This has definitely been a period of two halves. The first week fished very well and the second week proved a good deal more difficult. You know it’s difficult when the likes of Ronnie Hunter and Bob Cockburn are not reaching their usual numbers and club averages are lower than normal. So what made the difference? Answer – very warm days followed by very cold evenings, crystal clear water, an abundance of fly life (see photos) and to top it all off, an easterly wind which on its own is usually enough to make fishing quite a challenge. Hence June seems to be living up to its reputation as a traditionally hard month to fish.
Talking to the fishermen it seems that we were not alone and many anglers have been reporting low numbers on other waters throughout the region. Happily though, over the last couple of days we have had a number of returns which show an improvement and seem to indicate that the fish are biting again. Colin McIssac continues to demonstrate his prowess from the bank and his consistency with the buzzers has been impressive to say the least. Equally, Robbie Bell from the boat has managed to keep up his averages with better than average returns for the period and David Reid, a holiday guest, consistently reached his limit over an intensive two week fishing period. Again the humble but deadly buzzer has been the favoured pattern with size, colour and depth proving to be critical on certain days. As a general observation, black buzzer with orange cheeks, size 12 or 14 fished as a team of three has worked well. The depth has varied quite considerably throughout the day associated with the weather conditions and a change in tactics has been called for.
When the fish have been topping cdc buzzers , foam bodied daddies and hoppers have been very effective, less so the hawthorn which we all thought would be here in great numbers like last year but have failed to materialise in any notable quantity. I did however mention an abundance of fly life and during the hot days and early evenings there have been literally millions of small apple green midges hatching and flying in vast clouds around the loch (see photo). Suffice to say that the fish have been on a feeding frenzy for these and other such insects and whilst they are often visible when feeding on top of the water, catching them is another story.
Once again we have had the usual reports of some rather big fish being seen and quite a number of anglers reporting hooking and losing fish which are fighting so hard that they cannot keep them on the line. On one occasion one such angler even had his brand new floating fly line broken whilst fishing from the bank. We tried four times to retrieve it from the loch as it was seen travelling around by various anglers from one end of the loch to the other. Eventually we managed to catch up with it, eagerly anticipating seeing the leviathan on the other end and keen to release it from the line but sadly by the time we retrieved it the fish was long gone. Some of you might now be thinking that there must have been a flaw in the line but here at Coldingham we are very happy to believe that it was the Coldingham monster at work once again.
In terms of the fish, we have had reports of some superb browns being caught and returned and we have had the usual percentage of blues being landed. A couple of photos of the browns are included in the gallery. The rainbows continue to dominate the catch returns and there have been a few fish weighing almost 5lbs recorded in the book. Anglers are once again repeatedly commenting on just how hard the fish are fighting and what superb condition they are in which is no surprise given the amount of food on offer and the quality of the water at this time.
In club news:
- The eight anglers from Leith were first up fishing a day session and managing a total of 24 fish between them. Giving an average of 3 fish per rod. Amongst the catch was a lovely brownie, safely returned.
- Railway AC came with 10 anglers and managed an average of 2.4 fish per angler. David Harrington junior (see photo) landed the biggest on the day.
- Hole in the Wall FC reported having ‘a great day at a very good fishery – the fish were everywhere but difficult to catch’ As a result their 9 anglers managed only 6 fish for their outing. Far from being downbeat they left Coldingham eager to return and improve their performance.
- Cockburn Angling Club came with just 3 anglers and had a total of 3 fish – as we said earlier they fished at the height of the difficult conditions which goes some way to explaining their bag.
- Heriots AC fished a four hour evening session on Saturday 8th June. They went out in blazing sunshine and came in just before 10pm freezing cold. Despite this their seven anglers managed an impressive 22 fish of which 8 went to Trevor Gibson. Nearly all the fish were caught on a combination of buzzers and dries.
- Finally today we welcomed anglers from Hoy and Hope AC who caught a very impressive 54 fish. With 12 anglers this gave a rod average of 4.5/rod. Worthy of note was S Cochrane and J Carr who between them managed 23 fish to the boat. The heaviest fish went to K Harvey a rainbow of just under 4 lbs. Perhaps this is an indication that the fishing is returning to normal.
In other news:
- As yet there is still no real sign of weed growth. This means that the loch is still fishable in all areas.
- Just a quick reminder to all clubs that life jackets or buoyancy aids must be worn at all times whilst fishing from the boats. If you own your own life jackets please bring them with you.
We extend a warm welcome to members from the following clubs that will be visiting us during the next period:
- Newmarket AC
- TOTGA AC
- Leith AC
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