Muckle returned 13 on various buzzers.

Bosses continue to stock regularly and boats are available for day or four- hour sessions.

At sea, Aquamarine Charters boss Derek Anderson is delighted to be back out of Eyemouth and he has enjoyed good weather but he said fish have been hard to find.

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Meanwhile, a crowd fund initiative has been launched for volunteers to map the network of outflow pipes along waters in the Forth basin, including the River Almond.

This scheme is designed to monitor the amount of sewage flowing into in a river, identify the outflow and what it is and this information will used to hold bodies like Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and Scottish Water to account.

Recent reports indicate that sewage had been dumped over 500 times in the River Almond over a year which has caused alarm among locals and led to the formation of the River Almond Action Group (RAAG). Donations can be made at their Crowdfunder – Clean Rivers, Healthy Rivers webpage.

Alison Baker, director of Forth Rivers Trust said: “Sewage has become an increasing problem in the Forth Basin as old systems are not renewed but are still expected to take the waste from an ever-increasing population around the Central Belt.

"Sewage can smother habitat for aquatic wildlife but also causes issues for the communities. If this crowd funder is successful, we will be able to identify where the hot spots are for sewage, it will mean volunteers and communities can monitor these areas and report sewage spills quicker.

"The project will also hopefully bring real change by putting pressure on agencies to invest in the network."

Meanwhile, Edinburgh Angling Centre will re-open on Monday from 9am to 5.30pm Monday to Saturday and 5pm on Sunday.

Bosses have made changes to comply with Scottish Government regulations and they include limiting the number of customers instore. Late night Thursday shopping is cancelled until further notice and you must wear a facemask.

There is limited stock for certain items but the store has live bait. Anglers are advised to phone ahead if they want ragworm and lobworm. Mail order and click and collect is also operating.

Finally, Greater Manchester Mental Health Trust have become the first to pilot a scheme to prescribe fishing as an alternative to anti-depressants and anxiety medication.