(Last updated: Monday 23rd February)
The first 3 weeks of the season have seen fresh fish landed on Bywell and Styford with their combined total now standing at 13 Spring fish. With the water still very cold and levels remaining quite high throughout this period it is encouraging that both beats have seen some sport. Warmer air and water temperatures and/or lower river levels should encourage more fish into the river and encourage the fish to spread throughout the main river below Hexham.
Please remember to send any reports, pictures or thoughts you would like included to firstname.lastname@example.org or contact me on 07751644599.
There are still one or two rods available on the prime Spring beats over the coming weeks.
There will usually be numbers of kelts in the pools for the first months of the season. These can be identified by their long lean shape. Their head will look unusually large on their thinner shoulders and the
vent will be distended. They will usually carry gill maggots but may look very silver. Kelts should also be returned quickly to the water.
Tyne Springers are a special capture and a real prize. They will be well built to enable them to stay in the river without feeding for such a long time before spawning.
Most anglers' very early season efforts will be concentrated on the main river including from the fish pass pool, below Riding Mill, downstream to Wylam bridge pool - and all the water in between. Beats available through Fishpal in this section of the river include Styford, Bywell and Eltringham. Northumberland Anglers Federation beats will also be popular.
The fish pass can act as a temperature barrier for very early running fish until the water levels drop and the temperature warms and the first runs of fresh fish are encountered upstream towards Hexham. It was, however, from the middle river that last year's first fish was landed just above Dilston.
Whilst fewer in number than their later running brethren, Spring fish tend to take the fly very aggressively so if a fresh fish is seen moving or a known Spring lie is covered while holding a fish some reaction can be expected. General tactics will be to fish deep and slow but often moving the fly with a figure of eight or slow strip can make all the difference.
The Tyne is not too deep a river in most parts so full sinking lines are rarely necessary to be successful but an intermediate line with sinking tip, or in lower flows a floater with fast sinking tip, will be needed to get the fly down a bit.
Popular Tyne patterns include Gold Bodied Willie Gunns, Orange shrimp type patterns, Black and yellows etc. usually tied on tubes at this time of year.
Spinning is also popular with some anglers. Yellow Belly Devons or a Zebra Toby fished deep and slow are long time favourites.
I look forward to seeing you out on the riverbank and wish you luck in your pursuit of these special fish on the Tyne in 2015.
Any angler successful in landing a Tyne fish (fresh or kelt) is encouraged to send scale samples to the EA - details and sample packets from Morton Heddell-Cowie :- call 0191203 4140 or email Morton.Heddell-Cowie@environmentagency.gov.uk
Please remember to send any reports or thoughts you would like included to email@example.com or contact me on 07751644599.
Full report to follow shortly for the first few months of the season.