Well it’s been a while since my last update and fairly eventful to say the least.
I have fished sporadically throughout the winter this year. Winter 2016 has been considerably drier than the previous year and I have found the river levels at a fishable level almost throughout the whole of the year. Almost the opposite of the previous year
Fishing did slow down somewhat from mid-January but having said that there are still fish to be had with all the fish taken during the winter being grayling with the very odd exception being the occasional out of season wild brownie and the rare treat of a small(ish) salmon at the beginning of the year caught just above High Dam on a size 14 pink Gold head. I only really went out to try out my treat for my 50th birthday and was fishing a spot where I had previously caught a half decent grayling.
Persevering more than usual due to this I had a hook up, initially it didn’t feel that big then I saw him mid-stream doing his own thing. I was only on 3lb cast and it was all I could do to try and keep him out of the main current, backwards and forward we went, me unable to raise the rod much, him making a dash for the faster current, and so it carried on for a good 15 minutes or so. My 6’9” Mr. Zhu coped admirably eventually getting him close enough to slip into the net. Shock didn’t cover it. My first ever Salmon on the fly, indeed a good start for my new rod!
I slipped the hook out and took a quick snap before making sure he was fully recovered and off he swam, leaving me with a big smile on my face. Looks like the fish passes that have been installed on the river are now letting migratory fish get upstream. Looking at my pic I estimate he was about 25-26”.
My last trip out was right at the end of January and was tricky fishing for me and much less spectacular than the previous trip. I fished up at Rowland Gil and it was a short session of about 90 minutes. Fishing was slow (for me) and was looking like a dirty blank until I got to the end of the funnel pool that runs into a deep slow pool. Again I was fishing with a bright pink sz14 gold head on the point which eventually came up with the goods in this pool.
I had a couple of plucks before eventually a hook up with a decent grayling of about 12” coming to hand, which was quickly followed by another slightly smaller grayling on the same fly, both fish coming within a couple of minutes of each other at around 11am. That was it for the day still, a couple of fish in January are very welcome.
I did have another day volunteering on the river with the Tyne rivers trust and spent the day doing some “Willow weaving” and destroying my back muscles (must remember I’m 50 not 30!)!! Still it was a fascinating day and it felt only right to give a little back to the river I get so much enjoyment out of.
This weekend just gone I had a walk along the river with the missus and was pleased to see a couple or three trout rising to something on or near the surface just above high dam, just what you need to whet the appetite for the coming season, I followed that up with a session in front of the fly tying table to get some spiders lashed up for the coming season, just a few more to tie then that will be me ready to go in a couple of weeks or so.
All being well I do intend to have a trip out this coming weekend, see how the river is looking before opening day on 22nd March