So as predicted, the catch rate has slowed down a little but still remains extremely good by anyone’s standards. The fish are certainly becoming more selective as the insect population starts to explode and the amount of natural food available increases.
A prolonged hatch of black gnats has meant that rising fish have been a feature of the last two weeks but interestingly, not all fish are taking on the top. We say it every year, but those that have been catching the best are the people that have made regular changes throughout the day and have moved around the loch so as not to spook the fish in any one area. Successful fly patterns have included …… Griffiths Gnat, suspender buzzers, cdc buzzers, yellow owl and perhaps the most successful of the lot, a black foam beetle.
Below the surface, hothead damsel, mini cats whisker, blob and apps worms are amongst the most effective patterns.
All areas of the loch are holding fish and so there are no particular hot spots to report. With the bitterly cold east wind that has been with us for some time, finally leaving us, we expect there to be some great fishing during the next two weeks.
As you know we held the first of our two heats for the Coldingham Loch Cup competition last weekend and we are pleased to say that despite it being a quite windy day, all the boats managed to cope with the conditions and as you might expect there were some very decent returns. Ten anglers made it through to the final and their positions were as follow:
Well done to young Corben Skene who managed to catch a fish in every hour of the session and thus secured first place when the bonus points were added to the total number of fish that he caught.
The second of the two heats will be held on Saturday 17th August, and with only 8 places left up for grabs, an early phone call is highly recommended.
Our Youth Competition is also now almost full with just one space remaining and so if you know of any young aspiring angler under the age of 16 please ring us for details of the day, which is being held on Monday 6th May (Bank Holiday Monday)
- Evening sessions start on 1st May, initially 5 – 9pm and as the nights get lighter we will stay open until 10pm (we ask anglers to be off the water by 9.45 so we can close at 10pm)
- We were delighted to see swallows and martins appear this week on the 19th April. This was two days later than last year but coincided with the disappearance of the east wind and the start of the hotter weather.
- The swans have also returned and are starting to explore a nesting site in the reed bed at the top end of the loch.
- Mid Lothian AC – Caught a total of 17 fish which included one blue of 3lbs 14 ozs and they reported having had a very good day.
- Leith FFC – caught a total of 12 fish and despite the bitterly cold weather reported “ Great fishing and cracking fish” Their biggest was a rainbow of 3lbs 10.5 ozs
- Edinburgh Breadalbane FFC – Reported, “Most enjoyable day for all. 32 fish for 9 rods with the best fish being a rainbow of 3lbs 2ozs.
- Ellem Club – Reported, “Fantastic Day enjoyed by all members” A total of 101 fish caught for 23 rods and a total weight of 102lbs for the number of fish that were kept.
Well after the absolute maelstrom of fish getting caught in the first few weeks the Loch is settling down. There are still some good returns in the book but the fishing is now a tad more normal.
One of the recent highlights has been the Dry Fly Fishing.
This has been phenomenal at times.
One feature of it has been the number of offers or inspections for every fish caught.
Sometimes this has been 5 or 6 or more Trout coming to the fly before you actually hook one.
This does not matter if at the end of the day you have had a score or more in the net.
However if the offers are not so many then each chance can be more important.
So what can you do?
Well I like to think that trying to make a logical progression of changes is the best method.
So the fact that the fish are coming to your fly shows that they have an interest but something is not quite right.
The first thing I would consider is the presentation.
Sometimes a very low damp sitting fly can be what the fish want.
Conversely, they will instinctively know that this is unlikely to escape so they can take their time looking at it.
So on the other hand a High and Dry fly could take off at any moment and this often provokes a more aggressive take. Try Both Ways.
Another presentation issues can involve degreasing the leader.
Over the years I have caught hundreds of Trout on Dry Flies without doing anything to the leader. In fact a couple of weeks ago myself and my friend Alec Harvey had an absolute beano on the Dries and neither of us degreased once.
However some people firmly believe in it so the Jury is probably out.
One thing though it is unlikely that degreasing will do any harm.
Other issues of presentation include reducing the number of flies or having a larger spacing between them or both.
You could ultimately go down to a 5weight rod a single fly and a fine leader to match.
Last but not least the Flies.
Colin McIssac who is a regular at the Loch is one of the most successful Dry Fly Anglers. Now Colin seldom fishes bigger that a size 16 and often 18’s and 20’s.
Working through the sequence above to a 5 weight rod, some degreased 5X leader and a single size 18 or 20 fly should solve any presentation issues and then you can concentrate on the type of fly.
Perhaps an emerger or one with a good hackle to sit high.
Changing the colour can also make a big difference.
Sometimes it is better to start by changing flies rather than going down the presentation route first.
Hopefully though by working through a logical sequence this will provide the answer.
If not try a Blob! Ha Ha
The next fortnight sees the following clubs due to visit the loch:
- Heriots AC
- Hoy and Hope FFC
- Northumberland Police FFC
- Border Bears FFC
We wish them a warm welcome to the loch and hope that their returns match their expectations.
Click on the photos for full view and text and use the arrows to scroll through
The following gallery photos were mostly taken by Deepta Churm of the Coldingham Cup Heat 1 on 14th April