Caught! First spring salmon

Bob Smith's angling column (
Bob Smith's angling column (


Great to report that the first spring salmon was caught on the Coquet during the afternoon of Wednesday, February 19. The successful angler was Rob Stephenson from Seaton Delaval.

Rob was fishing at the Jack Rock just above Warkworth. The salmon was around the 9lb mark and was caught on an Odin Spoon.

Congratulations to Rob who wins the Coquet Trophy for a year, keeps a replica of the trophy and also wins three years’ free fishing permits for the Coquet.

I also heard that another spring fish was caught on the same day but not on the Federation water. This salmon was about the same weight and was caught above Felton Bridge. Considering that most early springers are landed from the tidal stretch, this fish was caught a long way upstream, which is excellent news.

The new fish pass at Warkworth and all the rain we have had has obviously helped the salmon progress well into the system.

With fresh-run fish past Felton and numerous kelts in, the river anglers can expect some sport. It is only a month to the start of the river trout season too.

Thrunton Long Crag, the new still water, opens to the public on April 6.

This new venue looks like it will be a popular destination for anglers. Early indications show that people want to try it and have booked already. Anyone wishing to book a place please ring Jill or Chris on 07795002607 or email info@

For those who are unfamiliar with this new venue, Thrunton fishery lies just off the A697 Morpeth to Wooler road. It is only a couple of miles north of the Alnwick-Rothbury A697 crossroads.

Caistron trout fishery is fishing steadily. The trout here are still deep in the water and are best caught by using sinking lines and lures. The water will receive another stocking this week, weather permitting.

I coached two days at Whinney Loch last week in very windy conditions.

Trout were still rising occasionally but clients still caught using a wide variety of flies. Michael was apprehensive about fishing in the wind, a steady 35mph with gusts to 70mph, but after catching blue trout and rainbows, he could not believe how much he enjoyed himself in those conditions.

There was a young lad fishing with his dad and he came across to ask what fly I was catching with, so I told him a red buzzer. He attached the pattern and second cast, his line tightened and he landed a lovely 2lb fish. It is great to help and see young anglers enjoying this sport.

A day off saw Alan and I visit Chatton and what a weather contrast to the days at Whinney. It was like a summer’s day, warm and no wind whatsoever. The three lakes did not have a ripple on them and insects were flying around everywhere. The trout were rising and feeding on the surface regularly.

My first fish was about 7lbs, but Alan returned one before I got my line on the water. The rest of the session, I fished the margins of Dunnydeer Lake with a dry fly and landed another seven trout. Alan, not to be outdone, had a good bag of fish too.

My friend Matty had an excellent day the same day, landing two double-figure trout, one over 10lbs and another over 12. He also had a very impressive bag trout as well as the two doubles.

The final of the winter Fritz and Flies Competition was held at Chatton last Saturday when 46 competitors fished.

The winner was Alec Bowler, from Ayr, who managed to land 16 trout, congratulations to him. The rod average for the competition was an impressive 5½.

Wherever you are fishing this week, enjoy. Remember when you fly fish everyday life disappears and we are relaxed and switched off, perfect., tel 01670 514086