What great weather we are having for the time of the year. Some might say too good but when you look at the returns for this period we certainly cannot complain. Whilst it will always be the case that some will catch and some might not, the overriding picture during the last two weeks has been one of good bags and lots of sport from fish that are in peak condition.
It has also been noticeable that those fishermen who are managing to land their takes are reporting some big fish and some monumental struggles. Not surprisingly the plentiful supply of natural food is stimulating growth and one only has to look at the number of fry swimming around the margins of the loch to realise that the larder is full as far as the trout are concerned.
The good weather has also meant that the fish have been once again on or around the surface and whilst the number of airborne daddies have not been as noticeable as last year, the number of fish falling to a daddy pattern has been no less than in past seasons. Indeed daddies, sedges, hoppers, black foam beetles, black midge and black spiders have all been widely used and according to the returns book have all been particularly successful. Below the surface, buzzers, diawl bachs, mini cats, hot head damsels, wickhams and poachers have also been quite deadly.
In terms of hot spots on the loch Swing Gate Bay has been the place of choice for many anglers as has the south shore where a line of weed runs approx. 10 metres from the bank for almost the entire length of the shore line. The weed is below the surface and so causes no problems for dry fly / light buzzer fishing and is an ideal location given that the trout can be regularly observed patrolling up and down in their hunt for insect life and a quick snack. But whilst there is no doubting that Swing Gate has been the hot spot, don’t be fooled, as we are observing fish in all parts of the loch and it is only a question of time before the north end of the loch produces its annual recordings of good catches at this time of the year.
In terms of boat versus bank over this period I think that I would have to say that the bank has proportionately performed better than the boats which seems to indicate that the fish are closer to the margins and have moved out of the deeper water which they were frequenting during the hotter weather. This is great news for all concerned but boat anglers are reminded to allow enough room for the bank anglers to fish comfortably without feeling that they are being crowded out. The fish are well distributed and we never allow the loch to be so over filled with anglers that mobility is over restricted. Equally boat anglers should be mindful of other boat anglers and again fish at distances which allow plenty of room for everyone.
So cooler and wetter conditions will certainly become more of a feature over the coming weeks and this can only mean an upward trend in great sport fishing. The fish will become leaner, meaner and even more savage in their grabs for the flies so hold onto your hats and hope for good weather as late September, October and November are historically superb fishing months.
So let’s look at who else deserves a mention this time.
- Gordon Boulding fishing from the bank managed to land 5 rainbows and one blue. His biggest fish weighed approximately 9lbs and all were returned safely back to the loch. The best thing is that Gordon managed to do all this without falling in!
- Robbie Bell had 10 fish and Les Lockey on the same day had 14. On a subsequent outing he managed another 12 fish with yellow owl, beetle and daddy.
- Steve Greig had 8 rainbows 2 blues one of them kept was 5lbs and he released another which he estimated to be around 4lbs in weight.
- Pete Dann fishing mid week, had 8 fish to daddies off the bank in a short session
- Derek Kilgour had 11 rainbows, two blues and a brown to quill CDC
- Neil McIntyre reunited with his rod and reel had 11 rainbows using black buzzers and daddies
- Sandi Amos one of our regular anglers (see photos taken by Bob Grant who fished that day catching 7) had a lovely 5lb 8oz fish whilst out with his friend Ron who unfortunately didn’t catch on this outing. Another visit to the smoker is on the cards.
- Brian Turner fishing from a boat had 8 rainbows and 4 blues and reckoned his best sport came between 12 noon & 2pm with Swing Gate Bay being his most productive area.
- Ron Price (resident in the chalets) enjoyed some great fishing during his week long stay with 12 rainbows one day with swing gate bay being the hotspot this followed an evening session he had 2 days earlier when he landed 7 to the southern bank in a 4 hour session with one fish guessed at between 7 & 8 lbs.
- Peter Hottinger fishing with his boat partner Freddie Carter had a great day with 14 to the boat including 2 blues and Freddie pitched in with a further 8 also including 2 blues
- Austin Churm had 2 great fish in his bag of 4, one of 3lb 10 oz and one of 4lb 10oz . His total catch on the day fishing from the bank was 10 fish. On the same day Colin McIsaac had 10 to the boat and Keith Renton and Ron Price on the evening session had 7 apiece.
- On a day when a number of ‘big hitters’ turned out Bob Cockburn & dad James had 24 to the boat, Colin McIsaac had 15 to the boat, Les Lockey had 8 and James & Joy Gardiner 21 to their boat, Ronnie Hunter also came in with 6 for his 4 hour session. Fly choices included pearly wickham, foam beetle, diawl bach, black midge and CDC buzzers
- John Lawton recorded a single fish of 5lb 9oz amongst his bag of 4 fish
- Finally Mark Straughan fishing yesterday from the bank had a great days sport with 9 rainbows & 3 blues fishing mainly buzzers, nymphs & daddies
In Club News:
- Newmarket AC had a very tough day fishing from the boats on a bright and warm day. Brian Rennie was top rod with a bag of 5lb 8 oz for his two fish kept
- Mayfly AC fished the bank the same day as Newmarket AC and fared better with a rod average of 3.3 fish, their 11 anglers catching 36 fish between them with Chris Tunnah bagging a lovely 5lb 8oz rainbow to a hopper.
- Spittal Club enjoyed their day with 7 anglers catching 18 fish and Eric Piercy (see photo) had biggest fish of 4lb 12oz with Nicky Bell catching a fine specimen (see photos) amongst his bag of 4.
- Norham and Ladykirk FFC who fished on the same day as Spittal had an enjoyable day and fared well overall with 14 anglers catching 39 fish giving them a rod average of just less than 3. Dean Cockburn was the top junior rod & Paul Yeoman won the senior section and became the first winner of the Bert Foreman Memorial Cup
- Anchor Inn FFC enjoyed a day of very fine weather to be out on the loch with a mixed bag of fortunes for their 10 anglers catching 16 fish between them. Gus fared the best catching 5 and taking a 6lb 13oz rainbow and Liam Wood having taken his bag then landed what he thought was a bigger fish than Gus’s but this had to go back but not before he had taken a photo of it (see gallery below).
- Kelso British Legion FFC who fished the day after the Anchor Inn had a more overcast day with light winds and cooler conditions though an easterly wind later in the morning didn’t help the fishing. An excellent turnout of 28 anglers in total fishing boat and bank. Top rod on the day was Billy Jack with a 3 fish bag weight of 11lbs and his biggest single fish weighing 5lb 3 oz. On the day fish were caught to a large mixture of flies including a selection of lures but daddies, buzzers and nymphs figured most strongly. The report from the club was that everyone had enjoyed themselves and only 2 anglers blanked on the day.
I have just recently introduced this to my services.
It is a three hour session on the Loch where I provide everything including boat hire and a one fish ticket.
It only costs £60 and is ideal for Birthday, Anniversary or Christmas presents or just for the curious.
So it was Jamie’s 40th birthday and his wife Rosie had a surprise for him.
You will need Ski Gloves and a Wet Suit she said!
Even on arriving at Coldingham Loch he was still bemused as the place was shrouded in thick fog and you could hardly even see the boat shed from the car park.
However after an introduction he was over the moon as it was something he had wanted to do for years.
Anyway after getting his waterproofs on rather than a wet suit off we went.
I could have done with radar as the mist was so thick and slow speeds were called for to avoid the chance of a collision. Mind you I would prefer it like this than that bright sunshine stuff.
I remember many years ago being out on the Loch with my 12 year old son on a day like this and we were catching fish after fish. Sound carries well in this sort of weather and the highlight of the day was some voices coming out of the gloom.
“That boat is in again!”
“Yes but where is it?”
Back to today and I showed Jamie how to set up a cast of dries and talked through the rod reel and line and answered his questions.
Mind you he was struggling a bit to ask them as he just wanted to smile all the time.
Probably the happiest client I have ever had.
Well the dries did not work. We moved around a bit and fished them a few different ways but we only had one tentative inspection and one missed swirl.
With only an hour to go the pressure was mounting. I switched to a sinking line and a Damsel.
I cast out and was demonstrating the retrieve I wanted Jamie to use when the line just locked up.
I quickly passed to rod over and got Jamie to play the fish into the net. For a first timer he did OK but he needs to up his work rate on these very fit fish.
So a partial success but not the Full Monty so we slipped the fish back.
A couple of casts later and he is into his first ever trout. A much better work rate and after a spirited fight it was in the net. A nice 2Lb.+ Coldingham Trout.
Another fish followed but when the top dropper got stuck in the top eye it got off.
This is a mistake we have all made. Many of us probably more than once…………………….
Time was up.
Well it was probably up a while ago but his wife and daughters were coming to meet him so we had to go in. The fog was still thick so they were unable to see us and I did not want them to worry we had sunk or something!
At the jetty we were met with disbelief. “Did you catch that?” No………..??
“Did he really?” “Did he?” It’s big! (2lb. 5oz.)
Well he did and what’s more he had a great time doing it.
Another convert and his parting words to me were. “Thank You. Absolutely Brilliant!”
In other news:
- We’re not entirely sure but it seems that the last of the cygnets has gone. It’s sad but nature will always have its way. Maybe next year?
- Lad(y)s and Dads is now fully subscribed and we are looking forward to the event which takes place on Sunday 28th
- Given the late burst of warmer weather can we remind anglers who are catching and releasing fish to handle then with care. Please keep the fish in the nets and in the water at all times and ensure that your hands are wet if you do need to touch the fish. Well handled fish stand a much better chance of recovery once returned.
- We had another visit from the osprey which was presumably just stopping off on its way back to warmer shores for the winter. Les and Sue Lockey managed a long range camera shot from their balcony at Lochside Cottage (see photo). Apparently it stayed put for about 40 minutes before proceeding on its way. That’s two sightings this year ….. so who knows, it could become a regular feature?
During the next two weeks we will host the follow clubs:
- Mid-Lothian AC
- Pencaitland AC
- Cascade FFC
- Ellem FFC
A warm welcome to you all and let’s hope the next fortnight brings some fine sport for you at the loch.