Fishing: Spring season off to a flyer at Loganlea in the Pentlands, where prospects look good

DAVID Naismith enjoyed a whirlwind start to his fishing season. Picture: Nigel DuncanDAVID Naismith enjoyed a whirlwind start to his fishing season. Picture: Nigel Duncan
DAVID Naismith enjoyed a whirlwind start to his fishing season. Picture: Nigel Duncan
David Naismith enjoyed a whirlwind start to his fishing season. He and his friend John Irvine were the first to arrive at Loganlea Fishery on opening day and three casts later David was into his first fish, a near-3lb trout.

A home-made black mamba fly on an intermediate line fished along the margin near the harbour did the trick for the 66-year-old from Auchendinny leaving other early bird anglers on a beautiful, sun-kissed spring day, looking on with envy.

The former mill worker, who once had 31 trout in a single session at the water, is a regular at Loganlea which was re-stocked this week to link to the re-opening of the fishery after the winter shutdown.

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Another Loganlea regular, Marco Capozzella from Edinburgh, also enjoyed great sport with 15 rainbow, blue and even a tiger trout tempted to various patterns on a slow intermediate line.

Pot holes on the way to Loganlea Fishery. Picture: Nigel DuncanPot holes on the way to Loganlea Fishery. Picture: Nigel Duncan
Pot holes on the way to Loganlea Fishery. Picture: Nigel Duncan

Prospects look good for anglers who make the three-plus mile journey from Flotterstone up the winding road to the fishery in The Pentland Hills.

However, take your time on the road. Why? Because there are a number of deep potholes on the 3.5mile drive up from the main Edinburgh to Biggar road.

I plunged into several on my way up, testing my shock absorbers.

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No boats have yet been launched at Loganlea because of the weather, but they will be in the harbour soon.

However, that is not a handicap to fishermen as the water, 52 feet at its deepest point and two feet at the shallowest, is best attacked from the bank early in the season.

The end known as the Shallows near the farmhouse is traditionally the best location at this time of the year according to fishery owner Karen Jack.

Black and green are traditionally the most favoured early-season colours in the 22-acre reservoir along with green and orange and anglers are advised to have yellow dancer and Ally McCoist among patterns in their box.

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The basic price for catch and release is £16 this year and the popular fishery will be open from 9am to 5pm, seven days a week, throughout the season. There is car parking for around 20 cars providing they are parked with care.

Another fishery which opened this week is Linlithgow Loch. Booking is recommended and opening times are 9am to 4pm.

Allandale Tarn near West Calder, shut for the winter for the first time in years, re-opens on Friday, March 11, gates open 8am and fishing from 9am to 4.30pm. Closed Tuesdays.

Over in Fife, The Kingdom Fly Fishing Championship is back with three heats are on three different lakes.

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Two heats are already full with only a few spaces remaining for the final heat.

Fishing is from a drifting boat only and the boat draw will take place on the morning of the heat or the final.

The first heat is at Stenhouse on Saturday, April 30 and it is full as well as the second heat at Eden Springs near Cupar on Sunday, May 22.

The final heat is at Ballo Reservoir at Glenrothes on Saturday, June 11 and there were a few spaces left at the time of writing. The final is at Ballo on Saturday, July 23.

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The entry fee is £20 and this must be paid two weeks before the heat with entries on a first come basis.

The return of the popular event follows prompts to previous organisers from local anglers.

Meanwhile, Pottishaw member Vince Manning is hosting a charity day at the fishery near Whitburn on Saturday, March 4, in aid of the Big Battlefield Bike Ride 2022.

Nearly 30 people have signed-up for the fishing event and Manning said that he and his wife are ex-Army.

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He added: "The cycle will see me do 350 miles in over five days and Pottishaw have kindly agreed to use the fishery for the day to boost funds."

Elsewhere, Far Bank, the holding company for fishing brands including Rio and Safe, have released six videos focused on novice fly anglers covering the basics, with tips on gear, essential knots, making that first cast, plus river and lake tactics that will help fly fishers of all ages, gender, and experience.

On to coarse fishing and bosses of the new coarse fishery at Drumtassie in Heights Road near Blackridge (EH48 3SW) say it will open on March 26 and confirm it is a day ticket water.

Anglers who want to fish overnight can buy membership for £95 for the season, but they still have to pay for a permit.

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Day tickets from 8am to 7pm are £10 and the night ticket is £13 and anglers must be in by 7pm as the gate is then locked. Extra rod tickets are £5.

Youngsters up to the age of 14 will pay £6 for a permit and must be supervised by an adult.

A total of 250 carp - the biggest is 15lb - have been stocked between two of the three ponds along with roach and perch and other species will be added including rudd, chub, barbel and ide. Bosses aim to have the third lake ready for opening day.

If it is, then over 50 pegs will be available. None are bookable.

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Leeanne Aitchison, manager, said that anglers keen to fish the water on March 26 should book and she confirmed that no pike will be introduced.

Fishing can be by pole or any other legitimate method and bait can include maggot and bread plus pellet, but only pellets from the Dynamite range available in the on-site shop can be used.

No meat baits will be allowed and anglers are advised that they should use barbless hooks only.

Meanwhile, The Edinburgh and Lothians Coarse Angling Club have confirmed their match dates for this season and they are all on a Saturday.

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Orchill near Auchterarder hosts the series and the league dates on Alex's Pond are April 9 and 23, May 7 and 21, June 4 and 18, July 2, 16, 30, August 13 and 27 and September 10.

The rod and reel only cup will be on the Outer Snake on September 17 and the Knockout Cup will run from April to September with the final on September 10. The Pairs Cup will run on July 30.

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