The fishing at Harlaw in the past week has been patchy with exceptionally good days then other days when the angler had to work at contacting fish. Although one of the best days was two days before stocking, a fresh stocking of blue and Rainbow trout midweek livened up the resident fish and excellent catches were again reported.

The best time is still early morning to mid-day with many anglers accounting for several fish in just a couple of hours. During the warmer evenings fishing has been good from around 8pm to sunset. The trout have a variety of food sources ranging from snails and Corixa to hatching Mayfly, Mayfly nymph, buzzers and sticklebacks.

Fish are being caught on a variety of patters ranging from the traditional Dunkeld, small black lure, yellow dancer, yellow/orange egg fly, small Blob, Jelly Fritz, FAB and black buzzer. A number of fish continue to be caught on dries. The favourite cast seems to be the small egg pattern fished 2 to 3 ft below an indicator with two buzzer patterns below fished 3 foot apart. In bright, sunny conditions fish will go deeper and to keep in contact the cast needs to be lengthened. Fishing the washing line technique with a small dry on the point with two buzzers, nymphs or Diawl Bach has also been successful.

As July proceeds, the fish tend to become more difficult, however continued stocking of fresh fish will continue to stimulate resident fish and provide the angler with good sport. The water is currently Gin clear with no obvious Alga or Daphnia bloom. The clear water dictates a cautious approach, with presentation and nylon selection important. Fish may be in the margins or drop off so only wade where necessary. Harlaw, in many areas, has deep water close to the water’s edge and fish will patrol this area in search of food. Wading will only push the fish out into deeper water.

Many anglers are opting for a policy of catch and release and it is important that fish are not damaged. Please land the fish as quickly as possible, avoid using a net or use a net with a knotless mesh, use barbless hooks, unhook the fish in the water and never drag the fish onto a stone or gravel bank.

The cooler and less sunny conditions, yet still warm weather forecast reported for the coming week, should help anglers.

Robert Ross