When you have been through the fly box at least twice, had every line on the rod that you possess and are being ambushed by feeding trout, but still have none to the boat, you know that it’s that time of the year when the fish have the upper hand and for many a frustrated angler this best describes their outing over the last two week period. The one consolation is that people are coming off the loch saying that they have never seen so many rising fish and for those people that have been fishing the evening sessions the spectacle that they have witnessed when conditions have been calm and warm is impressive to say the least. As always at this time of the year the overriding reason for this is the dreaded caenis fly hatch and one only has to look at the spiders’ webs and the various faces of buildings to know that caenis numbers have once again been out in biblical proportions.
One feature that we have observed is that the best of the fishing has tended to be in the mornings and early afternoon. Trout can undoubtedly predict an evening hatch of caenis and other such insects and knowing that there is going to be an easy feast later that day, switch off in anticipation of what is going to follow later. So in summary what we are seeing is dynamic trout activity which is not being backed up by high returns, but the good news is that we are probably coming towards the end of the caenis hatches and so one would expect that catch numbers should increase.
I have just returned from a short fishing break to Orkney and the problem there is that insect hatches have been delayed by the unusually cold and very windy conditions, and so what is normally their most prolific period for catching brown trout is proving to be testing and very difficult for those that make their annual pilgrimage to the outer islands and whether this will re-address itself later in the season remains to be seen.
Wind has also been a constant feature here since the start of the season but on the positive side the weather conditions are keeping the loch in tip top condition. The water temperature and clarity is spot on and as yet we have not experienced weed growth sufficient to affect the fishing and as a consequence the loch is fishable in all areas and fish are very well spread out. Catches are showing a good cross section of rainbows, blues and browns and there are a good numbers of larger fish being caught. Bob Harrison whilst dapping a sedge pattern the other evening hooked and landed back to back rainbows of approx. 5lbs each in weight and had further good fish using conventional methods.
Here is a summary of other respectable catches of the last two week period:
- Bob Cockburn 11 including two rainbows of 6lb 8oz and 4lb safely released. On his next outing Bob landed a very impressive 21 fish including one superb blue. Fly patterns included Hare’s Ear Suspender, Sedge and Black Dries.
- Alec Warren 9 fish including 3 hard fighting blues.
- W Mackey 7 from the bank
- Colin McIssac on two outings 7 from the boat and 7 from the bank.
- Robbie Bell 10 fish on each of his two most recent outings including three blues.
- Wilson and Kay had 7 to the boat and reported having had a cracking day.
- Pete Dann had 7 from the bank using Daddies and Foam Bug.
- A Laing 8 fish including one blue caught mainly using a Wiggly Worm.
- P Davison 8 fish including one blue caught mainly on FABs
- 4yr old Murray Johnson deserves a special mention. Fishing for the first time with his dad Kevin, Murray beat all the odds and landed two beauties and lost another on Sunday. He was clearly delighted with his outing and I’m sure we will be seeing much more of him in the future.(See photo)
Visiting clubs over the last two weeks include the following groups of anglers. It is fair to say that most clubs struggled to return big numbers reflecting the very fussy nature of the feeding fish. All clubs however were unanimous in their comments about the quantity of fish that they observed and are determined to get their own back at their next visit.
- Mid Lothian AA
- Thurston Manor
- Edinburgh Amateur AC
- Western AC
- Last Cast AC
- St John’s Fly Fishers
- Cockburn AC
- Ian Whyte took some great photos of a fawn being born on the east bank of the loch close to Rainbow Point. The photos are included in the gallery. Ian stopped fishing and spent a good few minutes casting at marauding crows that tried to attack the newly born roe deer. His efforts were well rewarded when it finally got to its feet and made it to the whin bushes with its relieved mother. Well done Ian!
- The swans still have 5 cygnets and at this stage seem to be doing better than last year.
- A reminder that the Lad(y)s and Dads competition will be held on Sunday Sept 27th. Only a few boats remain so please get in touch early to avoid disappointment.
A Full On Week.
Professor Ken MacAulay was my client this week. Ken is from Nova Scotia in Canada and later this year he is travelling to Australia to take part in the Oceania Championships. This is for countries around the Pacific Rim and includes New Zealand, USA and Japan amongst others.
The competition is to Full Fips Mouche Rules which is the governing body for all International Competitions.
The event will be staged on five lake venues and will all be fishing Loch Style from drifting boats.
So Ken had decided to come over for an intensive week of coaching.
He is also a keen river angler and had a couple of successful outings on the River Whiteadder while he was here.
We had three full days on the Loch and his techniques and decisions steadily improved as did his catches. By the Friday he was Top Rod on the Loch with six trout including two blues on a fairly difficult day. A Biscuit FAB and a Cormorant fished really dead slow on a Slow Glass Intermediate was the best tactic: Good Angling Ken.
A couple of evenings were spent showing him Preparation Tips and demonstrating Cast Construction and Fly Tying techniques. Tactics were also discussed over the odd bottle of Beer. 🙂
We ended the week practicing and then fishing in a local England Eliminator Bank Competition where Ken took a very respectable 4th place beating a few well known International Anglers in the process.
Well Done to my new friend and good luck for Australia.
Robbie Bell Resident Instructor and Guide
Over the next two weeks we are hosting the following clubs. With any luck the conditions will be in their favour and we will hopefully see good returns of great quality fish. As is normal at this time of the year club outings are fewer and so availability at weekends for day anglers is enhanced. It is well worth phoning to check availability.
- David Neilsons Group
- Ladhope AC
We welcome these clubs and as always wish them a good outing here at Coldingham Loch.