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(Last updated: Tuesday 17th April)
It seems that fish have begun to ascend the pass at last (the EA report 33 upstream counts for April by the 17th) with Dilston reporting a fresh fish this week, one really good fresh fish lost in the Corbridge
area and 2 others landed in the Hexham area. Successful rods include Messers Fenwick, Rae and Lowes on Styford and Michael Nicholson with a 12lb cock fish from Dilston. Another fish estimated at around 20lbs was
lost at the net in the same pool yesterday.
With the weather set to improve temperature-wise as long as levels are conducive fresh fish should start to appear in the main river in greater numbers.
Whilst Spring fish are fewer in number than their later running counterparts, if you get a fresh one at this time of year it is likely to be one to remember for a long time - both in terms of quality and often size! Keys to success (as well as keeping warm) will be hitting the river at a nice height and being at the right place at the right time to cover these fish. With the fish pass at Riding Mill often acting as a temperature barrier until mid March onwards, the pools immediately below there can often produce the goods. That includes the beats of Bywell and Styford but anywhere from Hexham through Corbridge, down through Ovingham to the Wylam area can offer a chance, particularly when the water starts to warm up.
Many anglers will be able to cover the water effectively with a tube fly, usually fished deep and slow on sinking lines/tips at this time of year. Others will opt for spinners with a Toby or, traditional Tyne Spring favourite, a yellow belly devon, fished slowly over the lies.
Anglers should be aware that any fish caught will remain in the river for many months before spawning and treat them with the utmost care when returning them.
There will often be a number of last years fish caught. These have spawned and begun dropping back downriver. Known as kelts these fish will very be thin in comparison to fresh fish They will very often have maggots in their gills but may have regained their silver sheen. They should also be returned unharmed to the river.
Please send reports and/or photographs of fish caught to firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Anyone looking for Speycasting tuition or guided fishing from an AAPGAI advanced instructor can contact me at email@example.com
Full report to follow shortly for the first few months of the season.