All over the place in name of angling

Bob Smith's angling column (
Bob Smith's angling column (

I have been here, there and everywhere this last seven days. I have given a talk to parents and pupils from Newminster Middle School in Morpeth, given advice to John about his salmon and trout tackle/flies, attended two tourism fairs and coached at Thrunton Long Crag fishery, which does not open to the public until Sunday, April 6.

Well over two dozen pupils and their parents attended a meeting to discover more information about how they can try trout fishing together under the Trout Ticklers club banner.

I explained the aims of the club and how it was organised. After my chat, I answered lots of questions from enthusiastic parents and pupils. The school is sending out an information pack to all interested families and they intend to make their first fishing outing in April. I am sure there will be lots more parents and youngsters wishing to give trout fishing a try, but unfortunately they do not know who to contact or what tackle is available for them to use. If there is anyone in this situation, please just contact me and I will give free advice at any time.

I spent a really enjoyable morning with John this week. He has fished before, but wanted a refresher course as it has been a while since he has fished on a regular basis.

His wife bought him one of my gift vouchers for Christmas so he wanted to use some of the time to check over his tackle and fly selection. John has got some very good quality rods and reels which were in really super condition.

Some of his fly-lines need to be replaced, but we soon sorted that issue out.

I replaced a braided loop (a loop that is attached to the fly-line to which the nylon is tied to at one end and the fly/flies are tied to the other end)on one of the trout lines.

John had a small selection of salmon and trout flies, but he decided to order some of my fly suggestions for our sessions in the near future.

It was a good session and I am looking forward to taking him out on the water to use the rest of his voucher time.

Wednesday and Thursday saw me meeting people at Alnwick and Hexham leisure centres, where tourism fairs were being held. It was good to meet up with old friends from different organisations and businesses. At Hexham, I met up with Lauren with whom I have been working with preparing for the opening of Hexham Racecorse Trout Fishery which is due to open on May 12. Remember, advanced booking for this venue is essential.

Unfortunately, I had to miss the Ashington Kingfishers presentation night, but I gather it was an excellent evening. Presentations by Chris and Jill Blythe, about the journey they’ve had to construct and prepare their new fishery at Thrunton Long Crag, and by Scott Nellins, who fishes for England, who gave a fly-tying demonstration, were warmly welcomed.

I have not been to cast a line for a trout on the Coquet yet because of the lack of time. I am looking forward to getting on the river with my fishing buddy Alan and tempting those beautiful brown trout, especially as the temperatures are starting to rise as the sun climbs higher in the sky.

Chris and Jill Blythe asked me to coach a family friend on their Thrunton Crag water. I thought this was a real privilege as the fishery is not even open yet.

We met at the lodge, from which a lovely smell of bacon sandwiches was drifting on a slight north-westerly breeze.

The sun was bright and young Oliver was ready and waiting. I showed him how to set up the tackle and a basic knot. I put a small buzzer on the business end and off we went to a secluded corner of the lake.

There were some insects flying, but no trout were rising, probably due to the cool breeze. Oliver was a good listener and soon got the roll and simple overhead cast going straight out.

He tried and was fairly successful shooting the fly-line out further, so I thought it was time he tried to catch a trout. I changed the buzzer and replaced it with one of my small damsel nymphs.

On the second cast, as Oliver retrieved the line, it went tight, trout on! Having never fished before, I talked him through playing the fish, which was duly netted. What concentration on Oliver’s face as he played the trout, and that turned to a beaming smile once the fish was netted. A few casts later, I changed the fly again and put one of my own pheasant tail creations on and, almost immediately, another trout was attached to the fly-line and there was a lovely bend in the rod. Oliver was delighted.

There must be a good head of hard-fighting trout in the lake and I think anyone who visits Thrunton fishery will definitely be making return visits.

Fishery reports

South Linden has produced bags of 10 trout for anglers this week. One guy caught a 19-pounder using a Bibio fly, while another angler landed 12 and eight-pound trouts as part of his bag. Both lakes are fishing well.

Caistron has experienced variable weather with the fish up and down in the water column. Anglers who varied their tactics caught more fish and a number bagged up for their session times.

Chatton fishery anglers have had an excellent week, with good bags of fish being caught and some big trout coming to the net. Chatton and Ross lakes have fished particularly well with trout of 15 and 12 pounds being landed by the same angler during the same session. Successful flies have been buzzers, gold-ribbed hares ears and damsel nymphs. Please note, as the nights are getting lighter, Chatton is open until 7pm every day except Saturdays when it closes early at 5pm.

Wherever you are fishing this week, rivers or still waters,enjoy!