Different waters, varying conditions

Eleven year old Tom with one of his ten trout.
Eleven year old Tom with one of his ten trout.
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This week has seen my time evenly divided between coaching on rivers and still waters, three days on private beats along the Coquet and in between visits to Chatton, Whinney Loch and Sweethope, writes Bob Smith.

The first day was decidedly cold and wet for Jed to try river trout fishing for the first time. He and his wife were visiting for a week from Lincolnshire. Jed had his own eight-and-a-half-foot rod, which was ideal for this particular beat.

Having vegetation all around and an opposite bank not so far away was a real challenge. However, learning new types of casts and hooking wild trout to half-a-pound resulted in a very enjoyable day. Successful patterns that day were March brown and various spiders.

The previous week, Chris brought some flies for Jimmy from Etal, so I arranged to meet him at Chatton Fishery.

As I was there, I had to cast a line, as you do. I did not have long but I managed to catch two on small dry F flies.

Jimmy continued on after I left and phoned later to say he ended up returning six fish. He caught three on dries and three on small buzzers.

With the half-term holiday, Chatton has had a busy week and it is good to report that a number of youngsters were successful.

The fishery attracted young anglers from Buckinghamshire, Huddersfield as well as local guys too.

It reports that the evening rises have been truly spectacular at times.

Please note that Chatton Lake is fully booked from 10am to 4pm on Tuesday, June 11. The other two lakes will be available as usual.

Back on the Coquet with Jed on another day, while fishing for browns, we did see a sea trout around 3lbs jump. It is encouraging to see these fish reaching the middle and upper beats of the river.

On this day, Jed was successful, using snipe and purple, GRHE, and silver March browns.

Young Tom from Derbyshire was here with his family staying at their cottage near Alnwick during the holiday.

Tom and his dad, booked into Whinney Loch for four hours. I have coached Tom on several occasions and he is fast becoming a competent fly angler.

I showed him how to fish a dry fly without shooting line or retrieving any line. He soon got the technique and landed eight trout before lunch. Good going for an 11-year-old.

We fished for an hour after lunch and Tom ended his session with a total of 10 fish, all returned safely to the loch.

Dad Mark was also successful but spent more time watching his son playing and landing fish than fishing himself.

Trout were taking F flies, hawthorns, but the top fly was a balloon caddis, which tempted trout to take it almost as soon as it landed on the water.

I was on the Coquet with a good trout angler for most of a day and they were catching regularly. However, their best fish, which was well over a pound, was lost in fast water but it will still be there for another day – hopefully.

A trip to Sweethope was arranged for my ‘day off’. It was my first visit since the fishery reopened recently. It was good to see nearly every boat being used and a fair number of anglers fishing from the bank.

I fished the small lake first and managed a brace on small dry fly. Other anglers were catching on daddies and okey dokeys.

On the Great Loch, the guys in the boats were catching on orange lures, so I put on a GRHE with an orange tail. That fly proved to be successful too.

It was pleasing to see a lot of work in progress to improve facilities for anglers, which hopefully will be available soon.

Some of South Lindens stocked big fish came to the net in the last few days.

Trout of 23lbs, 18lbs and 17lbs have been landed and returned to the water. They are still in there for anglers to catch.

Finally, next week looks busy with six sessions booked in.

I shall be casting a line anywhere from Hexham in the south to Eyemouth north of the border.

It’s all good fun no matter where we cast a line. Enjoy your fishing too.

Anyone wishing to have tuition, or needing advice, please contact me through my website or ring 01670514086/07984810791 and I shall get back to you as soon as possible.