10th – 30th June 2024
Loch Reports

10th – 30th June 2024

Who would have thought it, July tomorrow, where is the season going?

The last couple of weeks have been dominated in the evenings with very large hatches of caenis and sedge and those of us who have been lucky enough to see it, have been treated to some very spectacular evening rises.

Whilst I think that most of us would consider fishing in a caenis hatch is difficult to say the least, some people have shown that it’s not impossible to catch even in these conditions.

Matching the hatch provided limited success but using something completely different proved to be far more successful. A black flat daddy fished as a single fly and on a long leader certainly worked for Les Lockey. However, how it fished it was really the key. Throw it out, straighten the line and leave it sounds easy but how many of us can do this? Invariably we often find ourselves going back to a preferred method that usually involves twitching and moving the flies one way or another with leaving it alone, seemingly being the hardest thing to master.

All areas of the loch are fishing equally well and both bank and boat are sharing success.

A reminder to everyone to please use barbless / de-barbed hooks unless you are taking fish. Catch and Release is now the most popular choice for most anglers and therefore it becomes ever more important to ensure the good health of the fish. Barbless hooks play a massive role in maintaining mouth health of the fish and they also help to ensure that we are handling the fish as little as possible. On a water of this size it is almost impossible for us to police everyone’s flies and we rely heavily on people “ doing the right thing”, so please play your part.

We continue to get very positive comments from members and their guests, visiting clubs and holiday guests on the exceptional quality of the fish and the fight they are giving anglers even at this time of year. Thank you to everyone who plays their part in helping keep the fish in good by using barbless hooks, avoiding handling fish as much as possible and ensuring they are released back into the water as quickly as possible.

The weather remains fairly settled and despite a few hotter days the water temp is still quite low for this time of the year which is really beneficial. Very little weed growth relative to the time of the year is also a bonus for us.

Given the condition, this means that, in general, the fish are still quite high in the water, hence the success with the dries. Warmer temperatures will see the fish heading for the deeper areas and at this point a change of tactics will pay dividends.

Due to the summer holidays being upon us soon there are no visiting clubs over the next couple of weeks.

Other News:

  • It was with sadness that we learned of the passing this week of Andrew McQuater (aged 91). Andrew was a valued member of our membership and his enthusiasm for fishing was a delight to see. He was a true gentleman and always upbeat. His family have asked his good friend, William who is also a member of CLFF to share the news of his passing with the fishing community along with details of the funeral arrangements. The funeral will be held on Thursday 4th July at 12.45 in the EU Church, Eyemouth. We send our condolences to his family.
  • No doubt most people will have heard the news that Esthwaite Water in the Lake District announced its closure earlier this month. This is another sad loss to the fly fishing world, especially as it was the one of only a few loch style waters left in the north of England following the closure of Stocks Reservoir a couple of years earlier.
  • Thanks again to Les Lockey for his fly to tie and try this month which we posted a week or so ago. If you haven’t visited the feature its well worth taking a look at and going back through the months previous to see all the other flies that we have covered. The patterns are generally easy to follow and it’s a great way to get in to tying your own flies if you don’t already do so. The flies that Les posts are also proven killers here at Coldingham which is a big added bonus.

 Anglers Reports:

Fishing Report by Les Lockey

22nd – 28th June 2024

After such disappointing spring weather, it might seem churlish to complain about a week of wall to wall sunshine and temperatures well into the 20s, but as regular Coldingham Loch fly fishers know, when bright sunshine is combined with stiff winds, fishing becomes quite a challenge, especially for those anglers who prefer top of the water sport. In these conditions the majority of the fish invariably head for the comfort of much deeper water and those anglers who are comfortable fishing lures on fast sinking lines will still catch plenty of fish. However, being on site all week allowed me to pick and choose when to take up my dry fly rod and target rising fish. Typically, mornings from 10.00 -11.30 and evenings from 7.30 – 9.30 when the wind eased, proved to be most productive for me.

Early in the week, when temperatures were at their highest, heavy evening Caenis hatches saw the loch literally bubble with rising fish. Such a sight can frustrate and infuriate even the calmest of anglers, as so often their carefully presented flies remain ignored in the face of what seems like total preoccupation by the trout. Faced with this spectacle on my first evening, I tackled up with my trusty 5 weight rod and a prototype size 20 Caenis dry fly imitation, tied in the Dynamite Harry style and managed to land 1 rainbow and lose 3 others. The following morning saw me on the jetty trying out a new selection of fly lines and more by good luck than good judgement, I put on a black flat daddy to help the leader turn over in the less than beneficial wind, and what a serendipitous choice that turned out to be, as on my second cast I was into a good fish. Safely netted and returned, I changed the spool to another line but attached the same leader and again I was rewarded with a take in very short order. At the end of my line testing session, I had tried 4 different floating lines and caught fish on three of them, all to the black flat daddy. That evening, I fished from the bank with the intention of changing the flat daddy to a Caenis imitation, if and when the Caenis hatch started, but as it turned out, the flat daddy was so successful it never left my leader for the rest of the week. Despite Monday being the hottest day of the year thus far, I landed 2 good fish and lost another 2 in just 6 casts from the end of the jetty with my good friend John Dow doing sterling work as my unpaid ghillie. The evening produced a massive Caenis hatch (see photo gallery), but yet again, in just over an hour’s fishing from the bank the flat daddy brought 8 fish to the net and several others were lost in play. In fact, out of a total of 37 fish caught, all but one took the black flat daddy. Interestingly, when I went to write up my fishing diary, I checked back on last year’s entries for the same time of year and once again the black flat daddy was my top fish catching fly. Note to self – read your fishing diary before you go fishing!!

Thank you to Les for taking the time & trouble to send in this report – along with some great photos. Thanks also to John McGregor for sending in some of his atmospheric shots when he was out one evening and for the pictures of some beautiful fish (see gallery below)