Youngsters strike again before it’s back to school

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The idea of a summer holiday fly-fishing course at Chatton Trout fishery is proving to be popular and is attracting young anglers from as far away as Newcastle, writes Bob Smith.

This week was another exciting session with complete novices really enjoying themselves and rising to the challenge of trying to catch some trout. Casting techniques were at all stages of development but that did not stop everyone getting bites, losing fish and landing some too.

Those who lost fish, or just had bites, were even more determined to get a trout to the net.

Imogen and her brother Theo both landed fish which were destined for the tea table. Imogen hooked her trout on a dry fly, while Theo got his on a buzzer pattern.

Next week is the last session for the holidays as schools will be back in two weeks. I believe the final sessions are fully booked but check with the fishery to confirm this.

As I write, the Coquet has had a small lift in the water level due to the recent rain. Hopefully, that will increase the chances of the salmon anglers as they’ve had had a lean time of it so far this season. I spent two sessions on the Coquet last week.

One session was fishing for trout and the other was with a guy from Spain who wanted to improve his casting with a double-handed rod. Mark was from York and it was his second stay at the Anglers Arms so free fishing on the river. We had an enjoyable four hours, which seemed like 10 minutes, and Mark caught a fair number of brown trout.

He was more interested in improving his casting, as he had lost a tremendous number of flies up trees while fishing in Yorkshire. After covering some simple casts I was pleased that he never lost a fly all morning and we finished with Mark feeling far more confident about going out himself in the future.

Stephen, now living in Spain, had an old double-handed rod which had a slow action and was very heavy.

The rod still put a good line out, but once he cast with my modern Hardy Sintrix rod, he was convinced he wanted to get a new, modern one. As well as being much lighter, stronger and having a quicker action, Stephen was casting further and with much less effort. We ended up going to Hardys at Alnwick where I left him buying an Angel2 double-handed rod with 50 per cent discount. One happy chappy! I was back at Hardys with Noel and Tom later in the week. They had a lesson with me recently and wanted me to help them get the basics and hopefully save some money.

After an hour of careful deliberation, they both came away with rods, reels, lines, tippet and a few smaller essential items. Then we were off to Chatton to try the new gear out. It was a fun couple of hours, and they both enjoyed getting used to the new tackle. We thought of having their next lesson down at Sharpley Springs near Seaham, as it is near to where they live. Looking forward to fishing at Sharpley again. It has been a while since I have seen the owner Simon and other friends ‘ down south’.

Other lessons at Chatton resulted in everyone catching fish as well as having fun and a laugh. Successful flies used were floating daddy longlegs, klinkhammers, small buzzers and pheasant tail nymphs.

I also spent some time looking at the draft of my new website. I am pleased with it so far and look forward to seeing it live in around four weeks.

A visit to the North Tyne proved unproductive. Kielder were releasing water when we arrived but reduced the flow and the level soon dropped. Alan and I did not even see a fish, apart from a number of brown trout rising to some upwinged olives that we’re floating past us.

Next week, eight sessions booked in already, fishing the rivers and still waters. No days off, but that is good and fishing, meeting new people, and helping others to discover a new sport where they can completely switch off is what I am all about.