Well this time last year we had reached a point where we were getting tired of bailing boats out each morning due to the heavy rain. What a different story it has been this time around. Soaring and sustained temperatures have meant that all fishery owners have had to be on their guard and do whatever they could to combat the glorious conditions. Thankfully though we now seem to be over the worst or the best of it, depending on how you look at the weather, and we are now recording water temperatures of around 17 degrees C which as we all know is spot on. Some torrential downpours and cooler evenings have contributed to the better fishing conditions and as a result we have seen less fly life than of late, particularly during the evenings. There has however been a large increase in the number of fish fry swimming about in the water and it had obviously been a good year for the stickle backs and perch that inhabit the loch. This would most likely point to a very good year for the chironomids which are a good and vital food source for the fish fry and which have always been a feature of the rich aquatic life that inhabit Coldingham Loch. Some people have reported catching the odd perch here and there but we would certainly not consider them to be causing a nuisance at this stage and if we do, we are, as always, ready with the perch traps just in case, but we are also mindful that these fry act as a valuable food source for the trout over winter and so maintaining the right balance is essential.
The hot weather has understandably had an effect on the number of people fishing as conditions like the ones we have been experiencing call for some very patient and skilful techniques and not all anglers are prepared to pit their wits against the fish in such conditions. Those that have, have had mixed fortunes but the best catches have almost certainly and inevitably been had around the aerator buoys and into Swing Gate Bay where the deeper and fresher water has been providing good conditions for the fish. Despite this though many of the fish have been patrolling on top or just below the surface and fishing with floating or midge tip lines have still proved to be the most effective methods. James and Joy Gardiner proved this last week with a recorded haul of more than 20 fish to the boat in a very enjoyable 8 hour session. James commented that during their outing they had tried all areas of the loch and had fished everything from floating to sinking lines with a range of flies. They presented the sinking line for only a short period as they soon realised that the fish were not that deep and fishing on or just below the surface with hoppers, crunchers, diawl bachs and buzzers was definitely the order of the day. First timers, Bill and Lorna Robertson, also had an enjoyable introduction to fly fishing and of the six fish that rose to the fly (dry daddy) managed to hook a couple and get them safely back to the water.
Ronnie Hunter also got back to winning ways and following a couple of very lean trips to other venues managed to catch and release 9 rainbows up to about 3lbs again using dries such as hoppers and daddies.
But as I mentioned earlier not all anglers have had such success and it would be wrong of me to paint a picture that suggested fishing had been easy over the last period ……. It hasn’t. But despite a number of blanks it has been encouraging for us that anglers have left the loch having still enjoyed their day and we have been buoyed up by the number of positive comments received over the general condition of the loch and the banks. Thank you.
As you may gather for the report so far the loch is fishing in just about all areas as we have been busy with the weed cutter as and when necessary. There is a patch of weed which has developed in the middle of the narrows which would have been dealt with yesterday but unfortunately a minor injury is preventing me from going out at the moment. Hopefully I will be back in action soon so please bear with us on this one. Carmel’s brother Patrick has been here for a couple of weeks and has been a great help around the weed cutting and so inspired has he been he has even written a short, guest piece for the loch report which is inserted below:
And introducing a few words from our guest reporter Patrick Kennedy (Carmel’s brother):
Coldingham, a haven inhabited by all creatures weird and wonderful; it has been great to meet some of you! Staying here for 3 weeks has been a real eye-opener: the affection the fishermen & women have for the loch, the ability in-house dogs Meg & Susie have to winkle nibbles out of said fisherfolk, the work Carmel and Gareth put in to ensure it stays so special…
…Weed – the bane of fishermen yet an integral part of the Coldingham ecosystem. It needs managing, and in the past few days we reckon we’ve hauled out some 45 tonnes of it from the boathouse bay and the top (north) side. The machine is a real cracker but needs a lot of grunt work to get the weed out of the loch and safely away. We think we have timed the trimming to ensure maximum benefit to the loch and minimum disturbance to the fishing; hopefully now the worst has been cut it will stay cut. Tight lines to all.
Thanks for all your help Patrick.
In Club News:
We have been quite quiet on the club front during this period probably due to holidays and other such commitments but here is a quick round up of who did what:
- Spittal and Tweedmouth battled through torrential rain for almost the whole of their session but only managed 7 fish between the 10 anglers.
The good thing was that they had a great BBQ at lunch time which took away some of the pain.
- Blackbull FFC from Dalkeith (see photo) managed a slightly better outing on Sunday. Their 13 rods recorded a return of 13 including one brown and conditions for fishing were tough with bright sunshine all day but at least a drier one than for the Spittal outing.
In other news:
- Neil Urwin (see photo) had a very enjoyable first outing to the loch and commented that it was well worth the journey from Hexham. We look forward to seeing him back again soon.
- Judy Whitelaw and grandson Ewan, finally completed their long awaited trip to Lochside Cottage. They reported having had a superb time, caught lots of fish and relaxed completely. Despite living quite close to Coldingham, Judy said it could have been a million miles from home.
- The otters have been spotted again, this time near to the boathouse and fish cage. Early mornings and late evenings seem to be the optimum times for seeing them.
- A reminder that there is no fishing inside the ring of buoys that is set out around the aerator. Once we are confident that the temperature of the loch is stable we will of course be removing the ring of buoys and only the anchor points will remain. Once this is done, fishing between the anchor buoys is permissible.
- NB ….. We are now beginning to take names for the Lads and Dads Competition for the” L” of a Length Charity Shield to be held on Sunday the 29th September. As you know all proceeds from the day will go to St. Abbs RNLI and we are hoping for a strong team from the lads this time to try and wrestle the trophy from the dads who won it last year. As with last year we will be providing bacon butties to start the day and a BBQ at lunch time. Whilst it is called lads and dads we would welcome female anglers alike so any combination of dads and daughters, mums and sons, mums and daughters etc. is good. If you fancy a go please let us know. Places will have to be limited so please book by phone by calling 018907 71960. Rules and times etc. will be posted in a loch report nearer to the time.
During the next period we will be welcoming clubs from:
- Gilmerton Miners FFC
- Newmarket AC
- Heriots AC
Let’s hope for good weather and great fishing conditions.