First Report of 2020 – on 14th June

Back with a bang!!

2020 Season – Open for just one week and then forced to close was something that we and many others would never have predicted. Whilst the opening week (in March) was, as usual extremely productive, no one could have foreseen how good it would be once we re-opened. The unusually superb weather that we had in spring continued into our re-opening and with bright sunshine, low water and very little wind one might have expected tough going ….. but none of it. The catch returns were first class and I’m happy to report, remain so.

The start of the caenis fly hatch a couple of days ago did, understandably, slow things down a little but happily the colder temperatures seem to have cancelled that out.

“The loch has never been in better condition” is what we are hearing from lots of our regulars. Chrystal clear water, superb access around the banks, wild flowers in full bloom and lots of new life on and around the loch mean that just being here is a treat. Add to this that the fish are also in superb condition and have naturalised incredibly well during the lockdown, and you have a perfect recipe for a good days fishing.

Bank and boat are fishing very well and as I said earlier, the improved access around the bank due to work that was carried out during the lockdown, means that getting around on the bank has never been easier. At the start of the re-opening, the fish were really keen to look at anything that was put in front of them and so it’s very difficult to name flies for that period.

During the last week it’s fair to say that they have become more selective and this coupled to the more unsettled weather that we have had, has made things a little less predictable. Hot head damsel, pink apps, grunter (ginked), diawl bachs and buzzers fished with FABs and blobs have worked well. Dries are still the go to method for a lot of our regulars with daddy, yellow owl, olive duns and black gnat all having their day.

As mentioned earlier, a few days ago saw the start of the caenis fly hatch and as we all know this usually makes things a lot tougher but the more windy, foggy and wet weather has slowed the hatch down.

Fish are being located in all areas of the loch but since the re-opening, boat house bay has once again been probably the most productive with the reed bed area coming in a close second. Swing Gate Bay has yet to switch on fully but it’s only a question of time.

Please note that we are still operating under Phase 1 of the route out of Lockdown in Scotland but as things are changing then please look at our Covid 19 page to see how we are currently operating the fishing. We are asking everyone to pre-book fishing before coming along to the loch.

Thank you to all those who have supported us (and continue to do so too) in a myriad of different ways during these tricky times.

We wish all of you and your families good health now and in the future

Gareth & Carmel


Robbies Blog:

Re-Opening Day.  

Well I arrived at the Loch around 08.45 to find out I was just about the last one to rock up. Rods out in the boats were already bending as I drove down the hill which did give me a sense of urgency when setting up the boat!

I should not have been concerned as it only took two casts for my first fish of the Coldingham season to hang on to a Black UV cruncher. I opted to start on the Washing Line with the Rio In Touch 6 Foot Midge Tip Flyline. I rigged this up with a long leader. A Candy Booby on the point with a Foam Daddy on the Top Dropper. In the Middle I had the UV Cruncher and a JC Diawl Bach. All four flies worked with my first four Trout coming one to each of the flies! Lucky guess or what?

The morning was quite hectic with many fish caught and others lost and the usual few pulls that came to nothing. I drifted most of the time from Swingate Bay out into the deep open water and found fish all over.

After a great start on the Rio Line I picked up my other Rod which was set up with 3 Dry Flies. Two small Black Hoppers with an Olive Quill Bodied CDC in the middle. Again, all the flies worked. The fish were Hungry!

By this time so was I, so in for lunch where Margaret and I met up with Carmel and Gareth for a socially distanced bite to eat on the bank and a good catch up.

The afternoon was much quieter for me as the almost relentless full sun eventually put the fish down I switched to a fast sinking line and did manage 3 more but I did miss a trick One Chap in a boat was catching steadily most of the afternoon.

It was only just at finishing time that I realised he was fishing parallel to the weed beds on the south shore and as he was packing up his mate came across and he told him they were all coming to a Damsel fish fast and jerky on a floating line.

You can’t win them all but it was just great to be back on the Loch. 😊  


Other News:

  • Perhaps our biggest news is that we have posted a set of proposals for how we might operate the loch in future. For those of you who might not be aware of this or have not seen it on our web page, we would urge you to take a moment to have a look. When you go to the home page you will see a banner flashing that says “Important News for Anglers” and if you click on the “click here” button you will see what it is that we are proposing.

So far, the response has been very encouraging and we hope to be in a position, at least by the end of September, if not before, to make a decision as to how we might change things. Please take a moment to look.

  • Some of you might remember that last season Robbie lost one of his rods over the side whilst out with a client on tuition. The good news is that it turned up again last Sunday after being hooked by a visiting club member and luckily Robbie was here and so could receive it back in person. (see photo). The bad news is that just two days later Darrell Young lost his rod over the side thanks to a second fish on his dropper, which he didn’t realise he had on, and so the hunt is on again to find his rod. I guess that it’s a case of ‘ one out, one in!’ If anyone does happen to come across it, please let us know and we will be sure to reunite Darrell with it.
  • We are still operating on single anglers per boat in line with guidance from The Angling Trust and SANA. However we are constantly in touch with what’s being said by the Scottish Government and may change the way we operate if new relaxation measures are announced. In the meantime though, we are delighted by the way people have been respecting the social distancing recommendations and feel sure that we are providing as safe an environment to fish as we can. Again, it’s worth familiarising yourselves with our new procedures on our web page if you have not already done so.
  • Obviously we had to cancel the heats for this years Coldingham Loch cup competition but if circumstances allow we might run it as a straight final towards the end of this year. We will of course keep you posted.
  • The Lad(y)s and Dads comp is also under review and at this stage we are unable to guarantee that this will take place this year. Again, we will keep you posted.

Club News:

  • Some clubs are still coming as per their pre bookings but suffice to say with greatly reduced numbers due to travel and personal safety concerns by individuals. Which is all perfectly understandable. As a result we will not be posting our usual club news until things return to normal.
  • Club bookings for next year, 2021, are now being taken and we would recommend that clubs contact us asap with their dates, to avoid disappointment, due to the possible changes that we might be making next year.

Holiday Cottage News:

  • Scottish Government have said that the tourist industry should be able to start re-opening from 15th There has not yet been any confirmation of this applying to self catering cottages from then but the thinking is that we will be able to re-open cottages from mid July. At this stage we have not been given details of how we will be able to re-open and what restrictions will be in place. An announcement is due this coming week and we will display on our Covid 19 page once we know when, how and who for (there may be same household restrictions initially). Any cottage guests please feel free to keep in touch regarding your bookings or to make new ones.
  • For holiday guests who also fish during their stay, we would like to reassure that the proposals we have put forward regarding the future operation of the fishery will not greatly affect the angler who is staying here in a cottage. Cottage guests who fish will still be able to fish in the same way as they do now – ie From dawn until dusk or closing (10pm in summer); coming and going as you like (if off a boat pre-booking is advised as it is now) so no need to stick to session times; guests will keep a record of hours fished (as currently happens) and then this can be paid for at the end of the stay.    

Gallery below – a couple of Lockdown pictures and re-opening pictures:


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