17th – 30th Oct 2016

As we write this, the nights have most definitely drawn in, especially with the clocks being brought back an hour, the geese can be seen and heard flying in increasing numbers, and the leaves are well and truly falling.

This last fortnight started with cold easterly winds, sometimes pretty strong and making the fishing challenging at times then this last week we have enjoyed mild and settled weather producing plenty of fly life. The water remains crystal clear and the fish seem to be very well distributed again making it difficult to identify a hot spot as such though the north end has on some days produced plenty of activity, especially towards the reed bed. Some anglers have also noted that whilst there has been activity all over the loch, that catching fish has been better at times at least around the buoys, especially on the Lochside Cottage side where the water gets shallower. This has varied of course dependent on the conditions as well as the angler and their particular preferred fishing method.

The last few days has seen some good results from bank anglers on the southern shore and across on the eastern shore between the cottage and the north end. With the milder conditions in recent days anglers fishing the bank have had good success on dries – the f fly, hoppers and also foam beetles.

Fly patterns that have seen successful from the boat are as varied as ever but generally patterns that are worth noting at the moment are, gold or hot head damsel, biscuit blob, candy booby, rabbit, black minkie, cormorant, smaller sized buzzers and diawl bachs. In the last few days hoppers fished on a steady retrieve, f fly, shipman’s buzzers and small emergers have worked for some.


Notable catches in the last two weeks are as follow:

  • Colin McIsaac had 11 to a size 16 black crippled midge, two of these were browns and one was a brown trout hen that Colin said was his biggest ever brown estimating it at around 4 and half to 5lbs in weight. On another outing Colin recorded ‘must have risen 40, hooked 9, landed 5!! Good fun’
  • Bob Grant had 7 rainbows to the diawl bach and klink hammer recording ‘fantastic day, interest all day, fish up to 6lb returned. Thanks’
  • Robbie Bell 13 on one outing to the biscuit blob and diawl bach, 19 on another visit to the buzzer and biscuit blob
  • George Dixon fishing the bank on the first Saturday of this last period landed a superb rainbow which weighed in at 8lbs 4oz (see photos)
  • Jim Fairgreave and Jim Campbell had 16 rainbows and 2 browns to the boat stating ‘fish very spooky and not keen to commit, challenging but good!’
  • David Auld had a ‘fantastic days sport’ landing 12 to the black minkie
  • Ricky Taylor, fishing from a boat this time landed 14 to the bloodworm and damsel and also had a good rainbow from the bank on another session (see photo)
  • Bob Cockburn landed 20 to dries, biscuit blob and black minkie and on another visit with his dad, James had 17 to the boat, james landing 3 of these and Bob 14
  • Victor Brown fishing various flies landed 10 to his boat
  • Father and son, Robert and Jamie Learmonth fishing together for a half day session, landed a superb 13 rainbows to the boat on a mini zonker and buzzers. They reported having had a great day and Jamie, especially, seems to be enjoying his fishing here at the loch.
  • Graham Dea landed 12 including a brownie to a palomino cdc
  • John McGee and boat partner Chick landed 18 to the boat mainly on a rabbit
  • James Gardiner fishing the bank for a few hours landed 11 to the hopper noting that they were only taking it on the retrieve, no interest in it when it was static
  • Derek Logan fishing 4 hours off the bank on Sunday (yesterday) had 7 to the f fly whilst Pete Dann had 4 to the foam beetle on a short session from the bank
  • John Renton fishing from a boat yesterday landed 10 to the hopper and f fly whilst his brother Keith who joined him for the afternoon landed 7 to hoppers

Pete Dann also caught a picture of a wee wren (see photos) that Gareth picked up after it winded itself by flying into one of the fisherman’s hut windows, Gareth took it to show Pete and daughter Aimee in their car and Pete took the snaps.

Club News:

  • Black Bull FFC were the last club to fish the loch this season and fished in a very strong easterly wind managing a creditable 56 to their 15 rods giving them a rod average of 3.7. The most successful flies seemed to be damsel, FAB and blob

 Charity Day: 

We handed over a grand total of £1,086.33 to St Abbs Independent Lifeboat last week (see photo) and they will be putting this donation on their facebook page. Once again, our thanks along with the crew and all involved in the lifeboat goes out to all of you for supporting the day both on the day and by buying raffle tickets and so on. Thanks again to all of you for your various kind donations and to Berwick Game Fair and Total FlyFisher magazine for their gifts of raffle prizes.

Robbies Blog:

“Catching remains somewhat hit and miss with two rods fishing exactly the same tactics, on the same day, from the same boat, producing totally different outcomes  ……… but hasn’t that nearly always been the case?”

Above is a quote from the last Coldingham Loch Report by Carmel and Gareth and this got me thinking?

“exactly the same tactics”

Of course most people will be aware that when one end of the boat is catching that angler tends to relax and the guy at the other end probably tenses up and this may well be the major difference.

The bigger the gap in fish caught the more this will come into effect even with old pals.

Now someone once asked me when Loch Style (Boat) competitions started and my reply was it would be the first time two people were in a boat together!

Even the best of friends do not want to be beaten by a country mile and we all go fishing to catch fish.

So how “exactly the same” can you be?

Now on the Loch on most occasions the angler not catching will ask what fly his partner caught on or he will usually be shown the fly and more often than not given one.

The offer should never be refused.

Why? Well it takes one thing out of the equation and lets you concentrate on what else may be making the difference.

Of course there could be a myriad of things that are making the difference.

One well known North East Angler once said to me “You need to get a 100 things right to catch a trout and some days if you only get 99 right you won’t catch”

Now the major differences between ends of the boat will be the Location, Line and the Retrieve.

If you are out in open water the end of the boat should not make a difference but if one end is nearer the shore or an aerator or any other structure this could be the difference.

After all the first thing that needs to happen to catch a fish is the trout needs to see your fly. They are after all predators that rely mainly on their eyesight. So it could be that the fish are just on one side of the boat and that can be especially true if the angler is catching is casting at an angle to the boat or the drift.

Now I believe it is very bad manners to cast in to your partners side of the boat without being specifically invited to do this. I have fished with anglers who do this often and it is bad form.

Some think it is OK if you are changing a fly or sorting out a cast after netting a fish but you may be ready to cast again in an instant only to find a full length of line across your side of the boat.

Bad Angling and possibly just rude.

However if it is the position of the boat that is favouring one angler something needs to be done.

You may be able to reposition the anchor rope to angle the boat more favourably for both anglers or if drifting turn your boat around at the start of each new drift.

Or you could invite your partner to fish in your half and perhaps take a break at the same time.

Now if it is not the location of the boat and you are in open water what else could be different?

Well the next obvious thing is the Fly Line.

Your partner may well tell you that he is using an Intermediate Line when you ask but what kind?

Slow Glass, Mid Glass, Fast Glass, Cortland Blue, Kelly Green, Slime Line or Unknown!

Does it make a difference?

Well it might. A Fast Glass sinks around half an inch faster per second than a Mid Glass which sinks at 1 inch per second.

That does not sound like a lot but another way to look at is that it is 50% faster.

A Fast Glass may well be 200% faster than a Slow Glass!

Add in a slightly longer or shorter casting distance, a fraction of a difference in retrieve speed and then a gold head or a FAB on the point and you are now both fishing in a totally different ball parks.

Trout eyes are located to look forward and up so those differences in approach could mean you are very quickly going below the fish or alternatively never getting down to them.

Then of course there are the more minor differences. Leader Length. Leader Diameter. Leader Material. Fly Spacing.

Number of Flies you are using. The Distance from Fly Line to Top Dropper.

The influence of your other flies to the catching fly. Casting Distance. Casting Angle.

Turnover and Presentation.

All these and more could make up the 100 things you need to get right.

So what to do?

Well you could just grin and bear it with a smile on your face knowing what comes around usually goes around.

Or you could get your head down and imitate your partner as closely as you can.

Your Call.

Robbie Bell, Scottish Borders Fly Fishing


Other News:

We are very sad to report the sudden death of one of our regular anglers, Stuart Anderson. Stuart was a very keen field sports man and fished Coldingham Loch for many years. He has been a frequent visitor during our time here, both on his own and with his cousin and closest friend Iain Douglas. The duo organised annual, week long outings to the loch which usually culminated in a trip to the local snooker hall where the friendly rivalry continued in to the early hours of the morning. Stuart will be greatly missed and our sympathy and thoughts are sent to all his family and friends. The family asked us to let his angling friends from here know that anyone wishing to attend his funeral will be very welcome. It will be held at 11am this Weds 2nd Nov at the Seafield Crematorium, Edinburgh. The family want this to be a celebration of Stuart’s life and request no black tie and that ladies wear plenty of colour.

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