Under new management The Watch is a different kettle of fish.
As I drove down the hill to The Watch an angler was landing a fish and trout were bouncing around on the surface. In the distance I could see boats and a car park with cars in it, in fact The Watch looked lively. What's up? As it happens it is under new management and what a difference. A joint venture between the Kelso and St Bothwell and the Newton Angling Association has taken over and things look on the up and up.
There are 13 boats and inside the lodge a well appointed social space with facilities which had always been there but unavailable to anglers.
What a difference. Watch is now a professionally run fishery with the kind of facilities you would expect from a modern trout fishing venue. Well stocked with brown, blue and off course rainbow trout in the 1.8 to 3lb range with a few larger fish we have a serious fishery in the Borders at last.
I was impressed with the level of commitment shown. Cash spent on boats, the facilities and stock all bode well for Watch. It is a cracking good venue, a hill loch beautifully situated in the Lammermuir Hills above Longformacus near Duns.
It is going to be harder to fish than a fishery, great! At 120 acres Watch has room for boat and bank anglers and room for fish to be elusive which, I welcome with open arms. Watch will give you a good day out, you will have to work for your fish but it is well stocked so it will reward you for your effort.
Beginners under 16 can fish in an area designated for bait fishing.
The fish are fit, all that space to swim around in, with natural food available and depth to sink into, these fish will not be pussies. They will soon burn the flab off and put on muscle. A 2lb fish ripped line of my reel, cart wheeled about and did not come gently to my landing net and it had only been in Watch for a few weeks! Luv it.
The loch has a varied aquatic life for the fish to chose from and with heather moorland all round offering an even greater choice of grub the fish will have lots of choice - the angler will have to be more analytical.
I stuck with the more traditional flies on my visit, Kate Mclaren, fine woman, did the business for me. Next time I will try the usual budgies and canaries used for rainbows on fisheries and I am sure they will be effective. Buzzers will undoubtedly do well as will daddies and hoppers with so many terrestrials about. What I am looking forward to is doing a bit of business on the top, I recon it will be a great venue on a summers evening.
As I left fish were moving, some very interesting fish, Evening fishing is available from June.
To book call:
Tel: 01835 822650 (8.30am - 5.00pm)
Mobile: 07736 903379 (text messages only 8.30am - 5.00pm)
The Lodge: 01361 890331 (8.30am - 5.00pm) when staffed.