ANGLING TALK: We’re heading in the right direction

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

Lambs in the fields, rooks building their nests, lighter in the mornings, we seem to be heading in the right direction.

Some days have been lovely and bright, but there has still been a decidedly cool air. Every day is different for anglers and some days have been good according to the reports I am receiving.

Caistron lakes are fishing nicely and have produced a rod average of 3.7 trout. Their heaviest fish this week was seven pounds.

Montana and black buzzer patterns have tempted the trout. The river beat is looking good, but it is still very early for fresh salmon to reach this far up the system. However, the trout season on the Coquet starts in about a month and that will encourage rods back to the river.

Caistron is holding an open day from noon on Sunday for members and anyone interested in becoming a member. Go along and see what the fishery and river beat has to offer.

At Thrunton Long Crag, no two days have been the same. Some days have been bitter, while other days have seen an increase in insect life. The best bags of fish during the good days have been into double figures. These have included, in some cases, more than one trout over 10 pounds.The heaviest trout for the week was a 13lb beauty. Fish at this venue have taken yellow dancers, bloodworms, orange fritz and damsel nymphs.

Chatton Fishery has had rods reporting double-figure bags of trout too. Their heaviest fish weighed 13lb and was taken from Dunnydeer Lake. The most successful flies here were black lures, bloodworms and buzzers. The fishery will be closed all day on Saturday for the final of the Fritz and Fly competition. Anglers have had to qualify for this final from a number of different venues over the winter months. It should be interesting, as there were several rods at Chatton last weekend practising. I shall report on the competition next week.

I went to Thrunton one day last week, it was bitter! I fished all around the lake, but not for long as my old bones can not take it like they used to. Or maybe I am at last getting some sense, and the brain has started to remember previous experiences.

Anyway, using my floating line, a longish leader and a weighted fly, I caught nothing. Very few fish were caught while I fished, but, saying that, an angler not 20 yards away from me landed a couple while I was near him.

He was using a sinking line with a yellow dancer fly.

One of the trout I saw him net was a heavy fish which was weighed quickly and returned. The trout turned the scales to 11lbs. Well done!

I could not coach for most of the half-term week as I had the block-paving guys at home doing the drive and the back of the house. However, I did manage to coach young Olly from London, who was staying with his parents in their holiday cottage. The day was very bright, but the strongish breeze soon made our hands cold. We headed up to Ross Lake where Olly roll-casted out my little black buzzer on a Hardy Sirrus eight-foot, four-weight rod.

I went to help his mum who also wanted to try casting a fly. No sooner had I left Olly than a loud shout of ‘I have got a fish on’. The little light rod was nearly bent double! I talked Olly through how to play the fish and the Bougle reel was singing loudly every time the trout made a strong run. After several runs the fish came to the net where mum was waiting.

Once landed, the trout was dispatched as it was wanted for tea. Beaming smiles all round as both parent and son looked very proud. While trying to help mum Kate again, Olly shouted that he was into another fish. This time, the 10-year-old played the trout without any instruction and again, mum netted the fish.

Hands were freezing so we all made our way back to the lodge for a hot drink and to relive the excitement. Above is a photo of Olly with his first fly-caught trout.

While coaching, other rods were fishing and finding it challenging too. Anglers were trying floating, intermediate, and sinking lines with all sorts of lures, nymphs, bloodworms and buzzers. The number of different combinations of lines and flies was mind boggling. The best of luck to all those who enjoy the pressure, highlights and the disappointments of competition fishing, I respect everyone of you!

For more from me, log on to