All quiet on the fishing front

These last seven days can best be described as quiet on the still waters and rivers. This is not surprising considering the time of year and the weather, writes Bob Smith.

At the time of writing, there has not been a spring salmon caught on the Tyne or the Coquet. The Tweed, on the other hand, has landed and returned around 60 spring fish for the season!

Salmon have been reported up to 12lbs and a beautiful, fresh sea trout of nine pounds was landed by a woman on the Ladykirk beat.

I fished at Chatton and Whinney Loch this week and things have been challenging. The weather has been cold and changeable. My two coaching sessions at Chatton could not have been so different. One day it was dull, cold and the wind steadily increased to near gale-force, while the second day, it was clear sky, bright and not a breath of wind. There was not even the slightest ripple on any of the lakes. Unlike the weather, the bacon and egg sandwiches were superb on both days!

Fishing with a floating line proved difficult, but intermediate line pulling lures seemed to do the trick. Bunny leech, bloodworm and black and white lures were landing fish from what I saw. The best fish of the week at Chatton was a trout of six-and-a-half pounds. This fish was caught in the Dunnydeer lake .

Just a reminder that Chatton will be closed a week on Saturday, February 23, for the Fritze and Fly Festive Fun Competition.

Whinney Loch was quite breezy but the loch water was clear for the day of my visit.

There was the occasional rising trout, but I could not get an offer on my dry flies.

Other guys were catching on damsels with a bit of blue in the pattern and bloodworms. My half-dozen were caught using small, gold-ribbed hare’s ear and a red tag. The fish were found only about three feet down, but they were not interested in buzzers, which makes a change.

I gather that the opening day for Coldingham Loch is proving to be an attraction already. The fishery does not reopen until Saturday, March 16, but already some boats and bank spaces have been booked. Please phone Gareth or Carmel to check availability. An opening ceremony is planned and I have already booked my bank space!

South Linden fishery reports the fly lake is fishing well. One local nobler caught 26 trout over three sessions.

Successful flies here were cat’s whisker, black fritz and a dancer.

I had a walk along the tidal section of the Coquet this morning and talked to two anglers who have fished every day since my last report. They commented that the river had been up a little but had been low for a couple of days.

This morning saw a slight rise with the overnight rain and some colour had come in from the Thirston Burn. Nobody had hooked or even seen a fish so far.

With the low level of water, anglers can not use bigger, heavier spinners because they are catching the river bed. The big tides recently brought hope of a fresh fish, but if it is there, nothing has tempted it so far. Fingers crossed that somebody will be smiling in the near future.

The last few days have been good for me personally. I have been invited to fish two different beats on the Tweed in the next couple of months.

For me, these are special days and I only hope that I can repeat what I did last year when I was fortunate enough to catch, and return, a lovely 12lb spring fish.

My friend has just left for a spot of fly-fishing off Florida, so I shall be interested to see his photographs on his return. I will try to give a brief account of his expedition in future weeks.

Half-term soon, so it will be good to see more youngsters on the waters during their holidays.

No doubt I shall have to make last-minute arrangements to fit in some coaching for them. It’s important that we all make time to help these youngsters enjoy our sport, after all, the future of fly-fishing lies with them.

Have a good week wherever you manage to fish. If you have any success stories, want advice or coaching, please contact me through my website or ring 01670 514086.