An eventful couple of weeks culminated in the annual lad(y)s and dads competition held on Sunday, and it did not disappoint. More of this later on.
Once again the weather has played a massive part in the catching success over the last period. Temperatures are returning to normal for this time of year but the fish that have been in the loch over the hot spell are taking time to recover and as a consequence catching has been somewhat patchy. Typically those people that fish the loch on a more regular basis have shown good returns demonstrating that knowledge of the loch and how it fishes under different conditions is a distinct advantage.
Choice of flies has been a case of trial and error but without doubt it has been the buzzer and diawl bach patterns that have performed consistently well over this period. Paul Hird (see photo with Pete) and his wife Sharon were resident in Lochside cottage for one of the weeks and Paul, who is a firm advocate of buzzer fishing had great success on a couple of days in the Swing Gate area of the loch. He believed one of his fish to be in double figures and this along with all the others was safely returned to fight another day. By the end of his week Paul had just about handed out most of his self-tied buzzer collection to other fishermen who were keen to copy the success that he was having and I’m glad to say that most of them were rewarded with fish. Depth has also been critical and a combination of floating lines and midge tip lines have been most popular and consistently productive.
On top of the water, the humble black foam beetle proved equally deadly for some people and again Swing Gate Bay and along the eastern shore have been particularly productive of late. A good selection of lures including the likes of Cat’s Whisker, Dog Nobbler, Rabbitiser, Blob and Biscuit have also yielded fish but fishing with this selection of flies tends to bring the odd one or two fish to the net rather than performing well for long periods.
In Club News:
We were visited by three clubs during this period and it is fair to say that each one had different experiences. Pencaitland reported having had an excellent day and the 8 boats that were out returned a total of 44 fish for their day.
The Edinburgh Civil Service and Pentland Fly Fishers fished the next day and their 9 anglers had a return of 19 fish for their outing. Again all reported having had a good time on the loch.
Finally the Ellem Club fished last Saturday and managed a total of 27 fish for their 21 anglers. Clearly a less productive day for the Ellem club lads but despite this they also had a great day which was rounded off with a meal at one of the locals after the fishing was over.
So back to the Lad(y)s and Dads (see photos …. More to follow once we have them) and thankfully the weather was very kind to us allowing us to provide bacon butties in the morning and a BBQ in the afternoon, seated outside in bright sunshine. Once again all boats were taken for this popular event and with a few new faces on both sides, including Seonaid Muir fishing for the lad(y)s it looked set to be an evenly matched line up. Fishing was again patchy and given that all entrants were only allowed to fish with the same ten flies (see photos), provided before the start, tactics were all important. Neil Keillor got off to a flyer landing three fish in quick succession in Swing Gate Bay only to lose his 3 fly cast on his next fish. With his killer patterns lost, the rest of his day was more of a struggle and maybe next time he will consider the wisdom of using and potentially losing three flies all in one go. The afternoon fished better than the morning and Bob Cockburn finished strongly with only a couple of hours left on the clock, as did Robert Sloss and his two lads, Angus and Freddie, fishing the competition for the first time.
Despite the lad(y)s fishing as a team and the dads the same it is amazing to witness the rivalry that goes on in each individual boat and it is obvious that the lads are keen to get one up on their older and perhaps wiser boat partners.
As always all proceeds for the day are donated to St. Abbs RNLI and it was great to have Alistair Crowe and his son Derek fishing with us for the day and they were on hand at the end to receive a total of £370 to help support the valuable service that they are an integral part of. However no one expected that they would be called into service that day but with only 5 minutes to go, and in the process of packing up, Ian Fairgreave senior unfortunately went for an impromptu dip in the loch having tripped over his seat. Alistair and Derek were fishing close by and were on hand to safely get Ian back into his boat from whence he was gathered and taken safely back to dry land. A little colder and a lot wetter than when he started, Ian was thankful of wearing his life jacket which kept him afloat during the rescue and a safety talk from Alistair during the presentation afterwards reaffirmed just how important these devices are when out on open water.
With all anglers safely back on dry land it was time for the results to be worked out by Gordon Boulding who had very kindly given up his time to help with the smooth running of the day. (A big thank you from Carmel and myself Gordon).
It was once again the combined lengths of the Dads catches that came out on top and so for the second year in succession they have retained the “L” of a Length Trophy. Their combined length of 502 inches was just too good for the lad(y)s who once again lagged behind with a total of 360 inches. Better luck next time but I suspect that the dads might well have something to say about that!
Top rod for the dads went to Davy Muir, 5 fish with a total length of 85 inches.
Top rod for the Lad(y)s went to Bob Cockburn, 10 fish with a total length of 171 inches.
Both won vouchers for themselves plus a partner to fish on Sunday of next year’s opening weekend. Well done to both of you.
Most productive fly patterns on the day were Yellow Blob, Foam Beetle, Biscuit, Diawl Bach and Buzzer. Interestingly this year no-one brought the flies that performed best last year which were Foam Daddy and Damsel. Perhaps everyone was expecting someone else to supply these patterns so the moral for next year is perhaps not to assume anything?
In conclusion …. Another great day, enjoyed by all those who took part and a pleasure for Carmel and I to host an event like this in order to put something back in to the community. We eagerly await next year and will announce the date of next years event early in the new year so please take note and book early as boat places are limited as always.
In other news:
- We were delighted to welcome a group from Thomson Bethune for their second annual corporate day out with us here at Coldingham Loch. Many of them were new to fishing so a total of 5 fish caught was a good start – and congratulations to Beth who helped organise the day and was one of the ‘beginners’ who caught her first ever trout – and which she reported back as being very tasty!
- Whilst out on the loch the other day I was rewarded with the sight of a roe deer swimming across the loch. Unfortunately I was unable to photograph it as the light was fading but what a lovely sight.
- Many thanks to Tessa Hill (Lochside resident) who has captured a great shot of a stoat on the decking at Lochside. She also sent us some other lovely shots some of which are on the gallery at the end of this report and include a shot of one of the 4 trout she caught on her first fly fishing experience with tutor Robbie Bell. Well done to Tessa and we hope that was the first of many a happy day fly fishing.
- As we are entering the last two months of our season we will only be providing two more loch reports, one at the end of October and the other towards the end of November so please keep an eye out for them.
- Many people seem to enjoy reading the reports and so we will continue to produce them next year as normal.
- Please Note: Weather permitting, our last fishing day of the season will be Sunday 1st December. We will be posting notices up around the Fisherman’s Lodge but wanted to give everyone due notice. Obviously if the weather turns really bad we might be forced into closing earlier but if this happens we will let people know through our reports.
Over the next 3 weeks we will be visited by:
- Breadalbane AC
- The Anchor Inn FC
- Ashington Kingfishers AC (Bank Comp)
- Newmarket AC
- Northumbria Police and Lothian & Borders Police
- Eyewater AC
We look forward to welcoming them all to the Loch.