Tomorrow sees the start of the 2013 salmon season on the local Northumbrian rivers and the Tweed with all its tributaries, writes Bob Smith.
There will be a number of anglers out, especially on the Coquet, trying to catch the first spring salmon. There are many questions to be answered, but only time will reveal them.
Who will catch the first fresh fish? Where will it be taken from? And on what? Will the first day be successful, or will anglers have to wait a while? Let’s hope not.
With all the work done to improve the north pass at Warkworth, will the first fresh salmon be caught in the tidal section, or higher up towards the Jack Rock? Or beyond?
Whoever catches that first spring salmon will receive a replica of the Coquet Trophy and three years’ free permits.
Anglers have got the whole season to land the heaviest sea trout and be presented with the new Jim Hardy Trophy.
I think it is a tremendous gesture from the federation to come up with this idea to honour the late Jim Hardy for all the work he did over many years as chairman of the Federation.
Other cups to be won are the Centenary Cups for the heaviest salmon and brown trout landed on the Federation waters.
So much to look forward to, but most of all it is all about being back on the rivers enjoying the whole experience of fishing, appreciating the wildlife and the superb environment along our river valleys.
Last week’s coaching sessions had to be cancelled because of the snow making it dangerous to drive to various venues. There are four lots of tuition this week so hopefully we will be able to cast a line and report back next week.
I fished Whinney Loch earlier this week. It was cold on the hands, but fish were still rising occasionally. I did not manage to catch using a dry fly and I did try. I was successful using a simple black buzzer with no cheeks.
I landed a lovely brown trout and a blue trout, both around two-and-a-half pounds, as well as a few rainbows. My best fish would be about three pounds.
Other anglers were catching quite regularly using a sight bob with suspended tinnies below. Surprisingly, the trout were only two to three feet down.
Chatton Trout Fishery reopened on Monday after the snow. No doubt anglers will have a good week as the trout will not have seen a fly for several days.
The fishery is now staying open until 4.30pm in the afternoons with the nights getting lighter. Everything is moving in the right direction, dry fly evenings will be here before we know it.
Ashington Kingfishers Club, one of the most successful in the North East, currently has a limited number of openings for new members.
This club is very active and have seven monthly boat and bank competitions at North East venues as well as the opportunities to fish Rutland and Grafham with the club.
Anyone interested should contact Ian Fairgrieve, chairman, on 01670 851281, mobile 07807 476061 or Derek Johnson, secretary, on 01670 811357, mobile 07949 279616.
This is a great chance for any keen angler to join a well-run club with an enthusiastic membership.
Have a superb time fishing, Bob Smith.
Can I invite anyone with any news, or has a success story to share, or needs advice or tuition to please contact me through my websitewww.bobsmithflyfishing.co.uk or ring 01670 514086