angling

Hugo with his three trout.
Hugo with his three trout.

What a week weather-wise, 60 mile-an-hour gales and cold compared to very bright sunshine and 19 degrees.

Every day is different and varying techniques are required to catch the trout.

This week has seen trout feeding on the surface some days, then on other days the same fish have been really deep. One day I saw guys catching steadily with dry flies, then the next day it was Di7, heavy sinking lines, for others.

On the really hot sunny days, some anglers were using floating lines with 20-foot leaders and fishing static buzzers deep to catch fish regularly.

I was supposed to coach young Hugo on the opening day at Hallington reservoirs, but with the strong gale-force wind, I rearranged it for Saturday.

Hugo was visiting from Oxfordshire and was staying near the Roman Wall. As a nine-year-old, he was very keen and had his own rod and tackle.

It was a super day, quite bright and just a slight breeze which put a gentle ripple on the water.

We set off to the West Lake and I did some basic instruction which Hugo absorbed like a sponge. He did hook a trout, but it was only on for a few seconds.

After lunch in the comfortable lodge, we cast a line quite close to the lodge where a member was catching.

Hugo was fishing a Diawl Bach unweighted fly in shallow water when suddenly the line went tight and a strong trout went flying away from him.

It was a strong fish and it made a number of runs. Hugo played the fish and only let it have slack line a few times.

However, the gods were on his side and I netted the trout for him. It was fully finned and was obviously an overwintered fish.

Two casts later, another fish and a few minutes after the second, a third. The third trout Hugo played all by himself.

Three fish to take home, all recorded on video by a proud grandparent.

Hugo says he will be returning during the summer holidays and wants another lesson, brilliant.

I saw a number of fish being caught at Hallington that day and they all gave a long, hard scrap. All the members we met were friendly and were interested in Hugo and his catch. Advice was freely given to numerous questions from a highly-motivated young angler.

Last week I mentioned about the new angling year for Environment Agency rod licences which started on April 1.

Sure enough, officials from the agency were out checking licences at still waters this week.

Anglers were going back to their cars to get their licences and one guy was accompanied off the water looking decidedly forlorn. Please remember to carry your licence or the receipt to prevent any of the heavy consequences.

Recently, I met an old friend from my badminton days. Bill and I used to play a reasonable game with the feathered shuttlecock representing the same club.

We got chatting over a coffee and he mentioned that he enjoyed fly-fishing. He fishes the River Coquet, but wanted to vary it a little, so he asked me about the local still waters. I suggested the ones nearby and then Bill said would I like to fish with him as he had never fished any of them before.

He decided to visit Thrunton first as it was closer and he already had his new licence. Chatton is the next port of call, Bill decided.

It was a scorching day when we pulled up to Thrunton so I knew it was going to be difficult fishing through the heat of the day. However, we both had a challenge, catching and losing a number of trout on very small buzzers fished about 10 feet down and retrieved very, very slowly.

Chatton is next on the list and Bill is looking forward to fishing all three lakes in the near future.

This next week is really busy with four days coaching at Chatton and one day fishing the river. With the temperatures rising, more insects will be hatching and hopefully the dry CDC flies will attract lots of trout.