Two weeks ago i found myself getting organised for a night on the town with a few friends, i had fished Friday and Saturday and was probably a bit hasty in getting out after the colder snap we had just had so was a long couple of days. After eventually returning home on the Saturday evening and got cleaned up etc i sat down for half an hour on the couch at around 9 pm next thing i knew it was 6.30 am Sunday morning boom missed my night out with the boys (Dull One).
Feeling rather annoyed with myself and knowing that the snow melt and colder snap at my local had put the fish well down again i jumped onto Social media and sourced another water to give a bash as i felt slightly robbed of my night out haha “any excuse to throw a line”.
I came across Tinto fishery offering 2 secluded waters Loch Cleugh and Loch Lyoch each around 5 acres in size set in the picturesque location of Tinto Hill sounded ideal….
I contacted the owner Munro via a PM and was swiftly pm’d back he instructed me that it was a C&R water with 2 Lochs and a real sporting place to fish “JACKPOT” he then invited me to come try out the wonderful natural habitat they have…. wonder what my answer was.
I do not know about you but i am not really into stocky bashing holes in the ground, i think they are horrible to fish, i hate being pegged and stuck in one area i like to take in the water, go for a walk around, take in a bit scenery, maybe stalk some fish, not bother about getting someones hook in my eye etc etc ….. just a personal opinion of course.
Anyway the fishery offers exceptional fishing for Rainbow, Blue and Brown Trout. They also have a cottage for rent, which i am considering, as an early morning session for wild browns on the top Loch sounds appealing, and to spend the weekend in beautiful surroundings with a couple of days fishing…..sounds exactly what i am looking for.
Quote taken from Social Media.
“We source the best A1 quality fish available then quarantine them in our own concrete holding tanks which are far from crowded. The fish are then trickle stocked as and when I feel it is required.
The feeding and the water quality is exceptional. This was the drinking water for Lanark so they are basically swimming about in Volvic”
So a couple rolls knocked up for lunch car packed and of we went such a wonderful drive down the borders at 7am.
Stopped of in a Parking bay for a coffee.
So from Edinburgh your hitting the A702 i seem to be on this road a fair bit these days, you’re a 1 hour drive from Edinburgh City Centre, give or take and on the right day its a beautiful hour to be out and about, you will pass through Dolphinton, Biggar and Symington.
Once you’re at Thankerton, keep and eye out for Tinto Cafe, thats your turn off point, your pretty much there, i think it took me about ten minutes to head up towards the foot of Tinto Hill and take in some wildlife on the way in the morning sun.
I met Gwen, Munro’s mum briefly, i paid my dues, which was a respectable £15 for the day and was then instructed about the bothy with toilet, kettle, microwave and previous catch reports, this is always something thats worth a look when arriving at new fishery. Oh and when i say bothy its the Hilton version haha.
I checked the report and it was a varied selection of fly’s, lures, and buzzers working which included Damsels, Cdc’s and even Black Spiders dry action this early.
Kitted up and ready to take on this mysterious new place, my first thought on seeing the holding tanks up by the bothy, where aye aye some lovely looking Blues in there.
Head up the hill here and please do stick to the path as requested by the fishery, you will see the signs.
Once up there, i was greeted to this little beauty, Loch Lyoch YES 🙂 i hope you agree that its a cracker, 5 acres of fishing heaven, now i really did not have much info on the water to be honest, obviously, the dam wall seemed to be the deepest part with a steep drop off. Already, out in front of me, i could see fish boiling away on the surface, right down the dam wall and out in the middle, by this point the excitement was building up of what was in front of me, i knew i was onto a winner of a day.
Later i found it strange that i still had most of the water to myself, i kept waiting on loads of people to arrive but it just never happened “YES JACKPOT AGAIN” I had forgotten, my mum lives overseas so mothers days is a different date for me, , people where perhaps pre occupied with this special day, nice one mum haha.
I teamed up 2 buzzers with a 12ft leader which i was told by Munro do not use anything under 7lb or you will loose fish so i did just that, I rigged a Traffic Light on the dropper and a Olive Shuttlecock on the point. I had a few cast along the dam wall first but the water was just like a mill pond so i was probably spooking the fish more than anything.
I had noticed a bit after my arrival another angler at the top of the water which is the shallower end of the Loch and slightly more open in parts, so i headed up there for that inside information and maybe a quick explanation of the water. I was greeted by a member who was having a few hours before heading home for the Mothers Day thing. He gave me a quick run down of depths where i can wade etc and whats been working “thanks again mate”.
At this point i should of been thinking about heading up to Loch Cleugh for these big brownies that hold up there, but to be honest with what i had in front of me to fish, well i never really gave it a thought, there’s always next time or so i thought…………i think it would be on fire up there early doors too, I was told that there is some seriously large Brown Trout in the the Loch next time……..
So no sooner than a few cast in and bang Green Olive Shuttlecock slow figure of eight i was greeted with my first Tinto Rainbow which was a good solid fish. (Delighted)
Tinto is such a clean place i can see everybody is very respectful of the fishery no litter and a well kept fishery the water is full of nutrients and has an abundance of fly life after speaking to a few members later in the day they said the fish are superb fighting fish which is due to how the fishery is managed and the quality of the water which you could basically just drink. Tinto is more of a members water from what i can gather, day permits are still welcome, just be respectful. Membership is still being advertised and i think is still available and was around £220 for 1 year and remember they are open all year round.
The trickle of the blues that are held in the concrete holding tanks are introduced to the water and keeps those big resident fish stirred up. I honestly stood and watched a lovely looking 4lb brownie surface just in front off me, as i walking down to the shallower end with outstanding markings sadly i did not manage to hook into one,but just leaves me wanting a return to do so.
My morning was full of tugs and hook ups fishing barbless obviously comes with its challenges so pressure on when hooked up, i did drop a couple of fish early doors, but hey thats fishing. My next fish that i landed was a nice solid 4lb Rainbow which gave a good account of itself, i did think it was more heavier i think its just down to being really healthy and with it being catch and release i did not take many photos of my fish as i wanted to just keep them in the net and in the water at all times.
3lb Blue sorry picture does not do it much justice.
Tinto Hill and if if you can see the building just at the foot, that’s your second Loch tucked away.
I fished the bank across the far side for an hour as the wind had swung round and was right in my face at my morning spot and had seemed to put the fish of the bite, so thought lets have wander.
Not much was going on the fish had went down now and the wind did seem to pick up so i changed my mind and headed up to check out Loch Cleugh. Again another beautiful water, well kept and looks like Brown Trout heaven haha sadly it was windy up here and bright, but well worth checking this little secret, i did have a few cast but nothing was showing on the surface i will be heading up there next time early in the morning so watch out Brown Trout.
Now just to give you an idea of the backdrop here, from the top Loch looking back towards Lanark – pretty nice view from up here.
Sadly that was to be be my day over fish wise, the wind had really just put the fish down and was not much hope,. I did head back down to the bottom loch and spent the afternoon going through some different fly’s intermediate line, but they where just not interested. Still this was not going to spoil what had been an excellent day on the spur of a moment decision.
Back down on Loch Lyoch late afternoon, i seen the wind drop down a fair bit, but was so bright, i did hang around to see if the fish would come on again, but was not to be.
Still a perfect end to a perfect day i had 3 good quality fish lost a fair few and had some fantastic scenery to do it in. I will be guaranteed to be heading back to Tinto Fishery this year, i think as a sporting C&R only water, its has a huge amount to offer the fly fisher. The facilities are excellent and its very easy to find. The members that i spoke to are really friendly and informative and made me feel very welcome.
I was really really reluctant to do a blog on Tinto, as not to many people seem to know about it, i had posted a few pics on social media after my session which got some attention, i had not divulged my location and was not about to in any great hurry, most of the old-school seemed to suss where i was via private mails lol so i left it at that, maybe as its tucked away, who knows, but its such a beautiful place to fish that i felt i had to share it.
Thanks to both Munro and Gwen i will see you again very soon.
- Sunday 26th March X2 Rainbow Trout X1 Blue Trout Buzzers
Anybody looking to visit Tinto please check there information and i have also listed there contacts details
Tinto Trout Fishery
Loch Lyoch Cottage,
Telephone: +44 (0)1899 308697
Email : Anglerscottages@aol.com