20th July 2016
With the summer holidays almost upon us as I write this, the weather has pushed the temperature up to 26 degrees today. These last few days have not been quite as hot, but it has been very bright. Fishing and coaching on the still waters has proved far more difficult and anglers have had to try various tactics and techniques to get the trout to be interested in their flies.
Sometimes it has been a bit easier when there has been some cloud cover and the trout have been feeding on or near the surface. Anglers using little floats, called sight bobs, on their lines which keep their flies at a constant depth have been successful too.(Once they discovered the depth the fish were at). Some rods used heavy sinking lines to get their flies much deeper, and this proved to be successful at times too.
Evening rises have been prolific some nights, and anglers have had some excellent sport as the trout came to feed from insects on the surface. A multitude of dry fly patterns have had rods well bent on a regular basis.
Unfortunately the nights are already cutting in and I do not expect it will be that long before the fisheries start closing earlier on their late night ten o’ clock times on Friday and Saturdays. With the start of the school holidays both Chatton and Thrunton are running sessions throughout the holidays for youngsters. All details are on their websites, so if anyone is interested, and places are limited, please contact the fisheries and book a place to avoid disappointment.
Thrunton Long Crag is hosting the National Final of the Junior Troutmasters competition on Saturday and Sunday, July the 23&24th. Release remember Coe Crag Lake will be closed to the public from 6pm on Wednesday 20th until 5pm on Sunday July 24th. Long Crag Lake will be open throughout this time for the public to use.
I was coaching four days this last week, one day on the River Coquet. The river was up a few inches and was carrying a bit of colour. Peter had all the tackle, three rods of various sizes, reels to match, spare spools with intermediate and sinking lines and a good variety of flies for trout and migratory fish too. Peter enjoys trout fishing best but could only cast overhead. Fishing rivers often means you are surrounded by vegetation and overhanging tree branches.
Overhead casting in tight situations means if you cast overhead your fly or flies end up decorating the trees. Walking along a river bank, once the leaves have fallen in the autumn, the trees look as if they have been covered with Christmas decorations!! Peter wanted to learn new casts so he could return to his local river and start fishing stretches of the river he could not fish.
We had a lot of fun and Peter developed new casts which pleased him. Fish wise, was not that exciting with the very bright hot weather, but we did see a salmon jump in one of the beats deep pools. One amusing thing occurred when I noticed Peter was wearing an inflatable fishing vest. It was a manual one, so should you fall in, you pull a toggle to inflate the vest. I noticed Peter had the toggle tucked into one of the pockets in the vest. I pointed this out and said it would be difficult to pull the toggle should it be necessary! Peter said, being a marine, and with all the years of training he had, he would be disgusted should he ever have to pull that toggle!, I said we are miles away from anyone and nobody would ever know!! Peter said he would know and that is all that mattered! End if conversation.
Two consecutive days at Chatton coaching could not have been different for beginners catching fish The first day people managed to cast a reasonable line, but although we tried a lot of different patterns, at various depths in all the lakes we only managed to hook one trout, and that became detatched before reaching the net. The following day was warm and cloudy, nowhere near the baking conditions of the previous day. Mark had already had one lesson, and his friend Steven had never held a fly rod before. We started off, and it did not take long for Steven to cast a straight line of about fifteen yards. Suddenly Steven shouted he had a fish on! Let it run if it wants to and just pull it back using a steady pressure keeping the rod bent. The trout made two good runs and Steven played the fish well. The third run, Steven panicked, he allowed the rod to be pulled over and consequently the leader/tippet snapped. Steven laughed, but said he was gutted. Don’t worry catch some more and you will get better at playing them.
After lunch the Mark landed a two and a half pound Rainbow while Steven landed a three pound Blue trout and a smaller Rainbow too. It is amazing what a bacon sandwich can do to improve your fishing!! It is surprising how often things start to happen after a lunch break.
I think it is time for me to have a summer break so until the schools are back, enjoy your holidays, home or abroad, and should you fish at some time, successfully or not, ENJOY!!