8th November 2013
Busy Half Term.
Last week saw teachers and pupils enjoying their autumn half term holiday, which means coaching every day for me. There has been the first frosts of the year with two mornings showing the grass to be white and the car windscreen having to be de- frosted! The rivers Coquet and Tyne are now closed, but what an end to the salmon season.
I had a guest on the Coquet for the last day and it was good to see there were a good number of anglers out making the most of the last few hours. Many fish were caught throughout the system, we saw a guy spinning catch and return a coloured fish which must have been close to double figures. A couple of fish require special mention, a visitor from Scotland was spinning near Pauperhaugh and he landed a twenty one and a half pound salmon. Then a big cock fish was caught and returned in the Felton area. This fish was caught on the fly and was twenty four pounds. I shall review the river season in the next few weeks.
On Tuesday I held a holiday taster day for holidaying youngsters at Chatton fishery. Nine youngsters turned up, five in the morning and four after lunch. It was not a good day for fishing weather wise but everyone had fun and learnt. Some youngsters caught trout, look at the photographs! One keen participant was there from London, as they were staying at the family cottage nearby. At this point I must express my thanks to Barry who came along and helped with the coaching. He made a big difference and helped to ensure that the youngsters got more attention than they otherwise would have.
I had my first day salmon fishing in November, coaching on the Whiteadder river. The river was about a foot up and running very clear. We saw four fish show at various points along the beat but we did not hook anything. A mature roe deer buck came down to the river fairly close to us, but as soon as it saw us it disappeared very quickly. Three other coaching sessions, all at Chatton were in a variety of weather conditions. A family from Maidstone, Kent had a great time and although they had never fly fished before they all had trout on. The youngest, Toby, landed the biggest fish, typical . It was super to see his face, concentration while playing the fish and happiness when he landed it. Toby caught the trout on a size twenty, ( very small ), dry fly which was tremendous.
I also had two young lads called Ben who were school mates on a very windy afternoon. It is amazing to watch how anglers so young can concentrate for such a period of time when they are motivated and enjoying themselves while learning at the same time. Both boys tried very hard, and although one had a good pull on the line the trout was not hooked.
My respect goes to Steve, a young man from Gateshead, who used one of my vouchers to pay for his lesson. His mother bought the voucher for his birthday some time ago.Steve fished for four hours in heavy rain and picked up casting a fly line really quickly. He did catch a terrific trout of around five pounds which put up a long fight. The fish took a sunken Daddy Longlegs and Steve played it for several minutes. However the fish made one last lunge for freedom just before it was netted and Steve did not expect it. The result was a snapped six pound tippet and a hint of disappointment. Never mind, Steve did cast the line himself, hooked the fish and played the trout before its premature release.( All put down to experience ).
I must return to the young lad from London, he enjoyed his session so much he persuaded his mam to take him back to the fishery on another two days. Although they were by themselves and did not catch anything they have been in touch and want to book sessions during their stay for the Christmas holidays.
Christmas is coming because I am already having requests for my fishing vouchers and fly selections. They make ideal presents for anglers of any age, the vouchers can be redeemed within two years of purchase and the fly selections arrive in a neat see through fly box.
Coaching session bookings are now starting to drop off as the winter approaches and the days become shorter. However there are still so many things to do, I might even get some time to fish for myself and have some fun with friends.
Reports, Sweethope has had a quiet week with the weather, but trout up to three pounds have come to the net. Pike anglers can contact the fishery as they will be welcome to try and catch some of the big pike that survive at the lochs here. South Linden fishery has produced some big fish this week. Trout of twenty one pounds and seventeen pounds have been caught. All the successful flies have been black, bloodworms, zonkers and buzzers. During my visits to Chatton I saw one regular rod returning sixteen fish. Quite a few anglers reporting that they returned a number of trout in the five to eight pound class. Tight lines.