This was another outing to highlight that the Berwickshire coastline has its own special micro-climate. The country has been basking in some glorious summer weather of late, although not great for us fishermen. The drive down the coast was terrific as usual and we were welcomed by overcast conditions and a pretty cool easterly wind. So, with BBQs and picnics getting organised for inland we had to layer-up a bit for the surprising wind chill factor – although everyone made sure they slapped on the sun cream.
Gareth and Carmel were there to welcome the club as usual, and they mentioned that the fishing had not been easy, but some good fish were posted in catch returns of late. One of the challenges has been the fairly prolific hatches of Caenis in the evening and early morning that with which the fish have been preoccupied. So, there has been plenty surface activity at times, but finding an effective way to catch them has not been easy. All sorts of anglers reckon they have the right secret tactics to tempt those Caenis feeders, from pulling boobies to hare’s ear Shipmans or even a few small pale snatchers, etc.
We had 6 boats for the session, but with a few of the holiday lets also out and a few bank anglers who were also setting up, the fishery was going to be busy. I was paired with Darrel Young, a long-time member of Coldingham who had benefited from an enjoyable day’s fishing with another member, Stewart Barnes, earlier in the week.
Water conditions were good and Gareth reckons water temperature was sitting around 14 degrees, and was being helped by the cool winds. There was also a lot of blanket weed down at the bottom end, so we were advised to keep well clear unless we fancied a bit of industrial strength rowing, despite the fact that there were some quality resident trout patrolling the area.
There was little doubt that most set-up with dries in mind, although there were a few opting for a more commercial washing line or damsel approach. I had set-up with the 5-weight and a few of my usual dries and was ready to chop and change through the session. Darrel was also on the dries: olive grunter, beetle and foam daddy to start. There were a few fish showing some of which were just mooching subsurface. They proved not easy to tempt. Patience was going to be key, since the fish were proving opportunistic, with nothing in particular working.
Most of the club members mentioned plenty interest, but few translated these into catches. With a strengthening wind, most boats were setting anchor, particularly around the main basin. This made drifting a bit awkward. Darrel kept our boat drifting close into the margins, reckoning the fish were no more than 3m from the shore. We kept on the move, covering water out from Swing-gate bay and round towards the narrows. Although never prolific, we were picking up random fish; the usual stamp of quality with a fair sprinkling of cracking brown trout.
Over the day, most of the club were waxing lyrical about the fighting quality of the fish and the browns were in tip-top condition. Fish of the day went to Stevie Kilpatrick, with a slab of a brown trout estimated in the 6-7 lb range. He reckoned he needed a bigger camera! Also of note was that Bob Whyte caught a superb tiger trout. According to Gareth, there are only about half a dozen in the loch, so a rarity.
Overall, the club caught 32 fish across our 12 anglers, of which 9 were browns, and 1 tiger.