Internationals land at Chatton

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

This week has seen Chatton Trout Fishery host the 2014 International Bank Fly Fishing Championships, writes Bob Smith.

At the time of writing the members of the England Scotland, Wales and Irish teams are having their final practice sessions. The actual competition was yesterday so I shall report on the actual results next week.

Each international team will have six members and one reserve. The competition will be held on Ross and Dunnydeer lakes, which means that Chatton Lake will be open to the public as normal.

Having three lakes and the capacity at Chatton means it is a superb facility for such a prestigious event.

The international anglers will fish from numbered pegs around the two lakes. Every 45 minutes, the anglers move to a new peg, fishing four pegs in the morning and another four after lunch.

They are allowed to catch a maximum of five trout from each peg. For their first fish from each peg, they get two points and then one point each for the other fish they catch. The team with the highest number of points will win the international competition.

England will be represented by captain Chris Micallies, Steve Cochrane, Rob Frome, Bernie Maher, Mark Harrison and Ryan Matthews. The national team manager is Alan Jenkins.

The lakes are fishing well so it should be an excellent competition. I shall print the detailed results in my article next week.

The early part of this last week was really difficult to fish with very strong winds.

However, as the week progressed there has been some very good catches made on the still waters.

I coached Linda from Hexham at Hallington Reservoir and we found a comparatively sheltered spot to begin casting. She did well with overhead cast considering the way the wind kept changing direction and strength.

The first fish we never saw as it snapped the tippet as she was lifting off to cast. The second trout Linda hooked was a lovely brown trout which weighed between 3lbs and 4lbs.

She had to play the trout for some time because it was so strong. Linda just took her time, letting the fish have line when it pulled and slowly retrieving the fly-line when possible.

Once netted and photographed the trout swam away very strongly, super to see.

Young Jack had a day off from school so his mum booked a session for him at Chatton. It was overcast with a little air but mild. We began with a buzzer and while retrieving the third cast, the line went tight.

Jack concentrated well and played the fish to the net.

Mum said if he caught, Jack should keep his first trout, so he did. He was really happy and his enthusiasm increased as time went on.

He lost his next trout and then was snapped by a much bigger fish. However, the next fish was played properly as Jack was determined not to lose another trout. He wanted to keep that fish too, so we did.

All the other fish he caught were returned to the water. Mum got quite a shock when she saw the results of the session. She was amazed and so pleased with what Jack had achieved. More lessons to be planned mum said, Jack agreed.

Graham and his son had a couple of hours with me to improve their casting. We soon rectified some basic errors and the two of them caught fish fairly regularly.

Thrunton Long Crag fishery has made anglers happy this week.

A Meadows had two 10lb trout during his session, and B Potter landed a 17lb trout.

Best bag was 14 fish where the first four trout were kept and they tipped the scales to 20¼lbs, brilliant.

I had a morning there with Jimmy and we caught five trout between us.

We caught on buzzers and I actually caught on a dunkeld river pattern fly.

While we were fishing, one angler must have had at least 12 fish to the net using a small black hopper pattern.

Another guy, fishing from one of the many points, netted six fish using a muddler pattern on the surface.

Diawl bach and various zonkers patterns have also been successful here.

Sweethope has been very windy this week but the fishery has had its final stocking for the season. Messrs Wade and Kane caught and returned 17 trout between them.

Half-term this week, so another full diary and the International, plenty to report next week.