As Robbie put it to me ….. “ It’s bad weather we are having for the middle of March!”
Temperatures during the middle of this week dropped to around 7 degrees C and for two days the loch was closed due to the very strong Northerly winds, but as they say, every cloud has a silver lining and for us the plus side is that we have been delivered some much needed rain which has helped to raise the water level to about where it should be for this time of the year. The temperature of the water is also good and is sitting at around 10 degrees C which means that the fish will be at their fighting best. The loch remains crystal clear.
The bad weather has also halted the hatch of Caenis flies which we saw for the first time last Friday (4th June) and as we all know the Caenis period can be very frustrating for us all.
Spare a thought though for our fish supplier and for all the other fish farms that have been battling against the enormous rise in the levels of the rivers. Goodness knows how they are coping and unfortunately how many of their stock must have escaped in to the rivers. Not a great time for anyone.
Due to the terrible conditions it is hard to report on the loch and how it’s fishing as things have been so unpredictable but needless to say, for some people the loch continues to fish well. Colin McIssac had a good day last Monday landing 19 to the boat whilst others on the same day struggled to make an impact and came off wondering what Colin was doing that they weren’t. I think that the answer to this can be many sided but one thing in Colin’s favour is that he fishes the loch regularly and familiarity with a place is a distinct advantage. He is also prepared to try much smaller patterns and is very observant of what is hatching and what the fish seem to be feeding on naturally. Very often, when things are getting tough most people tend to go bigger, brighter and faster with their retrieves and whilst sometimes this is the way to go, not enough people are brave or confident enough to go the other way.
In the end what worked for Colin was a size 16 or 18 olive CDC fished almost static and the hot spot for him on that day was at the top end of the loch near to the reed bed.
Yesterday Colin had another good day using the dapping rod and landed a rainbow of around 6lb on a dapped daddy. On the same day Bob Cockburn reported that 9 of his 22 fish landed were between 3 and 5lb.
Today (Sunday 16th) we have had a dry but windy day, the wind dropping in the afternoon and this evening seeing perfect conditions out there which a coupld of holiday guests are out enjoying. Some of todays anglers were new to the loch and others more regular and everyone bar one person landed fish – mainly to buzzers, fabs, cdc and diawl bach. All reported having had a great day and many positive comments about the fish being hard fighting and also comments on the number of fish being in the 3 – 4lbs weight. So let’s hope that the next period sees a return to this being the story as anglers come off the loch. Fingers crossed that the forecast is right and that the weather settles a bit, particularly in terms of wind.
Before the bad weather hit, Robert Learmonth had one of his best days off the bank landing 14 fish including what he described as a cracking rainbow of around 5lbs (see photo). Robert had landed 12 of his fish by 2pm and mainly to a foam beetle on the southern shore.
Buzzers, Diawl Bachs and dries are continuing to be the most effective patterns whilst the biscuit FAB and Booby are also attracting their fair share of fish.
- Pencaitland AC – Fished on an extremely wet and not particularly pleasant day. Numbers were quite low for the club but as always they commented on having had a great day and are looking forward to their next outing here.
- Black Bull FFC – Fished the next day and had a much better day of it weather wise. They landed 55 fish to their 16 rods with a 7lb 3oz rainbow being the heaviest fish caught
- There are still 7 places left for the 2nd heat of this year’s Coldingham Loch Cup being held on the 17th August. Please phone to book of the remaining places.
- The swans are once again nesting in the reed bed area but this time, have chosen to nest on the west side. We’ve not yet seen any signs of cygnets so will have to wait and see if any emerge…
- We are selling on or two of our redundant boats which might be of interest to some of you or someone you know. Please ring for details.
Sometimes out of a tragedy something good can happen.
Of course you don’t want it to happen in the first place.
However now and then in a community an event takes place that brings people together.
My good friend Alec Harvey had that when his first granddaughter Willow was born prematurely and tragically died soon after.
About a year later he decided to try and raise some money for the Tiny Lives Charity which did so much for his family throughout that difficult time.
Alec with the help of many friends in the fishing community organised a weekend of fly fishing at his two local fisheries in Northumberland. This was a great success with friendly competitions, raffles and many prizes being donated it meant they raised a fantastic sum of money for the Tiny Lives Charity. A great outcome for the charity and a weekend enjoyed by all that took part.
And so to Coldingham Loch……….
My very small part in this was to donate a Guided Day with me out on the Loch as a raffle prize.
And who was the “lucky” winner but Alec himself!
So I tried to make the day as special as possible.
Alec arrived at my house at 07.30 and we started off with a full breakfast.
I am not sure if it was the Full English or the Full Scottish?
I suppose the being right on the border it was appropriate that we had Ayrshire Bacon and Cumberland Sausage, English Eggs and Scottish Black Pudding (see photo).
After our Tea and Toast to finish we loaded up Alec’s gear and set off for the Loch.
There were fish rising everywhere as we tackled up and got the boat ready.
Both of us started on Dry Flies and maybe with Willow looking down we both got a fish first cast.
A good mornings fishing ensued and then perhaps later than normal after the morning’s repast we retired to the hut for Lunch.
Salmon and Pasta Salad was followed by Roast Beef Sandwiches and a Chocolate Mouse all washed down with a small glass of Wine and more Tea.
After that we slowly made our way back to the boat and out on the Loch again.
By this time the wind had changed from South West to Easterly and the rising fish had disappeared.
The fishing in the afternoon was tough but perhaps, just perhaps it was appropriate that the day ended on a slightly sombre note.
Well done Alec.
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Over the next two weeks we play host to the following clubs:
- Edinburgh Waltons
- Norhet FFC
- Ladhope AC
As always we wish them a warm welcome and hope that the fishing is as good as it can be.