Tackle the school holiday boredom

Bob Smith's angling column (www.bobsmithflyfishing.co.uk)
Bob Smith's angling column (www.bobsmithflyfishing.co.uk)

Tomorrow sees the majority of the schools break up for their annual summer holiday, writes Bob Smith.

Brilliant news for the youngsters and a few changes of routine for the parents and grandparents.

My drop-in sessions for youngsters of school age begin at Chatton Trout Fishery on Wednesday, July 30.

These sessions will be available every Wednesday of the holidays up to and including August 27.

I can take four pupils in the morning session, from 10am-noon, and another four from 1pm-3pm.

All tackle is provided and the youngsters can keep a trout if they wish to. The price is heavily subsidised by the fishery and is only £15.

Anyone interested in taking part should contact the fishery and book a place in advance.

Last year’s sessions were a great success with lots of youngsters coming along and learning how to be successful fly anglers.

I was particularly pleased last year with the numbers of girls who gave it a try and found it fun.

Hopefully the five days will be fully booked and lots of youngsters will enjoy the challenges of a new sport which they can participate in for the rest of their lives.

On the coaching front this week, John was the first at Chatton on a very hot, bright day.

It was only the third time John had tried this form of fishing. He picked up the basics quite quickly.

His rod was soon bent with a decent trout which he played to the net nicely. It never ceases to amaze me how well people concentrate when they get a trout on the fly.

There is no family, job, mortgage or anything else, just 100 per cent concentration on keeping the fish on the line, it’s fantastic.

We had a really good session and John ended up taking two trout home for tea. He was well pleased.

I had a meeting with Alice, who looks after my website for me.

We discussed a few ideas and these will be developed in the near future to extend my website with new pages. The number of people from all over the world, it’s amazing who is interested in my fly-fishing experiences, continue to sign up for my newsletters through my website.

Craig had lessons with me before as his wife bought him vouchers when I first introduced them.

They invited me for breakfast at the Anglers Arms at Weldon Bridge where they were staying.

The intention was to fish the hotel’s private stretch for brown trout.

As we sat and chatted, the heavens opened with loud battles of thunder and lightning. We decided to delay the lesson until the afternoon, carbon fibre fishing rods and lightning love each other, and that is not good for the fishermen.

We met in the afternoon at Thrunton Long Crag fishery where there was very bright sunshine and the temperature was hot.

They were not ideal conditions for fishing so we concentrated on improving Craig’s casting technique and range of casts.

We had a real good laugh and his wife quietly bought him his birthday present – a six-hour voucher from me. I’m looking forward to meeting up with the two of them again soon.

The following day I was back on the Coquet at Thorneyhaugh holiday cottages, owned and run by Gillian and Michael Lishman.

Norman was staying with family in Morpeth and visiting from Yorkshire.

We spent a successful few hours exploring the beat and developing roll and Spey casting techniques for brown trout.

No matter what fly we used they were all successful, but especially the gold-ribbed hare’s ear.

Those small, perfectly-finned wild brown trout are just one of nature’s beautiful creations.

While fishing, we saw kingfishers, dippers and all kinds of small bird life along the river bank.

All the still-waters are experiencing high water temperatures which does not make easy fishing.

However, at Caistron fishery the rod average has been 3.2 with small sedge patterns proving successful.

The river is still running at summer level, but sea trout have been spotted moving upstream.

We need a prolonged spell of rain to improve the salmon and sea-trout fishing throughout the Coquet system.

South Linden fishery is fishing best early and late in the day.

They are holding a special all-day session from 9am-5pm on Sunday, July 27.

For £20 anglers can catch and release up to 16 fish and have a bbq included at 1pm.

Places are limited so please contact the fishery to book your spot.

Thrunton Long Crag got their water freshened up with the heavy rain and young pupils from Glendale Middle School had an exciting visit.

Lee, Brodis and Charlie all landing fish, with a number of other pupils having fish on.

Bags by adults during the week reached double figures with hoppers,shuttlecocks and Shipmans flies tempting the trout.

Sweethope Loughs have had a hard week’s fishing due to the weather conditions too – 71 rods catching 80 trout. These trout were caught on beetles, Diawl Bachs and dabblers.

Chatton continues to fish steadily. The trout coming to the net more regularly before the heat of the day, but especially later in the day.

Now that this fishery is open late until 10pm on Tuesdays and Fridays, it is an ideal opportunity for anglers to make the most of these times of plenty.