On the road in pursuit of perfect fishing

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I have travelled a lot this week, clocking up the miles. Two days at Whinney Loch and two days on the Whiteadder River. Two visits to Chatton completed my week, writes Bob Smith.

Before my reports, I must mention a really good deal for those who wish to try fly-fishing.

Hadrians Wall Heritage has got sponsorship to part-fund a number of taster days at Langley Dam fishery near Hexham.

The first day is on May 30, during the school half-term holidays. There will be two sessions 9am to noon and 1pm to 4pm.

Only seven places are available in each session. For only £10, people will receive tuition from two coaches, get fishing tackle provided and get their three-hour fishing ticket free. To book your place send a cheque for £10 to Hadrian Wall Trust, East Petered Field, Dipton Mill Road, Hexham, NE46 2JT. A second day is planned for the summer holidays.

Two guys up from Bedfordshire and staying at Thorneyhaugh Holiday Cottages had a few days with me. Their first day was at the Whinney, which looks great at the moment with the gorse in flower. It was a bright, sunny day with a strong breeze blowing. Simon and Andrew had a super time fishing small flies and caught six, all on different flies.

We had a quick look at Coldingham Loch which had a good ripple on. The anglers there were catching on Shipman’s buzzers.

The next day was a first for me. I was coaching Mario, a lawyer from Brazil. He lives in Sao Paulo and wanted to try fly-fishing. We had tremendous fun and laughed a lot. Saying that, Mario was catching trout in Ross lake within two hours of picking up a rod for the first time. He really enjoyed his time on the water.

I spent two days on the Whiteadder River with Simon and Andrew, then again with Andy and Stephanie.

The river is very low and very clear. It is amazing how the river has changed since last season due to some heavy flood water. We saw four bars of silver each day in different lies, but none of them were interested in our flies.

The next day, I spent at the printers showing them my design for gift vouchers which people buy from me to give to friends and family for all occasions. I wanted one of my own photographs for the main image on the front.

After an early morning meeting one day, I popped up to Chatton. When I arrived, Simon and Andrew had left their wives again and were fishing a four-hour ticket before leaving for home the following day.

I fished for two hours with dry fly and did not hook up.

Andrew caught two fish quickly in Dunnydeer Lake using a buzzer. After lunch, he increased his bag by a couple still using buzzers.

Simon caught regularly in the afternoon, using small CDC buzzers.

Finally, back to the Whinney with a family of four, two ladies who had fished a little and two gentlemen who had never fished before.

The two guys soon picked up the overhead cast and fished well. Unfortunately, one guy could not get a fish, while his dad got three.

The first was a blue trout on a buzzer, the next two were rainbows and they took a beetle off the top.

Both ladies got a fish each, one on a damsel and the other on a small green buzzer.

Fontburn Reservoir is warming up and catch returns are much improved. Nearly 100 anglers fished there on Bank Holiday Monday. Rod averages have been 6.2, which is very good.

Fly-anglers have been returning lots of fish too. Heaviest fish was 9lbs and the heaviest bag was 21¼bs.

Morpeth Lions are holding an open competition on Saturday, fishing starts at 8am and finishes at 3pm. There are prizes for seniors, juniors and disabled/OAP. I wish them every success and hope they raise a lot of money.

Chatton lakes produced bags of up to 17 fish and two heavyweights came to the net. A rainbow of 11lbs came out of Chatton Lake and a tremendous brown of 15lbs was caught in Dunnydeer Lake. The massive brown trout was taken on a small spider pattern.

Six days and eight lessons booked in next week, great.

For tuition or advice contact me through my website www.bobsmithflyfishing.co.uk or ring 01670 514086 or 07984 810791.