Catch these changes on Federation waters

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

At the recent meeting of the Northumberland Federation Trustees, which I attended, it was agreed to make several changes for the forthcoming season, writes Bob Smith.

First, the river upstream from the Morwick gate and the new stretch the Federation were granted last season at Morwick are no longer available to members.

This means the Green Hut and the Jack Rock cannot be fished by Federation members. In return, the Federation water below Felton has been extended on the south bank only. Members can now fish from Felton bridge all the way down to just above the Guyzance fish pass.

The permit for salmon anglers has also changed – all permits will allow members to fish the tidal stretch.

Up until last season, members had to pay an extra £80 above the cost of the salmon permit. Consequently, the salmon permit has increased to £135 and £90 for concessionary permits.

A visitor seven-day salmon permit increases to £150, while a one-day salmon permit will be £60.

A brown trout season permit for adults will be £70 and concessionary will be £50, while a seven-day brown trout permit will be £80. A one-day trout permit will remain at £20.

Last week, there was a meeting in Rothbury for any angler or river owner to try to form some sort of organisation to look after all the rivers in Northumberland.

The idea was anglers can in future speak and air their concerns, issues and ideas to the Environment Agency with one voice. That voice would then be backed by lots of anglers instead of individuals trying to work by themselves.

This will replicate similar organisations already working in Durham on the Wear and Tees. Eventually, all the organisations could work together and press for more action on issues such as predation and stocking policies.

I understand another meeting is planned for January 14, 2015, but the venue is yet to be decided. Anyone interested should go along to the meeting and I shall tell you where it will be held as soon as I get to know.

The pairs competition at Thrunton Long Crag was a great success. Thrunton junior members were paired with an adult and all fish caught were measured and returned to the water. Ten teams fished and the winners were young William Lister, aged 11, and Brad Mackie.

Their winning total length was 195inches!

William, from Longhorsley, caught his personal-best trout which measured 27ins and weighed 11lbs. Every junior caught fish, some as heavy as 9lbs. After fishing, the bacon butties and mince pies soon vanished and were enjoyed by everyone.

Afterwards, Alan Young gave a fly-tying demonstration and also provided flies for the youngsters to use in the competition. Grateful thanks to Alan and all the other volunteers who gave up their time to help at this busy time of the year.

I really enjoy this time of year, delivering cards and presents, although it has been different. My sincere thanks go to my family and scores of fishing friends that have helped enormously in making this particular Christmas as merry and as happy as possible. Have a terrific festive season and I know Santa will do his best for everyone. Ho ho ho!