After losing all of April and May due to covid, it was incredible to be back on the water, although, back to incredibly low conditions due to a scorching spring, but our fishing lockdown was eventually over. Due to losing 2 solid months of fishing/guiding, I decided to ram as much in as possible to make up for what we lost, it was going to be a hectic couple of months, including an unheard-of wet July, but an absolute fish-filled month.

June’s weather seemed to follow suit from the spring and was boiling hot with consistent low water, but as always we adjusted to the conditions and had some great sport.

A quick mission over the border to the river tweed was the first port of call for the month, the water level was at summer low, warm, and clear, but my good old tyne summer tactics went down a treat with the fish. A team consisting of a micro Francis tube on the point and size 14 crathie on the dropper fished on a really long leader with a fast figure of eight accounted for 2 lovely tweed fish, one around 11lb and the other about 7lb, my luck with Scottish salmon this season was a welcome change, but later that day normality was resumed as I lost another 2 fish, but still a day to remember.

My first tweed salmon
Salmon number 2

Here are some of my lucky guests that managed to strike silver during June and July

A decade without silver

Here’s guest @phil_pallister with his first salmon in 10 years, I think the smile as always says it all 👊🏻🎣! That’s 2 fish in a week of guiding from 7 hooked, hopefully the start of some good luck… 

Phil with my second guided fish of the season

Here’s guest Steve with his first-ever fly caught sea trout, he put in an incredible shift to land his silver prize in low water and bright sunshine. Fish fell to a size 14 @fulling_mill Arndilly fancy fished on the dropper 

Tyne sea trout

Single handed salmon.

Here’s today’s guest and great friend Jason with his well earned prize. This fish gave him an incredible battle on single handed trout rod, making numerous runs and explosive leaps across the pool, but as always he played the fish hard, and we eventually got him safe in the net. This is Jason and Carl’s 4th year in a row with me and their 8th fish and 100 percent record.

Jason keeping his 100 percent record intact

Here’s guest and salmon slayer Mark with his first Tyne salmon on the fly. It took him all of 15 minutes of fishing to connect with this fish this morning, and after others had been fishing the same water since 4 am

Mark with his silver prize

My good buddy and guest @djnickwarren is maybe best know for creating world renowned music, but nothing compared to the sound of his reel when he hooked this stunning salmon. Nick also completed his Tyne treble with a beautiful brown trout and this chrome sea trout.

5 minutes of fishing and nick was into this salmon
A stunning Tyne sea trout

The dream team hits 6 🎉🔥.

Today I had the pleasure of welcoming back last seasons guests Ian and Michael as they looked to continue their 100 percent record with me.

After putting in some substantial time themselves this season so far and not having the luck they deserved, it was only a matter of time that something special was going to happen. The boys put in one hell of a shift today, and as a team, we managed to land a mix of 6 stunning fly caught sea trout and salmon, as always the smiles say it all, I couldn’t be prouder of the lads today, and can’t wait to have them back on the water. As always size 14 @fulling_mill patterns doing the damage

Sea trout number 1 for michael
Nice Tyne salmon for Ian
Michaels biggest sea trout to date
Ians biggest sea trout

Here’s my great friend Matt with his first 2 Tyne fish, not quite the PB sea trout he was after, but incredible sport on a single-handed rod. He even twisted my arm to try a little night time fishing, not my usual cup of tea, but we had some epic fun, and I even managed my first sea trout in the dark.

Matt with his prize sea trout
My first night time sea trout

Sea trout on size 14’s.

Here’s guest Keith with another monster fly caught daytime Tyne sea trout, 1 of 2 fish we landed today and a new PB for him. Size 14 @fulling_mill RS cascade doing the damage again.

Keith with a massive day time fly caught sea trout

Well Beni eventually got his prize, his first ever migratory fish, and an absolute stunner at that. What a perfect way to end 2 really tough but enjoyable days fishing, you were a pleasure to guide mate. Killer fly was a size 14 @fulling_mill crathie.

Beni with his first ever migratory fish

First salmon alert 🚨🚨.

Here’s today’s super star Alfie with his first ever salmon, something I’m sure he’ll never forget, as not only did he manage this absolute stunner, 30 minutes later he landed an absolute beast of a fish. I literally couldn’t be prouder of this lads achievement and how well he’s fished over the last 2 days, and it was a pleasure to guide you young man.

Alfie with his first ever salmon

Sea trout of a lifetime for the Green…

I’ve just literally just had the pleasure of putting Robson on the money and netting this incredible fish for him. We literally decided last minute to have a quick few hours on the water with his partner Zoila, actually, the first time since lockdown since we had fished together, and what a result! This is by far one of the biggest sea trout I had ever seen, such a beast of a fish, and another Tyne double-figure beauty. Huge thank you to @andy_rollins_fishing for the flies that literally arrived the day before

Robson with the biggest sea trout of the season

Personally, I didn’t get to fish many days in either months, but when I did I had some incredible sport with the sea trout on tiny size 14’s and 16’s, here are just a few of the silver beauties I managed.

Day time south Tyne sea trout
One of 5 sea trout

After a very successful season in 2019 considering the numbers of fish that ran the Tyne being well behind average, with nearly 10,000 less migrating our system, 2020 had a lot to live up to and should have been a year to remember, it was going to be, but unfortunately for all the wrong reasons.

February was a very slow month on the river, with a combination of big water, bad weather, and a lack of anglers on the water, possibly put off by the poor previous season they had. It wasn’t until March when things started heat up, and that didn’t include the weather, as early March was absolutely baltic. I was, however, lucky enough to be invited by a great friend Eugene to join him last minute on a trip to the Findhorn, a stunning spate river situated in the northeast of Scotland, and a river id always wanted to fish. During the journey up, Eugene filled me with stories of the giants that migrate this river, and that we had some near-perfect conditions to fish in, minus the freezing weather.

After a fruitless but very enjoyable first day, we got the news that the country was going into lockdown, we had 2 days left and had to make every second on the water count. Without thinking, we had left our waders and boots in the fishing hut, and as you can imagine, they were frozen harder than a pair of penguins balls. As the day went on it warmed slightly, and we eventually had a water temperature close to 5 degrees, still very cold but going in the right direction eventually. It was the end of the day, and we’d come to a bit of water that doesn’t usually get fished very often, and Eugene being the guy he is, decided to do a bit prospecting and fish a bit further, by this time I’d had enough and was winding my line in when I heard him screaming FISH ON, it took me a few seconds to realise what was going on and that he’d obviously hooked a proper fish. After charging through the woods I eventually got down to him with the net, as always he was calm and collected but a bit quieter than usual, I noticed the rod was literally bent double, and that he had the drag stacked right up on the reel, then he muttered the words it’s a big fish. After a pretty heavy battle with the fish going back and forwards I saw it, in my head I thought 15, but then it turned and caught a glimpse of its flank, it was a monster, the biggest I’ve seen with my own eyes, now I don’t usually panic but my head was racing, it was the first fish I would net of the season, and a special fish at that. After a good 20 minute scrap, I saw an opportunity to go for her, and with one scoop she was ours, was an incredible feeling, even tho it was his fish I still went crazy. Around 28lb of stunning Scottish silver, a spectacular fish, and a multi spawning female, I still smile to this day at the thought of her, as always she was kept in the water and we managed a few quick snaps before letting her carry on her journey.

After a spectacular day 2, I wasn’t really holding out for much as I felt our good luck had been used up, but as this was our last day due to covid restrictions we decided to give it our best. As the previous day’s nothing happened at all during the day, I managed a few kelts which kept us on our toes but were starting to give up hope and starting to get really cold again. At around 3 pm we decided that we’d have one last run-through one of the likely pools, and with a quick change of tactics I started fishing through it, not really paying much attention due to the cold and being wiped out, but a matter of moments later I had a solid take, nothing like the kelts id previously caught, I knew instantly this was a spring fish, and a solid one due to its power and weight. The fish took me into the backing once and motored across the pool numerous times, on each occasion making me a shacking mess expecting the worst, but with good teamwork, and me being harder on the fish, it was ours. Now, this was a special fish for me, not only because it was knocking on the doors of 20lb, but because it was my first Scottish salmon, and what an incredible fish, absolute perfection, and not a scale-out of place, what a fitting way to end our Scottish adventure than seeing her swim off into the depths.

We left Scotland to come home and literally got put into lockdown due to Covid, this would have a huge effect on the coming months, not just on the fishing but everyone’s lives, it certainly makes you appreciate what you have, and what you do so much more.

After a huge crash in numbers of running fish in August, a scary 7000 less than previous years, we were fearful of the impact that the 2015 floods had on hour rivers, this didn’t, however, affect the number of fish being caught in august as my guests managed a staggering 19 fish in 20 days guiding. Unfortunately, the September numbers continued to spiral out of control with a shocking 4000 fish less than the previous year, all was not lost tho as we managed some great catches including numerous first-time fish for my guests, here’s a review of a pretty hectic fish-filled month.

A great silver September start.

What a great way to kick off Septembers guiding with this stunning fish caught by guest and great friend Duncan Jack 👊🏻! Unfortunately the second fish hooked was lost at the net, but we still have one happy guest and guide! Fish fell to a size 14 @fulling_mill RS cascade

Duncan with his prize

David works his magic.

Heres today guest and professional magician David Readfearn with an incredible fish that gave him one hell of a battle that I’m sure he’ll never forget! After hooking the fish, during the fight it somehow managed the wrap itself in the line making it nearly impossible to get the fish to the net, but working as a team we succeeded, and what a fish it was (measured and estimated at around 22lb.

David with my biggest guests fish of the season

First salmon smiles for Sam.

Well, that’s an end to a fantastic 2 day hosted salmon fishing course with @marinagibsonfishing and some great clients who I’m now glad to call friends! Over the 2 days the guys not only learnt and mastered various casts, the Importance of watercraft, they managed to get amongst some silver. Here’s Sam with his first salmon caught on his second day ever fly fishing, unfortunately, we also lost another fish that managed to shake the hook but what a great achievement from the team!

Myself and marina will be running more 2 day hosted courses next year over a few different months, please keep an eye out for future dates. 

Sam with his first-ever fly caught fish

A huge congratulations to my great friends Damon and Francesca on today’s incredible effort, the guys finished on 2 beautiful fly caught sea trout, with the largest at around 7 pounds and the smaller at 4lb, Damon has still got his 100 percent catch record with myself. Killer combo was a @fulling_mill crathie and Calvin shrimp.

The dream team with a cracking sea trout

The salmon squad strike silver.

Well, day one of our yearly trip finished with an incredible 8 fish hooked but sadly only managed to land 3, still an incredible team effort by Phil, Robson, and Zoila. Here’s the biggest of day caught at the death and a fight to remember, taking me way into the backing twice. Bring on day 2 tomorrow.

Our biggest of the day
Robson managed to get amongst the action

Here’s my second fish from Monday’s session with the squad, not the cleanest of sea trout but still put on one hell of a show! 

A feisty Tyne sea trout

Day 2 and the silver streak has continued for the squad. Bright and intense sunshine made it a tough day for the team, but as always we fished hard and were rewarded with 2 fish from 4 hook up’s, including my biggest so far, weighing around 15lb. Unfortunately she was a little camera shy and decided to do a disappearing act before getting a mug shot, this is becoming an occurring theme 🙈🎣! @fulling_mill Bann special doing the damage today

A shot before she disappeared

Carl gets a last-minute winner.

After fishing solid over 2 days with nothing but a lost salmon to show for it, both Carl and Jason were ready to call it a day! As always we decided to give it one last try, the resulting photo is Carl’s first fly caught migratory fish, and what a sea trout it was.

Stunning Tyne sea trout

What an incredible way to end a special week with some great friends than with this stunning fish! As a team, we managed to finish on a healthy 13 fish with at least 10 more lost, as for me the salmon gods were looking down on me as I finished on 5 fish in 4 days fished. Now it’s time to celebrate our week and this incredible river.

The last salmon of our week
Robson with another beautiful Tyne fish

Some serious salmon celebrations for Andy’s first Tyne fish! What a great effort by both Andy and Adrian today, fishing amongst 4 others, they were the only ones to get any hook up’s, hooking 4 very good fish and landing 2 while I was present, they also managed another stunning hen fish after I left.

Salmon celebrations
Adrian with his first ever sea trout

As you can see, even with a crash in the numbers of fish running, we managed some incredible sport up and down the river including a few first time fish caught. I’ve got a great feeling about October, so fingers crossed my salmon sixth sense is right…..

After a really tough April and May with no salmon to show but lost fish at the net, I couldn’t wait for June to kick off with guiding and some actual rain due. My self and Good friend nick warren did manage some stunning small sea trout up to about 3lb from a little road trip we took to the Dee, I did, however, have the pleasure of netting the Green’s first fish of the year, let’s just say he was a little excited as it hit the net.

Nick Warren with a fresh run sea trout
Robson Green off the mark

The month literally started with a bang, as with great water conditions and the full salmon squad together we went out on the 1st in search of some silver.

Here are some small Blog posts from a pretty hectic June!

June 2nd – What an incredible weekend I’ve had with the salmon squad, even tho we collectively put some serious man-hours in this weekend we finished on a massive high.

I’ve just literally netted an incredible conditioned fish for my good buddy Andy (First photo)!

Andy Blyth with a stunning fish

I managed one of most perfect sea liced fish I’ve ever caught estimated around 14/15lb yesterday, unfortunately, when we went to get the photo the fish had other ideas (last photo) 🙈😂, along with my fish Phil AKA the master chipped in with another fish around 10lb!

Phil with my fish before it decided to dissapear

So the total for our weekend finished on – 3 landed and 2 lost between us, bring on this week 👊🏻🎣!

June 3rd – Sweet silver on a sixteen 🐋…

Well after a crazy weekend of smashing silver in left right and centre, I seriously couldn’t of imagined that the luck would continue.

After netting a stunning fish for my buddy Adam this morning (pics to follow over next few days), I decided to have 20 minutes fishing myself, as always with the water falling the deadly size 16 Fulling Mill crathie was placed on the dropper matched with a stokoe on the point.

Adam with a fish I netted for him

After about 10 casts I hooked what I thought was a small sea trout, after a few seconds the fish woke up and went ballistic taking me 100 yards downstream to a different pool, knowing he’d taken the dropper and constantly worrying where the point fly was I played him hard but still careful enough not to pull the small hook. Ten minutes later he was mine, and he was an absolute belter, who knows what tomorrow may bring 👀😬🎣.

I managed to christen my new rod

June 11th – Here’s a stunning fish I had the pleasure of netting for Zoila (Robson’s partner) on Monday morning, she played the fish like an absolute superstar and I think the smile says it all! The fish was caught on Calvin shrimp matched with an intermediate tip, to make things even better she was the last person to fish the pool through.

Zoila and her prize Tyne salmon

June 18th – Sensational sea trout and 100 percent record!

Well that’s an end to an incredible 2 days guiding with Jason and Carl, both lads fished their hearts out and Carl came close to his first fly caught salmon on 3 occasions today but they just didn’t stick.

All was not lost tho, as Jason caught this fish of a lifetime, an incredible sea trout weighing around 12lb, caught on a size 14 Fulling Mill Rs silver stoat on the dropper. Along with this incredible sea trout, Jason managed a stunning salmon around 10lb, along with Jason, Carl also managed to keep his 100 percent record up with a perfect sea trout giving the boys numbers of 3 fish landed and 4 lost.

Jason with a huge Tyne sea trout
No stopping Jason on this day, another stunning Tyne salmon
Carl with his sea trout

June 19th – Silver saves the day.

After the heartbreak of my guests loosing 3 good fish yesterday, I decided to chance my luck and have a few casts after collecting my rods off them. Small fly’s on the dropper doing the damage again, even in big water, this stunning fish couldn’t resist a size 14 Fulling Mill double fished on the dropper and as fast as possible 👊🏻🔥

Another Tyne salmon

June 23rd – This incredible river keeps on producing some colossal Sea trout, here’s Ian with his first fly caught sea trout from today’s guiding session. A massive shout out to his son James who fished like an absolute pro today but unfortunately lost the fish he connected with. We will get them next time buddy….

Another fish of a lifetime for Ian

June 25th – Silver at 7 PM.

Fishing is such an incredible sport and nothing is ever Guaranteed, especially when salmon are the target. We often laugh and joke about that one last cast at the end of the day, the majority of the time nothing happens but today it did.

Here’s today’s guest John Radford with his biggest salmon to date caught on one of his last casts before he headed home, I’m so proud of you for sticking at it buddy 👊🏻🎣

John with his largest salmon to date

June 26th – Scuba, snorkelling and sea trout.

A huge congratulation to my buddy and today’s guest Marina on her PB and first Tyne sea trout she caught today, both you and Ed grated your arse off for your team prize, and it was a pleasure guiding you.

Also a huge thank you to Beneath British Waters for coming to capture some unreal underwater footage for our The Untamed Anglers series that will be released later this year.

Gibson gets amongst the silver
Mark getting the underwater shots we need for our series

June 29th – Sunny sea trout success.

Well that’s the end to a great two days guiding farther and son team Alex and John. Even with low water and intense heat the boys grafted so hard, and as always their incredible efforts paid off. John managed to land not only his first but second ever sea trout on the fly, I think that grin says it all… see you soon boys!

The killer combo was a size 10 Fulling Mill RS cascade and my AtomSix Fly Rods, A huge thank you again to Phil Adams for having us this afternoon.

John with the first of his Two sea trout

This June turned out to be a bit special, mainly due to the water we were fortunate with, I’ve always said that if we get the rain this can be a hard month to beat. In a total of 12 days guiding my guests finished on 8 fish landed and 7 lost, lets hope that the July weather is kind to us all.

Tight lines guys….

Well September was always going to be a hard one to follow, mainly due to the fact of water temperatures dropping, unsettled weather patterns and the fish having tendencies to switch off later in the month due to spawning time getting closer, but as always changing your tactics to suit the water will always give you a greater chance of silver.

The month started with a great lift of water which was perfect for my first guests, absolute fishing fanatical couple Gay and Lucinda as they went in search of Gary’s first fly caught salmon.  The days location of choice was Lambley, situated way up the south Tyne, I knew we had one hell of a chance connecting with a fish I just didn’t realise it would happen so quickly, 10 minutes to be precise.  After putting Gary in the lower section of the pool I walked Lucinda up to the head of it to get her in place and spent a few minutes changing poly tips and making sure she was happy with her casting (which was epic), we literally hadn’t got going and we heard a cry of “Fish on”, he’d only gone and hooked straight into fish that went ballistic, charging round the pool like a fish possessed.  After running down to him like a mad man, a good 8 minute battle I slipped the net under his prize, his first ever fly caught salmon on belive it or not a Red Stokoe shrimp. Lucinda also managed to connect with a nice grilse but unfortunately lost it at the rim of the net, she did however catch an incredible wild brown in the best condition I’ve seen on our river.  

 

Gary with his prize

Lucina with the nicest Wild Tyne brown trout i’ve ever seen

The salmon squad strikes again!!

It was Great to finally get out for a cast with the Boys (Phil and Robson) after a busy start to the month for us all, as always we decided to fish slightly different tactics, density tip’s and fly’s to maximise our chances of striking silver.  I let the lads go through first seeing that I fish the river way more than them, or in my words let them stir the pools up first.  It just so happened my tactics paid off and i scored first, connecting with a nice hen fish that fell to a quarter inch cone head francis fished on and intermediate tip and small paused short strip retrieves.  After putting up a great fight Phil netted her for me, she was not only a beautiful hen fish but an important one for me – my 20th fish of the season.  I knew for a fact that the lads wouldn’t be far behind me with the conditions looking right, it was the Green machine that hit the jackpot next again fishing down behind phil, i actually joked on when he hooked the fish and started playing it that was it just a trout due to the lack of fight it was giving, Id eat my words seconds later as the fish woke up charging around the pool being a proper head banger shaking its head as if it was at a rock concert, minutes later after playing the fish perfect I safely netted it and the green went into meltdown mode as he does dancing around like and excited kid at Christmas.  There was only the master left to connect with a fish, but he’d have to wait until the next day to strike silver, and what a fish it was another cracking hen fish and the biggest of the 2 days weighing 15.5lb.

The francis does the damage

Robson wasn’t far behind

Phil with the biggest of the 2 day’s

After the great 2 day’s me and the boys had i decided to stick it out and try and add to my tally for the season as condition were pretty banging, after having good success days earlier with a small francis, the pool was absolutely rammed with fish, probably the most id seen this year, but for love nor money i could not get a reaction from them to save my life.  The decision was made to change tactic’s, I decided to put a fast tip on and literally dredge the bottom with the biggest francis in my box.  The francis is always a good reaction fly to use especially when all else fails but especially fished with a draw and stop (5 seconds pause), the salmon will often take on the pause, again it was the right decision to change tactics but the fish actually took on my last cast and while i was winding in, to my amazement the fish cart wheeling around the pool like a lunatic wasn’t a salmon but turned out to be a big sea trout.  After a short but very active battle i had a bruit of a cock fish nestled safely by my side, a couple of quick photos and back he went to finish of his journey, i did also manage to hit a hat-trick for the week a day later with another hen salmon around 8lb in horrendous weather conditions that Robson kindly netted for me.

The Francis does the job

Letting the big man rest before his return

Another day another hen

One thing I really love is introducing people from different areas of angling to salmon fishing and I think I may have turned carp fishing England international Ryan from the dark side as i had him back for another 2 days in search of silver.  It was always going to be hard to top his previous visit last season,  due to the fact he landed the biggest guest fish of the year, weighing in at a staggering 22.5lb on his first day ever salmon fishing.  It literally took him 5 minutes to start spey casting again even after a year, to the point of casting off his left shoulder – what a bloke!  It was getting late in the day and I was gutted for him that he hadn’t connected yet as he was fishing his socks off, I shouldn’t of worried however, as minutes later that high pitched scream of fish on and a rod bent was the sight and sound i was waiting for, although the fish wasn’t a shade of last years capture it was still an absolute stunner and kept his 100 percent record in tact.

Cap fishing England international Ryan with another salmon

The season seemed to come to an end faster than I’ve ever experienced but collectively we still managed a cracking last week, landing 6 fish including 2 fish for Phil, 2 for my guests one being a first uk sea trout for Barry.  One of my guest’s Adams landed his second ever salmon, christening his rod he had received 17 years ago as a birthday present that he had promised to take the plastic off once he had caught a salmon on it.  Both myself Robson and Gibson had a hectic last 2 day’s hooking 5 fish but only managing to land 2 between us but it was still an epic team effort and I managed my 25th fish of the season on the 31st on the that killer fly again – The Stokoe shrimp.

Adam christens his rod

Adam and his Prize

The dream team Barry and the Green

Robson and a chunky hen fish

This sea trout couldn’t resist a Stokoe shrimp

Last day fish for the team

I just wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone that has helped and supported me but also to all guests and friends who have fished with me, I couldn’t do this without you all!  Bring on 2019……..!

Looking back over last year i cant help but smile, even tho my personal life away from the fishing hasn’t been the easiest, all the fish caught by guests, successful events and shows, how much i’ve learned, sponsorships, ambassadorships and most of all the people i got to meet and become good friends with made it a year to remember.

2018 literally couldn’t of started any better with the official announcement of my partnership with Sportfish, to have been asked to be an ambassador for this incredible company was an honour and something i was never going to pass up.  What i love about the Sportfish is not only the brands and equipment i already use and have for years but that it isn’t just a bunch of random people put together at a company, the staff all bring something different to the table regarding fishing knowledge and character and is more like a close family.  It also brings back great memories to where i had my last and final audition for the Big Fish before i got selected for the show which changed my life and put me on the path to where i am today. @sportfishuk

The official handshake with Robin from Sportfish

As you may know last year myself and Ripon joined forces to become the Untamed Anglers to carry on from where we left off on our world wide big fish adventure, this time to concentrate on incredible and diversity of species on our doorstep in this country .  This month we start filming our series with Jonny from Shooting photography, our good friend Hywel Morgan and a host of other very familiar fishing faces as we go in search of Britain’s Iconic Fish.  Its still hard to belive that an idea we had all nearly a year ago has materialised into us actually going into production, it hasn’t been easy but a lot of hard work and time has eventually paid off and we cant wait to show you guys the finished product.

The untamed Anglers are go!

A new year also means new events and shows to look forward to, i absolutely love being part of these, mainly to meet all the other anglers and people with the same interest and passion as myself and its always a great excuse to have a catch up with old buddies.  Hopefully you guys will be able to make some of the Shows and events listed below =

Scottish fly fair 10/11 March

London Fly Fishing Fair 23/24 March

Sportfish Reading show 12/13 May

The Game Fair 27/28/29 July

The Game Fair team Alaska including myself, Wayne and Marina

With a really successful years guiding last year i cant wait to get started again, it may sound stupid to some but i really feel like i’ve finally found what i was meant to do.  After selling cars since leaving school it was like a breath of fresh air being able to turn my passion into a job, don’t get me wrong it can be mentally draining at times when those pesky fish wont play game but the satisfaction of using your knowledge and craft to successfully get a guest a fish is an incredible feeling and is close as you can get to catching one yourself.  Due to really high demand this year not only do i have access to the phenomenal warden beats I’ve fished all my life near Hexham, i will also be guiding  guests on the stunning lambely beat on the south tyne, which in August, September and October is absolutely rammed with fish due to its location high up on the south Tyne.  Anyone looking to for guided fishing full details of locations and pricing can be found on my Tyne salmon guiding link on my home page and please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Robson getting amongst the fish with Phil at Lambley

Along with the guiding i will also be hosting a joint trip of a lifetime to Alaska with the amazing Marina Gibson in September!  Alaska has to be the ultimate bucket list location for any fly fishing addicts around the world. Here is a great opportunity to join both Marina Gibson and James Stokoe as they host a trip in September for an incredible price to the phenomenal Alaska Trophy Adventures Lodge, Alagnak River, Bristol Bay, Alaska, set on the remote banks of the wild and scenic Alagnak River.  This river Hosts a world-famous run of all five species of pacific salmon, the Alagnak is also home to a host of resident fish, such as leopard rainbow trout, arctic char and grayling. The only access to the Lodge is via bush plane, landing on a private airstrip located on the property.  The location has stunning wooden cabins that are equipped with running water, heating and power, that will guarantee you a comfortable stay.

With limited space due to this great price package, please use my contact link on my home page for full details, availability and pricing.

A stunning char from the Alagnak

1 of the five Pacific salmon species to be caught

Id just like to wish you all tightlines for 2018 and i really hope to see you soon!

It’s always hard to justify fishing another river when you have in my eyes the best and most prolific river literally on your door step (well 300 yards away to be precise), but when there’s the chance of a Big Fish reunion with the smiling assassin Emma, the coarse king Ripon and a weeks salmon fishing the river Lochy there was only ever going to be one answer…….Road Trip!

As Ripon has never cast a line for salmon before we though it would be wise to get him on the Tyne a day before our Lochy adventure just to give him a taster and a good bit of practice, as using a double handed fly rod was totally alien to him. Along with Rip coming up my fishing partner in crime Phil decided to come up for the weekend to try his luck with us. The next day didn’t quite start as planned after a very heavy night in Newcastle, I was woken up by Phil at 7.30 am coming in the front door at my surprise, I had left the keys in the front door after crawling out the taxi!  So after a few more hours sleep myself and Rip managed to pull ourselves together and go down to the South Tyne to meet Phil, it was all going fine until I had a relapse and the hangover got hold of me harder than an angler grasping his prize catch, so a few hours sleep on the bench at the Bend pool was in order.  Going home for a few hours made me feel half human again so back down the river it was to see the lads who unfortunately hadn’t had a touch but was good a good bit of practice for Rip.  I decided it was a good time for a move further down river which when we arrived was totally empty and not another angler in sight, things were looking up.

Phil kindly let Rip fish the pool through first as we were determined for him to get his first salmon, we headed to the boat and baddox stretch where there’s always a good chance of a fish when the waters up. The weapon of choice was my 7’6 Rovex Ceratec FLX light spinning rod as always with a blue and silver flat rap at the business end, which after only 3 casts got nailed by a strong fish which sent Ripon into hysterics – the fish went ballistic dancing across the water surface and trying to throw the hook, I still don’t know who was more nervous me with the net or him playing the fish but thankfully a few minutes later we had the fish in the net, his first ever sea trout a cracker around 6lb. We all went crazy! Luckily know one was there to notice.  Once we had calmed down the fish was unhooked in the water then photographed then returned, which I was proud of him for doing.  After pulling himself together he went back in to finish of fishing the pool through and only 5 minutes later we heard those magical words FISH ONNN, the jammy sod was in again! This time the fight and fish was totally different, the fish kept deep making some fantastic runs and some huge head shakes, this had to be a salmon… but we were never to find out as the hook pulled and the fish disappeared, which was absolutely devastating! Ripon didn’t seem as gutted as we were but as salmon anglers we know that chances don’t come that often!

Ripons first sea trout from the South Tyne

Ripon’s first sea trout from the South Tyne

As I was watching the guys fish the pool through Rip gave me the rod and told me to have a few cast’s while he had a stretch, he would totally regret this seconds later as on my forth cast I connected with a fish which had power I hadn’t felt for a long time – I instantly knew I was into a huge fish that would give me a fight to remember.  Part of me was absolutely gutted for Rip but the other half was full of adrenaline playing this huge beast thinking I may have ended my 20 year search for a 20lb plus salmon. With Phil at the net I guided the enormous fish deeper than anything I’ve seen with my own eyes towards him and with his first and only attempt lifted the net perfectly with the fish safe inside, it looked colossal and is by far the biggest salmon I’ve ever caught! I had finally done it, this fish was over 20lb easily but we didn’t have any scales to get a genuine weight but we all decided it was over 20.  After calming down and getting the fish to some well oxygenated water I got my trophy which are always photos then watched him swim alongside Phil like a well trained dog as he slipped off into the depths, what a sight and what a fish…..!

My first ever 20lb plus Tyne Salmon

My first ever 20lb plus Tyne Salmon

The next morning was the day of the journey but I wanted to give Rip a few more casting lessons which he picked up no bother at all, so good that he some how managed to hook a salmon which put up one hell of a fight and that he played like a pro but devastatingly came off just at the net, not again, he was gutted but a quick reminder of the week ahead pulled him round and made us come back to the house to get ready for our road trip.

The car was packed and we were ready to roll.  A quick goodbye to my girlfriend Vic and so long to Phil who was heading home and we were on our way with heads full of fishy thoughts and hearts full of hope and after what felt like a lifetime constantly stopping for food (if you know me and Rip we don’t stop eating) and to admire the amazing views and also getting lost (we blamed the Sat Nav) we eventually arrived to Ivy Cottage where Emma (from the Big Fish) and Harry her son welcomed us with open arms.  The cottage actually overlooks the river and what a river, absolutely spectacular and even tho it was 3 foot up it was as clear as a fortune teller’s crystal ball, everything was looking great and falling into place and the morning couldn’t come soon enough.

Our home base Ivy cottage on the river Lochy

Our home base Ivy cottage on the river Lochy

Day one we woke to clear skies and a forecast of bright sunshine and high temperatures but this didn’t phase us one bit as we were as excited as kids at christmas, theres something about the build up to fishing new and unchartered waters the mystery and expectations run riot in your head especially when the river produced 25 fish the week before.  It was time to head down to the water to our first beat, now the way the river Lochy beat system works is that due the the length of the river being just 10 miles long it is split into 4 beats which have 4 available rods to fish per beat and they rotate as each day passes which is great as you get the opportunity to fish each beat during the week.  We were to start on beat 4 which is closest to the tidal stretch so we decided to split up so myself and Ripon on the bottom half and Emma and Harry on the top and with the height of water would give us a great chance but after a few hours fishing for some reason it all seemed void of fish and with no fish showing and us being new to the water it all seemed rather intimidating so we decided to do a little exploring and it didn’t take us long to find so amazing pools and runs with truly spectacular scenery but yet again we had no luck, hopefully Emma would have some news she did but unfortunately it was bad in the sense she lost a fish at the bank it was coloured and around 12-14lb but Emma had managed a small sea trout around 2lb on a black and orange tube fly which was great news and a good start to our trip.  We finished the first day overlooking one of the pools with the sun setting in the background and sausages sizzling away on the barbecue thoughts moved to tomorrow a new day and chance of our prize.

Beat 4 on the river Lochy with Ben Nevis in the background

Beat 4 on the river Lochy with Ben Nevis in the background

Day Two saw us move to beat 1 which is the top beat and luckily about 100 yards from the cottage and an endless supply of food, the conditions were again against us with bright sunshine and temperatures of around 24 degrees which after a mornings fishing saw the others retreat back to the cottage i was determined to stick it out and resorted to trout reservoir tactics using my cortland 7 weight with a di 5 line and sunray shadow which was allowed to sink right to the depths which some of the pools can be over 20 feet deep then stripped back at a hefty old pace to try and get a reaction out of a fish as nothing again was showing at all, it didn’t take long to work but unfortunately the wild brownies of the river took a liking to it but i did however get a reaction off something more substantial as the line got ripped from my hands but unfortunately didn’t hook up this would turn out to be the closest i would get to a salmon or sea trout the whole trip.

Day Three Couldn’t of started any better with a phone call from Jason who had just arrived the day before with his son Will saying he had just landed and returned a coloured fish of around 8lb (early bird gets the worm) from beat 2 which was fantastic and gave us all hope but again the conditions were against us with scorching temperatures and constantly dropping water we decided to stick to early morning fishing from 5 to around 11 then 6 until dark when the sun and temperatures drop.  We literally tried all manner of fly’s, lines and retrieves but nothing wanted to play game and Jason’s fish turned out to be the only of the day.

Day Four had us on probably the most spectacular beat being beat Three which has pools and falls that look like something you’d see on a painting or a blockbuster movie.  Again we fished the morning waiting and dreaming of the solid take as the fly swings across the pool, it never came not for any of us which was mind blowing as the pool’s looked and fished perfect but again the weather conditions were against us so morning then turned to afternoon so a plan of scoping the pools out while the sun was at its highest planning the attack the evening.  Myself and Rip decided to fish totally different tactics id fish deep with a mix of tube patterns and he would fish closer to the surface with cascades and bright patterns to try an entice some grilse that surprisingly hadn’t been spotted yet, the bites were instant but from the insect type those horrendous like cretins midges that were unbearable and persistent but we battled through them and managed a few sizeable brownies to half a pound but our silver friends were being illusive as always. Tomorrow would be our last chance and things would have to change or we would be traveling back empty handed.

Ripon casting into a spectacular pool on beat 3 of the river Lochy

Ripon casting into a spectacular pool on beat 3 of the river Lochy

Our last day began with an early start and clear focused heads ready and armed to take on beat Four with the advantage of already fishing the beat and its spectacular pools on the first day with the added bonus of clouds and rain forecast at some point was going to be our best chance.  Between 4 of us we went through every option fishing the pools through quickly and thoroughly so that we covered the whole beat and didn’t miss any fish but again the river was unwilling to give up its secrets and was very quiet and stayed that way until an hour before we had to leave from home.  The conditions seemed to change in an instant with solid cloud cover and heavy rain, the fish obviously sensed this and just like someone turning a tap on started running harder than Usain bolt.  I would say we saw more fish in that last hour than we did the whole week but thats fishing for you and even tho its frustrating thats a reason why we love it so much as a blank day or in this case week spurs you on harder for the next time and it makes that next catch so much more rewarding.  It was time to leave and say bye to Emma and Harry, it was so nice seeing her again she is an amazing women and so very kind to invite us to such an amazing and spectacular river which on its day can be phenomenal but it just wasn’t our week but we will meet again!

 

After getting back to Hexham late on Friday night we decided to have a well deserved lie in well until 9am as i was determined to get Rip his first salmon on the fly so it would be back to my local stretches on the South Tyne where i new there would be fish but it would be hard in summer low conditions and clearing waters but the sight of your home river is hard to beat.  I gave Rip the choice of picking what fly he wanted to use which he opted for one of my Stokoe shrimps which i thought was probably a bit on the large side but he was adamant that he wanted to use it which i eventually gave into which 10 minutes later turned out to be the right decision as those words id waited to hear all week came shrieking from his mouth Fishhhh Onnnnn,  I couldn’t believe it he’d done it he was into a fish and again the runs and head shakes it had to be a salmon it had only taken a week and a 600 mile round trip but the fight was on.  The fish was really going for it and giving head shakes even a punk rocker would be proud of  which is a horrible but great feeling, the minutes were passing and the thoughts of the fish coming off were increasing by the second and as the fish kept coming close but not revealing its flank ready for the net, Rip starting pleading me to hurry up and net it but stabbing at a fish that isn’t ready with a treble in the corner of its jaw is a disaster waiting to happen but in an instant the fish turned within reaching distance and bang it was in the net, Rip went crazy dancing and singing like lunatic which i cant deny that i joined in with as for me seeing someone catch their first salmon (around 10-12lb) is as close to catching one myself.  Again Rip played the fish like an absolute pro and the only time it left the water was for a few quick photos before being released.

Ripon with his First ever South Tyne Atlantic Salmon on the fly

Ripon with his First ever South Tyne Atlantic Salmon on the fly

Even tho 3 of us had a fish-less week on the Lochy it truly is a spectacular place with pool’s and runs that miranda through the most breath taking countryside in the shadow of the one and only Ben Nevis and i can promise that i will be back to fish its waters in the future if i’m lucky enough……..!