Some welcome rain to cool 
the waters

A good day of steady rain has helped the fishing this last week, cooling the still waters and rivers.

The Coquet came up about nine inches and was clear down to Weldon Bridge.

However, at Felton the river was quite heavily coloured. The water made some fish move and one angler did well, catching a grilse about 4lbs and a salmon around 9lbs. Both these fish were caught on the fly and came out on the lower beat of the Federation stretch.

I heard another guy caught two fish too but this was not confirmed and I do not know where he was fishing. The Coquet is back to a very low level again and water is required to get more fish into the system.

On the still-water scene, fishing has proved to be difficult for a lot of anglers.

Bright sunshine and high temperatures have slowed down the fishing.

I had seven coaching sessions at Chatton this week and another at Caistron fishery, a few miles west of Rothbury.

Michael wanted to learn how to fly-fish, so his wife bought him one of my gift vouchers as a surprise present. He progressed quickly during the lesson and has just emailed me asking for advice on what rod to buy after seeing some good offers at different outlets.

Another day, I had four young lads from Glasgow who were trying fly-fishing for the first time.

They were great and we all had a good laugh, although it rained heavily throughout the session. Spencer caught a nice trout which was carefully returned to the water.

I have also coached 14 young anglers, all less than 12 years old, this week. I think one young lad, called Michael, was the star.

Michael roll-casted the line out about 20 feet and had a dry fly on.

He said he could see a trout coming towards his fly, as the water was very clear in Dunnydeer Lake. Then his voice became higher as he said the trout was coming up towards the fly.

We all watched as the trout took the fly from the surface and Michael’s line started to peel off the reel at a very rapid pace of knots.

He lifted his rod and, with a bit of help, played and landed his first trout.

It does not get any better than being able to watch a trout come and take your fly and I am sure it was an experience Michael and his family will not forget.

The excitement was terrific and I believe Michael, his brother and sister are now hooked on fly-fishing.

Within two minutes, he had another trout on and landed that one too. Michael’s successful fly was a size 12 black Klinkhammer with a white foam post.

A lady called Anne had a lesson, she was from Christchurch in Dorset.

Anne had never tried fly-fishing, but had always wanted to have a go. She did rather well considering the conditions.

The first fish Anne hooked went off quickly in all directions and eventually snapped the tippet when it made a sudden surge.

However, within 10 minutes she hooked another trout and she played it perfectly before netting it.

The rainbow was a super specimen, fully-finned and it was beautifully coloured.

When we weighed the fish, it tipped the scales at 4¾lbs. Anne could not believe what she had achieved and would like to fish again.

A day at Caistron with a father and son from London was a real challenge.

It was a really hot day with the sun shining brightly and not a breath of wind.

The lake was like a sheet of glass. Ricky looked after us well, the wildlife was stunning and the Simonsides are getting near to their best at the moment. We did not manage to catch a fish, although one came very close to taking a floating beetle.

The river there looked perfect for fishing and the previous day, one angler caught a salmon and another lady angler hooked but lost a fish.

I spent a couple of hours with Geoff explaining how I saved energy when casting, and we explored the craft of fishing dry-flies.

There were not many fish rising that evening, but Geoff said he learnt a lot and had much to think about. He went off to try some ideas and promised to keep me posted on how he got on.

Next week, 10 sessions booked in, which will see me coaching on the Coquet, the main Tyne, at Chatton, Whinney Loch and the Whiteadder river. I must have some of the best offices in the North East and the Borders – lucky me!