Scierra Pairs: Local knowledge helps Roslin pair Tam Cherry and Andy Hamlin win Glencorse heat
Local anglers took the honours at Glencorse near Flotterstone in a heat of the Scierra Pairs, one of Britain's top fly fishing competitions, in near perfect conditions.
Tam Cherry and Andy Hamlin, both from Roslin, who fish the water around five times a year, used their local knowledge to good effect to win.
They were first back at the harbour at 10.47am - less than two hours after the start - with eight fish tipping the scales at an impressive 34lb 8oz plus their time bonus.
It is the second time in three years that a boat has arrived back at harbour with their quota. On the previous occasion it was one Fife-based angler who went out alone as his intended boat partner did not turn up.
In second place this time was Eck Moffat from Bonnyrigg and Stevie Whitehead from Mayfield who were back in at 11.12am and their bag weight was 29lb 6oz plus their time bonus.
Third, and also going through to fish in the final, were Russel Dickson from Port Seton and Scott Mitchell who is also from East Lothian with eight fish for 30lb.
All 11 boats were used and they spread themselves over the 100-plus acre reservoir and conditions were ideal according to Glencorse owner Bill Taylor who said there were clear skies and a slight ripple on the water.
Some did not find it so easy to gain their eight fish with one boat arriving back just before the 4pm deadline.
Competitors praised the condition of the fish and the venue and Glencorse hosts a second heat on August 1, which is full.
The reservoir continues to fish well and Fife-based angler Owen Cook tempted 30 to various dry patterns this week.
Still on the competition theme, but at sea, Lothians anglers are included in the strong field for the Mull of Galloway sea angling festival on June 12-13 based around Drummore, the most southerly town in Scotland.
The event is followed by a species hunt on August 6-8 at Drummore, Luce Bay and Port Logan and a kayak event on August 14-15 and one of the organisers, Kevin Hamilton, said that 50 boats had been registered for the tope event, one of the top competitions of its kind in Britain, and there was a waiting list.
Jason Nicol from Glasgow defends his title in the June event and there are over ten boats from England and one from Ireland up against home anglers including Edinburgh-based Les McBride and George Wood.
Over 40 entries have also been received for the species hunt and organisers stress that conservation is at the forefront of all their events.
Back on land, Cobbinshaw host their annual open day on Sunday, July 4 when anglers can see the facilities and fish free for three hours.
This is a private angling association started over 100 years ago and they around 340 members with an entrance fee of £150 and an annual subscription of £306.
The entry fee and first annual subscription can be paid by instalment over the first year and membership allows fishing seven days a week throughout the year, although there are some restrictions over the winter.
In addition, a boat charge is payable for each outing, members, £12 for the first four hours then £1.50 per hour thereafter. For guests, it is £22 for the first four hours then £1.50 per hour thereafter.
Meanwhile, Chad Rantenbach was smiles better at Bowden Springs after landing an 11lb rainbow on an Ally McCoist, his first ever fish caught on a fly.
Scott Morton also returned good numbers with six for nearly 30lbs including a 7.5lb brown trout and Gordon Reid and hooked into a 10lb rainbow with buzzers, squirmy wormy and lures worked well recently.
Bowden's bait pond has also been fishing well according to owner Jim Gargaro.
Robert Ross, a board member at Malleny Angling, described recent fishing at Harlaw as "outstanding" with the quality and size of fish "superb".
Double bag limit catches have become the norm with many fish in the two to four kg plus size. The fish are in superb condition with some magnificent brown trout of up to 3kg being caught.
Ross added: "Hatches of flies have resulted in unbelievable numbers of fish feeding on the surface. Small size 14 dry flies, size 12 black or green buzzers and small lures such as a yellow dancer with a white tail, or a black hot head dancer tied on a standard size 10 hook have all been successful.
"Small lures with a hot orange head will tempt fish and work well if the water is slightly coloured, no need for large lures. The first of the Mayflies are emerging which will herald increased surface activity. A traditional mayfly nymph, pheasant tail nymph or a hare's ear tied on a size 10 standard lure hook should tempt the trout.
"Fishing in the top 3ft of water should be the most productive. The trout, for whatever reason, seem to prefer the emerging nymph that is stuck in the surface film to the adult fly."
Anglers who are returning fish are encouraged to fish a barbless hook and return the fish without removing them from the water.
Ross added: "It has also become the policy to carefully return the larger fish, giving another angler the chance to catch them. These big fish are powerful and will test any angler's tackle and skill."
Malleny Angling's new policy is operational and indicators must have a hook and resemble a fly.
Ross said: "Tackle has been recovered showing that anglers are using latex imitation grubs. This is an illegal method at Harlaw and Threipmuir.
"Any anglers caught using this method will have their permit revoked and will be banned from fishing the two reservoirs controlled by MA Ltd."
A random bag check is now also in operation.
All anglers are required to sign in when arriving at Harlaw and record their catch, weigh in and sign out when leaving. Where this is not possible due to the bailiff being on patrol, a text must be sent to the bailiffs mobile phone.
At Linlithgow Loch, most anglers have been favouring diawl bachs and buzzers, but some are sticking to favourite lures like boobies and cats whiskers.
Visits have included Balbeggie AC who kept 34 trout for 88lb mostly on boobies and Dennis the Menace buzzers. Dunfermline Townhill AC also had a good day keeping 33 trout for 93lb, again on boobies and buzzers.
Rosyth Civil Service kept 34 fish for 99lb, best flies were green pea and diawl bachs.
In Midlothian, Rosslynlee has been fishing well with Gordon Bunce tempted 25 on small dries and buzzers at the dam well and Jimmy McLauchlan recording 18.
Meanwhile, Markle in East Lothian has also been fishing well with small black flies hatching "everywhere" according to manager Jimmy McLachlan.
The trout here prefer the calm water rather than the ripple and Markle, because it is near the sea, has been cooler than other fisheries in the Lothians hence the consistently good catch returns.
Nearby, at Gifford, Tweeddale Millennium have posted a notice to say that any angler found using a spinner or power bait on the top pond will be asked to leave and barred for life.
Anglers like Matty Devine have gone home happy. He had seven to the net plus a 12lb rainbow, 10lb-plus brown and another rainbow at 9lb on dancer lures and bloodworm.
The new date for the postponed competition is Friday, June 11 from 6pm to 10pm.
Finally, Ivy Press have just published The Book of Knots, 120 practical knots for all purposes. It's been compiled by two knotting experts, Geoffrey Budworth and Jason Dalton, and the knots are of interest to those who fish, climb, camp, sail or just want to fix things in the home.
Entries reveal the history and development of each knot and detail its uses and special features. There are step-by-step instructions and chapters cover bends, loops, hitches, lashings, coils, stoppers and whippings.
Diagrams accompany the explanations and I've already found practical applications for several knots while fishing and around the home. All the knots are rated for strength, security, ease of tying and easy of untying.