Our final loch report comes to you with approximately two weeks left of the 2018 season and what a memorable season it has been for all sorts of reasons.
To start with we were greeted by ‘The Beast From The East’ which consigned the 14 brave anglers (who came for opening day despite the weather) to fish the bank, as the water was just too rough to allow any boat anglers out. But despite the freezing conditions the bank lads had a day to remember with very good numbers of fish being caught in all areas of the loch. Opening Sunday proved to be even too rough to fish the bank and so regretfully we closed for the day. And so, this hit and miss picture continued for the next few weeks until finally the snow abated and we got down to some serious spring time fishing which was highlighted once again by the great top of the water sport that we have come to expect from Coldingham at that time of year.
Next came the summer and with much higher than average temperatures many fisheries up and down the country were forced to close but thankfully we managed to remain open, in part due to the deeper water and in part due to the purchase of a new aeration system that is far more efficient than its predecessor. Invariably the fishing got tougher and fishermen had to be patient, knowing that the good times would return soon enough.
From August onwards, the fishing has really picked up again and for those of us that continue to fish during the cooler weather, we have been very well rewarded with some stunning fish in great condition. So for those of you that haven’t yet put your tackle away, it is still worth a cast, particularly when you get weeks like the one forecasted for this week, with higher than average temperatures and fairly light winds.
So what else made this year a memorable one:
- The introduction of just a handful of tiger trout is not necessarily such a big deal …… but when someone comes along and catches four fish for the day, a rainbow, a blue, a brown and a tiger, you have to ask, what are the chances of ever doing this again. Jim Cameron was the guy in question and he called his feat the Coldingham Quattro. The next challenge must surely be the Coldingham Quintet which would also include a perch as part of the bag. Is there anyone out there that can do it?
- 2018 also saw the advent of two new, in-house competitions, The Coldingham Youth Trophy and the Open age, Coldingham Loch Cup. Both events proved to be very popular with those that took part and in 2019 we are hoping to attract more people to both competitions, the dates for which will be posted at the end of this report. So please book early.
- Our annual Lad(y)s and Dads competition which is our charity day saw us once again raise a very creditable sum of money for our chosen charity, The St Abbs Independent Lifeboat. We were delighted to be able to hand over a cheque for £1100 and we would once again like to thank all those that supported our day either by entering the competition, buying raffle tickets or buying our bags of flies. Every little helps as they say and in 2019 we will be selling the raffle tickets from the start of the season so please buy one or two if you can.
- Clubs once again, generally had a good season with some reporting their best returns of the year. Already club bookings for next year are filling up the weekends, so please book early to avoid disappointment.
- Robbies blog proved once again to be a very valued inclusion into our loch reports and many of you have commented on how useful and informative you find his pieces. Our thanks go to Robbie for taking the time to submit these and hopefully we will be hearing more from him in 2019 but for now his last blog of 2018 is included in this report.
- The trees that we planted at the end of last year are now a year old and in the main are looking very healthy indeed. We have been vigilant throughout the year in tending them and hopefully most will now thrive and survive. Everyone has been complimentary about the planting and most people are looking forward to seeing what this change of aspect will bring to the loch as a whole.
So as I said earlier, the season is closing with a bang and there are some people who are making the most of it but as it’s our last report of the year we won’t be naming people at this stage. Our last day of the season will be on Sunday 25th November which just leaves about 13 days or so to get in your last dabs.
2019 season opens on Saturday 16th March and we are now fully booked for this day. Sunday the 17th however still has lots of spaces for both boat and bank and in previous years this has fished just as well as the opening day so if you are interested book now to take advantage of the free bacon butties at lunch time and a nip before you set off.
Another Season Almost Finished.
Where did it go……….??
We started with the Beast from the East and I missed my first opening day in many a year.
The cold Spring meant the fishing on the rivers never really got going until about May although the Loch fished well for those brave enough. Or those who were able to pick their days.
Then the summer!
Right on the East Coast the weather was not too hot, but it still put the fish off when at its peak.
Then the windy Autumn!
The Loch has probably been closed for more days this year than any I can remember in the 30 odd years I have fished here. Global Warming anyone?
The highlight for me on the Tuition Front was two days out with Austin Churm.
He is an experienced angler but with, shall we say, a few tweaks required.
Getting him to use longer leaders and up to four flies was the first job and he found this fairly easy on the fishing side. Managing it in and around the boat possibly needs a touch more practise but the benefits are worth the effort.
The major breakthrough though was educating his left hand. When he got the hang of this a thirteen fish day was the first result.
Dry fly Fishing was the major topic on his next day out and learning to fish this efficiently resulted in 15 fish to the boat.
One Happy Customer.
Mind you I would very humbly say all my customers have been happy.
“The best 50th Birthday Present I could have received” was my favourite comment. This was from Roy, an angler with just a couple of years’ experience.
On a personal front and putting aside days on the Loch my own highlights were fishing in Utah, Montana and the Czech Republic.
Brilliant River Fishing. The trout in the particular part of Czech I fished this year were all fairly small by todays standards but an 8-foot 2 weight certainly makes them all bigger.
A 3 lb. Cutthroat Rainbow in Montana took all my fly line and 30 yards of backing going diagonally upstream!!
So I hope you had a good season as well, but I really wish they would slow down!
Here’s to 2019.
(44) 01289 302 510
Advanced notice of 2019 dates:
Opening Day – 16th March
Coldingham Loch Cup Competition –
Heat 1: Sunday 14th April
Heat 2: Saturday 17th August
Final: Sunday 27th October or Saturday 2nd November (weather dependent)
Coldingham Youth Trophy – Monday 6th May
Coldingham Loch Lad(y)s & Dads Charity Day – Sunday 29th September
Closing Day – Sunday 24th November
Holiday Cottages – please contact Carmel by phone or email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are wanting to book a holiday cottage….some of next year’s dates are already filling up with returning guests, so if you are limited to when you can come please contact me soon and I can get this booked in. Contacting me direct is much quicker and easier than the online system and I can also offer more flexible dates than you can book online.
Finally then, it just remains for Carmel and I to thank everyone that has fished and/or holidayed with us this year and we hope that you have enjoyed your season wherever you have been. We wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a happy and peaceful new year which brings good health and lots of memorable moments. We look forward to seeing you all again in 2019, if not before with what still remains of this season.
Our gallery below shows a selection of fish caught over the 2018 season here at Coldingham Loch….click on the photo to enlarge and use the arrows to scroll through.