We’ve all heard the saying that one swallow doesn’t make a summer but having seen our first swallow of the season on 17th April and with the subsequent weather over the last two weeks I was beginning to wonder. That is until today, when summer turned to winter and back again about five times during the day! So yes the first sighting of the swallow was on the 17th but what was unusual was that we normally see the house martins at least a week or so before the swallows but this year it was the other way around. I’m not sure whether this has any significance or whether it is an omen for things to come this year but time will tell.
The swallows timing however seemed to be just about perfect as large rises of fish signalled some spectacular buzzer hatches and of course those lucky fishermen that happened to be here switched to the small stuff and with almost static lines landed some very good catches.
Robbie Bell and Bob Cockburn continued their excellent start to the season with double figure bags on a number of different outings and Robbie also had a great day with one of his “first-timers” which you can read more about in his blog later in this report.
The lads from the fly tyers guild made their annual pilgrimage to the loch and although their first outing was less than note- worthy they more than made up for it over the next two days. Les Lockey and his boat partner and first timer to the loch, John Morgan recorded catches of 40+ and 20+ to damsels, blobs and buzzers whilst Don Bradley had perhaps the biggest fish of their trip with a rainbow of 6lbs 12 ozs.
Neil Keillor had a rare outing from the bank and returned 10 fish five of which he estimated to be in the region of 5 – 7 lbs and on a later outing, his regular boat partner Darrel Young landed 8 to the boat which included two magnificent blues.
Godfrey Burn had a great day using CDC buzzers, recording 9 to the boat and David Auld on the same day had 10 using a combination of black gnat, damsels and blobs.
Bringing us up to date, over the last 3 days Shaun Eales and his pals from Peebles have been staying in Lodge Cottage and fishing each day. Their comments in the book say it all and to say that they have had a good number of fish is probably an under- statement. They are back again in September and it will be interesting to see if they can repeat their success of this weekend. Buzzers provided them with the majority of their fish and the hot spot was Boat House Bay.
So with the forecast for the next week looking fairly unsettled but perhaps more normal for the time of the year let’s see what the next period of fishing will bring. Whatever happens….get ready with the dries, hawthorns have been spotted up and down the Tweed and once they start to hatch here it’ll be top of the water all the way.
Good Angling, Bad Angling
My mate Bob Cockburn keeps a Fishing Diary.
He is an excellent Angler and catches over 600 fish a year and averages over 10 fish a day on Coldingham.
I probably fish as much as him and I like to think I can keep up.
Now last week I was on the Loch for my sixth visit of the new season and I have been fishing the small waters all winter. I really cannot claim to be rusty which can occur on your first few visits if you lay up during the winter.
So I hook into my fifth fish of the day and although it quickly becomes obvious it is a big one it should be no problem to an experienced angler who is in the groove.
After playing it for a few minutes it comes near the net and what do I do?
Make a dash at it and only get a dropper stuck in the net!
Now the fly in the net never ever had a barb but despite the fish just hanging there waiting for me three attempts to get the fly out fail. Doh!
The fish then takes the matter into its own initiative and snaps it off.
But it is still on………………..
So I start playing it again only to let it get my fly line around the motor.
Bad Angling !
Anyway it eventual comes out the right way and after a bit more play I finally net it.
Including the net it goes 9lbs in a quick weigh and I take a pound and a half off which leaves the fish around 7.5 Lbs. A brilliant looking over wintered fish for a lucky angler. It goes back strongly after a minute or so rest in the net which I always leave in the water.
Anyway. and moving quickly on 🙂 I was out again today and although I got one fish early on everything dries up.
I was fishing a Fast Glass line and a team of flies on some reasonably stout nylon which is what I usually do at the Loch..
Now some people are saying the water is Gin Clear at the moment.
I would say it is clearer!
When it is flat calm you can almost imagine the boat is floating in air!
So with that in mind and after some thought I decided to re-rig.
I took the Fast Glass line off and replaced it with a Slime Line.
This is the same sink rate as the Fast Glass but being a “clear” line it is much less visible in the water.
I also renewed the leader going finer and with only two flies 11 feet apart and the dropper 10 feet from the end of the fly line.
I also downgraded the flies to something similar but slightly more subtle.
Bingo……………….a nice trout first cast.
Well one fish does not prove it but I was happy with eight by lunchtime with 7 of them on the new set up. 🙂
Now earlier in the week I had Chris out for Tuition and it was his first ever time Fly Fishing.
The day was a 70th Birthday Present from his son Scott.
He did really well catching 4 fish and losing three at the net as well as having a few more good pulls.
Two of the things he was really good at was following the flyline with the rod as the boat swung at anchor and fishing the hang.
Two essential skills for any angler.
Robbie Bell Resident Instructor and Guide
Pencaitland AC – A strong turn- out of 17 anglers managed a total of 53 fish for the day giving them a rod average of 3.12. Best fish went to Ramsey Gillies, a 5lb 1oz rainbow. Ramsey also took best bag. The club recorded having had a great day.
Earlston FFC- Fished the next day and commented “ Thanks for a great day – Excellent quality fish” Not surprising when you see the returns …. 8 anglers caught a total of 40 fish the largest of which weighed in at 4lbs 12ozs. This was caught by C. Fairgreave who also recorded the beast 4 fish bag of the day of 17lbs 6 ozs.
Edinburgh Breadalbane AC – 6 anglers caught a total of 32 fish giving them a rod average of 5.3. An excellent club outing summed up the day for Breadalbane.
North Berwick AC – 8 anglers recorded a total of 67 fish giving them a rod average of 8.3. James and Joy Gardiner had a particularly good day electing to drift all areas of the loch and fishing mainly buzzers, diawl bachs and crunchers. James best fish was a rainbow of between 10 – 11 lbs.
Fishers Tryst AC – 9 anglers recorded a total of 37 fish. Rod average: 4. The weather in the morning wa to say the least quite horrible with rain and strong winds. However, we often say that fortune favours the brave and this was definitely so for P Wilson. His best fish of his four kept was a 5lb 8oz rainbow but even this faded into obscurity against, wait for it ……… a 10lb brownie which was witnessed by a number of other anglers but unfortunately wasn’t photographed. The fish took a little reviving but never left the water. Let’s hope we see her again and this time have the camera at the ready!
- We were very saddened to hear last week of the passing of Graham Lowe who many of you may know. Graham fished with Pencaitland and Midlothian Angling Clubs and was a firm favourite amongst his fishing pals. He was a regular here at Coldingham Loch, a place we know he loved to fish and he will be missed.
- An osprey was sighted again on its way north and stayed 5 minutes or so here before moving on.
- Anyone fishing the banks of the loch will have seen the start of the wonderful wild flowers that add interest and colour to the banks
- As mentioned in our last report Anne Woodcock from FishPal has done a report on her visit to Coldingham Loch and she has now posted this in the FishTweed newsletter which can be viewed by following the link below
Visiting clubs in the next two weeks are:
- Ellem Club
- Mid Lothian AA
- Heriots AC
- Roslyn AC
- Northumbria Police
- Morpeth Conservative FC
As always we wish them good fishing for their visits.
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