It has been an odd sort of week

This is the first week for a very long time I have not cast a line. Circumstances have resulted in me being involved with clients from a distance.

Having little time, I had a lovely email from Geoff who I have coached since he began fly-fishing only a few months ago.

As a coach, one of your main aims is to develop your clients’ angling skills and knowledge so they have the confidence to go fishing by themselves.

Geoff enjoys Chatton and he tells me that he had an excellent day this week. He returned six fish, all around 2½lbs. What pleased me was Geoff caught two in each lake, Chatton, Ross and Dunnydeer.

What also put a smile on my face was he caught all the trout using small traditional flies and not big lures.

It makes coaching all worthwhile when clients become friends. They find the secret of fishing, which is relaxation, fun and enjoyment. It is even better when they keep in touch with you and share their fishing experiences.

I often write about another client/friend called Jimmy from that lovely village of Etal.

I did not have the time to fish but I met up with him as he journeyed to try Thrunton Long Crag for the first time.

We had a coffee and I pointed out where I thought he might catch, taking into account the wind direction and his abilities. We also discussed the flies to use and how to retrieve them.

I left Jimmy to it as I needed to get home. Later that day, I received a text saying he really enjoyed the fishing and the hot sandwiches were good too.

Jimmy had landed six trout and had a number of other pulls but those fish did not ‘stick’.

Jimmy caught his trout on black buzzers and pheasant tail nymph variants. Jimmy finished off by saying he would return.

I think it is always good to visit a variety of venues rather than fish the same place all the time.

I have coached Michael for some time now and he is turning out to be an accomplished angler.

He contacted me this week saying he thought he would like to try tying his own flies and how should he go about it.

I invited him to my house to see what I had, how I organised all the materials and see what I could give him to get started. I explained there were millions of beads, feathers, fur and other such materials that can be used to create flies. I have not got my own room specifically for fly-tying – that is the optimum situation.

I restrict myself to tying only a small selection of flies, in various sizes, so that the materials required do not take over the whole house and cause ‘trouble’ with the other family members.

I showed Michael my two boxes of materials and the differently-designed containers for housing the various materials, spools, individual feathers, beads and hooks, to name but a few.

Michael left with lots of thinking to do, some good websites to look at, some materials and a vice to get started.

From the fisheries, they all agree it has been a windy week.

Successful flies at Sweethope have been bibio and corrixa. Heaviest fish of the week weighed in at 4½lbs.

The new fishery at Thrunton reported a good week, with bags of nine trout being recorded.

Three double figure fish came to the net, the heaviest being 10lbs 11oz. One successful fly here was a gold bloodworm – worth a try.

Chatton has had anglers recording bags of 15 trout, all of which were caught on buzzers.

A 10lb trout was landed from Ross Lake and this fish fell to a yellow dancer.

Caistron too has had a windy week but trout have been higher in the water. One guy had three fish for 9lb and his successful fly was a bibio hopper.

The River Coquet has produced some spring sea liced salmon recently.

On the Federation tidal beat, three fish of 7lbs, 9lbs and 11lbs were caught.

Two salmon were tempted with a fly and the other took a spinner. An additional salmon was caught at the Jack Rock. This fish was 8lbs and it was caught on the fly.

Good to know the salmon are now in the system in increasing numbers.