Just minutes from the suburbs of Edinburgh, high in the Pentland Hills, there is a glen and in that glen you can find some excellent fishing.
Loganlea Trout Fishery lies a bit higher in the glen than Glencorse reservoir. Built in the mid 19th century to supply fresh water to Edinburgh Loganlea sits in a deep cleft resulting in a long, narrow fishery 51 feet at its deepest point. Stocked with fit fighting rainbows up to 4lbs brought all the way from Devon this fishery offers exciting fishing in as close to a natural setting as you can get on a man made water.
One glance at the terrain tells you that wading is inadvisable at Loganlea. As the fishery manager, Alex Jack, pointed out, one step into the water is usually ok, two steps are usually one step too far. Just a yard from the bank the water plunges into the depths giving anglers the first clue as to how to fish this water. Long casting is not a necessity at Loganlea for the fish cruise along close into the precipitous bank. Watch out for the telephone cables strung along the right bank, it cost me a few flies until I changed to Spey casting to eliminate the need for a back cast.
On the day conditions were windy with the wind blowing in from the east but it did not stop fish from rising in the choppy water which suggests that in calmer conditions fishing the dry fly could be great fun and very exciting as there are many double figure fish in this water.
Alex advised that buzzers and damsels had been very effective the day before and reinforced this by reading out some of the catch returns including 4 fish for over 16lbs. The average catch the day before had been nearly 4lb across the board! At the prices charged at Loganlea this quality of fishing puts many fisheries to shame. I paid my money for 3 fish for 6 hours fishing with the opportunity to fish catch and release with barbless hooks when I reached my bag limit. Permit in hand I set off to explore the fishery.
Starting with a cast of two flies, a black epoxy buzzer with green 'cheeks' on the dropper and a gold head green damsel on the point fished on a long leader I started fishing with a floating line about a hundred yards up from the moorings. Several plucks and one good run got me well warmed to the fishing and hopes were high. I could see that other anglers were having success from both bank and boat, then the clouds disappeared. The day turned into a bright, breezy day and the offers stopped. I plugged away at the water in hope, regretting that I had come late in the day. Looking around I realised that I was the only one left on the water as all of the other anglers had achieved their limits before the sunshine blazed through.
Alex wandered down to give me some advice on the hot spots suggesting that I either move to the shallow top end of the loch, the area around the moorings or down to the deep water near the dam. I took his advice, it would be foolish not to take the advice of someone who has known the water for many years. I chose to move up to the shallows. Changing to an intermediate line and a single Yellow Dancer with a gold head I started fishing from the white post as Alex advised. The tactics were right, getting down deeper in the peat stained water got me among the fish again and the first few knocks happened in quick succession but frustratingly I failed to connect.
Perseverance paid off and I had a solid take from a fish of about 2.5lbs which turned out to be a hen laden with spawn in late April!
Next came a solid knock and another fish was on, a bright bar of silver weighing in at 3.75lbs. Finally I hit into a feisty fish, the smallest of the trio but it fought well above its weight. Back at the fishing hut I recorded 3 fish for 7.75lbs, a two and a half pound average but as Alex observed an unlucky bag well below the average of previous days. For me on a bright sunny afternoon it was a satisfying day out.
The fishery is a gem, man made in the reign of Queen Victoria the fishery has a great atmosphere, a fantastic setting for a day. I will be back to have a go stalking rising fish with a dry fly. I am told that the fish just love big dry flies like Loch Ordies which should produce some explosive takes. Alex also relates how he encountered a double figure brownie down by the dam, a remnant from the previous administrations policy of stocking brown trout. There are also wild brownies in the fishery and it would be fun to test them out too, these small fish will fight like furry I am sure.
Loganlea Trout Fishery, Milton Bridge, nr Penicuik, EH20 0PP. Call 01968 676329 or 0131 663 5055.
Boat and bank fly fishing only for stocked rainbows and wild brown trout. No Boobys and no deep wading for reasons that will be obvious.