Loch unlocks in wake of winter shut-down

Bob Smith's angling column (www.bobsmithflyfishing.co.uk)
Bob Smith's angling column (www.bobsmithflyfishing.co.uk)

This Saturday sees Coldingham Loch near Eyemouth reopening after its winter break.

This popular fishery, one of the oldest in Scotland offers fishing from boats and the bank. A piper will lead the anglers’ cars from the front gate down to the loch.

I am informed all the boats are booked but there is still some space to fish from the bank. Bacon sandwiches and pies will be available at lunchtime.

This will be a very good day to be at Coldingham and the fishing will be first class.

The new fishery at Thrunton Long Crag will be officially opened to invited guests only on Saturday, April 5.

The opening ceremony will be done by Lord James Percy.

Lord James is a very keen fisherman and anyone who has read his recent book, Field of Dreams, will know how passionate he is about fishing, shooting, conservation and the countryside in general.

I look forward to attending and thank Chris and Jill for their kind invitation.

Sunday, April 6, is the first day that Thrunton will be open to the public for fishing. The location, facilities and the quality of trout will make this fishery a very popular with the still-water anglers.

Caistron fishery to the west of Rothbury starts its official season this Saturday, too. The lakes have been stocked so all anglers will have plenty of bent rods and lots of good sport. The river beat too is running at a lovely height and a number of kelts have been caught and released to make their way back to the sea.

South Linden fishery has had another exceptional week with good bags being caught and one angler landed two double-figure fish on the same cast – one over 10lbs on the point fly and another on the dropper.

There was plenty of excitement before both fish were landed. Best flies here were buzzers, black lures and bloodworms.

My friend Ken dropped me an email this week informing me that Hallington Reservoirs reopen on April 1.

Hallington is a private members water and has two very well stocked 125-acre lakes.

New members are welcome and a full membership is £570.

For those who wish to fish regularly then this is an extremely inviting package. Anglers who wish to try it first can buy a day ticket or have a two-month trial period. Anyone interested should contact John on 01434681405.

I was invited to fish my friend Ken Middlemist’s birthday bash, a bit of fun at Chatton fishery this week.

There was a prize for the heaviest fish. It was a good day meeting up with so many friends and some work colleagues I knew from my days at Hardy Greys.

Willie Farndale won the prize with a lovely trout of 5¼lbs.

I sort of caught a fish. Retrieving my line in Ross Lake I got what I thought was a very good pull and my line went tight. I began to play the fish in but after a while it saw a little float (sight bob), which I don’t fish with. When I got the fish to the net, my fly had caught the sight bob. The 6lb fish had snapped somebody’s tackle and was obviously swimming around with a buzzer in its mouth and the sight bob attached. I took the buzzer out of the fish’s mouth and it swam away no problem at all.

Could I have entered the fish into the competition catching the way I did, I don’t think so. I was just happy to see it swim away.

Other anglers at Chatton this week were recording bags of 13 trout.

Best trout was over 13lbs and others of 10 and 8lbs were caught too.

The ladies club met on Saturday and had fun fly-tying and fishing, some members catching nicely using bloodworms.

Talking to Willie Farndale, who is the head bailiff for the Federation stretches on the Coquet, he said that no more fresh spring salmon had been caught on his beats.

He did add that anglers had caught and released reasonable numbers of sea trout kelts. They will give welcome sport when they return from the sea.

I must apologise to Willie Farndale in print as I ‘accidentally’ ate his bacon sandwich – he was devastated. It really did taste good, especially as I was so hungry and ready for it.

Someone, no names mentioned, said I would not print this little episode. PS Willie soon had his sandwich replaced but it disappeared even quicker than the one I ate. He probably thought I would eat that one too given half the chance.

The Fishing for Everyone Club is holding its AGM and annual dinner at the Ridley Arms, Stannington, on Saturday. All full members, associate and junior members are welcome. The AGM starts at 6pm and the dinner is 7 for 7.30pm.

Wherever you are, and whatever you are doing fishing this week, enjoy.

Find out more about Bob Smith’s classes at {http://www.bobsmithflyfishing.co.uk|www.bobsmithflyfishing.co.uk|Link to Bob Smith’s website.} or call 01670 514086.