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 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……..!

Well June’s heat wave unfortunately continued bringing high water temperatures and record low water levels, especially on the south Tyne that highly relies on rain fall.  However the rain did eventually come and so did the fish in good numbers.

Michael works his magic!

With record low water levels and relentless sun and heat the fishing and catches have been suffering all around the country. Choosing the right times of the day and tactics and been working for few lucky anglers mainly size 14/16 fly’s and 12-14 foot leaders along with early morning and late evening.  After being rained off numerous times last year It was eventually my good buddy Michaels turn to get out on the water and amongst the fish.  It might not be the biggest of sea trout, it was his first ever one and I think his smile says it all.

Michael’s first sea trout

Amongst the fish at last!

Looking back over July I had 1 crazy day, well a crazy 3 hours that were just insane, I’ve never experienced sea trout fishing like it! Due to low water conditions still I’ve decided to stick to my guns, using a team of small sea trout fly’s including a Fulling Mill size 16 crathie fly on the dropper and a size 14 RS cascade on the point with the hopes of at least connecting with 1 sea trout.

Fishing a really fast figure of eight on a full floater I  managed to connect with 5/6  fish in, but somehow only managed 2 to the net, sea trout seem to have a special gift and as you all know they are the masters of escape and can do a Houdini in an instant.

 

First sea trout of the season

Sea trout number 2

As July was coming to an end I had a great couple of days guiding 2 great friends Matt and Marina Gibson!  I always love having friends on my water and that feeling of them getting a fish is probably better in my eyes than catching myself. Massive congratulations has to go out to Matt on his first ever sea trout caught on his first time using a double hander, we managed to hook 4 fish in total but as always the masters of escape did their thing and vanished!

Squad goals

Matt with his first ever sea trout

Well I eventually broke my salmon duck for the season after hooking and loosing countless fish.

Not the biggest of fish but the most important of the season to me and even tho he gave a great scrap and has been in the wars big style he went off like a fish on a mission.  the great thing about this day was that I wasn’t the only one that got lucky tho as Andy managed to chip in with a lovely fish on his second cast, what a bloke.

My first Salmon of the year

Andy and his fish

Surely it cant be long before we start seeing the bigger boys entering the river, tight lines guys……!

WE NEED YOUR HELP – KICKSTARTER

We have decided to launch a crowd funding project through Kickstarter to help us achieve the funds required to make this series happen, if you guys are unaware of how Kickstarter actually works heres a few basics to get you started and also a link to the live project.  Kickstarter is an online global funding platform that helps people raise funds for projects from films, music, artists to authors and product designers.   Since its launch, on April 28, 2009, 14 million people have backed a project, $3.6 billion has been pledged, and 141,025 projects have been successfully funded, hopefully ours can follow suit.  The great thing about Kickstarter is you actually select a package that we are offering for a certain amount and you receive goods or services for the value and more, for example – Pledge £350 and receive a pair of Costa sunglasses, cap, bag, t-shirt and untamed anglers T-shirt!  So even tho we are receiving funds we are also giving back and we actually have over 35 different options for you to choose, so if you can take the time to check out the link below and help us bring this series tom life we would be forever grateful.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/440462797/the-untamed-anglers-britains-iconic-fish?ref=nav_search&result=project&term=UNTAMED

THE UNTAMED ANGLERS

Myself and Ripon’s journey started back in 2015 when we somehow managed to become contestants on BBC’s fishing programme Earth’s Wildest Waters – The Big Fish.  The programme consisted of 8 amateur anglers battling it out against each other over 6 countries losing 1 contestant each week.  Despite being total strangers and in competition against each other, Ripon and I struck up a close friendship immediately to the point of shedding a tear on his exit in the quarter final.  I was fortunate enough to make the final and actually win (somehow! Two long years later I had an idea, a few phone calls and conversations over a beer later, we decided to join forces and thus The Untamed Anglers was born.  This time however the adventure would be closer to home and concentrating on the incredible fish we have on our doorstep.

THE CONCEPT – ICONIC FISH

As a lot of you know Britain has some truly incredible fish residing in its waters that do not get the credit or coverage they deserve.  We want to showcase these species on film like never before and celebrate their status as an ICONIC FISH.

Joining us on our Iconic Fish adventure is a very familiar face and well-respected angler Mr Hywel Morgan. Hywel is one of the biggest characters I’ve ever met and has become a great friend over the last 2 years, even if we do bicker like a married couple constantly. Along with Hywel’s wealth of experience and knowledge the humour and camaraderie is just another reason that guarantees this series has all the right ingredients to make great viewing.

So what is an ICONIC FISH?  It was always going to be hard to decide what species can claim the title and justify it. Realistically every single species in Britain deserves the chance but we have however narrowed it down to our Top 10. This was done through our own research and with help from hundreds of anglers across the country. Our Iconic Fish will cover all 3 categories: Game, sea and coarse over 6-8 action packed episodes. Each episode consists of 2 parts, These two parts including traveling to the new location and meeting some of the fishing world’s most familiar and famous characters. All of these anglers we’ve selected have had their lives shaped and influenced by these ICONIC FISH. Our aim is to tell you their stories and share their fishing secrets.

Our first part of each episode consists of our species expert giving all 3 of us a crash course on tactics and equipment to help us catch our chosen quarry.  We will also learn about the fish’s history, habitat and feeding, aiding our quest to catch the target species. Our guest will also have their say as to why they belive that species can be celebrated as one of Britain’s most iconic.  So our task is to not only target and catch these fish but also weigh up the pros and cons of why it’s a contender, the history and lifecycle of the species and techniques and methods used to target them.

Part 2 is the BIG competition that see’s Ripon and i paired off against eachother with either our expert or Hywel, once the teams are selected the battle for supremacy, and of course bragging rights can begin. With a multitude of different competition rules and species no week is the same, its critical we use everything we’ve learned from the previous day and all our fishing experience to help us succeed and dodge a possible forfeit.

This series is nothing without the right production team and we are lucky enough to be partnered with the extremely talented Jonathan M. McGee, Managing Director of Jonathan M. McGee Photography and Media. Jonathan already has a huge interest and understanding of angling and the outdoors sector which is a massive thing to us and the series not to mention his credentials and flawless camera work.

 

 

 

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!

One of the hardest things in life to find is a job you actually enjoy, something that makes you spring out of bed in the morning and puts a smile on your face, luckily for me i found it last year in the form of being a salmon fishing guide.  Guiding had always been something id thought of and dreamed of doing but never had the balls to do it mainly down it being seasonal and also the thought of your job taking away the enjoyment of what you love doing as a hobby, this year i took the step and tested the water with my first season as a guide and it turned out to be the greatest and most satisfying job I’ve ever had the pleasure of being involved with.

Vittorio with a good July salmon

One thing i didn’t prepare myself for was how mentally challenging it can be, all anglers know how frustrating fishing can be for yourself when the fish aren’t playing game but as a guide the pressure is even greater as the reliance is on your toes to put guests on the fish, pick the right fly, line and retrieve.  I always keep cool externally when things are quiet but my mind is always going 100 miles an hour trying to keep 2 steps ahead of these fish, at the end of the day this is why salmon are the king of fish and at the top of most anglers lists to catch due to them being so hard to.  Each and every day is totally different wether it being temperature, water colour, water height, air pressure and not to mention that each and ever fish is different from the next, this for me is the exciting part as it creates a new challenge each day, where 1 day a certain fly is a killer the next you wont touch a thing, this is where a good guide comes into his own.

The dream team and an incredible day at countess park

The greatest satisfaction of any guiding is getting someone their prize, for me its as close as you can get to landing one yourself being present and experiencing the joys, emotion, screaming and sometimes crying, its crazy how these fish can make someone feel, even to the point of reducing grown men into a teary messes.  This season i experienced the ups and downs of being a guide thankfully more up’s than downs but at one point i thought the bad luck was never going to end as guests had somehow lost 7 out of 8 fish in a row, this was heart breaking and crazy but new it had to change at some point, it did in dramatic fashion with a run of first time salmon anglers landing their first silver and bronze prizes.

Ryan with the biggest guests fish of the season a salmon around 22lb

In total my guests caught a mix of 31 salmon and sea trout in 53 days fishing, including an incredible 14 Firsts on their first day ever fishing for migratory fish, in total this averaged out at a fish every 1.70 days fishing, in my eyes that is bloody good going especially targeting a fish which doesn’t actually feed and something people spend a lifetime fishing for.  My personal numbers for the season were unfortunately down on the previous year mainly due to days taken up by guiding, but i still managed a good 19 fish to the net including 2 20lb plus fish on the fly and my first ever Tyne treble. As always the fly of the year for me was my good old Stokoe shrimp in red and orange, with the orange fished most the season on full floaters and intermediate tips and switching to the red in September fished on fast tips and always a figure of eight retrieve, these fly’s are just collective bits of material tied to a hook, you’ve got to bring them to life somehow and movement is always the key.

One of the 20lb plus salmon landed

Due to this years guiding success i am now taking bookings for 2018 and with more water available now than ever its looking like a huge one, guiding fee’s are priced at £120 per day with the price of fishing varying from £30 – £75 depending on location and time of year.  Any enquiries can be made through james@jamesstokoefishing.com and i look forward to seeing you guys next year!

 

Cancer is something that will affect us all in some way in our lifetime so having the opportunity to be part of 2 separate events in the same week at both ends of the country was something I wasn’t going to miss out on!

The first week in October started with one of the highlights of my fishing career after I was announced as an ambassador for the Angling Trust, which is a huge honour as they are a representing body for all anglers around the country. Their aim is to get more people into fishing along with securing the future of angling and fish stocks so the kids of today can experience what we have done.  As an angling nation we need to come together and become one and help fight for the future of fishing.

The first charity event couldn’t have been any closer, literally it was on my doorstep and my local stretches of the north and south tyne where we would welcome anglers from all over Europe to fish our local water and experience the phenomenal fishing we have whilst raising money for some amazing charities, including The Pink Linda Fund which was set up for a Cancer Treatment centre in Thurso that provides aftercare and family support to those affected and touched by cancer and also a project called “The Next Generation”, which is a charity that provides fishing tuition and equipment to 2 X centres for children: The Grove centre in Tweedmouth, Northumberland, for children with significant physical and mental impairments, and Wilton Centre in Hawick for children requiring significant support to ensure they have the ability to thrive and grow both personally and socially due to various issues they have encountered in their lives.  The Eoin Fairgrieve of LOOP and Spey Cast Media organised this great cause and is beginning to grow the project to compliment the already successful charity called Tweedstart, aimed and securing the “next generation” to become part of our fishing community.

The 3rd charity selected by Mr Philip Straker to benefit from this event was the Great North Air Ambulance and the money raised will be a great bonus to this excellent self funding service that has saved the lives of many people.  Philip had a huge part to play in this 2 day event as he kindly donated 4 stretches from www.wardenfishing.co.uk, so it was only right that he was to choose a third charity.

The first day started with all anglers and guides meeting at the Boatside Inn where groups would be separated to fish different beats, but due to prior arrangements to film with BBC for Country File (which funnily enough is about our amazing river and the life cycle of the atlantic salmon, airing end of October) I would miss the excitement and introductions with everyone and also the first 2 fish caught! One was by my buddy Ed Ford, a great trout angler and fly tyer who fishing with a double handed salmon rod for the first time caught the first fish of the day, a 4lb Sea Trout, which was a fantastic achievement and something I’m sure he will never forget. The next fish caught just after Ed was by my good friend Jim Wennmark all the way from Sweden who landed his first Tyne salmon, a fish around 8/9lb which after a dogged fight was finally netted, photoed and released.

Ed with his first sea trout on a double handed rod

Ed with his first sea trout on a double handed rod

Jim Wennmark with his first Tyne salmon

Jim Wennmark with his first Tyne salmon

As I fish the warden stretches and know them like the back of my hand I would be guiding the guests over the 2 days, which to my joy included Emma Jackson and Jo Stephenson from my Big Fish adventure last year.  I’ve always harped on to them how good this river is and now it was time to show them.  Along with Emma and Jo on the first day I’d also have the pleasure of guiding two legends Erik Nielsen and Bjarne Laursen from Denmark, who were fantastic fun and came close on 2 occasions getting both snapped by 2 separate fish on rocks, which would turn out to be the only action we would see all day but we could all agree we had a great laugh and enjoyed every second!

A beautiful day on the Tyne with Jo and Emma

A beautiful day on the Tyne with Jo and Emma

It was day 2 and the pressure was really on to get into some fish due to the bad luck the day before, again I had 2 great salmon anglers in the form of Emma again and world famous DJ and music producer Nick Warren, who had already caught the joint biggest fish of the event the day before an absolute spanking 15.2lb bar of silver which he returned.  The day started with the bad luck from the day before as Nick hooked a huge fish, possibly 18-20lb, which hammered his tube fly and took off across the river using its sheer weight to sit in the current then decided to head back to sea, unfortunately with his fly as the leader gave way due to the power of the fish! (No not again!).  It was up to Emma to save the day, which she did in style 15 minutes later as she hooked a lively grilse which decided to throw itself around the pool trying every trick in the book to throw the hook, but this time the luck was on our side as I managed to slip the net safely under the fish. This was met with screams of joy as we had eventually done it and Emma had her first fly caught Tyne salmon, which fell to a size 14 cascade. As always a few quick pictures and the silver beauty was returned.  The rest of the day didn’t produce any more fish for us but the others fishing managed to take our over all total of 15 salmon and sea trout which were all caught on the fly, but the most important figure was the money raised which totalled over £1600. None of this would have been possible if it wasn’t for the hard work and organising from Ali Hutchens and Les Routledge.

Emma with her Tyne grilse caught on a cascasde

Emma with her Tyne grilse caught on a cascade

Nick into a big Tyne salmon

Nick into a big Tyne salmon

The second charity event wasn’t quite on my door step, well to be precise it was around 350 miles and all the way down in Southampton to the famous Avington trout fishery, but that’s me I’d travel to the ends of the earth to go fishing.  The event was in aid of The Princess Alexandra Hospital Charitable Trust – Breast Trials Unit who’s work and trials not only benefit the local community but people worldwide.  It was an early start to get to the fishery to help Dave Holley and his wife Sian who are part of the organisation set things up as they were the brains behind the event.  One thing I was really looking forward to was fishing with some new faces and seeing them catching their first fish, which is always a special moment, but also fishing with my old buddies (not as in age…!) Hywel Morgan, Keith Arthur and Peter Cockwill for the first time, which is something I thought I’d never get the chance to do.  It started with me and Hywel scanning lake one for any possible takers and within seconds we spotted a big rainbow about 12lb which we both raced to cast for, and it was the Welsh wonder who hooked up instantly but unfortunately for him it was only the tree behind him – I’d love to be professional and say I didn’t laugh but I couldn’t help it, so with Hywel stuck in the tree I managed to sneak a cast in and hooked a fish which came out the blue and gave me a great scrap. Then just as it approached the net, the hook pulled and I felt like I just had a helping of instant karma for laughing minutes before!

Hywel pulling a grayling out the feeder stream

Hywel Morgan with a grayling from the feeder stream

The morning produced some great sport as a lot of the fish hadn’t seen a fly or angler yet and those who managed to find spots out the way faired best, but as always it wasn’t just about catching fish it was about enjoying the day and a lot of help and advice were given to the guys who had never fished before, which was great to see.  It was lunchtime and one of my favourite times of the day, as if you know me I never stop eating, so walking into lunch and seeing a buffet fit for a king was like heaven and something I’d never experienced at a fishery before.  At lunch Dave and Sian held an auction,  with lots including fishing on the river Itchen to a holiday to the Bahamas, from which all winning bids would go to the charity.

Big smiles at lunchtime

Big smiles at lunchtime

Recharged after a late lunch we had a couple of hours left on the lake and I was determined to add to my 3 previously caught fish, all about 4-5lb, which had fell to a mixture of olive and amber blood worms but by now the fish seemed to be bored and sick of everything that was chucked at them. The last resort was to strip a lure as fast as possible to switch their natural aggression back on and it worked as I quickly picked up a fish and lost another one, then as before it just seemed to die as it sometimes does but we carried on having a great laugh until it was time to stop for the presentation of the days prizes. This started with the biggest fish of the day that went to Harry Bristow who managed 2 double figure fish with the biggest being 13lb. Next was the most anticipated award that was for cast of the day, which was just for fun and was presented to Hywel for his first tree bound cast, which he was over the moon with as you can see below!

Hywel with his award for cast of the day

Hywel with his award for cast of the day

Harry with his winning fish

Harry with his winning fish

Overall the day was a huge success, everybody enjoyed it and 34 fish were caught in total with over £4000 raised for for the charity. What’s more, the day is set to become a yearly event and I’m already really looking forward to next year.