The overriding comment in the return book during this period has been
“We are seeing loads of fish, surrounded by, them but just cannot work out what they are taking”
If this sounds familiar or it applies to you, then please don’t lose heart as you are in very good company. The fishing at times has been tough and some would say very frustrating. Seeing fish is one thing ….catching them is another, and other fisheries are reporting the same picture. Individuals and clubs alike have all been scratching their heads and working methodically through the fly boxes to unlock the secret of, “what’s working.”
As we said in our last report the abundance of insect life has meant that fish are feeding very freely and as a consequence are behaving very selectively. Catching therefore has relied upon stealth and knowledge with a small amount of luck thrown in for good measure.
We said in earlier reports that we had experienced an unusually mild winter which was virtually frost free and we suspected that there might be a knock-on effect from this during this season. Our feeling is that everything is perhaps three or four weeks in advance of what we would normally expect examples of which are, early weed growth at the top end of the loch and early flowering of fringe weeds around the margins, large hatches of daddies, early and short lasting hatches of hawthorns, and if all of this wasn’t enough, the other evening saw a significant hatch of caenis fly which we would normally expect to see a bit later in the season.
All in all this means that the fish can relax and enjoy the surplus of food as competition for grub is not an issue at the moment, once this changes then we can expect a lot more urgency from them. Typically April and May are the premiere months for fishing, particularly dry fly fishing, after this, it is not uncommon for the fish to slow down as the warmer weather sets in and the water temperature rises. So with these bizarre conditions who knows what waits around the corner and are we going to see a better than average summer response from the fish … we shall see. Frightening to think that in a couple of weeks the days will once again be getting shorter.
So having painted a picture that would suggest tough going, who are the ones that have been able to master the conditions and show returns that are more representative of the time of the year:
- Brian Palmer (Ginger) fishing from the bank had 8 fish before lunch but then had nothing in the afternoon. This demonstrates the changing nature of the fish feeding patterns.
- Ronnie Hunter had 7 on crunchers and buzzers in a four hour evening session. He also reported missing and losing a number of others.
- Stuart Anderson had 10 whilst fishing from a boat with mate Ian Douglas, Stuart caught mainly on hawthorns and Loch Ordie.
- Darryl Young fishing with Neil Keillor had 7 using hoppers on a day when people generally struggled to make an impression on the fish. Your day will come Neil.
- Mike Watson fishing with Joe Cook had 11 rainbows, 10 of which were landed before dinner time. The majority were taken on top to an orange hopper. Joe had a further 3 using diawl bachs.
- Bob Cockburn with 10 to the boat whilst his Dad, James had a further 4. Bob’s fish were again all top of the water catches and fell to black spider and black ether-foam beetle.
- Simon Menzies whilst resident at Lochside Cottage fished three times for a respectable total of 14 fish of which two were blues of about 3lbs each (all returned). He reckoned that the blues were amongst the most stunning fish he had ever seen.
- Today James and Joy Gardiner showed once again what good anglers they are. James had a total of 18 for his days fishing using diawl bach, cdc and crunchers whilst Joy had 12 using snatchers and hare’s ear. This rounded off a lovely family day at the loch.
- Wiremill AC – Had quite a successful day with their 13 rods landing 31 fish giving them an average of 2.5 per angler. This figure could have probably been much higher but the club has a policy of stopping once their four fish kill limit has been reached.
- Invicta Ladies FFC – Reported having a lovely day out. June Peterson had a good catch of 3 rainbows and one brown (safely returned).
- Ladies Fishing for Everyone FFC – fished on the same day as the Invicta Club and all ladies fished from the bank. Again everyone reported having had a super day. Lucy Bowden and Carmel Hook both caught and others reported being surrounded by fish but were unable to tempt the wily fish.
- Mid Lothian FFC – 10 out of 14 anglers had fish which was an improvement on their last outing here. Heaviest fish was a 3lb 7oz blue which was caught by Derek Ferguson. Biggest bag went to Jim Morison.
- Heriots FFC (evening session) – On a day when catching had been good, Heriots started, continued and finished their session in torrential rain. Whilst all reported having nips and pulls the catching was by their standards, not what they had hoped for. 7 anglers 8 fish and soaked in mid-June …….bizarre!
- Edinburgh Amateurs FFC – A mixed group of trout and salmon anglers saw the best bag go to Nigel Fairhead with 4. Hamish Macdonell had the biggest fish of the day, a splendid 4lb rainbow (see photo)The rest had mixed fortunes but enjoyed a particularly sunny and warm day.
- We are delighted to say that the swans have finally managed to come through with a brood of cygnets, 7 in total. It will be interesting to see how many survive the perils of nature but fingers crossed a good number will see adulthood.
- We had a visit from an osprey two weeks ago. It thought about fishing but was put off by a couple of boats out on the loch and eventually flew on by. To our knowledge this is only the second sighting of an osprey at Coldingham Loch in the last three years.
- Otters are putting in more regular appearances and can often be seen early to late evening around the banks. We will try to get more photos as and when the chance presents itself.
- Since our last report we are delighted with the amount of support that we have received condemning those that would seek to break the rules by resorting to fishing with a method other than fly. As a Stank Loch (A stank is a reservoir or pond with neither inlet nor outlet sufficient to allow access or egress by fish. Source – “ Association of Salmon Fishery Boards Freshwater Fisheries and the Law in Scotland” October 2011) the taking and killing of more fish than your ticket entitles you to is deemed as a criminal offence under Scottish Law. It’s clear from your response that many anglers remain vigilant whilst out on the loch and we encourage anyone to let us know immediately if they suspect anything untoward, as unacceptable behaviour has a negative effect on everyone’s fishing
- Apologies to Graham Virtue for not including him in an earlier report following a stellar day with his boat partner Robert Black. Graham landed a significant number of fish and Robert reckons that his bottom lip has been out ever since due to the lack of a mention. Hope this rectifies things Graham and I won’t take the gloss off things by documenting the last visit!!
During this next period we will be welcoming clubs from:
- Morpeth Conservative Club
- Cockburn AC
- TOTGA FFC
- Black Bull AC
As usual we hope you have a great day and that your rods bend in the right direction!