Good bags of salmon and sea trout recorded as anglers turn to fly fishing on rivers

Last Saturday saw the last day of the river trout season for 2023, writes Bob Smith.
Chatton hosts the Puddle Pairs competition on Sunday. Picture: Bob SmithChatton hosts the Puddle Pairs competition on Sunday. Picture: Bob Smith
Chatton hosts the Puddle Pairs competition on Sunday. Picture: Bob Smith

It’s been quite a good season on the Coquet Federation stretches with lots of trout caught and returned.

The Centenary Cup for the heaviest wild brown trout caught on the Federation stretches will go to Chris Richardson, who caught a superb four-pound 14-ounce fish.

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In the last week, nine salmon and 14 sea trout have been caught on the Federation waters. The heaviest salmon was 15 pounds and the best sea trout weighed seven-and-a-half pounds. Most of the migratory fish have been caught in the Rothbury area or at the High Park stretch.

Anglers need to remember that the fishing on the river is fly only now.

Still water anglers must remember that all Chatton lakes are closed this Sunday for the final of the Puddle Pairs competition. The final will see 48 anglers in 24 pairs competing.

There are still rods available for the first heat of the Eddie Brown Winter Series competition on October 15. Both Dunneydeer and Ross Lakes will be closed for that competition, while Chatton Lake will remain open to the public as usual.

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Thrunton Long Crag has fished well, with a maximum bag of 20 trout recorded in a single session. Two double-figure brown trout have been caught and released this week too.

Anglers have tempted lots of trout with Buzzer patterns. Other successful patterns included Damsels, Hoppers, various Lures and Worm patterns.

I fished at Thrunton this week for two hours. Coe Crag had a lovely ripple and I began with fishing a single beaded black Buzzer on an 18 feet leader. I cast the Buzzer along the bank onto which the breeze was blowing and a hard fighting Rainbow came to my net, which was returned as the barbless fly came out of the fish in the net.

I moved around the bank about 50 yards and replaced the Buzzer with a size 16 Griffiths Gnat, which tempted a trout. I changed the fly to a Pheasant Tail, then to a winged wet, but neither pattern got any attention from the trout.