Fly-fishing fans get all hot and bothered

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With the weather we are experiencing, the smaller still-water fisheries have water temperatures that resemble a warm bath, writes Bob Smith!

With no rain, or prospect of any, all the local rivers continue to be very low. Life is increasingly difficult for fly-anglers to catch fish.

I have had five days coaching this last week, one at Langley Dam near Hexham, four sessions at Chatton and, on my day off, I went on the North Tyne near Bellingham with my mate Alan.

Three sessions at Chatton were during the day,while the other was an evening session.

Every day was very similar, a light breeze, very bright sunshine and temperatures around 24 degrees.

We caught a few trout in these difficult conditions, although most of the time was spent concentrating on improving casting techniques.

The evening session was from 4pm until 8pm. By seven o’clock, the breeze had completely disappeared and all the lakes were like millponds with not a sign of a ripple.

The view and the light looking across to the Cheviot was just terrific.

The fish started to rise just as we left the water ... typical. The action would probably have started about 9pm.

All our trout were caught using floating line and the successful flies were Goldhead Orange Hopper, Pearly Pheasant Tail and a tungsten-beaded Pheasant Tail when the sun was really hot.

At other times in the week, Chatton reported that a guy from Wooler caught a 10-pound trout in Chatton lake using a buzzer!

Catches have been lower than normal, which is to be expected with the hot weather.

Other fish have taken Montana, Diawl Bach and Bloodworm. A club has booked Chatton lake on August 24 from 4-9pm. Other lakes will be available as usual.

A publication wants to do a full-length feature about me, so I ended up coaching one of their staff, who had never fly-fished before, and everything was photographed by their professional photographer ... no pressure ... seriously good fun, though.

It was another red-hot day at Langley Dam, but the four hours passed very quickly. I was asked to cover as much as I could from setting up the tackle, basic knots, different types of flies, simple fishing techniques and basic casting.

With lots of note-taking, laughs and what seemed like hundreds of photographs, I was asked to go to their studio next week so close-ups of the different types of flies can be taken using a micro lens. I am looking forward to seeing and reading the completed article.

Alan and I went to the North Tyne on my ‘day off’, because Kielder had been releasing water for a few days and we thought that water would bring some fresh fish upstream.

Although we tried several flies, we never caught, felt or saw a salmon or sea trout. A few brown trout were rising, but nothing to jump up and down about.

The school summer holidays begin for most schools tomorrow and Chatton Fishery is offering very heavily subsidised taster days for youngsters who wish to try fly-fishing.

One day each week, there will be a morning and an afternoon session where tackle, tuition and fishing ticket will be provided at a knockdown price.

All details are on the fishery website and booking is essential. As with all fishing at Chatton, an Environment Agency rod licence is NOT required.

Sweethope hosted the Police Club and the winner of the competition was fishing from a float tube.

Great to hear about and a fun way to fish. Best fish was three-and-a-half pounds and tempting flies have been Black Pennell, Daddy, Black Gnat and Mayfly.

With no let-up in the weather forecasted, it looks like more difficult days ahead.

It really makes our sport a definite challenge and we would not want it any other way, for a little while anyway!