Believe it or not we are just about half way through our season and what a mix of weather and fortunes it has been so far. The start to the season saw freezing cold conditions with very little fishing in March possible. April came alive and we witnessed some spectacular rises and some great catches. May seemed to be anything but May and there was little to speak about in terms of hatches and then early June saw the arrival of a very late spring with a frenzy of insect activity during the day and early evening followed by sometimes freezing temperatures during the evening. And now we are in to July and experiencing very hot conditions which the forecasters are predicting will last a little while to come. Let’s therefore not forget just how difficult fishing can be in July and August and how conditions such as the large hatches of caenis fly in the evenings can seriously frustrate the already frustrated angler. Those that have fished the evenings this last week will no doubt testify to this!
Trying to find the right fly is extremely difficult and the two trains of thought that go (a) match the hatch and (b) try something completely absurd and ridiculous still seem to be the tactics that most of us resort to. In my humble opinion though, neither is certain to work during a caenis hatch and it seems that we are all looking for fish that are obliging enough to make a mistake.
On a very positive note though it gives all of us the opportunity to see just how many fish are moving around the loch and for those that may doubt the numbers of fish in there it is worth a visit on a balmy evening just to sit, watch and admire.
Day time fishing though has been much more forgiving and we have seen a number of notable catches again during this period. The usual smattering of beautiful brown trout and hard fighting blues have been amongst the catches but the over- riding feature has been the quality and stamina of the rainbows that have been hooked. I say hooked as opposed to landed as a great number of the fish have managed to escape the net through their hard fighting and determination to get away. Don’t be too surprised therefore if you happen to find the odd fish with the hook from someone else’s failure still attached. Thankfully though, most fish manage to shed the hooks and perhaps this is another good reason why the argument for barbless hooks gathers strength with some anglers.
So who is worthy of a mention this time? It may be worth starting with Ian Robertson and his granddaughter Amina. Amina copied the success of her mother some years earlier, by landing her first rainbow at Coldingham Loch, much to the delight of Ian (see photo). Not only did she manage to land this one but had another which Ian estimated to be around the 5lb mark that unfortunately got away next to the boat. Great effort and well done to you both.
Cian O’Driscoll on his first outing with his tutor Robbie Bell managed to land an impressive 3 rainbows and a blue. He was delighted with his first outing and return after a long break from fly fishing. On the balance of this display the future looks bright.
Yours truly accompanied Richard Holmes on his first outing and dalliance with fly fishing. Again a very successful outing culminated in him landing three rainbows to the boat on what proved to be a particularly testing day for most people. Patience with a static daddy and then sedge proved to be what was needed.
Eddie Wright, a stalwart of the loch made his return after sustaining an injury at St. James Park. Unfortunately for Eddie he was spectating not playing for the Toon at the time but it was great to see him back and catching again after a few weeks on the side lines.
Les Lockey had a very successful week at the loch and demonstrated the art of dry fly fishing with a number of successful outings with the yellow owl in particular. In fact Les made 6 visits to the loch one of which was a four hour session and for his 6 visits managed a total of 49 fish giving him an average of 8.1/outing. Les and rounded off his visit by sharing a boat with Ronnie Glass who aptly demonstrated why he has the reputation that he does by landing 8 fish in a very productive 3 hour session.
Alfie Gardner aged 18 months managed to help his mum and dad land a fine rainbow whilst staying at Lochside cottage for the week (see photo). The family had a great time and no doubt Alfie’s passion for fishing is now well and truly grounded.
In Club News:
- Barr and Stroud were resident here at Lodge Cottage for three days and managed to put in some intensive fishing Their outings were well attended and all reported as having had a fantastic stay at the loch.
- Ellem FFC fished an evening session on a particularly blustery night with not much rising. As a result catching proved very difficult with a meagre total of 17 fish for 23 anglers. We hope that conditions are more conducive to catching next time out.
- Norham and Ladykirk fished bank and boat and had a similar experience to Ellem. Their 12 anglers managed just 18 fish between them giving them an average of 1.5 / rod. We wish one of their anglers, Mark Straughen a speedy recovery after an unfortunate accident earlier in the week. It will be good to see you back Mark.
- The gentlemen from Mid Lothian Angling Association fished on a bright sunny day & their 16 anglers netted a total of 26 fish giving them an average of 1.6/rod. One of their anglers Mr R Harcus commented that he had had his best day for a long time whilst others struggled to manage the difficult conditions.
- Wire Mill AC visited us on Saturday of this last weekend and had a superb day. Their 17 returns recorded 55 fish between them giving them an impressive rod average for this time of the year of 3.2/angler. Interestingly almost all of the fish were recorded as being caught using a damsel fished very slightly below the surface. Many of the anglers retired from the water once they had achieved their four fish bag limit otherwise I am sure that their averages could have been even higher.
In other news:
- Unfortunately it would seem that the swans, despite their best efforts have been unable to hatch their eggs this year unlike the swallows which fledged today from under the boathouse. There’s probably time for another clutch before they migrate once again
- We have been working on restoring an addition to our boat fleet which has been tested and is no ready. We will be using this in rotation with our existing fleet of boats when work needs to be carried out on any one of them. We will maintain our current number of no more than 10 boats on the water. We have also added swivel seats to boat number 8 meaning that all three large white boats now have two seats each in them.
- Remarkably the weed has still not broken the surface in any part of the loch but we are on standby to use the cutter as and when we feel it is necessary. As such therefore all parts of the loch remain fishable. We are also monitoring the water temperature during this hot period and may decide to use the aerator in the evenings if we feel that it is necessary to de-stratify the water.
- Our guests Gerry, Irene and Benny McKever staying in Lochside last week reported seeing the otter swimming in the loch and are amongst a number of people who have seen the roe deer and their young grazing around the loch. We will add any photos that come our way of the wildlife onto the gallery.
In the next two weeks we will welcome anglers from the following clubs
- Fishing for Everyone FC
- Heriots FC
- Deed Firrit FFC
A warm welcome to you all and hope that your rods bend accordingly!