Since our last report the weather has played a significant part in the mixed fortunes of our fishermen. For almost 10 days a stiff cold N/NE wind dominated conditions at Coldingham and latterly this was accompanied by a thick and stubborn haar which saw some brave anglers ‘lost in the mist’.
The first of the clubs to visit during this period was the Portobello club and their 12 fishermen experienced one of the better weather days at Coldingham enjoying some notable returns. Many anglers reached their bag limit and proceeded with a catch and release session of fishing.
Pencaitland were here the next day when temperatures had plummeted the evening before and remained cold during their days fishing, despite this a number of their members enjoyed an excellent days sport.
Most success for both clubs came whilst fishing buzzers of various colours and sizes and this was aptly demonstrated by Brian Palmer who when fishing the bank averaged 7+ fish on each of his three outings using predominantly a floating line with a variety of buzzer patterns. What he found was that the smaller patterns were working better.
Next up were our visitors from the Northumbria Police and again they were met with bitterly cold conditions and a stiff NE wind. Again fishing was generally difficult with the fish lying low in the water and generally reluctant to feed. However amongst the successes of the day were a 5lb Blue (Gavin) and a 4lb Brown (Douglas) trout, both safely returned to the loch. The average for the group was approximately 3.5 fish per rod which was extremely creditable given the nature of the weather. Quote came from Nathan who as he came off the loch at the end of the day said “Well its a good job the weather wasn’t too bad”.
Our last 2 major clubs during this period were Earlston and Ashington Kingfishers. Earlston were fortunate to fish on Saturday 28th alongside a small group from the RBS organised by Brian Turner who co-incidentally landed the biggest fish of the day of approximately 5lbs (see photo below). Earlston had an equally productive outing and even managed to fish with the sun on their backs for certain periods of the day. Again successful patterns included buzzers, diawl bach, orange blob, yellow dancer, damsel and montana. A special mention must go to C Lyall for catch of the day having been reunited with his boat seat after a 3 year absence.
On the same day our youngest two anglers so far Fred and Angus had a successful outing with their Dad each landing their own fish (see photo below) their excitement was heard and enjoyed by a number of anglers close to them – well done boys!
On Sunday the Ashington Kingfishers had a fantastic turnout of 22 fishermen for their annual Bank Angling outing. From the offset the weather was cruel with bitterly cold temperatures and a strong steady easterly wind meant that fishing was always going to be tough. And despite the obvious expertise amongst the members the returns for many were disappointingly low. Scott bucked the trend with a haul of 8 fish three of which were brown trout and his 4 kept fish earned him first place. This was an occasion when just about every tactic was tried but conditions trumped expertise.
Finally on the fishing front we had what we believe to be our eldest female angler visit and fish the loch. Bridget Kennedy aged 85 successfully landed a well mended rainbow of approximately 3lb and her elation in doing so was videoed for all to share - follow this link to YouTube and enjoy! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4LcZ2NclRZM
With May now upon us we are sincerely hoping for an improvement in the weather which should see an abundance of fly life visiting the loch. Bring on the Hawthorns!
We look forward to seeing many of you over the coming two weeks and also to welcoming Midlothian and Breadalbane clubs who are coming mid week and then Heriots and Norham and Ladykirk one on each weekend.
Our final piece of this report is dedicated to Graham Lilley who recently, sadly passed away. It is only fitting that two of his closest fishing friends Peter Hill and Peter Davies provide the following tribute
Graham Lilly (1935 – 2012)
We are sorry to have to report the death of Graham Lilly on 14 April 2012. Graham was known as one of the ‘Saturday’ regulars at Coldingham Loch; although he’d fished throughout the Borders (and elsewhere) Graham loved Coldingham and was always frustrated if other demands called him elsewhere on a Saturday. He was a regular bank fisher, and had particular affection for the casting platform, so much so that Ted Wise christened him ‘The Wooden Heron’ simply because when Graham had taken residence on the platform and concentration took over, nothing was going to move him from there; the only movement was to net the latest trout that had fallen victim to one of his fly creations – the JB, the ‘Yellowtail’ or his own beautifully-tied traditional patterns. Later, when scrambling around the bank became too much for him, Graham took to using one of the ‘blue boats’ and continued to have real success, including his largest rainbow of 8 pounds shown in the photograph here. The last few years were difficult for him, and he had to give up his loch visits, although he frequently reminisced with friends about ‘Coldingham Loch days’ and his regard for its landscape and wildlife. He will be greatly missed by many of his many angling friends (notably the two Peters), and deeply so by his daughter Diane, her husband Malcolm and his grand-children Cody and Jevon.