What a fortnight! The better weather finally brought out the fishermen and the fish in the loch duly obliged. Fishing during the day has been very steady with some excellent returns being made from day anglers and residents alike. Those clubs that have fished here during this period have also reported excellent fishing days with many anglers reaching their bag limit and then some.
Fly hatches have been plentiful with a range of aquatic and terrestrials on offer to the fish and the long awaited hatch of hawthorns has finally started to happen although not in the quantity that we experienced last year. We have also noticed a number of daddies coming from the surrounding grass areas and it might well be time to try floating a couple of these as the weather improves.
The main feature of this period however has been the number of fish being seen feeding on or near to the top of the water particularly at the far end of the loch near to the reed bed. Some evenings have seen spectacular rises of fish and those fishermen who have been out there at the time have been delighted with the targets that they have been provided with. As such, the dry fly fishing has been tremendous as has the buzzer fishing for those patient enough to sit it out.
We have been particularly pleased to see so many anglers return to fishing from the bank. The work that we have done to improve the access around the loch seems to be paying off and many people are reporting just how much easier the walking is. We would still recommend waders for bank anglers but we have had a number of people fishing from the bank in their wellies and managing to get good access to most areas. Fishing this way is probably ok until the end of May but after this the weed around the margins will make this increasingly more difficult and at this point waders are really a must.
Whilst there have been many success stories during this period such as, Jake Kelley (aged 7, see photos) beating his dad Mick, catching two rainbows to his dad’s one, the main story must go to Mark Straughen.
As many of you will know, Mark is a keen angler and a good one at that. Brian Palmer (Ginger) would like him to be known as his young apprentice and on the strength of his success from the bank, few would begin to argue with this.
So it was quite a surprise last week when whilst fishing from the west bank Mark, having made a double hook-up, had to jump into the water to retrieve his backing line which had become detached from his reel having been stripped to the end by the hard fighting fish. The good news is that he managed to grab the line before it disappeared across the loch and successfully hand lined the two fish to the bank. The bad news is that his pride was slightly dented by the experience which was witnessed by a large number of highly amused boat anglers. I guess that this demonstrates what can happen to even the best of us and the moral to the story is to check your knots.
Fly selection has been quite a lottery during this period but suffice to say you could not go far wrong using the old favourites such as diawl bach, buzzer, cdc’s, damsel, bibio and black spider. However there has been a degree of success coming from the use of lures on certain days and zonkers, orange fritz, cats whisker and Rob Roy have been used to good effect. Most recently a range of wet flies such as black pennell, montana and cormorant have also proved quite deadly in the right conditions.
In club news:
First up during this period were the lads from the Portobello AC (see photo). Their 6 anglers managed a total of 27 fish between them and despite getting soaked throughout the day reported having had an excellent days fishing. Biggest bag of 11 lbs 8ozs for 4 fish went to Ian Bennett. The average was 4.5 fish per angler.
Morpeth Conservative Club (see photo) fished the next day and managed to enjoy some excellent weather. Their 13 anglers recorded 42 fish with the biggest bag going to Harry Storey – 11lbs 8 ozs. Heaviest fish went to Ronnie Smith, a 5lb 2oz rainbow. Most fish went to Ali Tait with 12 fish to the boat. The average was 3.2 fish per angler.
The following weekend we were first visited by Benedictine AC. A total of 12 anglers managed a very impressive catch of 70 fish amongst which were 8 blues and 5 browns (all returned). An average of 5.8 fish per angler drew comments such as; Brilliant, Fantastic, Hard Fighting Fish and it was obvious that they had had a great day. Best weight went to Jimmy Calvin with 12lbs 1oz for a four fish bag.
Finally on Sunday we were visited by the Kelso British Legion AC (see photo). The lads turned out in force with a total of 26 anglers fishing bank and boat. Amongst their catch of 76 fish in total were 5 blues and 3 browns. An average of 2.9 fish per angler meant that they had had a good day and the heaviest 3 fish bag went to B. Jack with a weight of 9lbs 12 ozs.
In Other news:
- We are delighted to see the swans once again nesting at the top end of the loch after an absence last year. The nest is in the reeds quite close to the end of the loch and anglers are asked to respect the nesting area and give the swans the room they need to ensure a successful hatch.
- On a trip to the loch at the end of April, Phil Bilbrough took a cracking short video of his trip which is now posted on YouTube. It shows the loch during a hatch, follows the hatch of a couple of buzzers and is a superb example of how to properly catch and release fish. Well worth watching and the link to it is: http://youtu.be/PzIKzVt__C0
There are some wonderful photos well worth looking at which were taken at a corporate event held here a couple of weeks ago. The event was organised through ALBA Game Fishing and the photos were taken by Colin Riach. Please feel free to look at the photos but please note that they remain the property of the afore mentioned and cannot be copied without their permission, for use elsewhere. The link to the photos is: http://www.capnfishy.co.uk/Coldingham08May13.htm
- There have been a number of otter sightings … so keep your eyes peeled and you might be lucky enough to spot one. Early mornings seem to be your best chance of spotting one.
- Last week we again stocked quite a number of blue trout into the loch alongside the rainbows. They are great fighting fish and there is every chance of hooking into one.
- A reminder that the use of any other type of anchor other than sash weight mud anchors is not permitted. We have a number of service cables running through the loch to the aerator and Lochside Cottage which need to remain intact. Used properly the mud anchors are effective in all but perhaps the strongest of winds. Swing Gate bay has quite a hard rock base and in certain areas we acknowledge that it is difficult to anchor but this would be the case with whichever device was being used. Again mud anchors only please.
- Finally a plea from us to those of you that smoke. We spend quite a large amount of time picking up used butts from the car park some of them right next to the bins provided. We would ask that you use the bins once the cigarettes have been extinguished. If fishing the banks please don’t drop them on the bank or in the water. Collect them up and bring them to the bins. We are doing our best to keep the place clean and tidy so that you have a nice place to visit ….. we would ask that you do your bit to help us.
Finally we are being visited by members from the following clubs during the next period:
- Leith FFC
- Vale Way Inn FFC
- Hole in the Wall AC
- Cockburn AC
- Thurston Manor AC
- Heriots AC
- Hoy & Hope FC
A warm welcome to you all and we look forward to hearing the stories from your outings.