What a splendid two weeks of weather we have just had and as luck would have it this once again coincided with our annual Lad(y)s and Dads competition which fell right in the middle of the high pressure. More about this in a short while, but first we must mention some of the great catches that some individuals have had this past two weeks.
- Bob Cockburn maintains his good form by posting returns of 13 and 18 for his last two outings.
- Darren Howie had a great morning and less great afternoon but still managed a very good catch of 10 rainbows from the bank
- Neil Keillor fished a number of different flies for 15 to the boat followed by another 4 from the bank on his next visit.
- Keith Renton fishing with a number of his pals had a great afternoon with 17 to the boat using a mixture of traditional flies.
- Pete Hill (see photo) seems to be back to winning form with 8 on one visit and a further 5 on his next. His regular bank partnered Pete Dann was equally impressive with catches of 8, 4 and 9 for his last three outings. Apps bloodworm has been the most successful for these two regulars.
- Les Lockey who was resident here for the week had 5 outings (excluding the lads and dads). His total haul was 71 fish which included a lovely brownie of approx. 4lbs in weight. A quite outstanding bout of fishing with most success coming to a Dawson’s Olive and olive cormorant fished slowly on a sink tip line. South shore and Swing Gate Bay accounted for most fish but over the five outings most parts of the loch were covered. Well done Les.
- C McCrory had 7 rainbows and 2 blues to the boat using dry Klinkhammers
- John Wastle had 7 fishing from the bank using F Flies and size 14 Black Bits.
- John Donaldson had 12 fishing from the bank today using a combination of Bloodworm and Buzzers, most fish being caught before lunch.
- Finally, T Masterton and C Young reported having had a good day with 13 to the boat including one splendid brownie.
Successful patterns throughout this period have included:
Dries: Daddies, hoppers (black and red), bullets (resting sedge), balloon caddis, yellow owl.
Others: Apps Bloodworm ( cream or yellow ), dawson’s olive, cormorant, FABs fished with buzzers, buzzers fished as a team, fry patterns such as minkies and fritz lures.
Floating lines have been the most popular and most successful with occasional success coming to a midge tip or sink tip and a combination of sometimes static or slow, twitched retrieve has had the desired effect on the fish.
Lad(y)s and Dads Day:
This year held a special significance for this annual charity event as we were delighted to be supporting the newly formed St. Abbs Independent Lifeboat Organisation. As such we were hoping for a good day with a healthy sum raised for a very good cause and we were not disappointed on either front.
As always the day began with healthy bacon butty starter (or in Derek Crowe’s case 4 healthy bacon butty starters) and the unveiling of the fly patches which this year had more than a smattering of lures and other such colourful items. (see photo). Interestingly the daddy, which for the past three years has been the killer fly, was conspicuous by its absence but nonetheless a good range of 12 flies which were the only ones that the anglers could use on the day. Raffle tickets were sold for the two fantastic boxes of self- tied flies presented by Les Lockey and at 10am sharp Gordon Boulding fired the shot that signalled the start of the day. It was like watching the Wacky Races as people jostled for their go-to spots but it was Dick Dastardly alias Robbie Bell who downed anchor first, hardly a stones throw away from the jetty and typically it wasn’t long before his rod was bending into his first fish and what was probably the first fish of the day. A quick walk round from ourselves and Gordon and Glenys our perennial helpers, and it was obvious that this was going to be a good mornings fishing which was going to set the day up well.
Lunch interrupted the fishing and people were treated to a slap up barbeque which included some delicious venison burgers provided by Karl Ferguson and enough cake for afters to feed the whole of Coldingham village. Thanks to Sue Lockey and Darrel Young for their cake contributions. Even Derek admitted to being full but as he said earlier, “you don’t get to my size by not eating !” The afternoon started a little slower than the morning but by late afternoon rods were again bending in most, if not all boats and it was very clear that this was going to be a close call. Brian Battensby continued to fish through clenched teeth (and is now recovering from lockjaw) as young Dean Cockburn continued to put his FAB to good use and in other boats precision measurements (and I mean almost at the level of Vernier) were being carried out to ensure that no one got more than they deserved …… It was going to be close!
The gun signalled the end of a superb days fishing and Gordon gathered the cards to produce the final reckonings. More cake was being downed to save finger nails being butchered and then in a scene that would have had X-Factor groupies drooling at the mouth, the all- important results came through and were as follow:
Raffle prize winners:
- Neil Keillor – Flies (Donated by Les Lockey)
- Steve Bowden – Flies (Donated by Les Lockey)
- Bob Harrison – Bottle of wine (Donated by Darrel Young)
- Alistair Crowe – Orvis voucher (Donated by Jim Campbell)
Top Dad – Robbie Bell with 9 fish for 155 inches
Top Lad – Bob Cockburn with 8 fish for 141 inches
Top Lady – Seonaid Muir with 2 fish for 36 inches.
And so to the all important result and this years winners of the “L” of a Length Charity Shield. The dads looked not so quietly confident as they downed the last of the cake but as they say pride comes before a fall and it was the lad(y)s once again that were victorious on the day meaning that the series is now level with two wins a piece and all to play for again next year.
Dads 46 Fish for a total of 769 inches
Lad(y)s 51 fish for a total of 880 inches
Best three flies on the day were
- Apps Bloowdworm
However and far more importantly, this fun day produced a monumental total of £1104.80 for St. Abbs Independent Lifeboat which included a donation of £100 from Chirnside Paper Mill.
We were delighted to be able to hand over the money to representatives of the organisation (see photos) who expressed their sincere appreciation to us and all of those who contributed to the day. From us a very big thank you to you all and we hope to see you again next year. Remember watch the loch reports and book early as places are like gold dust!
- Anchor Inn FFC there was no clear entry in the book but we know that the lads had a good day fishing both bank and boat.
- Midlothian AA picked a very good day for their final outing of the season with us. Top rod was David Ferro and R McHardy landed the biggest fish, a 3lb 9oz rainbow.
- Edinburgh Breadalbane had their annual social / fishing outing with Glenis providing a splendid lunch at Lochside Cottage for the lads. Fishing is almost an aside to the lunch but nonetheless the 9 rods landed 20 fish and the highlight for Jim Fairgreaves day was seeing an otter at close quarters at the northern end of the loch.
- Ellem Club fished a slightly cloudy day after the week of wall to wall sunshine and stated they had a good day with more people catching than normal and Brian Turner landing a lovely 6lbs 11oz rainbow as part of his bag which was the heaviest fish of the day making him the top rod of the day
- Kelso British Legion had a day of mixed fortunes with as many anglers fishing the boat as the bank. 69 fish was their total for the day with the biggest fish of the day going to W Levey, a lovely 5lb 8oz rainbow and best rod going to D. Halliday.
It’s Physics Jim…………….But not as we know it.
Most of you who fish Coldingham Loch regularly will know there has been a bit of algae recently.
Now as you may have guessed this has reduced the visibility from its normal 15 feet which it has been all year.
This has reduced the catches somewhat as with a predator like Trout their main weapon is their eyesight.
It might sound obvious but the first requirement in catching one is for it to see your fly!
So if the visibility is reduced you may just need to work that bit harder to catch your fish.
The algae mainly floats near the surface so getting to the top of the wind can help as it should be clearer there. If the wind has been steady then out in the middle can be good.
I also believe that the deeper water in the middle can bring fish up as they do not want to be 30 feet down where the visibility is very low and as such reduces the effectiveness of their number one weapon.
Black flies often stand out best in coloured water and going bigger might also help.
Don’t entirely forget the orange or yellow blob though 🙂
I had a Taster Session with Dougie this week and despite the algae it went very well.
I spent the first half hour or so explaining the physical aspects of the tackle and why it is designed as it is. I really find this helps because if you know why a piece of equipment is made the way it is then you are usually much better at learning to use it.
Everyday physics again.
A quick run through the natural history of the Aquatic Flies and the Trout’s diet then gave him an insight of why we have the various types of flies we use.
More science 🙂
Then just as overload of information was about to set in, out in the boat we went.
The first two hours of fishing only produced a couple of possible takes. Time was running out but by cycling through the various changes of line and flies we eventually got it right.
One lost and two netted in the last thirty minutes.
His first fish which he kept was a solid 2lb 10 oz. and brought a big smile to both our faces.
A lost fish then emphasised the lesson of working hard to keep the line tight when a fish is on and swimming towards you.
Finally another good trout was safely returned before the short session was up and it is probably safe to say that is another newcomer permanently addicted. Ha Ha
On a slightly less happy note when we were fishing we were casting almost to the shore and just along from us a bank angler was casting out from the shore. It was then very disappointing for the three of us to have two boats motor between us and the shore where we were fishing.
Our next cast went past their wake!
Now there was almost the whole Loch for them to go behind us and they would not have added more than a couple of seconds to their journey to the jetty for their lunch.
Please have some consideration for other users and as a general rule it is almost always best to go behind another boat that is fishing.
- Finally the last of the swallows have flown off to join their mates for warmer climes. We look forward to seeing them again next year.
- The 3 cygnets are now undergoing flight training from the two adults. It’s great to see how they are being tutored and we hope that they master the take off and landings before the really cold weather arrives. On a more comical note the happy family went walkies the other day and the male was unable to negotiate the fence in order to return to the loch. Yours truly was able to catch it and return it to the loch with just its pride in tatters (see photo).
- Otters are being spotted regularly on and around the loch which is not so great for the fish that they take but a real treat for the anglers and holiday makers that are lucky enough to see them.
- Brian Turner believes he spotted a young osprey over the loch on Saturday. It was no doubt heading off for its winter break and warmer weather.
- With approx. 7 weeks of the season remaining, a reminder for all of you with full or partly filled loyalty cards to take advantage of the system and use them before they expire at the end of the season. We will be starting with new ones at the start of next season.
- Following on from Robbies blog, just a reminder of boat etiquette when out on the loch. Please give way to bank anglers who are less mobile than the boat and when passing other boats please allow enough room so as not to interrupt anyone’s fishing. If possible try to go around the rear of other boats and slow your speed down so as not to create too much of a disturbance on the water. It’s also good practice not to hog any one particular spot for long periods if the loch is busy as this allows all hotspots to be enjoyed by everyone.
Visiting Clubs over the next two weeks:
- Bank of Scotland AC
- Heriots AC
- Newmarket AC
- Border Bears
As always, a warm welcome to everyone and let’s hope for some tight lines.
Please see first gallery below for general loch report photos from this last period and the second gallery are the photos from the Lad(y)s and Dads Charity Day. Click on the photo to enlarge and use arrows to scroll through