What a mix of weather we are witnessing over the last couple of weeks. Three days closed due to strong winds followed by bitterly cold winds and now as we look out at the loch we are seeing rising fish, calm water and a forecast that says temperatures in Aberdeen will possibly reach 17 degrees C on Tuesday. Bizarre indeed!
As our season draws near to closing day on the 27th Nov, this will be the penultimate loch report and we will save the summary of the year for our last report. But it was interesting to read an article in this month’s Trout Fisherman which came from a fishery in the west country of England where the author was describing just what an unusual and at times, difficult season this has been and I can only echo his sentiments. But more of that in our last report in two weeks time. However on the subject of this month’s Trout Fisherman we were delighted to read the report written by Jeff Prest which featured the loch on a mist covered day in August. Jeff was very ably accompanied by James Gardiner, who fishing from the bank, managed to land an impressive number of fish despite the very changeable conditions. It’s a good report and we were pleased that it highlighted the pleasure that can be gained from fishing from the bank at Coldingham and how much improved the access now is. So if you have not yet been for a wander, maybe the next time you are here it is worth just taking a stroll around the loch and enjoy the views alongside a spot of fishing.
We are also reliably told that we are featured in Total Flyfisher magazine this month with an article about our recent Lad(y)s and Dads day written by Les Lockey. We haven’t yet seen it but look forward to reading it.
Despite the changeable weather however, we have seen some good returns and once again we are delighted to see people enjoying some end of season dry fly fishing which has been a regular feature over the last couple of seasons. It’s also very interesting that the fish are rising so freely when you look at one of the recent photos sent to us by Stewart Heney. The photo shows fresh water pea mussels which came from a fish that he had caught. He said that the fish was absolutely stuffed with the mussels and these can only have been picked up off the bottom of the loch. So clearly the fish are now feeding on a good range of food sources and can be found at just about every level off the loch.
Hot spots at the moment seem to be right along the eastern shore from Lochside Cottage up to the reed bed and along the south shore in to Swing Gate Bay. Successful fly patterns have included, Candy FAB, red apps bloodworm, small black dries, foam bodied daddy and floating fry patterns.
People who have done well are as follow:
- John Foreman and Dave Moody 14 to the boat using dries and lures.
- Colin McIssac 10 to the boat including 1 brownie.
- Robert Learmonth and Jock Hunter 9 to the boat, Robert also fished a short session with son Jamie (see photo) landing 4 to the boat on an afternoon that was so cold they (along with others on the loch that day) came off early to warm up
- Alistaire Fyvie 6 to the boat in a four hour session.
- Peter Hottinger and Freddie Carter 12 to the boat on one outing using damsel and cats whiskers and 16 to the boat on their next outing.
- Paul Hird whilst on holiday at the loch had 15 to the boat on his first day.
- Graham Dea 8 to the boat
- Robbie Bell 11 to the boat using mainly biscuit blob. Robbie’s next outing saw him land 7 fish which included 2 brownies measuring 22 and 24 inches ….. very good fish.
- James and Joy Gardiner had another superb outing with a total of 20 to the boat including 4 nice brownies.
- On the same day Stewart Barnes had 9 to the boat using a combination of klinkhammer and daddy.
- Ronnie Hunter reported having good fun with 11 to the boat including one blue.
- Bob Cockburn 10 to the boat which included a cracker of 9.5 lbs weighed in the net and returned.
- Steve and Mick Kelley had an impressive 20 to the boat caught mainly on dries which included shipmans buzzers and hogs.
This is of course at the root of fly fishing.
In most other forms of fishing the cast comes fairly naturally.
Throwing a spinner, lead weight or a float and some shot comes naturally but casting a fly line is different.
But a fly line is just a weight. It is admittedly a very long extended weight but in Physics terms it is the mass that propels the almost weightless fly to its target.
Because it is a long “weight” you just cannot plonk it behind you and hurl it out. It needs to be cast out behind you parallel to the ground or water. A good backcast makes the forward cast easy.
It does take a bit of finesse and some learning and practice but it is something like riding a bike.
We all learn to do it but some are just a bit more natural than others.
Following on from my last blog you may remember I said that trout are mainly sight predators.
So it should come as no surprise that if you cast a few yards further than your boat partner the fish may well see your flies first.
However presentation trumps distance. It is no use getting your line 25 yards out there to find your flies lying somewhere off to the side. Or even worse behind the end of the fly line.
Get your flies to land like ducks in a row and at least one fish a day will be hooked in your first couple of pulls.
One way of doing this is to mark your fly line with a magic marker at your most comfortable distance.
This mark on the line should be at the tip ring so if you are having a good casting day or a favourable wind you can get another couple of yards out and conversely rein in back to the reel for a bad hair day or perhaps a flat calm.
It is much better to cast less fly line and have good presentation than max out the fly line and have the flies and leader land in a heap of ess aitch one tee.
Something I have to constantly remind myself of.
- Last day of this season will be Sunday 27th November and our opening day for 2017 will be on Saturday 18th Places for opening day are now full but we still have boats available for Sunday 19th March. Please ring to make a booking.
- The otter paid a visit to Lochside Cottage last week and Susan and David Paterson were delighted to see it sitting on the end of the jetty.