29th April – 26th May 2024
Loch Reports

29th April – 26th May 2024

The fishing has continued to be exceptional throughout May and again we have had numerous comments from members and holiday guests on the quality of the fish, both rainbows and browns and the very good sport they have been giving anglers here at the loch.

As always in the UK, the weather is often the main topic of conversation & it has certainly been up and down, an easterly wind (though thankfully not a super strong one in general) continues to bring in tricky conditions at times and when the weather has warmed up it has brought a haar in off the sea. Not always pleasant to fish in, but it at least helps to keep the water a wee bit cooler.

Anglers are continuing to report landing some really beautiful browns and there are a few pictures in the gallery below. As always and more especially this time of year when the water is warming up we ask that fish are not handled or taken out of the water and any photos can be taken in the net before releasing the fish from the net. Thank you.

Top tactics in the last week or so have been floating lines & dries such as yellow owl, flat daddy, foam beetle, hawthorn and a wide variety of CDC patterns.

Buzzers and diawl-bachs are also showing success when fished using the washing line.

All areas of the loch are holding plenty of fish and as always, those that move about are having the best of the action. Water quality remains really clear and temperature is creeping up slowly but has not yet become too high and fish remain active and rising. There is plenty of natural fly life about with big hatches of Hawthorn (these have reduced in this last week) and plenty of midge hatches (not biting ones!!) including the apple green midge. So the challenge for anglers now is to tempt the fish with their fly when there is so much natural fly life about.

Anglers Reports:

Fishing Report by Les Lockey.

4th May – 11th May 2024

With the exception of Monday, when the loch was virtually invisible due to a thick sea mist, the weather became brighter, warmer and sunnier as the week progressed. Winds were generally light but variable in direction, often changing direction during the day and sometimes seeming to come from two different directions at the same time which posed a few problems for both bank and boat anglers alike.

Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, saw my fishing time restricted to a couple of hours each day so I opted for some bank fishing in my wellies along the West bank of Swing Gate Bay where fish rose consistently close to shore throughout the week. However, these fish were obviously locked onto some food source just below the surface and in the beginning at least, proved difficult to tempt. A black flat daddy, yellow owl and small olive hopper saw me land 15 fish and lose as many again, but interestingly and rather unexpectedly,  apple green midge then began to hatch. These insects normally hatch in June and the fish become fixated on this abundant but tiny food resource and can prove as difficult to catch as during a Caenis hatch. However, my Pal Gary, showed us all was not lost when on the first day of his trip, he landed 14 of these midge feeders using a Fluorescent Green CDC shuttlecock and an unusually large insect green Klinkhammer. Make of that what you will, but that evening I tied up some of Gary’s fluorescent green CDC shuttlecocks with materials that were, at best, less than ideal, but sometimes needs must.

Wednesday to Friday I managed to get a bit more time and went afloat determined to start by targeting the fish along the west shore and to my utter astonishment, on my very first cast, I hooked and landed a beautiful brown trout of about 5lb on my interpretation of Gary’s fluorescent green CDC. Several other quality fish followed before some Hawthorn flies began to land on the water and the fishing from there on changed noticeably. A move to the Priest’s Hole and a detached foam bodied hawthorn dry fly brought immediate and continued success, and after landing 6 browns and 14 rainbows plus a couple of lost fish, it was time to head back for an early G&T.

I spent Thursday anchored close to the reed bed at the top of the North arm and using the same Hawthorn pattern plus a small black foam beetle, I managed to net 14 fish and lost an absolute cracker. As buff coloured Sedges began to hatch, I drifted back down the North arm to the boat jetty using a yellow owl CDC and landed another 4 fish bringing my total for the day to 18.

Friday was a beautiful day with bright sunshine and a flat calm to start. Less than ideal conditions to say the least, but in these conditions, there can be fewer prettier places to fish than Coldingham Loch. However, despite the conditions, the detached foam bodied Hawthorn fly brought 6 fish to the net and for some reason I couldn’t pinpoint, I also managed to lose many more fish than I landed. In fact at one point I lost 6 fish one after the other. Thankfully a light breeze got up which allowed me to drift across the North arm, then after a change in wind direction, to drift out of Swing Gate Bay along the Eastern bank, and the Hawthorn imitation continued to bring superb trout to the net, giving me a return of 20 fish for the day.

I ended my weeks fishing with a total of 73 fish, all caught on dries and emerger patterns and what wonderful fish they were. Their fighting

qualities and sheer power, has to be experienced to be believed, which is a ringing endorsement for the stocking policy put in place under very difficult conditions by both Gareth and Carmel. From this very happy angler and I’m  sure many others too, it is very much appreciated.

Les Lockey

Thank you Les for taking the time and trouble to send the information and photos to us which we are sure will be of interest to many reading this. Much appreciated.

18th May: Colin Riach fished here with the Heriots Angling Club, and sent the attached photos which are incredible and show the whole range of weather that the Heriots fished in that day in with the following text which is not so much a report but thought it may be of interest to go with the photos – the photo of the flies from the stomach of the fish are amazing. Thank you Colin.

‘Photos from Saturday attached.  Some odd weather!

I had to knock a fish on the head that got nicked in the rakers and was bleeding badly.  When I gutted it, I took the opportunity to take a photo of its stomach contents.  I don’t know what the big one below the alder fly is???  We were seeing quite a few on the water.  I thought it was a giant hawthorn, as we were seeing the hawthorns.

I saw and heard a reed warbler up at the reed beds in the NW corner.  No question about the ID.  I put Merlin id app on it and it said it was a reed warbler.  I checked the song when I got home. Unmistakable.  I looked it up – quite a rare breeding bird in Scotland it seems…’

Colin Riach

Club News:

Over the next two weeks these are the club days:

Thursday 30th May –  Liveline AC & Edinburgh Medical Society

Monday 3rd June – Edinburgh Waltons

As always we look forward to welcoming them and hope that they have a great days fishing here at the loch

Other News:

  • Our annual Youth Day will be held on Sunday 9th June and has nicely filled up with around 12 youths coming to join in the day. We look forward to welcoming them all and hope they have a great day. Because of this there will be limited boat availability for members but the bank will have plenty of room
  • As many of you will know the Aurora were on full and spectacular display across the UK and beyond and the attached photo was taken by one of our neighbours Alison – a great shot over the loch. Sadly, like others, we were fast asleep and missed it all!!