2nd – 21st Oct 2018

An eventful few weeks in which the catch returns have been very good and in which we ran the Coldingham Loch Cup open competition for the first time brings us to a point in the season where there are just four weeks left to fish.

In  the second half of this last period, the weather has given us quite a settled period of light winds and possibly unseasonably high temperatures and with the fish sitting generally high in the water this has meant great sport for the dry fly enthusiasts amongst us. Many of the days have fished quite differently from the morning to the afternoon with a slightly deeper set up working best early on and then a more surface driven approach later in the day. Apps bloodworm, damsel and cats whisker have returned a good number of fish from below whilst FABs crunchers, hares ear, crippled midge, black beetle and black gnat have been working on or near the surface. As always, we have had a good variety of fish being caught, rainbows, blues, browns and tigers and there have also been quite a few larger fish putting in an appearance. Fish from 4.5 lbs up to 10lbs+ have not been uncommon but even the smaller fish have been fighting way above their weight and anglers have been reporting good sport with hard fighting fish …………… it doesn’t get any better than this!

The water is almost completely clear now but occasionally we are witnessing a collection of algael bloom in some areas on days that have had particularly light winds but with the colder nights now upon us and the threat of the occasional frosty morning this should soon disappear completely.

Coldingham Loch Cup: As we mentioned in an earlier report we had to condense our Coldingham Loch Cup competition into one day due to a lack of entries for the second heat but despite this we had a really successful and enjoyable day with the weather almost perfect and everyone in good spirits. 10 boats / 20 rods fished the competition with three tackle vouchers for Fishers of Penicuik (who also have an online tackle shop at https://www.fishersdirect.com ) up for grabs along with the Coldingham Loch Cup for the winner. Our thanks go to Mike from Fishers for adding to the prize fund which allowed us to present vouchers worth £30, £50 and £100 respectively.

After the morning session it was apparent that things were going to be very close with any one of a good number of anglers in contention. And so it proved at the end of the day when only one point separated third from second and second from first.

The results were:

1st John Taylor – 23points ( 17 fish and 6 session points)

2nd Mick Kelley – 22 points (15 fish and 7 session points)

3rd Keith Roe – 21 points ( 14 fish and 7 session points)

(A total of 164 fish were caught during the day giving a rod average of 8.2)

Our congratulation go out to all three winners and our thanks to everyone that took part for making it such a memorable day for us. Also a big thanks once again to Gordon Boulding for his help on the day ……. Much appreciated.

Now, for the eagle eyed amongst us, the one common denominator between these three anglers is that they are all from south of the border and are all members of the Ashington Kingfishers …. So if ever you north of the border folks needed incentive to reverse this next year, there you have it!

Speaking of next year, we intend to run the competition as we had hoped to do this year i.e. two heats and a final. With this in mind we will be announcing the dates of the event very early in the season and our intention is to have an early season heat and a mid-season heat with the final taking place at roughly the same time in October 2019. We are hoping that with more notice we will be able to fill all the heat places with the anticipation of a great final to follow towards the end of the season. Please watch the loch reports and the signs at the loch that will announce the dates and also please note that monies must be paid at the time of entry to secure your place.

And so back to the normal round up of who did particularly well during the last two weeks and the flies that they used:

  • Bob Cockburn 10 including one brownie. He released fish of 3.5,4,6.5 and 7.5 lbs. Next outing 11. Next outing 19 including one brownie. Next outing 17. Flies included a range of dries, black beetle, black gnat and diawl bachs.
  • S Nicholson 6 to the boat. Hopper and buzzers.
  • Young angler Corben Skene fishing with his grandad Gus on a windy morning had 7 fish to the boat in a short 3 hour session including a cracking brownie (see photo)
  • Ronnie Glass 9 to the boat including one brown. Various dries. Ronnie caught a further 8 on his next outing and Dennis, who he was teaching also managed to land 2.
  • Colin McIssac 8 tot the boat using black beetle and olive hopper. Next outing 11 to the boat. Next outing 9. Next outing 16 including one brownie. Next outing 8 to the boat using snatchers and dries.
  • Colin Stuart 10 including 5 brownies. Fishing bank and boat. Humungous.
  • Bob Grant 6 to the boat.
  • James Gardiner 9 to the bank in a 2 hour short session. Crunchers and hares ear.
  • Brian Turner and Jim Campbell 15 to the boat including two browns. Foam beetle and black nymph. Jim had another 7 on his next outing using hares ear and cdcs
  • Robbie Bell 16 to the boat including one brown. Various.
  • Peter and Mark Mc Dougall enjoyed their short stay in Lochside Cottage. They landed 25 rainbows and two browns. Diawl bachs and goats toe. They reported having had a fantastic time. Mark had a further 6 from the bank on his next outing using diawl bachs.
  • Ronnie Hunter had 10 to the boat in a short session. Black cruncher and biscuit blob.
  • Paul Shirkie 9 to the boat including one brownie. Apps bloodworm.
  • Kelly 9 to the boat including 3 brownies. Drys, including sedge and daddy.
  • Neil Keillor and Darrel Young 12 to the boat. Cormorant and white tadpole.
  • John McGregor had 7 last night in his final 4 hours of the season fishing from the boat. Orange Shipmans and damsel.

Club News:

  • Pencaitland AC – A total of 60 fish for 14 anglers giving a rod average of 4.3. They reported having had a great day.
  • The Ellem Club – A disappointing day for the Ellem Club saw them land 33 rainbows and 2 browns, with also a number of fish lost. Biggest fish of the outing was a rainbow of approx. 4 lbs.
  • The Black Bull – fishing their pairs club comp two days after the Ellem Club and in quite windy conditions had a total of 66 fish. The winning bag went to Willy Davidson and Ben Robertson with a combined weight of 20lbs. Bens heaviest rainbow weighed in at 7lbs (see photo). Other catches of note included Colin Bruce with a rainbow of 3lbs 10 ozs, Keith Dyet with a rainbow of 4lbs 8ozs and John Hunter with a Brownie estimated at 4lbs (see photo). They reported having had a superb day despite the wind.

Other News:

  • Club bookings for next year are now coming in thick and fast and so if you are planning to book a club visit with us in 2019 please don’t delay getting in touch with us.
  • There are still places on the bank for our opening day on Saturday 16th March 2019 and lots of spaces on boat and bank for Sunday 17th. Please give us a ring if you would like to be part of our opening weekend.
  • Once again a reminder that our last day of the 2018 season will be Sunday 25th November but there’s still some great fishing to be had between now and then.

Robbies Blog:


I caught my first Salmon in 1966 on a Brown and Gold Devon Minnow.

It was armed with obligatory heavily barbed Treble Hook.

As is often the case I gave up fishing a couple of years later when I discovered Beer and Ladies.

Anyway my first time trout fishing in a boat was over twenty years later.

Three Fly Fishermen in a small boat on the Whiteadder Reservoir on a cold blustery evening was almost my last time!

So where is this leading?

Well not long after that Coldingham Loch appeared on my horizon with Tina and Ted Wise the owners in those days.

Now fairly soon after that I was having the obligatory conversation with Ted after a days fishing. The subject of de-barbing flies came up an one thing that stuck in my mind, and remember that this is probably over thirty years ago was Ted saying all hooks should be Barbless.

At that time and with my very limited skills I silently disagreed with him.

With the limited amount of Takes I was able to generate in those days I wanted all the help I could get in netting a Trout.

Times change……..times really do change.

Nowadays I seldom if ever deliberately use a use a Barbed Hook.


Well they make the day so much easier and better.

If you fish for a day with a team of Barbed Flies there cannot be many days when you don’t hook into something you did not intend to.

Nets, Leggings, Jackets. Boat Ropes Boot Laces and Mats. Hoods and Bags and probably Boat Partners.

It often happens quite few times in the day especially in a wind.

Now the same thing happens with Barbless but of course they just slide out with virtually no damage. The same with the Trout.

Now back in the day when Ted made that remark there were hardly any Barbless Hooks available never mind Barbless Flies.

That is not the case today.

For the Fly Tier there are a multitude of Makes in all Shapes and Sizes.

If you don’t roll your own there are many companies selling Barbless Flies with the range getting more and more each year.

Also the competition scene, especially the World and European Championships has driven the design of these Hooks to be more efficient.

Today Barbless Flies and Hooks have evolved to have greater holding power. Amongst the innovations are; upturned points, spear and wave points. Longer tapers and wide gapes all help.

These days most small fisheries insist on Barbless Flies even when you are taking fish and all fisheries require barbless or de-barbed on catch and release.

In competitions you will not find many anglers using de-barbed flies. They almost all use Manufactured Barbless hooks to tie their own.

Why? Because simply they are better.

Try them you will not be disappointed.

A good range can be found here.



I have used both these companies many times over the last few years.


Visiting Clubs:

We have just one more club booking before the end of the season and so our welcome goes to the Border Bears who will be with us on the 4th November. Here’s to a good day and a good end to the season for them

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