Ricky lands top 
job at Caistron Fishery

Robin with a nice Coquet brown trout.
Robin with a nice Coquet brown trout.

Good news! Recently, I have had lots of questions about what is happening to Caistron Trout Fishery near Rothbury, writes Bob Smith.

I am pleased to say that Ricky Chatterton, who has worked there for some years, is now the boss.

Ricky will be making all the decisions and managing the fishery the way he wants it to be run.

The fishery is open to anglers now, but there will be an official opening over the bank holiday weekend. More details will be in next weeks column. Congratulations Ricky and all the best for your new venture.

It has been a while since I fished at Sharpley Springs near Seaham, but I was coaching there this week

What a complex Simon has developed, the fishery with its five fly-fishing trout lakes, a bait-trout lake for beginners, a golf course nearby and a number of other attractions all in close proximity. Careful planning has ensured that none of the activities spoils the enjoyment for any participant no matter what they are doing.

Young Shaun soon picked up how to overhead cast and had trout on the end of his line jumping well clear of the water.

Another day had me travelling to Langley Dam fishery to coach two guys who had sea-fished but wanted to try fly-fishing.

I was demonstrating from the bank near the boat moorings and had a red wire buzzer on the end of the tippet. Within five minutes a lovely 3lb blue trout took the buzzer and had the fly-line all over the place. It was really hot and sunny with very little breeze, which is quite rare for Langley.

The guys really enjoyed their four hours which they thought passed very quickly.

A day at Chatton was a long and varied one.

First lesson was from 10.30am-12.30pm, with Ralph back from fishing on the east coast of Africa.

He was welcomed with a stiff breeze, which was cold and made the fishing difficult. After lunch, the wind eased and it was warmer.

I fished with Pat from Nottingham. He wanted to improve his casting, which he did and at the same time landed a 2lb trout on a small F fly. Pat finished at 5pm and Margaret arrived for her session at 5.30-7.30pm.

By this time, the weather had changed again. The wind had completely disappeared and it was superb.

Margaret wanted to improve her overhead casting, but while doing this, trout kept taking her small buzzer – good fun.

Three friends from Surrey arrived to stay at the Anglers Arms at Weldon Bridge. They stayed there for three days to break their journey en-route to the River Dee for their week’s salmon fishing. Ron, Mac and Robin fished several locations around the world every year, but they do enjoy river-trout fishing.

Their first day they fished the Anglers Arms’ own stretch for free, a facility available to all guests who stay there.

The fly-life on the river was fantastic after lunch and the swallows were gorging themselves. The guys caught lots of small brown trout, with Ron bagging the best of about half-a-pound. Using light tackle, all three really had an enjoyable day.

The second day, I arranged to take all three of them on a Federation stretch.

Permits were bought from Willie Farndale, the head Federation bailiff.

The Coquet has a very healthy head of young brown trout and there are lots of salmon around too.

The guys had dozens of browns between five and seven inches, but they also caught some of the recently-stocked trout.

Robin got the best fish, which was around 13ins. I told him that if I was guiding him officially, my price would have increased significantly. This fish put up a super fight, taking line down the pool and into the next one.

His face had a smile as wide as the Coquet itself.

Successful flies were snipe and purple, small PTN and a variety of other spider patterns.

The following day, I took the guys to the Whiteadder near Chirnside.

The river was lower than last week and still gin clear, however, there were salmon about, some lying in quite shallow pools, but they were not interested in the fly.

The Tweed itself has been catching very few fish in recent days. Ron, Mac and Robin will now be fishing on the Dee and hopefully they will have their double-handed rods well bent into salmon.

Fontburn Reservoir has had an excellent week with lots of trout being caught.The rod average was more than six fish, with the heaviest trout weighing over 7lbs.

Chatton had a good week too, the fishery record was broken when a trout weighing over 19lbs was caught in the Dunnydeer lake – the fish took a bloodworm.

The Benedictine Club members had a very good competition landing lots of fish. Two members landed fish of 11lbs plus and 10lbs.

Another guy from Alnwick, using a Klinlhammer fly, landed a brown trout of over 10lbs from the margins of Chatton Lake.

South Linden fishery is providing anglers with some fun. Many limit and near-limit bags have been caught this week. Evening sessions from 5-9pm are now available at Linden. Best flies this week have been cats, PTN, and hawthorns.

Sweethope Lochs continue to fish well.

Eleven and 12lb trout have been caught this week and anglers have found black pennell and Dawson’s olive flies to be successful.

Let us hope that we get some rain away to the west so that the rivers down this way get a good flush to encourage more anglers to get out and enjoy our sport.

Anyone wishing to try fly fishing or wants advice please contact me through my website or ring 01670 514086/07984810791.