Rosebery Fishery is a joy - even if you don't catch fish

Picturesque fisher at Gorebridge delights the sense

Saturday, 19th September 2020, 7:30 am
Dave Picken, manager of Rosebery, always enjoys his office

Rosebery Reservoir is impressive. You park your car on a narrow grass verge, catching a glimpse of the Moorfoot Hills in the distance, then you walk down a narrow road.

Through a thick, fir forest you see a fraction of the reservoir’s 52 acres sparkling in the late-summer sun. A few more steps takes you to an outlet value used to allow water to move from Rosebery down a steep gully to the South Esk river.

Look to your right and the full reservoir opens up. The view is stunning and the water level is back up after remedial work by Scottish Water.

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Since the water re-opened in mid-August, hundreds of fishermen have made the journey via a steep, winding road from the village of Temple (population 225), by the way, watch the blind summits.

You can also approach from Edinburgh down the A701 road from Gowkley Moss Roundabout, through Auchendinny on the A7026 and turning left on to the moors on the B6372. Keep on the Temple road and there is a sign for Rosebery on your left.

The water is around a mile down that road and it is described as a rural idyll. It is also rich in wildlife and early morning rain had freshened up the water ahead of our visit.

Dave Picken, the fishery manager, explained that wind does not really affect fishing as there are a number of bays on the water which shield from the prevailing wind.

Near the weed growth at the top end of the water is popular with anglers who come from all over the Lothians and Central Scotland to seek out quality rainbow, brown and blue trout.

Many have overwintered successfully, but more have been added lately. It’s bank fishing and it is fly and bait fishing (Powerbait, maggot and worm) currently at the water build in the 1890s.

Dave suggested it was a trial an error basis over best patterns for anglers at the fishery which is open seven days a week.

There is a day ticket price from 8am to 5pm and an evening ticket from 5pm to dusk. Check Facebook page for details.

Trout catch returns have been favourable with catches at the top and bottom ends of the water with the best fish landed so far a 1olb specimen.

Covid-19 has impacted on Rosebery as it has done at all fisheries in the area. No rod hire or coaching is currently available and anglers should note that there is not a bothy. No snacks are on site and Rosebery does not have a tackle shop so come prepared.

Evening provides the best sport according to Dave who explained that the water in Rosebery comes from the nearby Moorfoot Hills which provide a spectacular backdrop. That’s where we came in.

Meanwhile, there has been disappointing news on the health front for two prominent figures in local angling.

Mark Fouracres, boss of charter firm, Bee Cool Fish of Eyemouth, will not be sailing at all for the rest of the year.

He said on social media: “Be assured, I am not at death’s door but do have spinal issues which, with luck, will settle given time. Thanks guys who had sailed with Bee Cool Fish.”

And Bill Taylor, owner of Glencorse, has been in and out of hospital recently and has apologised to anglers who have called or emailed looking for bookings.

Elsewhere, Edinburgh and Lothians Coarse Angling Club hold the six round of their Summer Series at Orchill near Auchterarder today (SAT). New members are welcome and the Facebook page has details of how to get in touch.

Finally, international anglers are in the qualify field for the Magiscroft Silver King winter series starting in November.

Reigning champion James Woodrow from Cumbernauld defends the title he won at a canter nearly 12 months ago but Fife-based Gus Brindle, chairman of the Scottish Federation for Coarse Angling, and Darrin Ferguson, a major winner in competitions held by the

Edinburgh and Lothians Coarse Angling Club, are also in the frame.

The five-match series starts on November 29 and the follow-up events are December 13 and 27 and January 10 and 24.

Derek Brady, the organiser of the Scottish Canal Championship, is pulling the strings here along with former Scottish international Ronnie MacLeod, owner of the Cumbernauld-based fishery created from a former quarry used by the local steel industry.

The £10 registration fee is refundable provided the angler completes at least four of the five matches and roach, bream and perch are the species which will be weighed.

Pole anglers will dominate the field who are expected to use bloodworm and joker along with maggot and hemp bait in the float-only event.

Ronnie said: “Carp of over 20lbs are in the lake but they and F1’s don’t count. We’ve got a quality field here and we ran the series last year and it proved very successful in attracting international and former international anglers from all over Scotland.”

He added: “International rules apply and the event will be in the main loch here. This not for pleasure anglers who fancy a crack at the big boys.”