Bob Smith: Warmer weather tempts more anglers to spring into action

Protection pillars preventing debris hitting bridges in Morpeth.Protection pillars preventing debris hitting bridges in Morpeth.
Protection pillars preventing debris hitting bridges in Morpeth.
The last few days have seen a marked rise in temperatures which have resulted in more anglers venturing forth.

The still waters that remain open have had a marked increase in attendance. The sunshine, along with light winds resulted in good early season conditions for casting a line.

I had a walk along the Coquet at the weekend and saw a salmon angler enjoying casting a line above Pepperhaugh Bridge.

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The river was still around a foot up but was surprisingly clear.

With the warm temperatures there were some flies near the bankside vegetation.

The hatch of flies was not extensive and they were not around for long.

I didn’t see any fish rising, but they would be there somewhere!

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Only three weeks to go before the river trout session begins, and we all have a “local “ river.

This will give most anglers the chance to join a club and fish a stretch of river, should they feel travelling to an open still water is not local or to far.

One other thing for anglers to remember is that many of us have Environment Agency Rod Licences which run annually from April 1. These licences need to be renewed so that if anyone is checked by Environment Agency Officers they will not be prosecuted! Anglers can now buy EA Licences at any time of the year, but they only used to run from April 1.

My licence has been checked at several different still waters in Northumberland particularly early in April. If you do fish please ensure your licence is valid.

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The Angling Trust responded to the government announcement on the easing of lockdown restrictions in England saying: “Although it’s positive that the government have accepted the case that outdoor activities such as angling should be first to fully open up it looks like no real change for us until March 29 when restrictions are lifted and outdoor sports can resume.

"The Stay Home message and travel restrictions remain in place until then with the exception of a provision for outdoor recreation as well as exercise. Since angling has been deemed ‘permissible exercise’ throughout lockdown this is unlikely to affect us.”