Flying about all week long

Busy, busy week – I coached and fished four days this week and we are still only in February, writes Bob Smith

One day, I was coaching in Newcastle, a first for me.

A guy is taking his coaching awards and wanted to learn how to coach and improve his casting technique so he asked for my help.

I did not know there was a lake in Exhibition Park, which was ideal as it was bitterly cold and there were very few people around.

Another day saw me helping a client choose a rod reel and matching line in the Compleat Angler Store at Hardy and Greys in Alnwick.

He bought the tackle he needed and saved himself a few hundred pounds at the same time. I enjoy helping people this way and they get an excellent deal.

I was at Chatton Trout Fishery coaching on a lovely bright day. It felt like the first day of spring with some heat in the sun.

The wind steadily increased, but the coaching was fun. The fly-line was going out straight and the distance was increasing too.

Flies that were catching were Dawsons Olive and Cats Whisker. The following day saw me fishing Whinney Loch with two guys.

There was a slight breeze and it was sunny. Malcolm had a few catches using a black and green Goldhead Montana. I had several fish using a small Black Pennell fly.

I must admit I like to use small traditional flies no matter if they catch or not.

We all tried a wide variety of dry flies for some time. The trout showed some interest but none were hooked. Good fun but frustrating.

I returned to Chatton the next day to find surprising all the lakes had some ice on them but there was a lot of open water too.

It was another super day and all the ice had disappeared by 10.30am.

We caught fish along the centre arm of Chatton Lake using a dark lure fished deep on a floating line.

Other guys were catching using different methods.

Some were fishing very deep on fast intermediate line, while others were using floating lines and a sight bob.

The fly was suspended some five feet under the sight bob which is not that deep considering all the lakes descend down to 22 feet.

The fishery has fished well this week with Dunnydeer Lake producing a trout which was over 15lbs. Another good fish was weighed in at 9¼lbs.

Best bag this week numbered 14 fish, quite an achievement.

Remember, Chatton is closed all day this Saturday, February 23, for the final of a competition.

South Linden has had a good number of anglers this week with the improved weather. Three friends fishing on eight-hour tickets averaged nearly 16 trout between them. Fish of the week weighed in at 8lbs and successful flies have been Ace Of Spades, Yellow Dancer and Black Buzzers.

A date for your diary, Fontburn Reservoir, near Rothbury reopens for the season on March 16.

The reservoir is managed by Northumbrian Water, which has reduced ticket prices at all its waters for this year.

Well done to all those responsible, especially Don Coe, who has looked after the interests of anglers for a long time now.

On the river scene, another quiet week. The only fish I have heard of from the Coquet was a 7lb salmon caught at the Gravels. This fish proved to be a kelt and was taken on the fly.

The river was almost perfect at the weekend but nothing was caught. The water temperature is very low and perhaps the fish are just lying very quiet on the river bed.

Another week will hopefully bring more anglers onto the water and, with a bit of luck, that first salmon will be successfully landed, verified and returned safely to the river.

Finally, Wansbeck Angling Association have their AGM on Saturday, February 23, at the Guide Post Social Club starting at 1pm.

As a matter of interest, the new flood-defence plans have been approved for the River Wansbeck. Will these plans have any impact on the fish and the fishing on the Wansbeck? Time will tell no doubt.

Can I invite anyone with any news, success stories, or who wants advice or coaching please contact me through my website or phone 01670 514086.