Proposal for a Membership Scheme at Coldingham Loch
In these uncertain times Covid 19 and the effect that it has had on us all has prompted us to consider how we secure the future of the fishery. To this end we are looking at the viability of becoming a members only water that will still allow access for club outings, holiday guests and guests of members, but will no longer be open for day ticket fishing.
In the 10 years or so that we have been here, we have worked hard to maintain the peaceful environment and ambience of the loch. Whilst we have made significant improvements, we’ve always resisted the temptation to over commercialise or compromise the natural beauty of this unique venue. As you know Coldingham Loch is classed as a SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) and has gained this recognition in respect of some of the unique flora and fauna that it supports. Our commitment for the future well-being of the loch will be no less robust. We feel that with a solid base of trusted and respectful members we could maintain this superb setting and create an environment that will always be a pleasure to visit. Success in this new venture would also secure our future here and ensure that the loch remains open as a fishery and holiday venue.
We would be pricing the membership such that it would be an affordable proposition for as many people as possible, including juniors, who will always be the future of our sport. We believe that the fees compare favourably to the cost of an average syndicate gun or a day’s salmon fishing on a reasonably priced beat. We hope that people will agree with us and see our proposals as inclusive and attractive.
Endorsements from a couple of regular anglers:
‘My lifetime of fly fishing has taken me to most corners of Scotland and further afield. I am glad to say the best top of the water loch is not far from me! Coldingham loch is out in front when it comes to exciting, top of the water fishing which, for me, is what fly fishing is all about.
The abundance and diversity of fly life is unique, the location of the loch is very important as it is spring fed and protected from field run off. My first choice is a floating line and imitative flies almost every day from mid- March to November, what more could anyone ask for.’ Colin McIsaac May 2020
‘I have fished Coldingham Loch for the past 30 years and at around 20 times a season that is well over 500 times. I think that speaks for itself as to how good it is. With an abundance of fly life it is one of the best dry fly fisheries anywhere however it also lends itself to all other fly fishing techniques giving anglers the opportunity to change method as the situation demands. Enough said!’ Robbie Bell May 2020
And so what would membership look like?
- Access to one of the best top of the water natural lochs in Scotland; quiet, peaceful superb fishing in a stunning location. It is a real treasure of a place and offers superb traditional fly fishing experience at its best.
- Membership would be a 6 day per week membership with the other day being reserved for club bookings. This would not be the same day each week and would not always be a weekend day. If clubs don’t book a day we would close the loch for one day per week as a rest day.
- 9 months fishing season – from mid-March to end of November.
- Maximum of three visits per week (more visits could be made if spaces were available to be booked on the day). If a member was here on holiday then they would not be limited to 3 times/week during the week of their stay.
- Members would be able to fish from bank or boat availability permitting.
- Online booking system –all bookings would be made online prior to any outing and we would provide a system which is fit for purpose. Details will follow re how the booking system will operate.
- Members could bring guests but the same guest may only fish for a maximum of 4 times in any one season. Children aged 10 and under can fish free of charge with an adult member.
- Membership would be based on an upper limit of anglers and the number will be decided once we get a feel for the amount of interest we generate.
- Membership would be operated on a first come, first served basis and once full, a waiting list would be established.
- Access to the loch would be via a security gate and all members would be given access codes or equivalent entry instructions.
- The fisherman’s hut would be for the use of members, clubs and holiday guests with complimentary tea, coffee and milk provided by us. (We would expect members to keep it tidy but the cleaning and maintenance would be our responsibility. Same rules for the toilet).
- Any guest fees would be payable in advance via bank transfer or may be paid on the day if other methods are not available.
- No more than 3 fish per week could be taken by any one member and there would be an annual upper limit of 30 fish per member. There would be no limit on catch and release (with a common sense approach).
- All fishing would be with barbless or de-barbed hooks only.
- Members would supply their own motors and batteries although a small stock would be kept on site for emergencies and for use by holiday guests. In future it would be our intention to create a secure space where members could leave their motors on site if they wish to, but take batteries home for re-charging.
- All members would be expected to use their own life jackets although we would keep an emergency stock here for use by members and their guests.
- Nets would be provided by us, but members may also use their own as long as they adhere to the dipping rules.
- A maximum of 3 boats per day could be reserved by us for holiday guests but if not required would be available to members and their guests. Total number of boats is 10. (Lochside Cottage would retain its own boat, as it always has, for use by holiday guests staying there)
- Holiday guests would be charged at the same rates as members guests.
- There would no longer be provision for day ticket anglers to fish the water.
- Opening times would remain the same as they are currently:
8.30am – 5pm
8.30 am – 10pm from 1st May – 30th September
Please note that the owners would:
- Reserve the right to invite guests (same fees apply).
- Amend terms of membership and fishery rules as and when they see fit.
- Withdraw / not renew membership for anyone not adhering to the rules.
Adult Membership Fees:
- The annual fee would be £495 per season for boat and bank
- The annual fee would be £425 per season for bank only
- No joining fee charged.
- Fees to be paid in full by 1st March.
- Fees could be paid in one lump sum or by up to four instalments at any time from September of the current season and leading up to the 1st of March of the new season.
- There would be no refund of fees for any member leaving part way through a season.
Junior Membership Fees:
It is hoped that we could build up a good junior membership section over time and would try to encourage as many young members as possible to the loch.
- Junior means anyone aged 11 – 18 (11 or over and under aged 18 on 1st March of that year).
- £160 to be paid in full by the 1st March of the new season either as one lump sum or in 4 instalments from September of the current season.
- Children aged 10 and under could fish with an adult member free of charge
Club Bookings & Fees:
We would still want to offer clubs the opportunity to fish Coldingham Loch and the following would apply to club bookings:
- Clubs could book a maximum of two visits per season.
- Bookings would be at least a month in advance by telephone or email.
- The charge would be set the same as for guests, i.e. £30 per rod from a boat and £25 per rod from the bank, with a maximum of 3 fish per rod being taken and unlimited catch and release.
- Fees for club bookings would be payable at least two weeks before the outing.
Guest Fees (includes Coldingham Loch Holiday Guests and Guests of Members) :
This would be a set fee of £30 per 8 hour session from a boat and £25 from the bank and is based on a 3 fish upper limit and unlimited catch and release.
Under 18’s would be charged at £20 for up to 3 fish limit and unlimited catch and release.
So what are the next steps?
The next step for us is to gauge how many people might be interested in being part of this new way of operating.
We would really appreciate hearing from you and will be gathering expressions of interest between now and the end of September so that we can make an informed decision going forward. A link will be provided on the bottom of this page for anglers to click on and use to express their interest in the proposal. We will have this link added on 10th June so please re-visit this page then if you wish to add your name to the Expressions of Interest list. We will then keep in touch by email with updates to all those interested.
We appreciate and understand that many people don’t like change, however the realities of running a place like this and wanting to see it survive in to the future have led us to this point.
We hope that as many of you as possible will support us in this venture and help us to continue doing what we do.
Expressions of Interest:
Those anglers who would like to express an interest in becoming a member of Coldingham Loch for 2021 season can do so by filling in the details below and then pressing the subscribe button. Please be assured that this is only an expression of interest at this stage and we will contact you again as things develop.