After the way February finished I was determined to hit March hard and carry on my silver success. The only problem we have to deal with mid-system on the Tyne, is that being situated where we are is the volume of fish we have to target, for example, this Feb, a total of 26 fish passed through the fish pass at Riding mill, so trying to find one of these fish in a 12 mile stretch above is near enough impossible, but it can be done as I found out on the last day of the previous month. Not only do we have to deal with the lack of fish, but we also have to deal with winter conditions that include a lot of rain and snow and a constantly changing river.

March started with unsettled weather and a lot of rain that meant we couldn’t actually get onto the river to cast a line, but also it would stop any fish trying to run the fish pass further downstream due to the temperature and height, all was not lost tho. After what felt like a lifetime but was actually only a week, I got a call and offered some fishing from a good friend of mine Eugene, who is very well traveled and absolute fly fishing fanatic, incredibly he had only gone and booked 3 days fishing on the river Tyne’s prime spring beat – Bywell estate. This was an offer myself and Robson couldn’t refuse, but we would have task to decide between ourselves who would fish what day, unfortunately, this wouldn’t even matter, as again the rain gods decided to play foul and the river rose to an unfishable colour and height, Eugene being the absolute gentleman he is offered up his rod for the day so myself and the Green can both fish together. We arrived to conditions that we wouldn’t usually think about even wetting a fly in, with the river running at 3 foot and a good amount of colour, this wasn’t going to stop us trying our luck tho especially having the chance to fish the famous fish pass pool. We both fished the morning really hard, covering some incredible looking water with different flies and density tips, to no avail, but that element of hope was always there, especially the fact of where we were fishing. After Lunch, we changed locations with another group of anglers to cover some new water, this always gives me a new sense of optimism and if anything puts me back into proper fishing mode. Again we fished some great water, and fished it well, both covering the pools differently to give us the best chance, a few hours passed and Gary the ghillie decided to take us to the last chance saloon – The fish pass pool. Now the fish pass pool is a phenomenal place to fish, due to its placement below the actual fish pass, it creates a great holding area while fish decide to run, for a rest and also a temperature barrier, this was definitely going to give us the best chance of a fish. As always, I let the Green fish the pool first, mainly due to the fact he’s always away galavanting around the world, once he had worked his way through it, I hopped in the water behind him and started fishing, I was just working my way down to a likely looking lie off the current, with some huge boils from some serious structure when my line went tight, it was such a gentle take, almost as if it was a small trout or parr, I gave it a couple of seconds then lifted into it slowly, instantly I knew this was no small trout and the battle began. As soon as the fish realised it was hooked he woke up and went ballistic, headbanging like it was at a rock concert, but never moving too far into the fast current, the fist came to the surface on a couple of occasions to show us his stunning mirrored chrome flanks before heading back to the depths to try all manner of tricks to try and throw my hook, after a good 10 minutes of fighting I could feel we were winning, one last show of his silver side and Gary slipped the net under him, we went absolutely crazy, screaming like kids, I was shaking like never before, I knew we had something special in the net. Once lifted from the net I couldn’t believe the size of the fish, but not just his size, how perfect he was, like an absolute slab of silver perfection, covered in sea lice and smelling of the sea, this was by far my greatest salmon of all time. After a few quick photos and some time to recover I sent him on his way, along with thanking him for giving me a feeling that only a salmon of his stature can give.

Absolute perfection of a spring salmon
They don’t get much fresher

Unfortunately, the rest of March was an absolute washout, we managed to get out on the water a couple of times but conditions were far from good, this matched with the fact only 18 salmon had ran through the fish pass at Riding mill in March meant that we would have more luck playing the lottery. Let’s all hope that April brings some more settled weather and plenty silver – Tight lines guys…

Well the water eventually arrived in August along with a colossal run of both sea trout and salmon, this was only going to mean one thing – Absolute carnage!

Duncan fished to the death and gets his prize!

Early August I had the pleasure of guiding my good friend Duncan that came back for revenge after an unfortunate 2 days last year loosing an incredible 3 fish, 2 being right at the net.  He literally fished his heart out solid all day through horrendous winds and rain, his hard work however paid off with this belter of a sea trout, but it could of ended so differently – After fighting the fish on the dropper for a good 5 minutes that horrendous sensation of a slack line happened, we were absolutely devastated, it was so close and the end of the day, however it wasn’t over yet, as 10 seconds later we noticed the line moving through the water, we literally couldn’t work out what was going on.  To cut a long story short, the fish had taken the dropper and the fly pulled from it mouth as it came to the net, as the dropper pulled the point fly caught the fish in the side of the head and hooked itself, unbelievably we still had the same fish on and a minute later we had his prize in the net – Crazy!

 

Duncan and his lucky prize

Duncan playing his big sea trout

Well after the recent drought during June and July and worst run of loosing fish I’ve ever experienced (landing 5 from 15 hook up’s), i was starting to loose faith but i new eventually luck had to change and I eventually struck and landed some substantial silver, well maybe bronze!  As always the killer fly was a Fulling Mill Stokoe shrimp fished on a fast figure of eight!

My first double of the season

A sensational silver week at warden!

After the ridiculous months of hot and dry weather it was great to see a substantial lift of water throughout the Tyne system.  Any water that came was always going to get the fish excited and finally get them started on their final stage of their incredible adventure up to the same spawning grounds they were born in.

We had one memorable week at Warden in August totalling 30 fish, including a great number of grilse being caught that haven’t been present for quite a few years but are starting to make an appearance.  Here’s a few photos from an incredible day my guests Martyn and Tim on their first day’s salmon fishing during that crazy week, they only went and smashed in a Hat trick of sea trout in an actioned packed day.

Martyn with his first ever sea trout

Tim with his second of the day

Tim with his first ever sea trout

The Stokoe shrimp is always my first port of call when ever i fish the Tyne, the fly is actually a pattern I first tied about 17 years ago but now an improved pattern tied in both red and orange and also in tube form to accommodate all types of water conditions, it has had an incredible success rate for not only me but for anglers around the country.  Here’s one of the fish that literally couldn’t resist an original Stokoe, fished with a fast figure of eight on an intermediate line.

This fish couldn’t resist a Stokoe fished fast

Another Atlantic Tyne salmon

The fantastic 4!

It’s not often these days you get a real red letter day, but these 3 legends absolutely smashed one out the park.  Not knowing he was going salmon fishing, David was told last minute as a birthday present he’d be joining myself along with brother Tom and friend Brody for a days guided fishing. Even tho all 3 had never fished for salmon or sea trout at all, they absolutely cleaned up, each landing fish totalling 5 for the day.  This wouldn’t however turn out to be the most action packed day of the season…… 

5 incredible fish for the boys

Brody with a fish after 5 minutes

It was nice to eventually get some fishing done with the boy’s or as i like to call us – the salmon squad , due to us all having different jobs and life styles we don’t get to fish as much together as we would like, we did however manage to squeeze a few days in at the end of the month.  Fishing down behind the guys on 3 separate occasions one day I managed to hook 3 fish, 1 unfortunately slipped the hook that was the biggest of the day but the others thankfully stuck giving us a nice duo of grilse.  Even tho i caught the fish I always look at it s team effort, as everyone fished their hearts out using different flies and lines, it was my choice of fly and fast paced retrieve that the fish decided to take a liking to but we still caught them as a collective.

My second Salmon of the day

Robson holding our first of the day

 

The first week in July couldn’t have started any better for my guests with 4 of them catching their first migratory fish ever in the space of 4 days, as always for me this is the closest you can get to catching one yourself and sometime’s i feel like i’m more excited than them when that silver is safely in the net.  After waiting and waiting for rain and experiencing the driest April, May and most of June in a long time we eventually got some long awaited rain which brought the Tyne back to life and the huge runs of eagerly awaited salmon and sea trout into the system. Here are a few short posts from a few of my guests in the first week of July.

The Italian job!

It’s amazing the characters you get to meet through fishing and this weekend was no exception. I had one hell of a laugh guiding Vittorio, Carlo and GiGi as they searched for their first migratory fish, even tho it was a first for them they fished like absolute troopers and managed to land 2 fish from 4 hook ups. I think you can all agree that their smiles say it all! Well done guys see you for round 2 soon..

Team Italy

Carlo with his first ever Salmon

When your prize is safely in the net

Vittorio with his first ever sea trout that was caught on the Tyne

The feeling of guiding someone to their first salmon doesn’t compare to anything else in the fishing world, and doing a double is just something else!

After being rained off the river yesterday i decided to take Matt and Bex to New Mills Trout Fishing Park to try smash a few trout PB’s which they did instantly, getting amongst some cracking fish and getting them geared up for a days salmon fishing once levels had dropped today.

Even tho levels were still high today it was never going to stop us chasing that ever allusive silver.  Both Matt and Bex had never fished for salmon before and they took to it like a duck to water and both fished their hearts out and managed a spectacular double. For both partners to land their first ever salmon on their first day of trying is something i am proud of and will never ever forget. Well done guys!!!!

Bex smashing her brown trout PB

PB 2 smashed with this cracking rainbow

Fishing couple goals

In the net and kept wet

Matt with his first ever salmon and what a belter it was

Back he goes

Bex with her First ever salmon

A quick pic before release