27th April – 10th May 2015

Changing weather conditions continue to dominate the fishing and with changes in the weather it has never been more important to be adaptable. This might mean changing tactics on a frequent basis and not relying on just one method or one area of the loch to get results. As always there have been some superb outings from both clubs and individuals and we will come on to that in due course. However, before we do there are a couple of things that we would like to mention.

Firstly, with the water quality absolutely perfect and with a temperature to match, the fish are in top condition and are fighting way above their weight as can be seen by the comments from the catch record book. It is so important when fishing catch and release that anglers abide by the rules and use barbless hooks, making sure that they handle the fish as little as possible. The best method is to keep the fish in the net and in the water, leaning over the side of the boat to release the fish once it is clearly revived and capable of swimming off strongly. If barbless hooks are being used it should be possible in most cases to do this without actually touching the fish. We are mentioning this now as the hotter weather is probably just around the corner and when the temperature of the water starts to creep up, correct methods of C&R need to be adhered to in order to protect the quality of the fish and avoid unnecessary mortality. As always we will be posting signs in the fishing lodge and we hope that people will take the time to read them and do their best to catch and release the fish in accordance with the advice.

Secondly: Strong winds have been an unwelcome feature of the opening part of the season and on rare occasions we have had to close the loch to boat fishing for safety reasons. As always we will endeavour to contact people first thing in the morning if we think that there is a risk to boat fishing due to inclement weather. However we are happy to say that this is very rare and despite the wind the loch usually allows people to fish albeit sometimes in the more sheltered areas. The correct use of the mud anchors provided will, in most cases ensure a solid anchor and allow you to enjoy your fishing but they must be deployed properly so here are a few hints on how to use them:

  • Make sure that the rope is clear and free from knots and loops (loops in the rope are not recommended and usually indicate that people are not using the anchors properly. They can also be almost impossible to undo.)
  • When the boat is in the desired position and the anchor is on the windward side, throw the anchor firmly into the water and let the rope run freely until the anchor hits the bottom.
  • Once the anchor has bottomed, let out plenty of rope before cleating off. This creates a good angle on the rope, ensures a good drag into the mud and in most cases, should provide a good anchor
  • When lifting the anchor, a couple of good tugs should release it from the mud allowing you to pull in the rope. Please wash off the anchor to get rid of all attached mud before bringing the anchor into the boat and putting it back into the tray provided. Please do not drop the anchor on to the floor of the boat as this can cause significant damage to the boat.
  • Note that if you follow the above guidance the anchors will work in most normal conditions but if the wind is too strong or you are positioned over rocky bottomed areas of the loch such as Swing Gate Bay, you may have to find a more sheltered area in which to fish. Nature is a powerful force!


Finally please be mindful of other anglers when motoring or rowing round the loch and try to take a wide birth around other boats AND bank anglers, and if you find yourself in a hot spot and have caught a significant number of fish please be courteous and try different areas of the loch to allow others to try their luck. Remember, even though there will be undoubted hot spots, there will be fish in all areas of the loch and it’s worth using your skills to find them.

We hope that you find the above info useful and that it helps your enjoyment of the loch.

So, who has had a beano during the last two weeks?:

Scot Mitchell & Lewes McDonald had 8 a piece (see photos)

Bob Cockburn 11 on his first outing with two fish weighing  4.5 & 5.5 lbs. his next outing yielded 15 including two tremendous blues.

Robbie Bell again managed double figures but will give you more detail in his blog later in this report.

Paul Hird stuck mainly to his buzzer fishing and threw in a bit of dry fly fishing for good measure for 8 rainbows.

Simon Robinson & Connor Metcalfe came to do a report on the loch which will appear in the June edition of Total Fly-Fisher magazine and we will provide a link to the online version once it goes live. Between photo shoots from Stephen’s dad, Graham, the lads landed 25 fish to the boat and bank and gave the fishery a resounding thumbs up and a comment of 10 out of 10! Once the magazine has been published we can post photos on here too.

Peter Bulger & John Salisbury whilst on their annual holiday to Lodge Cottage had 18 to the boat on their first day.

Adrian Wilson & R Dylan 26 to the  boat caught using buzzers & dries.

Pete Dann landed 9 one day and a further 9 on his next outing fishing from the bank. And his bank partner Pete Hill had 6 (see photo) using various flies.

David Neilson, fishing with his pals Ross Dixon, Paul Naismith and another angler (but apologies we couldn’t read his name in the book!) had 40 fish between them which included two superb browns

Neil Keillor recorded his best ever day when fishing with one of our holiday guests Tom Bradford. Neil landed 24 to the boat and almost all of them came to his now famous, damsel.

Ricky Taylor continued his tremendous bank form and had a total of 16 using damsel and bloodworm

Jim Campbell fishing with his grandson Matthew had 14 to the boat and Matthew contributed to the haul with two beauties of his own.

Stuart Anderson –  10 rainbows using yellow owl & hopper.

George Smith fishing with John Tait had 12 on mini cats and his report was “words are not enough!” John himself had a very impressive 18 to the boat and said that Coldingham Loch is now back to its best. Thanks John.

On the same day as John & George, Brian Palmer had 16 from the bank including 2 hard fighting blues.

Ron & Andy from the Wirral on their annual trip to Lochside Cottage had a total of 26 rainbows during their three night stay.

Nick Bull had 13 off the bank on the first evening of his weeks break here in one of the chalets. Fellow holiday guests Dave and Ken also started their weeks fishing holiday with a fine tally of 9 to the boat using dries on their first evening here.

Finally, and bringing us right up to date, today, Sunday, 10 May 2015 Colin McIssac had a top day from the bank landing a very impressive total of  23 rainbows caught mainly at the north end of the loch near to the reed beds (The fish had to move up here sooner or later).

Mark Straughen also fishing from the bank had a very decent 19 mainly from the south end of the loch.

Neil Keillor and Nick Bull had 26 to the boat fishing all areas of the loch.

Stuart Collingswood and his boat partner Steve fishing buzzers had 35 to the boat and were very impressed by the superb quality of the fish.

And Bob Harrison was using Hawthorn and Sedge (Dries) fished the narrows and finished with 20+ fish to the boat recording one of his best ever days at the loch.

It just goes to prove that all areas of the loch are fishing well and that big numbers can be achieved from both bank and boat.


Robbie’s Corner:

The Russians are Coming!


I arrived at the Loch around 08.30 and after setting up my rods and the boat I was having the customary Brew with Gareth and Carmel and a few other anglers when Carmel’s phone went.

It’s for you she said.

Oh Oh!

A sinking feeling as I have never had that happen before.

However it was OK.

A fellow Instructor was a man short and he wondered if I could be at the Whinney for 10.30 to help him out with some instruction for a group of complete beginners.

It took me a few seconds but of course I said yes.

I did have time for about an hour on the loch and managed a couple of fish before I had to go.

The beginners turned out to be a family of Russians who were over in Scotland.

It helped that they all spoke good English as they had lived in Baltimore for 5 years.

Anyway a good time was had by all with many fish caught and almost as many lost.

By 4 o’clock they had to leave so I nipped back to the Loch for another hour and had a further 3 fish before the call of the kettle at 5 o’clock intervened and another brew with Gareth.

Myself and Gareth decided to go out at six o’clock and we fished a couple of fairly quiet hours until eight.

Things were a bit slow but Gareth did manage two to my one.

Did I detect a secret smirk as we packed up? 🙂


Robbie Bell         Resident Instructor and Guide



Would I?



Club News:

  • Ellem AC fished on a very cold, blustery and ultimately hard day. The 23 anglers worked hard for a total of 37 fish with Gab=vin Breeze having the best bag of 9lbs and also the best fish of 4lbs 6oz
  • Heriots AC fished 4 days after the Ellem Club and hit it just right. On a day to remember their 14 anglers landed an incredibly 148 fish giving a rod average of 10.57. The good thing about this as well is that all anglers caught and no one angler dominated proceedings. Killer fly patterns on the day included damsel, buzzer and fab.
  • Rosyln AC (who were due to fish the next day after the Heriots) were unable to fish due to extremely strong winds and the loch was closed for boat fishing for the day. Let’s hope for better conditions when they join us later in the year.
  • Northumbria Police 10 anglers reported a superb day recording a total of 52 fish giving a rod average of 5.2 and Gavin Breeze was the top rod of the day. Nathan Crain reported landing & returning a fish of approx. 8lbs and fish of 3 and 4 lbs were fairly commonplace.
  • Morpeth Conservative FC had 8 anglers fishing a slightly wet and blustery day but this did not deter from them having some very good fishing with good catches reported with 35 fish landed gaining a rod average of 4.4.

Other News:

  • It would appear that the swans have chosen to nest here once again and are sitting on their nest in the reeds at the top end of the loch. We hope that if they raise cygnets they do better than last years which did not survive into the winter.
  • A reminder that the annual lad(y)s and dads charity day will again be held on the last Sunday in September i.e. Sunday the 27th. Eight out of the 12 possible boats have now been filled and with only four remaining, anyone wanting to fish this day really needs to get in touch ASAP as boats are allocated on a first come first served basis.


Visiting clubs in the next two weeks are:

  • Ashington Kingfishers AC
  • Norham & Ladykirk FC
  • Fishing for Everyone FC
  • Peebles Sea Fishing & Angling Club

As always we wish them good fishing for their visits.

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