Chatton hosts a national competition

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This weekend sees Chatton Trout Fishery play host to the National Greys Bank Fishing Competition, writes Bob Smith.

Forty-eight of the best anglers from around Britain will be converging on Chatton.

All the competitors have had to qualify by fishing heats at various venues around the country.

The individual competition is on Saturday and the three-man team event is held the following day.

It is brilliant that such a prestigious fishing competition as this is being held in our region and at Chatton.

Congratulations to all those who managed to secure the venue for this event.

Such competitions take a great deal of organising and preparation, but, knowing the Chatton team, I am sure everything will run smoothly and it will be a very successful event.

Obviously, Chatton will be closed to the public for fishing over the competitions two days.

I have also been informed that, with the nights getting darker earlier, this fishery will be closing at 6.30pm from Monday.

What else has been happening? The trout season on rivers closed on the last day of September.

It no sooner started than the whole trout season has gone in the blink of an eye.

I spent four days on various beats on the Coquet last week trying to catch salmon, sea trout and brown trout with different people.

I managed to get some brown trout, but the numbers are not there that I saw only a few weeks ago. Talking to one beat owner, he told me that he saw up to 50 cormorants on his water one morning. I saw a flock of 12 gooseanders flying over Pauperhaugh Bridge during the week.

Perhaps these birds are doing the damage? Cormorants have been in the news recently so maybe, just maybe, something will be forthcoming.

I sat on the bank one day watching a salmon in four feet of water just in front of me. A guy was upstream casting his fly, which came around in the current, and tantalisingly ended up in front of the fish cast after cast.

A change of fly made no difference! The salmon ignored every pattern of various sizes for well over an hour.

The fish was coloured and had obviously been in the system for some time. Salmon fishing is not for the impatient.

A friend of my son Neil wanted a day fly-fishing.

Actually, his wife arranged it, through Neil, as a surprise birthday present.

Dave wanted to go to Whinney Loch as it was a still water he had not fished before.

He had fly-fished for a number of years at various local venues.

Starting off, I could see he was self-taught and enjoyed his fishing.

He put a lot of effort into his casting and managed a reasonable distance.

However, after a few tips, his casting distance and the presentation of his fly improved quite dramatically.

We concentrated on using dry-flies as some fish were rising.

The first fish Dave hooked took yards of line down the loch and it put up a fantastic scrap.

When Dave eventually got the trout to the net, which took several minutes, it was obvious why the fight was so good - he had hooked the trout in the middle of the back.

All fouled, hooked fish must be returned to the water and this one would have been anyway, so returned it was.

Dave had several swirls at his fly, hooked others, but only successfully landed one other good trout.

It was exciting fishing and Dave wants more days away with me, so that’s great!

Alan and I went to the North Tyne to fish, but it was very, very low.

We had an early lunch and called into Sweethope Lochs on the way home.

Good to see Chris, who looks after the place.

A cool easterly wind was blowing, but apparently fish were rising well before 11.

Alan and I both had takes, but none of mine came to the net.

Alan netted two, a rainbow about two pounds, and a nice blue trout around three-and-a-half pounds.

Next week will see me at Derwent Reservoir, in Scotland for three days and on the main Tyne after a salmon, fingers crossed.

I shall also try and call into Chatton at the weekend to see first-hand what’s happening.