Catching fish becomes tricky in hot, hot heat

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

Hot, hot and more heat to come. The weather has dominated the fishing this week, writes Bob Smith.

The sun has been high and the temperatures have made the catching of fish quite difficult, especially from mid-morning to teatime.

There are still good numbers of trout rising during the day, but tempting them to take anything is a challenge. The rivers are running very low and even the Tweed beats are struggling to bring fresh salmon to the net.

I was coaching Mary and Jim at Chatton fishery early in the week and they both managed quite well with the casting.

This was good as they both had not cast a fly-line before.

Jim was trying fly-fishing to see if it could possibly be a good retirement hobby. They both caught a trout and Jim decided that he would definitely be interested in learning much more about the different aspects of fly fishing.

I look forward to seeing them both again especially as Mary has a number of tuition hours left on her voucher that her husband bought her for Christmas.

Louise turned up for a short lesson with her new rod, reel and line. It took her only a short time to get used to the new tackle and, before the session ended, Louise was shooting line on every cast.

Considering how long she has been casting, this is real progress. I was pleased for Louise as she is very keen, listens well and wants to master the techniques as soon as possible.

The following day the temperatures soared and fishing was even more difficult. The three guys tried hard and one hooked into a trout using a Bibio fly.

The fish was played for a while, but was lost before it could be netted. I tried a few casts along the margins and hooked into a nice fish so I handed the rod to Dennis.

This was the first fish Dennis had played in this lifetime. He slowly played the trout, letting it run when it wanted to and he kept the rod tip high.

Eventually he managed to get a lovely red-spotted brown trout about 4lbs to the net.

We released it and after a while it swam off back to the depths of the lake.

Another complete beginner, Mark, redeemed another Christmas voucher the following day.

While tackling up, I met Dick Taylor who I used to work with at Hardy & Greys.

Dick was spending some time with his daughter Sally who enjoys fly fishing.

I noticed it only took Sally a few minutes before her rod had a good bend in it as she played a fish. There is something about ladies and their ability to catch fish.

Anyway back to Mark, he really enjoyed learning the basic casting techniques. He missed a take and then hooked, played and landed his first trout which was then taken home for tea.

Chris intended to stay and fish the rivers, but with so little rain and the rivers running at summer level, he decided it was not worth the journey up from Northampton. So instead I phoned my friend Jimmy from Etal and we fished Chatton one day and Thrunton the next.

Chatton proved a real challenge to us both, but we managed five trout between us.

Successful pattern was a gold-ribbed hare’s ear.

At Thrunton, I got a nice 5lb trout on a small nymph and another 3lb.

Jimmy stayed on after I left and ended up with a decent bag.

A guy next to me using buzzers had a nice four-fish bag plus others he returned.

In his bag were a couple of trout about 2½lbs, a 5lb fish plus a beautiful blue trout which tipped his scales to almost 9lbs. It was a lovely proportioned fish and what a colour – pity to take it home really.

The Fishing For Everyone Club had an outing to Whinney Loch at the weekend.

Everyone had a really good day and especially Pearl Snaith who caught her first rainbow trout, which weighed 3lbs. The fly that caught most of the trout was a buzzer pattern.

Fishery reports:

Sweethope Lochs were visited by the float-tube association and seven members caught 17 trout. It is good to see that float tubes are still active and fishing in our region.

My friend Ronnie Glass fished an afternoon session and landed 11 trout. Glad to hear that Ronnie is getting out and using his tremendous knowledge and techniques to tempt the trout.

Thrunton Long Crag has had visitors that have caught bags of up to 14 fish.

Some guys were catching lots one day when I visited and they were using muddlers.

It did not seem to matter what speed the muddlers were pulled across the surface, the trout were taking them at all speeds.

Introductory fly-fishing sessions for youngsters are being introduced at this fishery during August. Anyone interested should contact the fishery.

Caistron fishery continues to provide good sport with many of the trout being caught on the surface. One visitor caught six trout in a short space of time using a sedge pattern. Heaviest trout of the week weighed 8lbs.

The river beat remains low so the salmon scene is very quiet with rain, and lots of it, required to give the whole system a good flush.

As the summer holidays continue, lots of people and close friends are jetting off to warmer climes. I hope they have a happy holiday and should water or fishing play a part, then enjoy.