Anglers out for the longest day

Chris and his dad with a trout they caught.
Chris and his dad with a trout they caught.

Chatton fishery remained open all night last Saturday so anglers could welcome in the longest day. I wanted to try and stay all night but knew it would prove difficult as I was coaching there from ten in the morning.

Chris and his Dad arrived on time at 10am and it was their first time fly fishing. I went through the basics, how to put a rod together and how not to snap a rod when putting the fly line through the rings. It was amazing when I worked at Hardys how many anglers came into the shop after managing to break their rods when setting them up.

I also explained how important it was to use a balanced outfit, how the reel and the fly line should all be the same rating. Using a heavier or lighter reel and line for the rod makes it more difficult to cast. I showed them the different types of flies and when they could be used.

Off we went to Dunnydeer Lake and began roll casting with small buzzer flies. It was soon obvious that the trout were starting to rise and take insects from the surface. We changed the buzzers to small dry flies which float on the surface.

Casting improved steadily and a trout rose and took one of the dry flies. The fish jumped a couple of times and came off before it could be netted. However, it was good fun and it demonstrated how important it was to keep a steady tension on the fly line. Overhead casting was introduced and both guys seemed to get the idea and timing.

After lunch, a second cast by Chris started to play a trout which was netted and would be cooked. Dad was casting 20 yards further along the bank and he got a firm take. Concentration and determination resulted in smiles as that fish too came to the net.

Both had lots of fun and could not believe how quickly time went.

I said that was one of the big advantages of fly fishing, the time goes quickly, but you have forgotten about life in general!. Switched off is what fly fishing does for anyone, try it for yourself.

After the two guys left, I took Milie, my lurcher, for a long walk before the all night session.

I returned and began to fish at 5.30pm with Jimmy from Etal. By 9pm I was feeling shattered but had landed eight trout, all on Klinkhammer dry flies.

It was time for home. There were 20 cars in the car park and more arriving as I drove away. Apparently 24 rods fished throughout the night and others arrived at 6am.

The best fish, from the many that were caught, was an 11lb brown trout.

Another day saw me coaching at Thrunton Long Crag fishery. Someone wanted to improve their dry fly fishing techniques so an evening session was booked.

The early part of the day was free so I popped up to Thrunton to see how it was. I fished both lakes and managed to net nine trout, but all on Pheasant Tail Nymphs, wet flies. There were virtually no fish rising that particular morning.

The evening session was completely the opposite, thank goodness, trout were rising everywhere. Fishing with a Daddy Longlegs dry fly with a foam body my client soon mastered the technique and landed six fish in her short session. Every trout took the Daddy except one which was tempted by a CDC Hopper dry fly. Another happy customer went home buzzing.

Caistron fishery has had a good week too, with records showing a rod average of 8.2 trout per angler.

Depending on the weather the fish have been moving up and down in the water column. Dry flies, buzzers and bloodworms have all been taking fish.

The Coquet remains at summer level and needs a good drop of rain to give a lift. Once this happens salmon and sea trout are expected to arrive. Brown trout fishing in the river has been giving good sport on lighter tackle.

Hallington Reservoir has produced eleven hundred and sixty one trout for 232 rods in the last ten days. This private members water, which can be fished by a limited number of day tickets, provided they are pre-booked.

Course fish fry are starting to appear and the trout are feeding hard on them. Damsel and Grouse Winged Sedges are also there in numbers. Floating lines with small black flies, dry Hoppers and lures such as Vivas and Cats Whiskers are all accounting for trout.

This next week has me booked to coach on several days. Venues include Hallington, Chatton and the River Tweed. One completely free day to give Millie several hours on the hills and or sand dunes.