Trout season set to hit the rivers

Hugh Gordon  piped the cavalcade down to the loch and continued to play before the fishing commenced.
Hugh Gordon piped the cavalcade down to the loch and continued to play before the fishing commenced.

Saturday is the first day of the river-trout fishing season, by Bob Smith.

All our local rivers have a good head of brown trout although they are not the size they were years ago.

The Federation stretches of the Coquet and certain stretches of the Aln are stocked every year to boost the numbers for club members to enjoy.

Personally, I do get a great deal of pleasure fishing for brown trout on the river. I think it is something to do with fishing with light tackle and casting a fly accurately under tree branches or to behind rocks where the trout are lying.

There is also the other element of fishing in moving water and the different skills involved compared with fishing on still waters.

Many of the brown trout in the rivers are small, but that is not a problem, size is not everything to some people.

Trying to find a bigger brown takes time and lots of observation. Deciding what tactic would be best to get the right fly in the correct place to fool the fish is all part of the challenge. Roll on Saturday.

I got my annual reminder through the post this week about my Environment Agency rod licence.

I popped down to the local post office and paid for it straight away. It does not cost a fortune and for anyone over 12 years of age, fishing without such a licence, the penalties are severe. It is simply not worth the risk. New licences are required for April 1 and you can guarantee that the Environment Agency guys will be around checking licences at the still-waters and rivers, especially during the first few weeks of April.

Coldingham Loch got a superb day for its first day of the 2014 season.

The piper played the anglers to the loch side and everyone had a terrific day.

Every angler caught trout and rods were bending all over the loch from boats and the bank. With free lunch and some huge bags of fish being caught, Coldingham has definitely opened with a bang.

Getting fishing time at the moment is proving difficult, but I did manage to steal a couple of hours away during the week.

With such a short window, I only had time to get to South Linden fishery to cast a line. I have not fished there for a while so it was good to see how things were going.

The water is still slightly coloured, but this is not affecting the fishing.

I set up my four-weight outfit and cast a black buzzer on a 12ft tippet with a floating line.

I landed nine trout in the two hours and they were all around the same size, 2½lbs.

One guy who fishes still-waters regularly was using a sight indicator and he had a silver buzzer suspended under it. He caught his 10 fish quite rapidly.

South Linden, although small in size, attracts good numbers of anglers and if they enjoy the water, then it is not surprising that they return.

Caistron Fishery officially opened at the weekend and what a day.

The weather was almost ideal and trout were rising in numbers. Dry flies, such as muddlers which make a wake on the surface, were responsible for catching a lot of fish. The rod average on the day was nine trout which is quite impressive.

Sounds like Caistron is a good choice to go and fish at the moment.

Alan and I managed a day at Chatton, but on different days.

Alan fished a lovely day with a slight breeze and had a terrific four hours landing 10 fish.

He caught all his trout on his dropper fly (the one nearest the rod), while none of the trout took his heavier point fly (the one at the very end of his line).

The successful fly was a small black buzzer, which caught fish in both Chatton and Dunnydeer lakes.

I fished the following day and when I arrived there was not a ripple on the lakes and trout were rising in every corner. When I tackled up and was ready to fish, the wind was building foot-high waves on the lakes.

How quickly the weather can change and when you are fishing you become more aware of the changing conditions. I missed a few pulls and managed to land a couple of three-pound trout in the three hours I had. I tried a number of flies, but the only one that landed fish for me was that same small black buzzer.

Other guys on the day were using intermediate lines and catching good bags of fish on mainly black flies.

Tonight, I have a meeting with interested parents who want to try trout-fishing with their youngsters. There are 48 parents signed up to attend so that is very promising.

I am sure that there are lots of youngsters and parents who would love to try trout-fishing. Anyone wishing to give it a go, please contact me and I will help you all I can.

Enjoy your week on the water.