12th February 2016
As I reported last week, the first day of the salmon season on the Coquet produced no fish although a fresh salmon was seen. However, the next day, local rod Gordon Black caught a beautiful bar of silver fish at the white post just above Warkworth village. The salmon was a hen fish which weighed nine pounds. The tide had been and gone. The salmon was caught on a rapala just before eleven o’ clock. The Coquet was in near perfect condition with about a foot of fresh water and running slightly coloured I understand.
Gordon will get presented with the cup for catching the first spring salmon by his Grace the Duke of Northumberland in Alnwick Castle in the near future. Gordon will get a replica of the Coquet Cup to keep, as well as three years free fishing on the Federation waters! Congratulations Gordon.
I attended another presentation recently at Pure Fishing, (Hardy and Greys), in Alnwick. The firm presented the winner of The Jim Hardy Trophy with a Hardy rod. This trophy is presented by the Duke of Northumberland to the angler who catches the heaviest Sea Trout on the Federation stretches each year. Hardy presented the rod to Derek Burrell, better known as Bugsa, to his fishing mates, in a separate ceremony. The rod was handed over by Howard Croston was is product development manager at the company. Howard fishes for many of the senior England fly fishing teams and was responsible for developing the new Sintrix technology into rod development. Also in the presentation party was Grant Harris the Managing Director at the Alnwick complex.
During my visit the Hardy museum and Compleat Angler shop were closed to the public as the shop was having a complete refit. All the racks that were there when I worked in the shop were all gone and a new ceiling was being installed. I understand the shop will remain closed for at least this week.
Reports from Chatton fishery tell me that Davie Parker caught a nice 10lb trout but like everywhere the strong winds have made fishing a real challenge for even the best of anglers. Thrunton Long Crag experienced similar conditions too with their heaviest trout reported at over 11 pounds and bags on reasonable days as high as eleven. Thrunton are holding a fly tying session for juniors on Wednesday,17th from ten o’ clock until twelve thirty. Demonstrator Paul Griffin will be leading the session, so anyone interested needs to book through the fishery.contact details are on the fishery website.
I was coaching on Sunday with Ken who had been given one of my vouchers as a present for Christmas. There was a cold wind blowing across the lake, but within two hours it was almost gale force. It was not a lot of fun so we called a halt and rearranged another session on what will be a much better day weather wise.
I called into Chatton for a couple of hours at the weekend. There was a strong bitter wind blowing and there fishing away enjoying themselves were two twelve year olds. How good it was to see two young pals properly dressed for the conditions, fishing around the lake and one of them caught a hard fighting rainbow before I got out the lodge.
I ventured out and tried Chatton lake where a felt the pull, wriggle and then nothing. Nothing from Dunnydeer or Ross lake before trying one of the arms in Chatton lake. Half a dozen casts and I felt a pull, so I recast in the same direction, only let the fly sink a few seconds before starting my retrieve. The line went tight and I played a fully finned rainbow to the net. It felt as if I had caught ten trout considering the weather.
Earlier in the week I had a day at Whinney Loch near Coldingham just across the border. It was cold but bright and there were trout rising. I began by fishing a small dry F fly on the surface. Within three quarters of an hour I landed two fish about the two pound mark. Not many trout were being caught around the lake so I was feeling quite pleased with my efforts. I did not land another fish for the next three hours. I did have three takes, but like other anglers, for some reason the trout were on and off in the blink of an eye, fly fishing is a challenge no matter how long, or how much experience you have!!
I have sold a number of vouchers this week for birthday presents and Valentines Day! People are obviously booking their holidays too, as if have taken a number of bookings for the summer period. Northumberland must be attracting large numbers of tourists, many of them coming for the fishing, GREAT!