29th February 2016
I received an email this last week from a very nice lady. Her son ,Thomas, who is ten years old has suddenly developed an interest in fly fishing. Thomas is watching all the T.V. Programmes as well as looking everything up on his iPad! Mam and dad have no idea where Thomas has found this interest from. Nobody in the family has ever fly fished before, or even fished before. Normally, it is dad or grandad who sparks the interest off, and takes the youngster fly fishing. Not so with Thomas, which makes me think what was initial spark that made Thomas decide that he wanted to learn to not just fish, but to fly fish?
I met with mum and her mother in law at a coffee shop for a chat and for them to buy one of my fly fishing vouchers which was to be a complete surprise for Thomas’s birthday later in the week. I learnt much about Thomas and his consuming interest in fly fishing. I personalised the voucher and Thomas would get the voucher on his birthday. Later in the week I received a telephone call asking if Thomas could have a lesson on Valentines day which was his actual birthday. I had kept the day free, and not wishing to disappoint the young lad, I agreed to meet with Thomas and his parents.
What a day, I awoke to be greeted with snow lying in Morpeth. I thought I may have to cancel the session if the roads were bad or the fishery was iced over. Fortunately both the roads were ok and the lakes were ice free. Thomas arrived with waterproof over trousers on as well as several layers of clothing. It appeared nothing was going to stop this young man from fly fishing.
There was little wind and the sun did shine before lunch. I selected a Hardy rod that was suitable for Thomas’s size and off we went. I was soon apparent that Thomas was an intelligent youngster and had lots of questions for me. He wanted to know everything about balanced outfits, knots, types of flies etc etc etc! I enjoy such company, when young minds are hungry for knowledge and they want to absorb as much as possible.
It was really raw and cold on the hands, but Thomas kept at it. He followed all my instructions and soon had the fly line shooting out doing a roll cast. He also managed to do an overhead cast and had the fly line extending straight out in front of him. We had no bites, but then nobody else caught a fish during the morning session. After lunch I thought Thomas May have had enough, buy no he was keen to give it another go. We tried for another hour, during which time Thomas was casting well but unfortunately he never got a bite. One regular rod had seven trout but he was catching them very deep in the lake using a fast sinking line.
Thomas had to leave because he had a massive chocolate cake to eat during a planned family celebration back home. However, more coaching is being booked and hopefully the weather will be more accommodating and the trout will be feeding better!
I called into Chatton on my way back from Whinney Loch one day. The lakes are still coloured but trout were being caught all the same. One regular rod had just returned a fifteen pound specimen trout to Dunnydeer Lake. The fish being weighed by another angler who carried a set of scales with him. Two friends came off the water and we had a cup of coffee. One of them had a good bag of five trout which he had caught on a Bunnyleech.
Whinney Loch was cold with a reasonable breeze, but with bright periods. Fishing was not easy for me, but I managed a couple of nice trout on a Pheasant Tail Nymph while Jimmy returned a heavier trout which was tempted by a Black Buzzer. Other rods were catching more fish than me by using a sight bob from which they hang a fly. The angler watches the sight bob and when it disappears below the surface they know a fish has taken their fly. It is not the way I like to fish BUT it is a very effective method of catching trout.
Thrunton Long Crag have experienced a variety of fishing conditions within the last week. Some days very difficult and others much easier. One rod caught twenty trout during their session and a number of trout over the magical ten pound Mark were caught too.
This week is half term week and I am fishing and coaching on all seven days. I have had to turn people away unfortunately as school holidays are always popular times for coaching. If you are planning to have some coaching with me on rivers or still waters, make sure you book well in advance to avoid disappointment. Tight lines.