31st March – 13th April 2014

Since opening day the one prevailing feature of the weather has been the wind which, despite changing direction many times, has remained relatively strong, gusty and tricky to negotiate. However, despite this, the loch has fished very well over the last two weeks with just the odd day when even our most accomplished anglers have had to work hard to crack the right fly for the occasion. For us, it is good to see the fish and the loch retaining their honour and doing their best to ensure that fly fishing remains an art rather than a formality. Seeing fish is one thing ……. Trying to catch them is another matter altogether. The ability to change tactics and to respond to changing conditions and feeding patterns has been a necessary attribute over the last period and those that have displayed such skills have been amply rewarded from both bank and boat. Ricky Taylor, fishing from the bank, has had a number of great days and Bob Cockburn once again continues to impress from the boat having already broken the one hundred fish mark in just seven visits to the loch. Also worthy of a mention is young angler Ewan Whitelaw (aged 14) who whilst fishing with regular boat partner Bob Harrison, recorded his best ever four hour session with 12 rainbows to Bob’s seven.

Even first timers, and young anglers are making an impression and it’s a treat for us to see fathers and grandfathers bringing along their young family members and giving them a memorable introduction to this great sport.

Scott and Charles (see photos) managed two lovely rainbows on their first outing as did Allan Lauder and his son Jay (see photos). Both were fishing in Boathouse Bay, which has by far been the most reliable area of the loch over the last ten days or so. Both fished floating lines with small dries, black and white seemingly the right mix.

We have also noticed that the northern end of the loch next to the reed bed has also started to come alive over the last few days as has Swingate Bay and again dries have been the answer on most occasions however when the fish do go down they have stayed relatively near to the surface and have been tempted by a mixture of buzzers and diawl bach patterns fished very slowly and with the odd twitch of the line thrown in for good measure. Damsels have also been effective on occasion. Heriots AC were perhaps the first club this season to really attack the top end and one of their group was well rewarded with a fine specimen 8lb rainbow which was weighed in the net and safely returned (see photos).

Paul Hird also returned to fish the loch for a couple of days and as usual remained true to his love of buzzer fishing and once again recorded very good numbers of fish. Those that were present during those two days and talked to Paul generally received a bit of advice and a couple of his well tied buzzer patterns to try for themselves. One such recipient was one of our holiday residents Nick Bull who fished with Paul for almost the whole time and recorded a superb weeks fishing by the end of his stay.

So this period has been typified by some tremendous buzzer hatches mainly located around the fish cage/ buoy area of the loch resulting in large numbers of chironomids over the water and around the banks. Feeding has switched between sub-surface to surface as the temperature has risen throughout the day and as the sun has made appearances. The water temperature is starting to rise slowly from 5-6 degrees C at the start of the period to 7-8 degrees C at the time of writing this report. Water clarity is superb and oxygen levels are high all of which means that the fish are at their fighting best and are recovering quickly if and once returned to the loch. The lillies are starting to show now in Boathouse Bay and at the northern end and fishing anything but dries in these areas now is almost impossible. As always we will allow the plant life to thrive around the margins as these are valuable breeding grounds for the many insects and small fishes that provide the valuable, natural food for the trout throughout the year.

Club News:

Leith AC – A total of eight anglers managed 27 fish including two fine blues. Rod average was 3.38.

Heriots AC – A total of 66 fish were caught by the 14 anglers fished on a windy day in difficult conditions. Despite the weather the catch included a fine specimen rainbow of 8lbs which came into Bryan Griffiths. The fish was weighed in the net and safely returned.

Edinburgh High Constables AC – fished today Sunday 13th. Once again strong winds dominated proceedings with gusts up to 30mph. However despite this the 9 die hard anglers managed 17 fish and declared they had a ‘brilliant day’ which was great to hear that the strong winds hadn’t dampened their spirits or enjoyment.

Other News:

  • A reminder to all anglers to please use the dip tank before starting to fish. All nets, waders and motors should be dipped and then swilled in the loch.
  • Evening sessions will begin at the end of this month when it will be possible to book a session from 5.30 – 9.30 pm.
  • A new addition to the loch reports will be a regular section from one of our regular anglers and in situ instructor, Robbie Bell. It is hoped that Robbie will bring an outside, objective view to the reports that anglers will find informative and interesting and that his experience will provide tips and hints on how to fish the loch over the changing seasons.

Here is Robbie’s first offering so please feel free to let us know what you think.

So it was my fourth outing of the season at Coldingham Loch.

Weather wise it was the best so far with lighter wind and a bit of heat in the sun when it came out.

I was just going to have a day by myself but I bumped in to one of my clients Peter who I had given some instruction to a couple of years ago and asked him to join me. He could only fish the morning so we just arranged to meet at the Loch as I cannot just fish mornings……..:-)

There was fish rising everywhere so we both went out on dries.

An hour and a half later we both had not even had an inspection despite covering quite a lot of fish with many changes of flies.

So I took of my whole cast, dropped down to  0.18mm Rio Co-Polymer and two size 19 F Flies 10 feet apart. 


First cast a nice overwintered Rainbow about 2 Lbs.

By lunchtime I had five fish in the net and safely returned to the water.

My sandwich definitely tasted better than I thought it would earlier in the day.

Peter also managed a couple of fish on a small suspender buzzer.

I tried some shuttlecock buzzers but it was only when i changed to a small black one did I get instant action with a fish as soon as it hit the water.

After that it was steady afternoon with plenty of offers and inspections and a few fish hooked an lost.

My final tally was 12 fish netted and a splendid day out had.

Gareth joined me for the last hour and succeeded in catching three fish on a Blob   

Sorry a Yellow Owl.  🙂

As we move through April and into May the Dry fly and Buzzer fishing can only get better.


See you on the Loch.

Robbie Bell.  Resident Guide and Instructor.


Finally, over the next period we are pleased to be welcoming the following clubs:

  • Northumbria Police
  • Pencaitland AC
  • Earlston AC
  • Edinburgh Breadalbane AC
  • Eyewater AC
  • North Berwick AC

As always we extend a warm welcome to them and hope for some fine weather to accompany their fishing.

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