Open day for historic Cobbinshaw fishery as evening sessions begin at Glencorse
James Jardine masterminded the building of Cobbinshaw reservoir over 200 years ago to feed the Union Canal, then a vital industrial artery for Scotland. Times have changed and goods are now transported by road and rail.
The reservoir is tucked away in an unpopulated part of West Lothian near the boundary with South Lanarkshire and it still supplies water to the Union Canal.However, it has been home to Cobbinshaw Angling Association, one of Scotland s leading fisheries, for almost 120 years.The 240-acre reservoir is on a site of special scientific interest with a varied collection of wildfowl and access is via a private road near Woolfords Cottages which lie around 5km south-west of West Calder.Cobbinshaw is a private fishery run on a not-for-profit basis for the benefit of its members and is known throughout the Central Belt for the quality of facilities and fishing.Memberships are available and the association hosts an Open Day tomorrow (Sunday, July 4) when anglers can view the facilities and enjoy three hours free fishing, with a member, on a catch and release basis.The fishery has a members cabin, workshop, offices and toilet facilities with hot and cold water supply and it operates 20 Coulam boats plus a special Wheelie Boat with a hydraulic lift for disabled anglers.All the boats are fitted with 4hp engines, nets and drogues and they are moored in a pontoon harbour which makes boat access easy and safer, especially for older anglers.Cobbinshaw employs two full-time keepers with the fishery manager living on site and the reservoir is stocked weekly with rainbow trout averaging two pounds plus. There are much bigger fish grown on in the loch with the biggest caught this year approaching 15lb.The reservoir does sits in a flat, wind-swept moorland, but there are sheltered areas. Duffers Bay to the right of the marina is favoured and regularly produces trout and so does the Railway Bank which has a mix of trees and therefore lots of fly life.To the right of the dam at the far end of the water, which shelves to 20ft from seven near the dam outlet, lies Peat Hags, named due to a large concentration of peat in the ground there. Also popular are areas known as Fit (Foot) of the Wood or Malcolm Stone, named after one of the former club secretaries.Wind turbines whirr in the mist on the horizon as members apply their minds to picking the pattern for the day.Dry flies like daddies, sedges, F-flies and klinkhammer are among the most successful at Cobbinshaw but lures including cat's whisker and damsels also work well as do nymph and diawl bach varieties.Andrew Anderson, the association’s secretary, said the association is keen to attract women members as there are none at present and, hopefully, establish a women’s section.Anderson added: "A key benefit of membership is flexibility. Members can book a boat for any period throughout the day." Anyone interested can find details on cobbinshawaa.co.uk.Meanwhile, Glencorse owner Bill Taylor will start evening sessions from Tuesday, July 6 and they are scheduled to run until mid-September.They will be on a Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and they will start at 5.30pm and finish at 10pm. His day sessions finish at 4.30pm and the hour gives Taylor time to clean the 11 boats at the water above Flotterstone near Penicuik.He only opens if three or more boats are booked and that stipulation will apply for the evening sessions. Ring 01968 678709 for details.Nearby Rosslynlee has continued to be busy with regular Jimmy McLaughlin faring well with his small, CDC (black thread). He landed eight during a recent session.Harlaw regulars have reported good bags with diawl bach patterns successful and Allandale Tarn owner Iona Allan reports that daddy, buzzers, olives, diawl bach and beetles on a floating line have been popular picks at her water near West Calder.Fish have been tempted all over the regularly-stocked fishery which has a depth around 14ft and is low-lying and sheltered by surrounding trees.A 10lb rainbow was among the double-figure fish caught and fishing the margins can prove profitable here.Her bait pond has also been busy with pink Powerbait proving a big seller recently.Bowden Springs’ fly and bait ponds have been busy. Roger Argent caught his first fish on a fly rod, a 3lb trout, and Jackie Burnett, Paul Dancer, Simon Jones, Alan Purvis, Iain Telford, S Wilson, T Clunie and R Burns all recorded catches in excess of 5lb.Steven Murphy topped the returns on the bait pond with one 5lb and Mr McKnight, Scott Allan, Rab Thomson, Derek Holm and Jock Cowan all had bags of three or more fish. Orange Powerbait has proved one of the successful choices.On to coarse angling and product information. Lanarkshire-based Diawa are marketing their new X45 Infinity carp rod while Italian manufacturers Colmic have sent the first sample of their new pole to the UK.Prices, packages and availability will be publicised on the Colmic UK Match Facebook page.Gus Brindle, chairman of the Scottish Federation for Coarse Anglers, who uses the company products, said the new Nucleare Sixteen S31 is a replacement for the Airon F66 and will be the flagship pole in a range of three new poles.He added: "Initial feedback from Colmic agents is that it is stiffer, lighter and better-balanced than the Airon F66 which takes some beating on stiffness and balance."Finally, Edinburgh and Lothians Coarse Angling Club’s recent Knockout Cup winners were Chris Sloss, Bruce Lawrie, Tommy Lauriston, Andy Paterson, Ian Sloss and Scott McGhee who move to the next round.Finally, sea fishing and Aquamarine Charters of Eyemouth have been busy and the Bass Rock Shore Angling League is due to host the fifth Summer League leg on July 7. The venue and times will be posted on their Facebook page. Non-members are welcomed.