Still waters were super

Well, 2014 is up and running with the majority of people back at work or returned to school, writes Bob Smith.

The festive period was super for fishing the still waters, while unfortunately the rivers have carried a lot of water and prevented me fishing for grayling on the Tweed.

I have coached and fished Whinney Loch as well as spending a couple of good days at Chatton.

A group of us spent a couple of days at Whinney as we do every year between Christmas and the New Year.

Alan, John, Lee, Paul and myself caught a lot of fish using all sorts of flies. Dry flies, nymphs, wet flies and lures all tempted the hard-fighting trout.

The company was great and the laughing lasted well into the early hours.

Coaching at the same venue two days later, the heavy rain had coloured the loch and fishing was more difficult.

However, my client just wanted to brush up his techniques and was less interested in catching fish.

That said, the first trout to the net was 5lbs and put a broad smile on his face. Other trout came to the net using bigger black lures and were most welcome.

While in the area, I popped in next door to wish Carmel and Gareth, the owners of Coldingham Loch the best for the new year.

Gareth was saying that Coldingham Loch reopens on March 15, when the piper will pipe all the anglers down to the Loch.

All boats are fully booked for that day already, but there are some places available on the bank.

The following day, the bank rods are fully booked but some boats are still available. Anglers must book well ahead for this popular fishery.

I have fished at Chatton fishery a couple of times and the three lakes are all fishing well.

Ross Lake is coloured, but I watched a guy catching regularly there using small buzzers. It just shows what good anglers can achieve when the water is not perfect. I was catching on small pheasant tails and buzzers, but a klinkhammer on the top also brought a fish to the net too.

Dunnydeer Lake is the clearest of the three lakes and I saw a guy catch a really good fish which I actually netted for him.

The rainbow was in the region of 9lbs and it was caught on a sinking line with an olive fly.

Shortly after that, I walked down to the lodge where a big trout was being weighed. This fish took a black zonked fly on an intermediate line in Chatton Lake. The trout weighed in at 14¼lbs and was fully finned.

Bags of trout have been good and other large trout have been reported.

Northumbrian Federation 2014 permits applications are now being taken and the head bailiff will be sending out the permits in about two weeks.

Adult salmon permits cost £105, concessionary are £70. Tidal permits are £80 extra, £50 concessionary. Trout adult permits are £70 and £50 for concessionary permits.

Full season permits are only available to residents who have postcodes in Northumberland, Tyne and Wear or County Durham.

Remember any adult with a permit can take a youngster to fish on their permit free. Details of weekly and daily permits which are open to visitors are available from the head bailliff on 01669 620984.

Everyone is looking forward to fishing in 2014 and hopefully all anglers will have their expectations fulfilled. Tight lines and enjoy.