17th – 30th September

What an eventful fortnight this has been and it has coincided with our first anniversary of being here at Coldingham. We arrived at the loch on the 23rd of September 2011 and we are both struggling to internalise just where the last 12 months have gone. Suffice to say we have really enjoyed our first year and would like to thank everyone for their support and encouragement and we hope that we can continue to provide a quality venue and experience for anyone who wishes to fish here. As we mentioned in our last report, we are going to close the loch for all fishing over the winter period to allow for the necessary work to be carried out around the banks, chalets and boats, and so a reminder that our last day for boat fishing will be Saturday the 1st of December and the following day will be the last one for bank fishing.

So what made this period so eventful? Firstly we had quite a few club visits and we will mention them a little later in the report. We also witnessed a couple of rare sights:

One was Robbie Bell fishing from the bank and the other was seeing Ginger fishing from a boat. Needless to say both of them performed to their usual high standards and had a number of fish to the net.

We had our first visit from Darren Howie (Nobody Just a Fishermans website). Darren fished the bank for the day and was delighted by the number and quality of fish that he caught. He will no doubt be mentioning it in his own report at some point.

We were very pleased to welcome Willie Millar, now aged 89 for a short session of fishing with a couple of his friends. Willie has fished Coldingham for more years than he can probably remember and was keen to share some of his lighter and more eventful moments with us. Of course he left the loch with yet another story to tell having hooked his boat partner, Douglas Sanderson in the ear (see photo). We managed to eventually extract the fly from Douglas’s ear, but not without a fight from a size 12’s hook that probably had the biggest barb on it I have ever seen. Had Willie hooked a fish instead of Douglas’s ear it was definitely not going to get off!

We then experienced two of the roughest days weather that the East Coast could muster. Gales of up to 70mph winds tipped and sank two of our boats in the bay and forced us to close the loch for two days for safety reasons. Steve and Pauline Kelley who were resident in Lochside Cottage got a grandstand view of the spectacle but remained cosy in their holiday retreat. Steve even managed to fish later on as the storm subsided and had a good number of fish from the bank. You can’t keep a good man down as they say.

Thank goodness the weather then improved, as on the Friday we were visited by Jeff Prest who is the features editor for Trout Fisherman. Jeff did not fish the loch but accompanied Bob Cockburn for a whole afternoon and took copious photos of Bob in various poses landing and holding fish. Needless to say Jeff was obviously impressed with the place and will let us know when the feature will run in the magazine and once we know we will give you the heads up. We would like to thank Bob for taking Jeff on to the loch and for providing him with the necessary information to run his feature and we look forward to being privy to one or two of Bob’s secrets for a successful day’s fishing.

The weather remained kind to us on Sunday when we hosted the first of what we hope will become an annual event her at Coldingham. Struggling for the right name we loosely called it a Lads and Dads competition but in truth this is an inclusive event and we would love to see some female anglers taking part next year. This is a charity event and the £130 raised this year is being given to RNLI at St. Abbs. The anglers were well fed with Bacon butties in the morning and a barbeque in the afternoon and this must have done the trick as 91 fish were caught by the 18 participating fishermen. All fish were measured and safely returned to the loch. The format for the day meant that all anglers fished the same ten fly patterns, each one being provided with a patch of the same ten patterns before going out and all flies being pre -tied by the participants before the event. For some it proved to be a great leveller but the ‘usual suspects’ came in with their normal large haul of fish and on the Dads team Alan Morton had the best individual catch of the day with 11 fish measuring a total of 191 inches. For the lads Neil Keillor had the best catch with 10 fish measuring a total length of 177 inches. As a team though it was the dads that came out on top and their total length of 1001 inches or 83 feet and 5 inches earned them the Coldingham Loch Charity Shield (see photos) for the first time. James Cockburn was pleased to accept the trophy on behalf of the winning team (see photo). Well done to everyone who took part and thank you to you all for your donations to the charity including John and Glenys who came over from Lochside to join in the barbeque. And better luck next time to ‘the lads’! In terms of flies it was interesting to see that the foam daddy was most lethal on the day followed closely by green damsel and red hopper. This goes to show once again what a good top of the water venue Coldingham is and how well it has fished this way throughout the year. We will be running this event again at around the same time next year so please feel free to ask for details if you might be interested in taking part.

Club News in Brief:

  • High Constables of Edinburgh – a total of 5 anglers caught 22 fish the biggest of which was 3lbs 6 ozs. All were caught on various wets and dries and the fishermen reported having a cracking day.
  • Mid Lothian AC – an equally productive day with an average of over two fish per angler rounded off by high tea at a local restaurant to which we were invited. Many thanks gentlemen, and we hope that your next season will be just as enjoyable.
  • Pencaitland AA – 56 fish caught by 15 anglers with a total bag weight of 116 lbs. This their final outing of the season, was rounded off with a lovely BBQ at the fisherman’s lodge and all anglers reported being delighted with the day’s fishing.
  • Morpeth Conservative Club AC – another cracking day with fish a plenty being landed. Most unusual catch of the day going to Harry and Dave who managed to hook an old landing net which wasn’t safely returned to the loch! (see photo)

During the next period we will be entertaining Northumberland Police AC, Breadalbane AC, Thurston Manor AC and The Ashington Kingfishers. As always we extend a warm autumnal welcome to them and hope that the weather is good.

This marks the end of our recognised club bookings for this year and we would like to thank all clubs that have visited us during the 2012 season and given us their support. We hope to see you again next season and wish you all the best for the forthcoming year.

Other News:

  • Boats for 2013 Opening day on Saturday 16th March 2013 are now fully booked but there are still places on the bank. And there are still plenty of boats free on the Sunday of opening weekend.
  • Evening sessions are now closed, however we are happy for people to fish a later afternoon / early evening session, finishing at around 7pm at the latest.
  • Finally we had an unexpected visitor spending 10 minutes or so in Reception – see photo – a lovely little Goldcrest, what a treat to be so close to one

To view full image click on the image and then use the arrows to scroll through the gallery.

Lads and Dads day photos are found towards the end.

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