21st March – 3rd April 2016

What a great fortnight we have just had. Very large hatches of small black chironomids (non- biting midges) have produced monumental rises akin to those seen during a caenis hatch. Needless to say, it’s been time to dust off the dry flies and take advantage of some fantastic early season top of the water action. F fly, yellow owl and even a half sedgehog have proved to be very effective and when the fish have eased off the top they have been found just below the surface using a combination of buzzers and crunchers. With very light winds for the time of the year, drifting has been the most effective way of covering fish and exploring all parts of the loch but for those who would rather “park up”, boat house bay and the area around the aeration buoys has been the hot spot of late. Bank anglers too have been having some top sport and when you look through the Catch Record book it is hard to distinguish between success on the boat compared to the bank.


For example:

  • Colin McIsaac fishing the bank and using black buzzer landed 12 fish including an over wintered blue, and on the same day Paul Hird fishing from a boat and again using his favoured buzzers also had 12 during the course of the day.
  • Paul Hird continued an excellent run of form by having 10 the next day and then 18 on his final day in just a four hour session.
  • Robert Learmonth and Jock Hunter continued their great start to the season with 15 to the boat
  • Alistair Fyvie has had two great outings, fishing mainly dry flies, landing 7 fish on both of his half day sessions
  • D MacTaggart recorded having a great day on the bank and took away one fishn weighing 9 and three quarter pounds.
  • Whilst on the subject of big fish, Darryl Young in his last two outings fishing from a boat, has had rainbows of 10lbs and 13 and half lbs weighed in the net and safely returned
  • Darryl’s boat partner, Neil Keillor has also had a superb start to the season and on his last outing he had 17 to the boat, 15 of them landed using his favoured damsel fly pattern
  • Freddie Carter fished on a quite windy day when other people had cancelled due to the weather forecast – they say that fortune favours the brave and it certainly did in Freddie’s case as he landed 18 fish to his boat. 6 of these were to a FAB and 12 to buzzers. Freddie said that his usual boat partner Peter would not believe him ……… so Peter, believe me it is absolutely true.
  • One of our holiday guests Wayne Flack had what he described as a fab day’s fishing and suing a FAB landed 9 to the boat
  • On the same day as Wayne, regular bank angler Pete Dann, using blood worm and fishing from the bank had a very impressive 10
  • Bob Cockburn continued to keep his rod average up with 15 from the boat using diawl bach, black buzzer and small black dries
  • Bob Harrison fishing with Ewan Whitelaw from the boat recorded great afternoon, good sport and lots of pulls both of them landing 4 fish each
  • Holiday guests John McGee and fishing partner Chick recorded having had 4 great days fishing with good weather landing anywhere between 8 and 15 fish each on each day they fished – some of this success was on black dries and also damsels and black lures
  • David Auld and Mick Kelley fished on the same day in separate boats and both landed 14 fish each, Mick’s to buzzers and dries and David’s to black dries. And on the same day Stewart Barnes had 7 fish including what he described as a ‘cracking brown of about 4lbs’ which he caught at the north end of the loch near the outlet
  • Ginger (Brain Palmer) fishing the bank recorded seeing ‘lots of fish all day and a big buzzer hatch’ and landed 8 fish including a blue on buzzers and dries
  • Karl Ferguson had a great day from the boat landing 15 fish on dries
  • On a pretty windy day Ronnie Hunter landed 11 fish to the damsel and blob and on the same day David Auld recorded ‘not easy but good day’ and landed 10 fish to the boat on dries and a pink booby and C Bruce and F Newby recorded ‘wind was horrible but still plenty of fish on the surface’ and they landed 5 each from the boat….once again fortune favours the brave!
  • Yesterday the boat anglers fared better than the bank though plenty of rfish were rising everywhere. M Connet and G Sharp, both new to the loch recorded having had ‘great sport and an awesome day’ with 15 each to the boat on diawl bach and booby. Joy and James Gardiner had 28 to the boat on black buzzer and cruncher.


Robbies Corner:

Beginners Luck.

Last week I had the pleasure of instructing Frankie Allan in his first venture into fly Fishing on Coldingham Loch.

Frankie had done some sea fishing before but the world of flies and lines and leaders was a mystery to him.

We started off with a discussion on tackle and I explained the AFTMA system of rods to him before moving onto the lines and reels and leaders.

A brief chat on basic Entomology and the link to the artificial flies we use and off we went.

Now Frankie has a busy and stressful job working in the Accident and Emergency department of a major Hospital.

So even before he hooked a fish he was lapping up the peace and tranquility of the Loch and its surroundings. Even the quiet electric motor was appreciated.

I was casting the line out for him, and then instructing him on different retrieve techniques.

Things were unexpectedly a bit quiet for the first hour or so. I had fished the Loch myself only two days previously and I had confidence in the flies and line we were using and in the location

Perhaps it was just a bit cold overnight and things were bound to liven up.

Sure enough the line eventually locked up but after a few seconds of borderline panic everything went slack.

Disappointment yes but also a bit of encouragement and confidence in what we were doing.

Three casts later everything went solid and it was immediately obvious that this was a big fish.

Frankie did really well playing the fish despite the perhaps over exuberant and very vocal advice from his Instructor!

A clients first Trout always gets me going and this one was a bit special.

It may have not been an absolutely perfect specimen but at five and a half pounds it was a serious fish for anyone never mind a complete novice.

A nice three pound fish soon followed and with one more in the net and another couple lost we were both happy to go in for a nice Lunch.

The afternoon started off a bit quieter but one more fish had Frankie’s grin becoming even wider.

As things quietened off I decided to give Frankie a tour of the Loch to point out the various features and depths as it was obvious from his enthusiasm that he would be coming back often.

Motoring around the Top End we came across a pod of rising fish and decide to stop and have a cast.

It would have been be rude not too.

So a further six fish hooked and three of them landed were added to his total by close of play.

That made seven fish netted and a further six lost in play for his first outing which made for one very happy Angler and obviously a well satisfied Instructor.

Well done Frankie.

A Serious Trout.




Other News:

  • We have heard the first chiff chaff of the season which means that Spring is on its’ way and whilst we have not seen one here yet the first swallow of the season was seen on the Lees beat of the Tweed on Friday
  • The swans are back on the loch and will hopefully nest again this year
  • In this report’s photo gallery below, you will see a couple of pictures of a fish caught by Pete Dann on Saturday. The rainbow had clearly had a bite taken out of its’ tail and almost certainly this would have been done by an adult otter. This is something that they do to partially disable the fish so that their young can learn to hunt more successfully. Whilst not great in terms of a fishery, we thought you might like to see it for interest and the good news is that the rod averages remain high and the fishing is excellent so our stocking policy is working despite the attentions of the otters.


Club News:

Heriots were the first visiting club this year and fished today (see photos) with a chilly dampish start to the day but an improving forecast. Again, the greatest success came to dry flies and Derek Kilgower and Bob White did particularly well with 20 fish each to the boat. CDC / shuttlecock buzzers and yellow owls were their flies of choice. Once again the Heriots proved what a good set of anglers they are with a total of 107 fish caught on the day between 18 anglers, giving a rod average of 6.22. Not bad by anyone’s standards!

Visiting Clubs:

During the next two weeks we will be welcoming the following clubs:

  • Leith FFC
  • Border Bears
  • Edinburgh High Constables
  • Pencaitland
  • Earlston AC

Let’s hope that the weather stays fine and that the early dry fly action continues.

Click on the photos below to enlarge. The photos labelled Coldingham Apr 03 16 were taken by Colin Riach when he was fishing today with Heriots AC and are included here with his kind permission – many thanks Colin




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