Unexpected treat comes my way

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

I blanked off five days, Monday to Friday last week, from fishing so builders could come and pitch the roof on the porch, writes Bob Smith.

The job needed to be done during a dry spell. As things turned out it was all done and dusted by Tuesday tea time.

Consequently, I had three days to myself. Wednesday, I popped up to Chatton Fishery with some ideas I had been applying my brain to.

I also showed Roger what I had sent to the Percy Arms in Chatton concerning their business. While there, I fished for three hours in overcast and quite foggy conditions.

Simon Robinson was there at the same time with his dad Graham. Simon has done just about everything there is to achieve in fly-fishing and his dad is the official photographer for the England fly-fishing team.

Simon was doing an article for the Total Fly Fisher magazine and caught a good bag of trout. Included in his bag was a 17lb rainbow from Chatton Lake. Simon said it was the best shaped and fully finned large double he had ever seen – what a compliment!

I kept well away and fished different lakes. I caught six after a slow start where I could not get a take. I tried several flies of different types, dries and buzzers mainly. Then on Dunnydeer I tried a pheasant tail size 14 and caught two in two casts. I replaced that fly and then caught another four using a beaded size 14 gold-ribbed hare’s ear. A very pleasant easy session.

An older gentleman from Durham was fishing and he had a lovely 4lb fish. He caught it on a blue buzzer I had given him a couple of weeks earlier. Strange, I had tried that very same buzzer, same size and everything and not got a touch!

Staying with Chatton, the week as a whole has fished well, with a good number of bags in the mid-teens. John Williams also returned a 10lb trout in his bag. The second heat of the Fritz and Fly competition at Chatton will be held on Sunday, December 14. Please ring 07985232437 after 6pm.

My friend Jimmy from Etal came one day so we could sort his fly boxes into some sort of order and so he could actually see the flies.

Generally speaking, most anglers have so many flies, they could fish for two life-times and still have some flies unused. We spent a few hours sorting the flies, throwing out ones that were rusty or coming apart. We then organised them into types and put them into separate fly boxes. Once this was done, we could see what was there and what successful patterns were missing. It is true what they say, flies are made for catching fishermen not fish!

Saturday saw me coaching at Higham Lakes, where I have not fished for a long time. Linda wanted another lesson after catching that lovely brown trout at Hallington Reservoir recently. She remembered a lot from that first session but there were some things we had to recap. Linda did really well with the casting on a mild overcast day. There were a few trout rising but dry flies brought no response from the trout. I tied a different fly on the floating line and the line went tight. Linda played the fish well, keeping the rod tip nice and high and she slowly brought a fully-finned 2lb rainbow to the net. A beaming smile said it all and the trout was bagged up and taken home.

Thrunton Long Crag has had another good week, although the weather has been a real mixture. One angler landed a super 12lb trout and my fishing mate Alan returned a terrific 6lb blue trout on an appertiser fly. All sorts of flies have been successful this week, black fritz, bloodworm, hopper, woolly bugger and gold-ribbed hare’s ear. The Fritz and Fly heat resulted in a win for Trevor Wadds with 11 trout. Second was Jimmy Tuck and other qualifiers for the final were Ryan Matthews, Malcolm Proudlock, Brad Mackie and Kris Harvey, well done to all!

South Linden Fishery, although coloured, is still producing good bags of fish. The best bag in a six-hour session was 15 trout. The successful flies in the coloured water were black buzzers, zonkers and other lures.

Next week sees me doing a first, well there is a first time for everything, but I will tell you all about it in next week’s article!