Harlaw Reservoir restocked for the new angling season as poaching patrols are stepped up

Malleny Angling plan to re-stock Harlaw Reservoir ahead of the season which opens on Thursday, April 1, and company secretary Robert Ross hopes the fishing this summer proves as buoyant as it was last summer.

Saturday, 20th March 2021, 7:00 am
Ronnie Robinson with a big trout caught at Harlaw Reservoir.

Bag limits were regularly recorded during the shortened season to the end of October, Covid-19 having put back opening date until June.

The club, who manage Harlaw and part of Threipmuir, will once again sell their popular day permits but stress that there is only one outlet this season, that is via their website, www.mallenyangling.com.

This is because of the need to be vigilant, not just for the club's volunteer bailiffs but also for visiting anglers, and Ross urges anglers to respect Scottish Government travel guidelines.

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Malleny Angling's Robert Ross fly tying during an open day at Harlaw Reservoir.

Harlaw and Threipmuir are fly fishing only and regular patrols, including ones at night, to combat poaching have been introduced so fish stocks are maintained at a high level.

Ross confirmed that anybody seen fishing with nets or spinning gear will be reported to the police and the not-for-profit club, which has around 130 members, plus season ticket holders, hope that issues including "wild camping" and associated litter, will not prove as difficult this year as they did last summer.

The club are ramping-up their catch return system. "We have all become used to the annual catch return," said Ross. "Fisheries, however, can only ensure a robust and adequate stocking policy if the information is available regularly on fish killed.

"Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic and the closure of the on-site office/bothy, members have only been able to submit their annual catch return.

Malleny Angling plan to re-stock Harlaw Reservoir ahead of the season which opens on Thursday, April 1.

"However, we are now requesting weekly or daily catch returns which is a return to pre-Covid. This will only take a few minutes to do but will prove invaluable in maintaining a good head of fish in both waters." Ross also requested that day ticket buyers inform management of their catches.

Meanwhile, Glencorse, which is purely a boat water with no bank fishing, will not open until Wednesday, April 28 due to Covid-19 restrictions, according to owner Bill Taylor.

Nearby, it has been bonanza time at Rosslynlee Trout Fishery with Alex Rowley recording 34 to the net on black nymph patterns.

David Menzies landed 24 fish all on rabbit lures and Sean McGarry brought 23 to the net on a variety of buzzer patterns. He was eight fish ahead of David's brother Chrissy Menzies who tempted his trout on caddis, lures and buzzer patterns. Another brother, Ross Menzies, landed 12 on lures and buzzer patterns. That's a total of 74 fish between four anglers. Unfortunately, the size of the fish netted was not recorded.

Another top recent rod was Steven Oliver with 21 on egg patterns and Jimmy Dunn netted 20 on pheasant tail nymphs (PTN) with John Newton and Alan Ferris both claiming 15 each on a variety of PTN, lures and buzzers.

Clubbiedean has re-opened and double-figure fish up to 12lbs have been netted. Best patterns are egg, hothead damsel, Alex Ferguson, Ally McCoist and yellow dancer. Pre-book as you need the access code to enter and owner Steven Johnston has three boats in the water currently.

Iona Allan at Allandale Tarn reports stunning catches including a number of double-figure trout up to 16lbs with a brownie of around 5lb. She benefits from being sheltered and an extra batch of fin-perfect brown trout have been delivered. Nearby Drumtassie has recorded anglers with double-figure catches in a session.

Bowden Springs near Linlithgow continues to provide good sport with N Irvine and his friend J Kearney both netting 8lb-plus trout during a recent session.

Anglers have also returned "respectable" catches at Linlithgow Loch where the bag limit is four fish. A party from Waders Angling Club booked two boats and kept 13 fish for 38lbs.

Mr Maitland and his boat partner kept seven fish for 21lb while John Walker and three friends kept 14 fish for 42lbs.

Mr Williamson and his three friends kept 14 fish for 40lbs while Mr Johnston returned nine and Mr Purvis returned seven while Mr Malcomson put back 18.

Damsel, boobies and black and green lures have proved the most productive patterns on intermediate and fast glass lines and the water clarity is good. All areas of the loch are fishable and bosses continue to stock weekly. Incidentally, one pike angler, Mr McIvor, returned a splendid fish of around 15lbs.

Meanwhile, Gus Brindle, chairman of the Scottish Federation of Coarse Anglers, reminds members of their virtual AGM on Thursday, 25 March (8pm). Attendance is restricted to voting members.

The agenda will be restricted to constitutional issues, the election of officers and approval of the draft annual business plan and an EGM will be convened later to allow routine and non-constitutional business to be debated.

Over to sea fishing, and Derek Anderson, skipper of Aquamarine Charters of Eyemouth, hopes to resume fishing and diving trips from Friday, April 9.

Provisional dates have been set for a two-day sea fishing event on the River Tyne in Northumberland on Saturday, June 5 (9am to 1pm) and Sunday, June 6 (1am to 2pm) and Lothians anglers have been circulated with the information.

It will be a pegged event with catch and measure and then return in operation with a 20cm minimum. The entry fee is £40 and it must be pre-booked. The event earns Penn points and the venue will depend on numbers.

Finally, some trade news. RIO Products confirm the release of Skagit heads which the company claim delivers "the power needed to cast large flies and sinking tips more elegantly than ever before".

A spokesman said that the weight distribution loads rods for long, powerful casts, while the taper design generates smooth loops which transition seamlessly from head to tip to fly.

The low stretch core, they claim, gives "incredible" levels of sensitivity when casting and fishing and provides enhanced detection of takes, more positive hook sets and far greater control when playing a fish.

The line is built with SlickCast which the company says "produces the least amount of friction ever measured in a fly line".