New season is off to a flying start on the loch

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What a week for still-water anglers. All Northumbrian Water reservoirs opened for the 2013 season and so did the popular Coldingham Loch.

With the youngsters of the Trout Ticklers fishing club having their first outing of 2013 to Fontburn Reservoir on Sunday, I opted to fish Coldingham Loch on Saturday’s opening day.

What an opening day. A piper piped the cars to the lodge where there was a wee dram and shortbread for everyone. Another tune from the piper followed by a shotgun blast signalled the start of their season.

Every rod caught fish using all sorts of flies, from small buzzers to a wide variety of lures.

Strong fully-finned trout were coming to the net regularly and it was heartening to see a reasonable number of excellent brown trout being caught and returned carefully. It proved to be a very good day for everyone, with a friendly atmosphere and good ‘banter’ over lunch.

Chatton Trout Fishery has been open throughout the winter and continues to provide good fishing. This week has seen a number of anglers register bags of more than 10 fish. The best bag was 16 trout. A number of bigger double-figure fish are starting to come to the net too. Chatton Lake saw anglers catch trout of 15 and 10½lbs. Dunnydeer Lake yielded a fish of 8½lbs, which was caught on a Montana fly. Most fish this week, as expected, have been caught using lures of various colours.

Chatton is playing host to a Ladies Day on Saturday, where they will be having a salmon workshop in the afternoon. All details of the Ladies Club can be found on their website

I travelled to Fontburn Reservoir on Sunday to fish with the youngsters of the Trout Ticklers.

Unfortunately, their day had to be cancelled because of all the snow. The day will be rescheduled in the near future. Saturday was their opening day and about 80 anglers fished the reservoir. The water temperature was low and the 3,000 stocked trout were deep. Fishing was not easy, but a number of anglers recorded bags of five and six fish, which included a number of five and six-pound trout.

South Linden Fishery has also had a difficult week because of the weather. However, some anglers registered bags of 10 trout, which included fish of five pounds. Best flies this week have been Dawsons Olive, Fritz and buzzers.

The Coquet Federation beat still holds the first spring salmon which, when caught, will earn the angler three years’ free fishing.This week the river has been low, with only the slightest of rises, which did nothing to improve chances. As I write, the river has come up overnight and continues to rise.

Should the level drop and the yellowish colour clear somewhat, then chances will be promising about Wednesday.

Tomorrow sees the start of the 2013 trout season. Although the weather is still cold, I expect a number of anglers to be casting lines on the Coquet, Wansbeck, Aln and Till. Early in the season often sees some of the larger trout being caught.

An important reminder: new Environment Agency rod licences are required for April 1. A visit to the Post Office or a few clicks on line will secure your new licence.

Anyone with any successes, or news, or wants advice or tuition, please contact me through my website or ring 01670 514086.