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(Last updated: Friday 30th September)
Although numbers of fresh fish are down on what we might hope for at this stage of the season the cooler temperatures and fresh water have brought some new fish into the system and stirred up some resident fish
into taking this week. There have been some improved catches with Bywell rods enjoying 10 in a day early in the week and several visitors enjoying the thrill of their first ever salmon on the fly.
The first of these was Ron Madden from Nottingham who fished with me on Monday at Warden and landed a hen grilse which was carefully returned on a small ghiille fly from the lower South Tyne. Then on Wednesday it was the turn of a party of three fly virgins who all landed fish on fly from Dilston - all by lunchtime! Josh Ystenes was the first to hook up. Fishing a red shrimp fly when a little run of fish came into the pool Josh got a strong pull and after a very spirited fight an 8lb cock fish was netted and carefully returned. Whilst Josh was playing his fish his father John also hooked a fish in the pool below which turned out to be an 11lbs hen fish - on a small park shrimp. The fish also fought hard in fast water but was netted and carefully revived before swimming off strongly. Two down and one to go and not to be outdone long time fishing partner of the father and son team David Mason then hooked his fish in a nice streamy run. Taking a yellow and orange Irish shrimp pattern the 10lb cock fish also gave David a great scrap before being returned safely. Quite a morning and Josh doubled his total on fly in the afternoon with a hen salmon - also returned.
On Saturday 24th September at Warden brothers Carl and Alex Smith (aged18 and 17) who are both talented anglers and Angling Trust young ambassadors decided to try salmon fishing for the first time. Fishing the Baddox & Boatside beat Alex quickly hooked a good fish in the mid teens that sadly came adrift after a few minutes. It was Carl's turn next and he landed a 15lb salmon on spinner after a hard fight. Soon after this Alex netted a 3.5lb Grilse to even the score. They were both delighted to catch their first ever Atlantic salmon. Late afternoon saw a quick visit to the Thistlerigg beat and they both ended their day with another fish each, a 10lb fish for Carl and a Grilse of 4lb for Alex. Carl and Alex are well known for the films they make of their fishing adventures together and will show the footage they shot of their Tyne fishing trip on YouTube. Good to see the younger generation enjoying our sport!
Also enjoying some success on the Tyne system recently was Justin Szymborski who was fishing on Redesmouth during the 9.3 release. Justin caught a 9lb hen salmon hand lining a small claret shrimp at the junction between the North Tyne and the Rede and then repeated the procedure, (same place, fly and tactic) and landed a 12lb hen salmon. Both fish were in immaculate condition-fin perfect, the second fish made repeated attempts to get up the Rede which made things interesting!
Fishing the South Tyne on the last flood Chris Kirk from Keswick had a day to remember landing a 26lb salmon at Alston on a flying C and the following day landed a 12lb salmon and 5lb sea trout.
There are several events of note for anglers over the coming week or so. This Saturday and Sunday at Reghed in Penrith, now in its third year, Fly Fest aims to promote the very best in Fly Tying, Fly Fishing, Fly Casting and Fly Film. After the show on Monday and Tuesday there are two charity fishing days organised on the Tyne. Supporting the Pink Linda cancer charity, Next Generation Project (providing angling for disadvantaged youngsters) and the Great North Air Ambulance, rods are available on Warden and a selection of South Tyne beats donated by NERAC. The days include fishing, some instruction and breakfast/lunch. Rods are still available for the Tuesday - for more details contact Andrew Jackson on 07506978093.
Finally of interest to Tyne anglers in particular Northumbrian Water, the EA and the hydropower operator Innogy are holding a drop in session so the public can find out more about proposed changes to Kielder releases and share your thoughts. This will take place at the Best Western Beaumont Hotel Hexham NE46 3LT on Wednesday 5th October - drop in is any time between 4pm and 7pm.
Please send reports and/or photographs of fish caught to email@example.com or contact me on 07751644599 - reports are gratefully received and make this page a much better read for all.
PLEASE NOTE - The Environment Agency is asking anglers to send in a few scales from the fish that they catch including kelts. The scales contain information that can be described as a biography of a fish's life history and growth rates and by examining the scales under magnification we can infer the age of the fish. The age data that is collected from scales adds detail to the counter and video data collected at Riding Mill. For details on our salmon scale research click here.
Tight lines, Neil Lobban
Full report to follow shortly for the first few months of the season.