Fishing, fishing and more fishing

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

The week began as it finished, fishing, fishing and more fishing, writes Bob Smith.

Barry and Mary were visiting family in Durham, but love our county, so they were staying at the Granby Inn. They live in London, but Barry wanted to try fly-fishing so booked me for two days.

Mary likes to sketch and paint watercolours so they wanted a day at Chatton and the next at Thrunton. Barry enjoyed Chatton so much he wanted extra hours’ tuition at Thrunton the following day.

While Barry was coming to terms with the overhead casting technique and catching trout using dry fly, Mary quietly produced some impressive paintings of the Cheviots and Long Crag.

Michael, who I know well, invested in a Federation ticket for the Coquet.

I took him down to the Morwick stretch and we walked from the impressive Jack Rock outcrop along to the Black Bridge.

There is all sorts of water there; slow stretches, fast runs and plenty trees overhanging the water.

We then walked along part of the Felton stretch, and with a little extra water coming down, it looked perfect for fishing.

Nearing lunchtime we had to call into the very popular Running Fox for a drink and a light bite. It is a well-known fact if you do not eat you don’t last very long.

There have been a number of highlights this week.

The first was on an evening session coaching at Chatton with three youngsters, all under 10 – all of them caught trout using dry flies and small nymphs.

Watching them all playing their fish and successfully netting and releasing the trout is what makes me continue to introduce all ages to this superb sport.

The other highlight was meeting up with my good friends, Ian who lives in Germany, and his school chum Grant. Ian is across fishing for a week and they had booked into Thrunton on Saturday.

There was lots of surface activity and we all caught a reasonable number of trout.

Ian caught a lovely 4lb trout, but Grant went one better and landed a 12lb fish which took a buzzer.

Young Tom, from Derbyshire, and his dad, along with Jack, were also fishing and enjoying the superb weather and catching on dry flies.

I met up again with Ian and Grant at Whinney Loch where there was a prolific fly hatch.

The loch was covered by a carpet of black flies which had the trout rising and gorging themselves. Small Jassid patterns and the same size emerger patterns were fooling the trout on a very regular basis.

A newly-formed trout fishing club have asked me to give a talk to their members as a number are new to the sport.

I am looking forward to that evening as it is always interesting to meet new people and get them motivated to have a go. There are so many very good venues in our area now still water anglers are almost spoilt for choice.

Fishery reports:

Sweethope has been visited by two clubs this week, the Hoy and Hope, and the Wark club.

Best fish caught this week weighed in at 5lb 2oz. In total, 92 rods caught 290 trout.

Successful flies were Hawthorns, Black Spiders and Klinkhammers.

Anglers should note that Chatton is having a fund-raising event on Saturday.

Dunnydeer and Ross lakes are booked, but Chatton lake will be available as usual.

The fishery produced another large blue trout this week, it topped the scales at 13lbs.

One guy kept his bag limit of five trout and they weigh a super 25lbs.

Closing times at Chatton are now 10pm on a Friday and 9pm every other day, except Saturday when the fishery closes at 5pm.

Next week is looking good for coaching, but I have not checked the weather yet. Fingers crossed.