Anglers praying for rain as dry spell begins to take its toll

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If the rain gods are listening, all river anglers from the Tweed to the Tyne are praying for precipitation, writes Bob Smith.

The local rivers are very low and even the North Tyne, which can benefit from Kielder releases, is also low as the release at the moment is only 1.32 cubic metres per second.

I was coaching at Chatton twice this last week. The first day was with Frank, who had a problem with his casting.

We soon rectified the problem, but there was a cool, south-easterly breeze, which made catching difficult. However, Frank landed three trout, the first took an Okey Dokey buzzer while the next two fish were caught on small size-16 F flies. Other anglers were using intermediate and floating lines.

Successful flies that I saw catching fish were Kate McClarence, Orange Fritz and a variety of buzzers.

My second visit to the same fishery was with Remy and his dad, both from Northampton. Both guys had never fly-fished before and it was far from ideal, very bright and quite hot! We did some roll-casting and tried a simple overhead cast.

Chatton is a good water for beginners as anglers have no need to cast any great distance – the water is 20ft deep three feet from the bank side.

There is a ladies’ day at Chatton on Saturday starting at 9.30am. New members are always welcome.

One night, I fished with my regular fishing partner Alan on the Coquet. We caught lots of small brownies using flashback pheasant tails, partridge and orange and black spider patterns. Alan saw a bar of silver jump out of the water which he estimated to be about six pounds.

A young lad from Rothbury, Euan Fairweather, who has just started fly-fishing and fishes the Federation water, caught a lovely brown trout of around three-quarters-of-a-pound. His successful fly was a hopper and congratulations to him.

Peter, from near Scotch Corner, wanted to learn how to fish a river and how to cast with so much vegetation around. We went on the Coquet one evening and he soon got the idea of what to do and what not to do. He was catching regularly and even lost count of the number of fish he returned to the river.

Whinney Loch has had an excellent week, although some days were quite windy. The wind, however, helped to keep things cooler which benefitted the fishing. Many anglers caught well on dry flies, especially small CDC F flies. Other small successful wet flies were Diawl Bachs in various colours.

Sweethope experienced some wind this week too.

Trout to eight pounds were caught, and it is heartening to hear that youngsters have done well there.

Two young anglers caught a blue trout of four pounds, which gave a very spirited fight. Flies catching on this water have been muddlers, sedges, gold-ribbed hare’s ears as well as lures.

South Linden Fishery has had good rises in the evening, but the trout have been deeper during the hotter part of the day. G Maddison landed a 22lb trout on a pheasant tail nymph. A mixture of buzzers and lures have been the flies to use here.

A date for the diary, Friday, June 26 – there is a charity fishing competition for the Northumberland Blind Association at Fontburn Reservoir. There are a number of cash prizes for both juniors and seniors. Fishing is from 8.30am-3.30pm and more information is available by ringing 01669 621368. It is for a very good cause so get yourself along and enjoy the day.

Next week sees me coaching for four days, with local people and others from as far away as the Channel Islands. Tell you all about it in next week’s article!

Anyone wanting coaching or gift vouchers for any special occasion please contact me through my website or ring 01670 514086 / 07984810791. Tight lines, Bob.