The seemingly impossible sight of a frozen loch happened again 3 days after our last report and once again the workboat was used to clear the way for the hardy anglers determined enough not to let the weather get in their way and thankfully despite the ice the fish were keen to feed. This followed the trend from the day before when an unfrozen loch produced good returns for the likes of Robbie Bell, Bob Cockburn, Robbie Learmonth and Jock Hunter.
Better news for us was that the fish had clearly spread out and were no longer clustered at the top end of the loch. This made the fishing more interesting and meant that anglers had to use their skills to locate and ultimately entice the fish to their hooks. Bank and boat alike have been very productive over the two weeks and a 3 day residential visit from members of the fly-tyers guild organised by Don Bradley saw some particularly pleasing returns for some of their members (see photos) … Les Lockey perhaps being the most notable. The fellas stayed in Lodge Cottage and reported how delighted they were with the changes that we have made and how comfortable their break had been. Just as well given that on most occasions they were fishing in almost sub- zero temperatures.
During the same period Bob Harrison accompanied by young angler Ewan Whitelaw fished a very productive early evening session which saw Ewan catch his first blue trout. The event was made all the more pleasing by the fact that it fell to one of Ewan’s self- tied flies. Well done young man!
We were particularly pleased to see the Eye Water AC (see photo) hold a bank angling competition here with us. The event was attended by 16 members and some superb returns were recorded. Unfortunately, we are unable to give you a rod average as only the taken fish were recorded by them. This reminded us to remind you that all fish caught, including those released, need to be entered into the catch book as without this information we cannot give an accurate, on-going rod average.
As a club, Heriots were the next to pay us a visit and got off to a flying start even before a line was cast. One of the anglers managed to catch a hare in the front of his car on the way to the loch (see photo) and the first half hour was spent trying to extricate it from between the grill and radiator of his car. Drama over the serious business of fishing began and unsurprisingly the club again managed a very creditable haul of 74 fish. Divided by the 14 anglers this gave an impressive average of 5.3 fish per angler.
Equally impressive were the visits from our other visiting clubs during this period, Edinburgh Civil Service, TOTGA and Border Bears (see photos). TOTGA’s four anglers on their first visit to Coldingham were well rewarded and left the loch vowing to return soon. Yesterday the Edinburgh lads had 44 fish for 7 anglers …. average : 6.3 fish per angler and today ,Sunday 14th April, in near gale force winds the lads from The Border Bears landed 59 fish for 10 returns giving them an average of 5.9 fish per angler. A great effort given that their session was cut short by the ever increasing wind speed and most anglers had vacated the loch by 2 pm.
In terms of fly patterns over this period it has been the black buzzers and small diawl bachs that have dominated the catching. There have been other successes with the likes of damsel, yellow dancer, blob, cruncher and bloodworm but small and black with the odd flash of red, orange or yellow has worked best, fished mainly if not entirely on floating lines.
In other news:
- Stephen and Jessica Osborne, owners of Oscars Restaurant in Kelso had a family day on the loch with their two sons to celebrate their eldest son’s 18th birthday. Josh responded by catching two fish whilst his mother Jessica landed her first rainbow ever (see photos). Well done to you both.
- Carmel spotted the first swallow of the season today at the south end of the loch and the toads and frogs are once again starting to gather in the water. The yellow primroses near to the Priest’s Hole are out in bloom and we have had a number of buzzer hatches on the loch, definite signs that spring is here at last.
- A number of fish have been caught using dry flies …. Can’t wait for the hawthorn hatch.
- We finally managed to start the work to a path on the north- west corner of the loch. Once this short section is completed it should allow us to drive the mower up the west side of the loch thus reducing the amount of strimming needed to keep the pathway up to scratch for the bank anglers. This is part of our on-going commitment to improve access around the banks and make Coldingham Loch once again a bank angling venue of choice.
- Carmel and I said goodbye to Mikey, Carmel’s son last week. He starts his journey to Canada soon where he will be travelling and working for the next 12 months. Mikey is a regular visitor to the loch and many of you will now know him. We wish him all the best on his travels and look forward to seeing him back in the not too distant future. (see photo)
During the next period we welcome Northumbria Police AC, Pencaitland AC, Cockburn AC, Earlston AA and The High Constables of Edinburgh AC to the loch. Let’s hope that thermals are not required.
To view the pictures in full double click on one of them and then scroll through using the arrows
Thank you to Colin Riach for sending us the Heriots AC photos – some lovely shots as always!