17th December 2016
I received a telephone call early this week from a gentleman who wanted to give me his fly tying equipment because I teach youngsters. I said I did, but only the basic techniques so they could get started. After that, I explained that I passed them on to Thrunton fishery where they invite my friend Paul to demonstrate and take them on to a much higher level. The gentleman said he was very happy with that and he would bring all his equipment to my house within half an hour.
True to his word, twenty minutes later a car pulled up and a very happy guy began unloading masses of fly tying equipment. There was boxes and boxes of well arranged threads, tinsels, wires, feathers of every colour, capes , bobbin holders and his vice. There was a lot of monies worth! I asked if I could give him something for it all, but he refused. He just wanted it to be used by youngsters who would get enjoyment from using it all.
I know the gentleman as I have seen him fishing at the local still waters several times. I asked if he had ever tried river fishing? He said he had not but would love to try it on the Coquet. I said I would take him next season as my guest, but he said he would not be here then!! I said I was very sorry to hear that, he just smiled, thanked me for making sure that his materials would bring enjoyment to the youngsters and waved good by, with a broad smile on his face. How good is it to know there are such kind people around under such heart breaking circumstances. Thank you my friend!
I only keep a certain amount of materials myself, as once you try and tie all sorts of flies, the materials can take over room after room!! All the equipment and the tying materials have now been taken to Jill and Chris Blythe where I know their junior section at Thrunton and some of the Trout Ticklers will benefit from the regular fly tying sessions.
During the week I also saw Sonia Matthews from Prudhoe, who was helping John fishing at Chatton Fishery. Sonia and John travel all over fishing together. Sonia is the first female angler in Britain to gain a gold badge in the nation Troutmasters competition. If you catch one of the heaviest three fish at participating Troutmasters fisheries each month , you are awarded a Troutmasters badge. To gain a gold badge, the angler must gain a badge from five different fisheries. Sonia gained her five badges from, Chatton, Thrunton Long Crag, Langley Dam,(near Hexham), Newmills,(near Brampton), and Aldin Grange (near Durham). What an achievement, and all the heavy weight trout must be caught within twelve months!! Congratulations Sonia, extremely well done.
During their visit to Chatton John caught and released a thirteen and a half pound fish from Chatton lake. These two, Sonia and John, must have a very successful technique to catch so many double figure trout. One big fish may be luck, but so many in such a short period well !!!!
I fished with friends Lee, John and Jimmy one day this week. Conditions were ideal, it was very mild, not so sunny, but with bright periods and a slight breeze which created a gentle ripple on the surface of Whinney Loch. It is a while since the four of us had fished together as John and his son Lee help to run the country while we the retired, Jimmy and myself fish every week. We had a cuppa and caught up with all the gossip regarding family fishing and sport!
Once on the water I was catching very regularly using dry flies. I was letting them get wet and sinking a little, before raising my rod slowly and gently. The trout loved that and a number came to the net quickly. I was only casting nine yards maximum. During our five hours I caught other fish on Paul Griffins blue buzzer, a black buzzer and various pheasant tail nymphs. It was a red letter day, Jimmy, Lee and John all had several trout too and we all left happy after leaving Christmas cards for the management team of Ted Tina and Margaret.
Reports from Chatton, who held a heat of the Fritz and Fly competition, say another seven anglers qualified for the final early next year. Twenty five rods fished the competition and they landed, and returned, eighty seven fish. That makes the rod average very close to three and a half trout per rod! During the competition another double figure trout was caught which tipped the scales to twelve pounds. This fish was caught in Dunnydeer Lake, and was the heaviest trout caught during the competition.
Chatton Ladies are meeting on December 19th at 9.30, everyone is welcome.
Thrunton Long Crag report that anglers had to change their techniques during the week as temperatures ranged from minus four to plus fifteen. Plus fifteen in December with flies hatching and landing on the water, which in turn bright the trout to the surface to feed. Best bag this week was twenty fish and successful flies were lures nymphs and buzzers. This fishery will be closed on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Years Eve and New Years Day.
PLEASE check the fishery websites before setting off during the festive season to ensure they will be open on your arrival!!!