You’re never too old to start fishing

The temperatures have been higher this week which has seen more insect and fly life around the water, writes Bob Smith.

I had an interesting conversation with a gentleman called Andrew who phoned to inquire about tuition. He asked: “Is there any age limit on learning to fly-fish? As I am over 80 and would like to learn.”

Two days later, he was on Chatton lakes for four hours, caught two superb trout and really enjoyed himself. He is now well and truly hooked.

The following day saw me back at Chatton, letting a guy try a variety of my rods before deciding which one he preferred.

We then went down to Hardy Greys in Alnwick, where he found the exact rod he wanted. He bought the rod which had 50 per cent off and managed to buy a reel and line which balanced the rod perfectly. All in all, he saved just over £250, a good job done. He was very pleased.

I gave my second lesson in Exhibition Park, Newcastle, this week. It was a really cold morning and much of the lake was frozen. There was a stretch of open water which we used and this steadily increased in size as the sun came through. It was a good session and Barry is starting to ‘shoot line’, more consistently.

Chatton was glorious for my next session and you could feel the heat from the sun.

There were flies in the air which were keeping close into the margins.

Ralph had a productive lesson before lunch. After lunch, he fished by himself and put into practice techniques from the morning tutorial. He was very happy catching four fish and his catch returns are improving steadily.

I eventually got to Whinney Loch on another warm spring day with very little wind. I found it difficult early on, but after a snack and a cup of tea, takes became fairly regular. I caught a good few trout using size 16 black or red buzzers, a flashback PTN and a shuttlecock buzzer.

Talking to my friend who has just returned from Florida, he said it was an excellent trip although the weather was not so good. His party still managed to catch 35 different species on the fly.

I had to see the photographs – evidence is crucial to anglers – and they looked really impressive. It was not only the size of the fish, but the variety of shape and the vast array of colours. It brought back memories of salt water fly-fishing in Australia.

Chatton has fished well this week. John Forshaw, a local angler from Belford, landed a super 10lb 2oz rainbow from the Ross Lake, and Frank Hutton from Ashington returned a beautiful 11lb-plus brown trout.

With the temperatures rising, the trout seem to be feeding more and fighting harder.

Please note that Chatton is now open until 6pm.

The fishery also hosted a heat of the Greys International Bank Competition, which was won by three-man team, the Chatton Chasers.

Congratulations to Gordon Swain from Dipton, Jimmy Tuck from Ashington and Rob Frame from Newcastle.

These guys will go on to fish in the final of the competition which will be held later this year on one of the larger Midlands reservoirs. Our very best wishes go with you and we hope they are successful again in the final.

South Linden has fished well too. Best bag was 16 trout and the heaviest fish was into double figures.

The fishery is asking anglers to book their session in advance for the big Easter weekend. Ring 01670 788366.

If anyone has any news or wants advice or tuition, contact me through my website or ring 01670 514086 and I will contact you as soon as I can.