Catching has certainly slowed down when compared to the dizzy heights of the start of the season but it is certainly in line with what you might expect at this time of year. Warmer conditions do create an abundance of natural food which just now, includes the dreaded caenis fly. Large Hatches, particularly in the evenings have produced some spectacular rises and a display of fish that are transfixed on the small white curse that is the caenis fly.
For those that have maintained good returns, their tactic has been to keep on the move and to ring the changes through the fly box and through the line choices. Just at the moment, red Apps, hot head damsel, and a range of cormorants pulled quickly through the water and left to hang at the end of the retrieve are attracting good numbers of fish. In fact Pete Dann fishing from the bank yesterday managed to land 10 fish in his four hour session doing just that. He also managed to tempt one or two on the surface with his trusty black foam beetle.
So let’s remember that we are entering that period of the season when in weather terms, it is much more pleasant to fish but in catching terms it is likely to be less productive. We’ve all fished long enough to know that this is not a new phenomenon.
As we mentioned earlier though it is still possible to show good returns and it is perhaps worth using this time of year to try one or two things that we would otherwise probably not consider. I’m sure that every angler has his or her ‘go to’ fly, pattern of retrieve, position on the loch, choice of line etc. etc. and I’m certainly no exception. However what we see regularly here, is the willingness of the more experienced anglers to change the way they approach things and almost without exception this leads to the maintenance of good returns. For example, when Robbie runs a tuition session, he will change things multiple times during the course of a lesson to ensure that there is a catch and I’m sure that, in the main, his clients remain completely oblivious to what he is doing and the thinking that is going on behind the scenes in order to ensure a successful outing. His experience of reading the water and the conditions on any given day comes only with many hours of fishing and is not something that just happens but we can all learn from listening to and watching what the more experienced anglers around us are saying and doing. My experience tells me that people are usually only too keen to share their knowledge with someone who wants to learn, so don’t be afraid to ask as it might just lead to a more productive day on the loch.
So despite the time of the year, as I said earlier, catching remains good for a good number of people and here are just a few that have shown very good returns:
- Bob Cockburn 14 to the boat including a brown and a blue. Black booby and buzzers. On his next outing Bob had a further 11 to the boat using small black booby and sedges.
- Paul Ferguson 7 fish in a four hour bank session which included 3 brownies. CDCs. His next outing, again 4 hours from the bank was rewarded with 10 using a dry sedge.
- Chris Harkess had 8 in one 6 hour session using FAB and buzzers and a further 12 on his next outing using cormorants and dries.
- Ronnie Hunter had 8 to the boat using black nymph and bloodworm.
- Stuart Barnes 9 to the boat including one brownie. Dry dady and buzzers.
- Bill and Karl Ferguson whilst staying in Lochside cottage manged to land a very impressive 58 fish between them for the duration of their stay. They reported having had a brilliant 3 days. CDCs and Apps.
- Conor Metcalfe and Lee Wilkinson landed 17 to the boat. Buzzers, dries and Shipmans.
- Graham Witty and Ben Finch enjoyed a couple of good evenings out together whilst on holiday here with their wives. Ben was heard saying before their last outing, “come on Graham let’s get in the boat and go and knock some out”…….. and they did !
- Finally, I’m sure that many of us know Ronnie Glass and appreciate what a top angler he is and I’m sure that Ronnie will not mind me mentioning this. He went out for a day session last week and manged to land 4 fish, which for him is quite a lean session here at Coldingham. I mention it though because his comment to me after his day out was that he had been quite humbled / chastened, to cover so many fish and been refused. Which just goes to show that bit can happen to even the best of us and sometimes it is the fish that have the final say as to whether they will be caught or not.
So how do you go about getting ready for a day out on the Loch?
Maybe you just rock up and get on with it and that’s fine.
For me personally I enjoy the preparation and being retired means I usually have a bit of time to do this although I must warn you that when you do retire the time just disappears and you never get done all the things that you want to!
My priority bit of prep consists of making sure I take everything with me!
A check list can help with this but it would not be the first time I arrived at a fishery with my Lunch still on the kitchen bench!
The day before an outing I usually make sure my cast wallet is topped up. I might clean and polish my fly lines to add a couple of yards to my casting. I make sure that everything I need is in my box.
I will also load up the car the night before and make sure all my tackle and clothing is in. Being prepared lets you relax in the morning and then you are able to take in more information which may lead to making better decisions on the day. Fishing success is often about the decisions you make on the day.
However if I have a couple of days before I go I might start with a bit of fly tying. I am not a prolific tier and these days half a dozen flies usually involves three cups of tea!
If I am preparing for a big day out or a trip away I often buy my flies and these days good quality Barbless Flies are available from a number of sources. I use Barbless Flies almost exclusively these days and if you need any help with suppliers please get in touch.
Nowadays I will usually set up a couple of rods with different methods and put these in my vehicle the night before. If your rods do not fit in your vehicle you can tie up your casts with the flies on and wrap them round a piece of pipe lagging foam.
Then it is quick and easy to tie it on to your line at the Loch.
Setting up your rod and casts before you arrive at the Fishery is a bit of a two edged sword though as you often set up with a couple of preconceived methods. This can be OK but a better way is to arrive early at the Fishery and get as much information as you can and use that for tackling up.
Look in the catch book or information board, speak to the staff and if anglers are just finishing speak to them.
A good look around the water can also help. Is the water clear or coloured, are their fish rising, have flies been trapped in spiders webs and if so what size and colours are they?
Is there a thermometer for the water temperature and is the weather the same as last night’s forecast. All this information might be useful but you might just go with your instincts anyway!
To Prep or not to Prep. That is the question.
Once again your call.
Robbie Bell Resident Instructor and Guide
- Cockburn AA: total 11 fish using a variety of flies the heaviest fish was a blue at 3lbs 3oz
- Heriots FFC evening session: their 5 rods managed a total of 11 fish the comment was ‘tricky due to the caenis hatch but nonetheless a lovely evening’
- Morpeth Conservative Club FFC: total of 17 fish, H Storey had the heaviest bag with 4 fish for 9lbs 2 oz their comment was ‘hard fishing but very enjoyable. Superb fishery’
- Mid Lothian FFC afternoon/evening session: Cancelled due to strong winds.
- Ferranti AC had 5 rods out landing 12 fish in total which was good going in the strong wind. They had an enjoyable day with Steve Lawson taking the top position by landing 6 fish.
- Black Bull FFC fishing today in very gusty windy conditions with strong gusts this afternoon landed a very respectable 62 fish for 16 rods. Peter Allen had the heaviest bag of just two fish – one a 7lb rainbow and the other 4lb rainbow
- The swans are out and about on the loch again with their two cygnets close by at all times. Good to see that this year they have managed to rear two at this stage, let’s hope they can grow on.
During the next two weeks we look forward to hosting the following clubs:
- Anchor Inn AC
- Armiston Bowling Miners Club
- Roslyn Elite FFC
As always we hope they will enjoy their outing and see plenty of sport
Gallery from this last fortnight below – please click on the photo to enlarge
Gallery below are all photos taken by Colin Riach and published with his kind permission. Colin is a member of Heriots AC and these are some photos he took on the evening of 3rd June when the club fished the loch for an evening session. The coastal shots were taken on the A1107 north of Coldingham. Other photos were taken at the loch including the wild wild flowers (Red Campion and Germandaer Speedwell) were taken at the loch