3rd January 2017
Happy New Year and welcome to the year 2017. The Festive Season has been a busy one on the still waters.
The day after Boxing Day I was coaching Alex at Chatton. Alex is a professional photographer who has his own business in London. He had always wanted to have a go at fly fishing, so as he was visiting his parents over Christmas, his dad organised a session with me. Everyone at the fishery was in a very jolly mood on the first fishing day after Christmas. Anglers wearing Santa hats and even a chicken hat as they walked towards the lakes. I do not know if it was the hats, but two guys wearing the festive headgear landed a good number of trout, two of which were over ten pounds!!
Alex, picked up the casting technique quite quickly and was soon fishing alongside his father on Dunnydeer Lake. Alex had a good take and the line went tight. Anglers who catch their first ever trout on the fly usually loose it by being snapped, or, giving the fish slack line so the barbless hook becomes dislodged. However, Alex played the fish well and kept a steady pressure on the trout. His dad netted the trout and it was taken home for tea. Shortly afterwards, dad gave a shout and he was also into a trout. This was a heavier fish as it peeled line off the reel several times. Eventually the trout came to the shallows and Alex netted it.
A successful first ever fly fishing experience for Alex who is already planning his next parental visit and second coaching session.
I always look forward to a two day fishing session between Christmas and the New Year with four fishing mates with whom I have fished for a lot of years. Lee is Johns son, he is a very good angler and fly tier. Now twenty two, I can still remember him catching a salmon of thirteen pounds on the North Tyne before he was a teenager!! John was Chairperson of the Trout Ticklers for years and did a tremendous job. Paul, my friend from Glasgow is part of the team, along with my regular fishing mate Jimmy from Etal. Of course my long term fishing partner Alan, who died recently, was there in spirit. We keep up the tradition in memory of Alan who we all miss because of his endless jokes, generosity, and positive outlook on life.
We had a terrific couple of days with everyone catching fish. The weather was mild and there was only a slight breeze. Trout were rising more the second day, but most of the fish were caught quite deep in the water with weighted small buzzer flies. Fishing is strange sometimes and is a real challenge. The second morning I used a size twelve weighted buzzer on which I caught four fish, played and lost two and missed three takes in forty minutes! I replaced the fly and used several other buzzers, various pheasant tail nymphs and a couple of dry flies but not one offer from all those flies. With only fifteen minutes to lunch and the end of our visit, I put the original buzzer back onto my line. I landed another two trout and missed another take. Being able to select the correct fly on the day can make the difference between landing fish or not getting any interest at all !!
I began fishing in 2017 at Chatton today. First four casts, two pulls but no hook up! Some start !i went up to Dunnydeer Lake, replaced the buzzer with a nymph and after ten minutes my line went tight. The fish peeled line off the reel on several times before it began to tire. It came to the top and I saw it was a good slab, not so long but it was a deep trout. I thought it was in the teens of pounds, and it would be a good photograph for this article! As it came to the net, it turned from being on its side, to the right way up, it then flicked its tail and guess what, the hook was dislodged!! Consequently, no photograph of a heavyweight rainbow trout this week!! I should not count the trout until l have them in the net!!great start to 2017 fishing.
I continued to fish in Ross Lake where I caught and landed two nice trout on a silver buzzer pattern. Lunch time and time for home I thought.
Weekly report from Thrunton Long Crag reveals that lots of anglers have attended over the festive period and caught good bags of trout including some heavy ones too. The trout have been taking flies in the top three or four feet of water in both lakes. Black lures, Damsel nymphs and various bloodworm patterns have been mainly responsible for tempting trout. A number of anglers have caught bags into the high teens of fish as well as twenty trout came to a number of nets. The heaviest trout of the week was fifteen and a half pounds. A junior angler caught and landed a lovely trout of ten and a half pounds. It’s good to see youngsters doing well with rod and line?