Sad day as Callison family quits Stenhouse Trout Fishery

It will be a sad weekend for the Callison family. Today and tomorrow they will be clearing up at Stenhouse Trout Fishery after deciding their future lies away from the fishery.

Saturday, 28th November 2020, 7:00 am
John Callison pictured in March when he took over at Stenhouse Trout Fishery. The family have decided their future lies away from the facility. Picture: Nigel Duncan

The water has been a favourite with many anglers from the Lothians and Borders and further afield for the last decade.

John Callison took over from his dad Jock in March and the former leisure centre lifeguard planned major changes at the Burntisland-based fishery.

These included the stocking of double-figure fish and the installation of around eight bank casting platforms at the water, which is the home of the Kingdom Fly Fishing Championship.

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Stenhouse has also hosted heats of the Scierra Pairs, one of Britain’s top fly fishing events, but John posted a message on his Facebook platform, a move which shocked regulars.

His note said: "Never thought I'd be writing this, but, due to the pandemic, unable to come to an agreement with the landowner and constant poor water conditions, the Callison family will no longer have Stenhouse Trout Fishery.

"Apologies to all clubs and future bookings made. I will personally contact each club individually. We would like to thank all our loyal customers over the past decade.

"Sad times but feel the time is right to leave Stenhouse Trout Fishery."

It was a hard winter before John took over from his father and it has proved a tough year. He said: "I've had enough."

Covid-19 is also affecting retail, and due to the Government restrictions, Livingston-based West Lothian Angling will be open but only for call and collect. Live bait is available.

Andrew Taggart, the owner, said anglers can order online and said his stock has grown recently.

Positively, for those in the Edinburgh city boundary area looking to wet a line, Clubbiedean, in the Pentland Hills above Colinton, remains open seven days a week.

Owner Steven Johnston welcomes anglers from the bank and also in the three boats he still has on the water. You can bait fish with maggot and worm at Clubbiedean.

Anglers must book on 07341 839378. The fishery has been producing in recent days despite the breezy and cold weather.

An egg pattern under a bung and hothead damsel, Ally McCoist and Alex Ferguson patterns have been tempting fish along with a what's it fished under an indicator.

Steven said that he intends to remain open if the weather allows and the procedure is that people book, arrive at the padlocked gate near Torduff Reservoir and he lets them in.

He added: "I intend staying open as long as I can but that depends on the weather and also if enough people want to come and fish."

Elsewhere, The Esk is one of the best grayling rivers in this area and Musselburgh and District Angling Association confirm that permits will be available and the likely date is December 26. Officials will confirm outlets soon. Permits will be £10 and children will be able to fish for free if they are with a permit-holding adult.

The association plan an annual meeting but it will depend on Government Covic-19 regulations. It could be on Zoom. A spokesman said: "We've been waiting to see how restrictions are and they're not improving so we haven't hired the hall this year."

Meanwhile, bosses have thanked Musselburgh Renegades Street Sweepers for removing trollies from the river and clearing up the riverbanks.

Finally, Glencorse is now hosting two heats of the Scierra Pairs next summer.

Bill Taylor, owner, said the first heat is on Friday, May 28 and the second on Sunday, August 1. They are already full and Bill said: "The August date was filled in 72 hours and the new date in May in 36 hours."

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