As we say goodbye to another year here at Coldingham Loch, it’s perhaps worth reflecting on what has largely been a very good season.
But first a quick mention of the closing weekend which for some people fished its socks off. Mark McDougal rounded off a great season with 8 from the bank including a 3lb 11oz rainbow (see photo), John Dow also had a great day today with 11 to the boat including a cracking brownie landed near Lochside Cottage. Colin McIsaac, fishing the bank landed 19 on Friday and a further 14 today. Perhaps unbelievably, but impressively, all his fish were landed on dry flies and he fished the same fly for both sessions….a ‘Les Lockey’ summer bibio (one to watch out for next year in our new loch report feature – see below).
Despite the now, almost obligatory snow on opening day, (thankfully not The Beast From The East) our season got off to a real bang with very good numbers of fish being recorded on opening weekend and the trend then continued for much of the next couple of months. Not only were good numbers being recorded but we had no end of compliments on the size and quality of the fish being caught and for those of us that enjoy catching fish on the surface, the extended period of dry fly fishing was an additional bonus.
Weather conditions were perhaps more predictable this year and the seasons did seem to be more like what we might expect from the British climate.
Whilst the fishing was memorable the year also provided us with some other moments to cherish:
- Bob Harrison showed great determination in returning to fly fishing following a particularly debilitating stroke in September 2018 and not only did he return but he also showed that he had lost none of his ability to catch fish. 3 on his first outing followed by a further 6 on his next, helped by his good friends Judy and Ewan Whitelaw.
- The Youth Competition, run with the help of Robbie Bell, attracted a good field of young talent with Jamie Potts coming out on top and our thanks also go out to Kenny Gault for helping out in the morning and providing his expertise around pond life. Already the numbers for next year are looking very promising and we are delighted that there seems to be a growing interest from our younger anglers.
- The Coldingham Loch Cup Competition was held for the second year and this time we had very good attendance for both heats and of course the final. Karl Ferguson ran out as the eventual winner and we look forward to holding this again next year and anticipate that there is going to be a clamour for places as the competition gathers more momentum and recognition. Once again our sincere thanks go out to Mike from Fishers of Penicuik for supporting us and enhancing the prizes.
- The Lad(y)s and Dads competition for the “L” of a Length Trophy was again a great success and the team of volunteer helpers continues to grow and is greatly appreciated by us (The tray bakes are getting better and better!). Once again there were some great raffle prizes on offer and we would like to thank all of those people who donated prizes alongside all those people that bought tickets in support of the charity. As always, all monies raised went to St. Abbs Independent Lifeboat and we were delighted to be asked to the station to conduct the hand- over of funds which took place a couple of weeks ago. The final total raised was a very impressive £1285 and the letter of thanks can be seen in the photos at the end of this report.
- The new aerator worked extremely well a provided a regular hot-spot for fishing as well as keeping the water moving and preventing stratification of the loch. We are intending to introduce another aerator for next season and this will be positioned roughly in the area that is occupied by the fish cage. The fish cage is no longer used and will be removed from the loch over the closed season, weather permitting.
- Once again the loch figured strongly in the top 100 Stillwater Fisheries in the country issued by Trout Fisherman magazine and we were featured a number of times throughout the year. Watch out for the December issue as there will be another article on us written by Geoff Prest following his visit here a couple of months ago.
So with our 8th full season at the helm now at an end we would once again like to thank all of those people that have supported us and provided invaluable help and friendship throughout the year. In particular we would like to say:
- Thanks to Hugh Gordon for piping us in at the start of the year and we look forward to seeing you again in 2020.
- Thanks to Robbie for his contributions to the loch report, it’s always good to get his take on things and we look forward to seeing what he has to say next year.
- Thanks to all of those people who help out at the various events and perhaps worth a special mention ……. Gordon Boulding who has become a very valued and reliable member of the team.
- Thanks to JJ, Janis, Kirsty, Holly for the invaluable help that you provide throughout the year in keeping the loch and the holiday accommodation as good as it is. We are very grateful to you.
So once again it’s time to hunker down for the winter get the fly tying vice out and make a start on the preparations for 2020. Speaking of which, the loch reports will take on a new feature each month with. “A Fly to Tie and Try This Month” by Les Lockey. We look forward to that.
As always we wish you all the best for the festive season and a very happy and prosperous new year. No doubt the closed season will fly by and we look forward to seeing you all again next year.
Gareth and Carmel.
For the gallery please click on the image for full picture and use the arrows to scroll through – apologies for any heads chopped off! – this happens with large photos and is rectified when you click for the full image, thank you