Still waters warming up

Bob Smith's angling column (
Bob Smith's angling column (

It has really started to warm up in the last week and consequently the still-water trout are coming onto the feed, writes Bob Smith.

Young Tom from Derbyshire was visiting during his half-term week, a week later than ours, and he really enjoys casting a fly-line.

My first visit to Chatton with him was on a cooler day, but he still managed to land a couple of trout using my hothead damsel fly.

This fly is just a typical damsel pattern, olive in colour, with a bright orange beaded head. The trout were around the 2½lb mark and fully finned.

I called into Langley Dam fishery to see how things were after Fred White, the manager, died recently.

Fred will be a real miss as he always had that warm welcoming smile and was so knowledgeable about fishing. He obviously knew how to fish his own water, but he really enjoyed his salmon fishing on the Tyne too.

The good news is that his son Anthony has now taken over his dad’s role and the fishery is operating as normal.

Anthony does not plan to change anything that Fred did because it was so successful.

The only difference is that Anthony and his wife Kelly are providing hot food to buy at weekends. I wish Anthony a long and successful career in fishery management.

Caistron Trout Fishery continues to provide good fishing, with Dawson’s Olive and bloodworms bringing trout to the net.

Their Coquet beat has been ideal to fish this week with anglers catching kelts.

It is still to early for the spring fish to have reached this part of the system, but with the amount of rain and the volume of water in the river, who knows when they will arrive?

South Linden Fishery at Longhorsley reported an exceptional week.

Lots of anglers have reported full bags of fish and a number of double-figure fish have come to the net too.

The heaviest trout recorded was a massive 18lbs.

Successful flies at Linden were Viva, Black Buzzers and the Ace of Spades. So black seems to be a very good colour fly to use at the moment.

This fishery is changing their bait lake to fly-fishing.

People who wish to bait fish will be offered an introduction to fly-fishing with tackle provided. This will be a new venture for South Linden and I wish them every success.

Young Tom from Derbyshire was back at Chatton later in the week on a much warmer day. I did not arrive until bacon-and-egg time, but Mark, his dad, had three to the net.

Tom had been successful too and always has that smile which tells you that he is enjoying himself.

They went off for a game of golf and I had two-and-a-half hours to myself. I fished with my own tying of a pheasant-tail nymph, on a longish leader.

Fishing the left-hand arm of Chatton Lake, I landed two trout.

I headed up to Dunnydeer Lake, where, fishing close to the windward bank, I caught another three. The wind increased a little, so wanting an easy life, I returned to the Chatton arm and landed another six.

There were no large fish among the ones I caught, but fishing is not about catching massive trout.

For me, fishing is all about being there and as I always say, it is very difficult to paint and decorate when you are fishing.

While fishing, I saw a group of three guys fishing close together and they were all catching regularly.

One guy had 16 fish to the net, there was a bit of a competition going on between them. They were all using bloodworm pattern flies, some were pink and the other successful colour was green.

I returned the following day to coach Tim. This was his third session with me and he now has his own rod, reel and basic tackle. Tim had ordered a set of my still-water selection of flies which I gave him.

Building your own fly patterns up takes time and is good fun as there are thousands of patterns to consider.

Having help from an experienced angler can save a lot of time and money.

Tim did well considering he does not get out so often as this time of year is a very busy one at work. He cast, caught, played and landed two trout himself. My fishing buddy Alan was fishing on a four-hour ticket and landed 10 trout, which all took a size-14 black buzzer, with red cheeks.

Chatton Ladies Club meet at Chatton this Saturday, March 8, for a fishing day.

This will not impact on others who wish to visit and fish the fishery.

I have Pat and his wife Angela from Nottingham visiting this week so that will be fun. Enjoy your week too and I hope you do manage to get some time on any water.