Storms and swollen rivers cause problems for Northumberland anglers

Some trout have been caught in still waters. Picture: Bob SmithSome trout have been caught in still waters. Picture: Bob Smith
Some trout have been caught in still waters. Picture: Bob Smith
Last week’s storm dominated the news and fishing, writes Bob Smith.

All the local rivers were huge, running many metres above normal. The Coquet broke its banks in numerous places, and for those that know the Warkworth area, the river was flowing over the Black Bridge. Rothbury had numerous emergency service people and equipment helping to ensure residents were safe. I gather the Wansbeck and the Till were massive too.

How do the fish survive in those conditions? Not only is there the speed of the river to contend with, but with all the erosion the water runs like chocolate. How do the fish see or locate their food? There have been great floods but the salmon and trout still survived, clever.

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Four salmon were caught, before the rain came, from the Federation Coquet beats. Once the river falls and clears migratory fish are expected to be caught, but unfortunately more rain is forecast. If that happens, and it falls on already saturated ground, the rivers will rise quickly again.

The still waters were quiet during the storm too, because of the strong wind which many anglers don’t like. Also there was a problem of travelling because there was so much standing water.

Sunday was a better day, bright sunshine and warm. The previous day anglers were catching on dry flies, but Sunday was completely different. I tried dries, buzzers and nymphs but didn’t have a take in two hours using a floating line and 16-foot leader. Anglers using intermediate and sinking lines were more successful. They were pulling lures and catching regularly. Trout were being caught on Damsel and Humungus patterns of various colours.