Fishing skills

Skills course aims to attract West Lothian residents to fishing

Three sessions in August will be led by a certified instructor and experienced members of the association and they were organized due to the success of the July course which was sold out.

The new dates are August 9, 16 and 23 between 6 and 9 p.m. and Scot Muir, the WLAA secretary, said: “The July course has proven extremely popular and so we have run three more sessions.

“Our goal is simple, to get more people of all ages fishing. Everyone is welcome, youth, women and men, but anyone under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.”

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View looking west towards Whitburn from the main road at Pottishaw. Photo by Nigel Duncan

He added: “Overall, fishing offers many recognized social, health and wellness benefits and we want to share our passion for the sport and the outdoors with people who are considering or are interested in trying this. sport.”

“It’s a great opportunity to learn from experienced anglers and the sessions are led by John Hood, a qualified instructor. We think it’s a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the outdoors, learn new skills and to catch fish. We would be happy to accommodate everyone, from families to groups.”

The first session takes place at Pottishaw Fishery near Whitburn and this is considered a safe and relaxed environment. Casting from the shore poses no problem and access to water is easy. In addition, there are sizeable fish in the lake. Cakes and snacks will be available thanks to the owner, Fraser Thomson, and his mother Rea, an excellent cook. Almondell Country Park is the second location and here anglers will apply their river fishing skills. The designated area is The Meadows above the Grade A listed Naysmith Bridge. Participants will learn to read the river, match the hatch with the fly patterns and cast to locations likely to contain fish.

The third session covers fly tying, knots and leaders as well as the list of essential equipment to allow you to go fishing. Advice on the technical elements of fishing will be provided and the venue is the Mid Calder Community Centre, the venue for monthly fly tying parties hosted by the WLAA prior to the pandemic.

All equipment is provided for lessons including rod, reel, line and flies and the cost is £25 for all three sessions. Scholarships are available if funding is an issue and for this contact [email protected] for more details.

The cost also includes a free seasonal license to fish for almonds on the WLAA administered stretch from near Newbridge to near Breich. In fact, two anglers reported recently catching fish over 3 pounds, which is significant for the river.

“We have recently noted below average levels in the water but our main concern is the water temperature. If it rises above 18c we would ask anglers to stay away until until it cools down or to fish early in the morning or in the evening when the water temperature is generally lower.”

According to Tom Lambert, secretary, the fish came dry fly to Linlithgow Loch. He reports that 41 boats were out and 89 fish were kept and 175 fish returned.

The best catches came at Tam Easton with Gavin Dunn returning 21 fish all caught on dry fly. Nigel Muckle and his partner landed 16 fish using fabs and diawl bachs. Paul Thomson using CDC models and sitting in the weeds throwing just beyond them returned 19 rainbows.

Ferry Fly Fishers kept 25 fish and Ian Dobbie with Jimmy Russell brought in 17 fish. Boats are available most days and call 01506 671753 or book online.

Some good catch returns Bowden Springs, Linlithgow, where Chris Johnstone tied an egg pattern and was rewarded with the 15lb-er. Teenager Lachlan Peaston attempted eight fish, including a stunning 13lb-er with an Ally McCoist on the tip and a diawl bach on the dropper on a sink tip line. The diawl bach proved to be the most productive fly.

Menteith Lake confirms it has restocked over 400 fish with more to be added and Allandale Tarn summer opening hours are Sunday Monday, Wednesday and Saturday 9am to 10pm, closed Tuesday and Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Now on to sea fishing and the East Fife Shore Angling Club are holding their annual summer opening on Sunday 17th July. All fishermen leave at 9am.

Fishing takes place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and weighing takes place between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m.

Organizers say the scales close quickly at 4 p.m., so anglers should make sure they’re in the queue.

Admission is £15 and there is a heaviest cod superpool for £5.

Prizes are for first second and third and the heaviest cod and Anyfish Anywhere event sponsors have reserved a rod and cash for the winner.

Angling is under the rules of the Scottish Sea Angling Federation and it is a Penn Sea League meter. Call Chris on 07872 944807.

Dundee’s Jimmy Milne, who has competed on the Cod Match circuit for years, won the £100 top prize at Stewart and Alan’s summer competition at Arbroath last weekend, but was very close among the top three.

Milne had three fish for 9lb 10oz and second was Alan Combe of Kirkcaldy who was only two ounces behind. He collected £60 and Mike Horn, chairman of the Scottish Sea Angling Federation, was third just an ounce behind. He won £30. Milne also won the heaviest fish at 5lb 14oz and took home £95.

Most anglers caught fish with lots of small fish, a good sign, organizers said, for months to come.

The best bait was fresh crab with fish found all over the kelp. Coarse fishing now and Darrin Ferguson won Round 7 of the Edinburgh and Lothians Coarse Angling League Summer Series at Orchil near Auchterarder at 19lbs.

A close second was Tommy Lauriston at 18lbs 15oz with club chairman Geoffrey Lowe third at 18lbs and in the Knockout Cup Ferguson beat Kris Sloss, Stewart Ritchie beat Roz Cassidy and Scott McGhee took the win over Sandy McKay.