Well where does the time go? Once again we have reached the end of the season and what an unpredictable season it has been. A slow start due to bad weather in early April followed by some of the best fishing of the year at the end of April and early May. We then had the long hot summer and an unbelievably mild back end to the year. However, despite these elements of unpredictability the loch has held its own this season and there have been many memorable catches and an equal number of stories about the ‘one that got away’. Throughout the year we have tried to share most of these with you and we hope that you have enjoyed the many photographs that we have posted with our reports. Thanks go to all those who have contributed to the gallery and we hope to be able to do the same next year so the message is, don’t forget your cameras.
Whilst on the whole we have had another good season we were relatively quiet towards the end with we guess, many people swapping their rods for guns. Conditions in November are historically quite unpredictable, but this year we experienced some great weather and the fish duly obliged by providing some superb top of the water action and equally superb imitation fry fishing.
Suffice to say the anglers that came during this last period enjoyed a good day out with remarkably reasonable weather (for the time of year). It was interesting to see some folk coming in with really good catches when the day looked like it would be tricky fishing and then some lean catches when the fish were rising all around and could not be tempted by anything – even some of Ashington’s finest were stumped one day when the fish just seemed to be surface feeding and locked on to a tiny black fly, and that was that. They commented that it was like fishing a Caenis hatch in November.
Tony (Hawkins) and Walter who always fish the bank had a couple of successful trips in this last period though their last day proved a bit cold to be in waders but Tony had some good fish to reward him for his perseverance (see photos).
The last day we were open saw the Renton brothers in competition, to John’s disgust it was Keith that triumphed yet again with 4 more fish than John including a fine specimen of just under 6lbs that went home for the table. Next time John! Neil (Keillor) and Robbie (Bell) both enjoyed their last day out on water with good returns and an enjoyable break for lunch with Robbie kindly providing some tasty home made soup (thanks Margaret!) helped finish off the season in comfort. Other anglers who enjoyed the soup and bacon butties on the last day included Peter who brought Michael along (from Fishers tackle shop in Penicuik) and Stuart coming up from Newcastle so thanks to them for doing the journey and we look forward to seeing them next year. Although he was unable to join us for the last day a quick mention must be made of Bob Cockburn who has recorded his best ever season at Coldingham Loch in terms of number of fish caught overall – well done Bob and we look forward to seeing you try to beat it next year!
The loch is remains well stocked and we predict an abundance of hungry, over wintered fish, in fine condition for the start of next season. If the fish are in the same feeding mood as this year, they will indeed provide some fine sport to kick start 2014.
- We had a slightly surreal experience one night in late November when walking the dogs along the western bank at dusk – an otter almost stepped on Carmel’s welly as it climbed up the bank. Carmel thought it was one of the dogs at first but at the same moment she realised it wasn’t the otter saw us and off it went back into the water, clearly a bit disorientated as it swam in circles for a while and then climbed on the fish cage to rest. We rowed out to get closer look (see photos) and watched it for quite some time whilst it rested – we suspect it was not well for some reason – but then watched it swim off again and disappear so all was well. What a treat for us (the dogs were pretty interested in it too!).
- Work has already begun at the north end of the loch to further improve the accessibility to the loch from the bank and this will continue so that it is completed in time for season. Fishing from the bank without waders is possible for significant periods of the year but we do recommend the use of waders in mid-summer to enable anglers to cast in beyond the weed fringe in a number of areas.
- A reminder for anyone who is hoping to come for a fishing holiday next year that we are taking bookings for the cottages and chalets and that the best way to do this is to email or ring us and we can get that done for you. The availability is on the website though it is always worth a quick ring/email if the dates you want are not free as the way the website works can mean mid-week dates look full when they may not be.
- The winter programme of work has already begun on the boats. All of them are out of the water now and the steady job of minor repairs is under way. Many thanks again to our friend Dave Brabbin for once again coming up and lending a hand. We could not have done it without you Dave.
- Work has also commenced on the refurbishment of Elm Chalet for the start of next season. This we hope, will be the start of a rolling programme of upgrading the chalets in order to offer top notch accommodation for our holiday visitors.
A final thank you to all of you who come and fish here, the regulars, the clubs and all the holiday guests it is your loyal custom that enables us to keep the loch flourishing and we look forward to seeing you all back here next season.
Wishing you all a Very Happy Christmas and New Year and tight lines for 2014.
Opening Weekend is March 15th 2014. Please contact us if you wish to book (boats for the Saturday are all gone but plenty of bank space whilst on the Sunday the bank is fairly full but we have some boats left). As usual the season will start with a piped procession down to the loch, a wee nip on both mornings and a bacon butty in the afternoon. See you all in the new year.
Thanks to Tony Hawkins for sending some of these pictures below – please click on the photo to enlarge and use arrows to scroll