ANGLING COLUMN: A great start to the new year on the lakes

Keith Watson, from Stakeford, kept a 10lb rainbow from Chatton Lake which he caught using a pheasant-tailed nymph.
Keith Watson, from Stakeford, kept a 10lb rainbow from Chatton Lake which he caught using a pheasant-tailed nymph.

Welcome to the new year everyone and I do hope that it brings a fantastic fishing season for every angler.

The still waters have attracted a good number of rods over the festive season and the trout have not disappointed.

Anglers have caught some excellent bags of fish which have included some heavy weights. Two friends casting lines at Thrunton Fishery and they both had good bags which included 8-9lb trout.

However, John Taylor, D Pringle, John Angus and Ian McEwan all had rainbows over 10lbs last week.

Ken Ward had an 11½lb fish, while Gordon Swain had a 12lb trout. Flies used to tempt the trout were black daddies, black fritz, cormorants and buzzers. I called in briefly for a cuppa the other day and there were a lot of rods fishing. I did notice that the fishery’s second lake is filling up nicely, ready for opening later this year.

Thrunton will be closed this Saturday to all those except for rods booked in to fish the Fritz and Fly competition heat. The fishery will be open as normal on all other days.

South Linden Fishery is running quite clear at the moment and anglers are catching well. D Redpath and J Barnes both had good bags of nine fish. Trout have been taking mainly black and orange lures, the black fritz catching well in particular.

I have been busy both fishing and coaching. With four friends, I fished Whinney Loch for a couple of days early in the week. The weather was mild and dry but, during the second day, a breeze started and the air came in much colder from a northerly arc.

This made the fishing more difficult and the reasonable number of trout that were rising went deeper.

However, it was a super two days with great company, plenty of food and drink, and everybody having their rods bent regularly.

Saturday saw my first coaching session of the year, with young Alexis at Chatton. It was bright, but decidedly cool. Alexis is coming on fine and can now false cast. Although her technique is improving, trout were not easy to catch. She did have two pulls, one was so hard it pulled the line back through her hands and unfortunately did not ‘stick’.

After lunch, I fished myself and tried fishing my black buzzer up in Ross Lake.

After several casts and a slow retrieve, I got a solid pull and I played a strong trout.

Once in the net, the fly came out itself and I returned the 4lb fish back to the lake.

At the same time, Ken McMorn played a big fish from the dam wall.

It was a terrific brown trout, which weighed 11lbs. The brownie took a diawl bach, red-ribbed fly fished on an intermediate line.

Chatton reports that anglers have had some good bags and the trout are still rising during the milder spells. Keith Watson caught a 10lb rainbow from Chatton Lake using a pheasant tail nymph.

This next week sees me coaching again and spending some time with a mate fishing for Grayling on a Scottish river. Happy days.

Contact Bob Smith on 01670 514086 or visit