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 consistent September with good numbers of fish caught throughout the month, we were down to our last 31 days of the season, but as always a very good chance of connecting with silver or bronze. Again the numbers of fish running the fish counter down at riding mill were way down, although numerous fish had been seen running around it since work had been carried out, this means we will never have the true figure that actually ran the system, but as you’ll see, it didn’t affect an incredible month.

October 2nd – Salmon sent from above 🙄.

Today was an incredible but very emotional day for a great friend and guest Andrew. Today’s trip was meant to be a day spent with his dad on the river with myself, Sadly his dad passed away earlier this year, he was an incredible man and angler and no doubt would have smashed today out the Park. Andrew absolutely fished his heart out today in hard conditions and managed this stunning fly caught fish in his full tartan outfit, I know for a fact he was looking down on you today, laughing and admiring your great achievement, this one was for the big man 🙄🎣.

Andrew looking to the sky with a fish his dad would be proud of

October 3rd – The Cornish boys clean up (5 salmon).

After driving nearly the full length of the country the pressure was on to put the boys on the fish today, especially after the bad luck of their previous visit hooking and losing 5 fish.

After a hellish morning of losing their first 2 fish, the 4 lads went on an incredible run of booming and landing fish, totaling 5 landed and 4 lost. To top the day off, each of the boys managed at least a fish each making it one hell of a day for the squad, bring on tomorrow lads!

Stephen with the first of the day
Jo with his first ever salmon
Sam and his first ever salmon
Bob wasn’t going to let the lads have all the fun

Day 2 started as they left off the previous day, the water conditions were perfect again, and the boys were instantly into salmon and some absolute beasts at that. The great thing about Lambley water is that where it’s situated on the river system they get a good build-up of fish in the back, not all dark fish either with some lovely silver specimens. By the end of play, both myself and the boys were absolutely shattered, we had good reason to be as they had landed an incredible 7 fish.

Stephen with a new PB Tyne salmon
Joe with his fifth Tyne fish in 2 days

October 6th

Here’s yesterday’s guest Derek with his first ever salmon caught during a Tyne guided session with myself and grandson Ben, unfortunately, we got washed off the river in the morning, but as always we made the best of a bad situation.

Derek with his first ever salmon

October 8th

With just over 3 weeks of the season left I thought I’d better get my arse in gear and get out and try my luck with a fish myself. Even with strong winds and a lot of people spinning around me I thought I’d stick with the fly and go back to spring tactics, dredging the bottom with a 15 foot Rio scandi versi fast tip and twitching a Fulling mill snelda through the pools. Here’s the resulting fish for 2 hours fishing 😉🎣!

Another Tyne salmon on the fly

October 13 – A silver/bronze brace for brothers!

It’s always an incredible feeling guiding someone to their first salmon, but to guide 2 people to their first fly caught salmon on the same day is on another level.

Today’s guests and brothers Ian and Michael had a day to remember, as on their second day ever using a double-handed rod, they both managed a cracking fish a piece, both falling to a Fulling mill GP variant! Here’s are both the lads with their prizes. 

Ian with his first ever salmon
Michael making it 2 firsts on the same day for the brothers

October 15th

After a successful guided day with me a few months ago, I had good friends Dave and Craig back to try their luck with silver again. No silver fish this time but one hell of a bronze beast for craig and a huge smile that I’m sure will be there for a long time.

Craig with another Tyne salmon

October 17th

It doesn’t get much better than smashing October silver with great friends, massive thank you to John Henderson for the invite and great company, we won’t mention who caught the biggest 😉! Here’s a great example of an october fish that’s motored some miles up to Lambley in a short period of time.

A small but good conditioned fly caught Tyne salmon
John with a nice Tyne sea trout

October 18th

Another first ever salmon for today’s guests and dream team Joe and Alex, as always what an incredible feeling it was to make their dream come true! See you next year boys 🎣👊🏻.

Joe and his first ever Salmon

October 25th – What a way to celebrate your first ever day fishing in your life.

Imagine being thrown in at the deep end on your first ever days fishing in your life, well this is exactly what today’s guest Dale did. Due to the nature of how hard salmon are to catch, there are a lot easier fish and methods to target In this country, but Dale only went and achieved the unthinkable, a stunning double salmon capture on his first ever day fishing. This isn’t the end of his story tho, as the man of the moment also went on to land another salmon the next day under my guidance.

Dale with his first ever fish caught on his first ever days fishing
October fish don’t get much fresher than this
A hattrick of Tyne salmon in 2 days guiding

The last week of the season I decided to reunite the salmon squad by joining my partner in crime Phil and try our luck up and down the Tyne covering as much water as possible. As always we worked as a unit trying as many tactics and depths as possible to give us an edge over everyone else fishing, this couldn’t have worked any better, as we managed a healthy combination of 4 Salmon and 1 sea trout between us. It was Phil’s turn to shine this time tho as he managed 4 fish to my 1 but as always, it was a team effort.

My last Tyne salmon of the decade
Phil with a stunning Tyne beauty
Barry Ward and Phil with a solid Tyne sea trout

October 31st

It was the last day of the season and I decided not to fish, but instead do mornings guiding with a very talented young man called Archie. What better way to finish an incredible season than spending time with the future of our sport, to top the day off he managed a last day salmon caught under my guidance, after only taking up fishing this season he is definitely one to watch for the future, epic effort buddy 👊🏻🎣!

Amongst all the doom and gloom surrounding salmon in general around the county, the runs of fish on my river and people having a horrendous season, I had an incredible year and my guests smashed it out the park, finishing on a staggering 61 fish in 89 days guiding. I just wanted to thank each and every one of you for making it one to remember and giving me a season I will never forget. Look forward to seeing you all on the water in 2020……

After a slow July with a few fish landed for guests the rain couldn’t come soon enough to bring the river back to life with some water and most importantly, some fish.

Jack with a fresh run sea trout
Keith with the biggest of 2 sea trout caught on size 14’s
My only salmon in July

Eventually, our prayers were answered, and it turned out to be one of the greatest Augusts for guests, here are a few of the lucky anglers I had on the water last month.

August 3rd

Here’s today’s guest Barry Ward with one of two sea trout he landed today, keeping his 100 percent migratory fish intact on his third visit! I also have to congratulate his partner Alexis for putting in one hell of a session considering we walked over 10km in search of silver today!

A nice Tyne sea trout

August 7th

Tyne Salmon can’t resist a Stokoe

After finally getting a day off myself and having major fishing withdrawal symptoms, I decided to have a couple of hours away from the hustle and bustle and busy beats where there might be a fish or two that hadn’t seen a fly yet.

Literally 10 minutes of fishing this stunning bronze Beast absolutely nailed my Stokoe shrimp tube and gave me the greatest fight I’ve had this season (a very well rested fish), as always a quick pick and back he went to finish his journey.

A stunning tyne salmon around 14lb

August 15th

Double salmon hook up’s and a record days guiding (14 fish hooked)!

Today will personally go down in history as one of the greatest days guiding I’ve been involved in.

Good friends and guests Barry Ward and his wife Alexis came back over the border to try and keep there 100 percent Tyne record going with me for the 4th time, to keep things simple, they absolutely cleaned up.

Out of a total of 14 hookups, including a double one, the dream team managed to finish on an incredible 8 migratory fish, how the hell we’re going to top this one, I’ll never know 🙌🏻🎣🔥!

Barry’s first fish of the day during a double hook up
Alexis wasnt far behind with this sea trout
Barry with a cracking sea trout
Barry with his 6th fish of the day
Alexis with another Tyne sea trout

August 17th

A special fish he will remember for the rest of his life.

Today I experienced one of the highlights of my fishing career to date and something myself and my salmon fishing partner in crime will never forget. My good friend and 11 year old junior England international travelled up north to try his luck with the mighty salmon.

Unfortunately due to relentless rain, we had horrendous water conditions from the start and were constantly on the move battling against a rising river, but as always we persevered and at 4pm he got his salmon, his first but I’m sure it won’t be his last! The best part about this incredible catch was that he couldn’t wait to return the fish to finish off its journey.

August 21st

Swimming with salmon.

It’s amazing how many people want to give up at the end of the day, but those who battle to the end often find success. My good buddy and today’s guest Josh headed up to the Tyne from Brighton to achieve a boyhood dream of catching the king of fish, an Atlantic salmon.

After a hard 12 hour shift yesterday with no silver, and a good 8 hours today, he wasn’t going to give in and was determined to battle on for his prize. At 5pm tonight his dream came true, he managed to land this stunning fish, and what better way to celebrate, than going for a swim 🙈💦

Josh with his first salmon
Josh celebrating his catch

August 22nd

First salmon smiles of the season for today’s guest Bret. What an effort this guy put in today in rising river conditions, he not only managed to land his first salmon of the season, he managed a stunning sea trout. Unfortunately his brother was a bit worse for wear after some birthday celebrations so slept in the car most the day 😂🙌🏻

Bret with his first salmon of the season
A stunning Tyne sea trout

Double migratory firsts 👊🏻💥.

A huge congratulations to my good mates and today’s guests Craig and David on both landing their first ever migratory fish. Here’s both the lads with their stunning Tyne prizes, in which Craig managed to land in only 10 minutes of fishing. David also chipped in with his first-ever sea trout caught later in the day that gave him one hell of a battle.

The smile says it all

August 24th

A silver birthday present on his first-ever days salmon fishing.

When Aaron and James headed up for their first-ever days salmon fishing with me, I bet they never expected a birthday present like this.

Here’s birthday boy Aaron with both his fish, including his first-ever salmon which turned out to be an absolute beast of a fish, topping the scales at 16lb. He also managed to chip in with a cracking sea tout, thank you again, boys, for putting in such a phenomenal shift.

How about this for a first salmon
Another fiesty Tyne sea trout

August 28th

A huge congratulations to guests and good friends David and John for putting in a monumental 2 days graft! Their resulting hard work gifted David this stunning fly caught hen Fish weighing around 14lb (his first English salmon), unfortunately for John the 2 he hooked managed to do a Houdini and slip the hook, but what a team effort.

Davids first English salmon

Again, I just wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone that came and fished their hearts out with me, you guys should be proud of what you’ve achieved. No doubt il be seeing some of these faces again next year…..

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….

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

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

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

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

After a fantastic start to July things just kept getting better and better including a record run of migratory fish for the month, a staggering 10,995 fish.  This would obviously go on to have a knock on effect of catches as every man and their dog would be on the river, unfortunately for me a busy month of shows, events and filming wouldn’t see me guiding or fishing much, but when the chance arose i was on the river quicker than you could say Fish-on!

 

 

Filming the Untamed Anglers

The Game Fair crew

I literally fished 3 or 4 times the whole of July but still managed to land 2 stunning sea liced fish which actually came 20 minutes apart from each other on you guessed it, a Stokoe shrimp.  As always both fish were returned after a few quick snaps to carry on their journey upstream.

My first fish of the season covered in sea lice

2 fish in 20 minutes

July also saw me guiding a familiar face, a good friend and renowned world famous DJ Nick Warren for the second year running as he went in search of more Tyne silver! Even in hard conditions he managed to hook and land an absolute stunning 15lb cock fish with the bonus of it falling to a Stokoe shrimp variant I literally tied the night before.

Nick returning his fish

As the month came to an end guests were doing us proud by getting amongst some good numbers of fish but unfortunately loosing a lot, entirely down to the fish and not the way the fish were being played, iv’e actually never known a year like it for loosing fish its been ridiculous.  Three guests i had Scott, Archie and John experienced this first hand on their first days fishing loosing 3 fish in the space of an hour, as always i never know who’s more upset myself of the angler ha ha, but as always things can change in an instant and a couple of days later they managed 3 fish in a crazy 30 minutes, obviously the fish gods were on our side that day!

John finally breaking his bad luck

Archie with the third fish in 30 minutes

Fly’s of the month up and down the river were = Calvin shrimps (especially hot head tubes) Cascades and Stokoe shrimp tubes!

After an incredible 2015 being part of and winning The Big Fish this year had a lot to live up to, and it certainly didn’t disappoint. Over the years the Tyne has changed as a lot of rivers do, most noticeably after the record floods last year which left devastation all along the Tyne river system, with people’s houses being flooded along with cars, businesses and livestock lost.  No one knew what effect this would have on our fish species and due to the complex cycle of our salmon and sea trout we won’t have a true answer for another 4 or 5 years, although I did manage to catch an awful lot of fat salmon parr and smolts this year while fishing for wild brownies, which themselves didn’t seem to be there in great numbers. As well as this there has been bad reports from course anglers that this was one of the worst years on record.

So after going down to the river on the opening day of the season and being asked the raise a toast to the river, whilst asking it to be forgiving and generous to all anglers in 2016, it would be a few months before I ventured out myself in search of the incredible Atlantic salmon. I have an absolute fascination with this fish and the upmost respect for it and for what it goes through in it’s life cycle, which is the reason I return all my catches (my trophy is a picture and a memory rather than a dead fish on the bank) – but this is my personal choice and I do not hold it against anyone for keeping fish to eat.

It was apparent early on in the season that the floods had totally changed a large percentage of the pools and runs, mainly by shifting gravel, which isn’t always a bad thing. Yes we lost some good pools but with time and experimenting I managed to find some amazing productive spots away from the most popular areas, which I happily shared with others.  Due to the fact I only really fish further up the Tyne system it wouldn’t be until April that I started fishing for salmon properly, and I would actually have to wait until the second last day in May before I connected with what was both my first of the year and also the first salmon caught on the South Tyne, which I would have never caught if it wasn’t for my neighbour Jim telling me where the fish was!  So a last minute change from chasing brownies to silver resulted in an absolutely beautiful fresh fish of around 12lb, which was quickly returned amidst the shouting and jumping about like a lunatic – I’m sure any angler can relate to this as once your off the mark for the season the pressure seems to ease and you can hopefully relax and enjoy it all.

My first fish of the season

After getting off the mark things just got better and better, including a memorable catch on the the 1st June where not only did I catch the first sea trout on the South Tyne, but it was caught on an 8 foot 5 weight, 4lb leader and size 14 gold head hares ear whilst fishing for brownies, which 10 minutes and 2 pools later with no net I managed to lift from the water and marvel at it’s bright silver flanks.

A shock sea trout on my 5 weight

As the months passed we were blessed with good rises of water throughout the summer which is something we missed in 2015. Not only does this motivate the salmon and sea trout to enter the river system and keep them moving up stream, it also keeps the water well oxygenated and more likely to take the fly or lure. I managed some incredible sport through out June to August, personally landing a good mix of salmon and sea trout and finally breaking the what seemed impossible 20lb mark, which after 20 years of searching was starting to feel like it was never going to happen! It’s amazing how things can change in an instant – while guiding my good friend Ripon for the day, who was needing a break after catching his first ever sea trout (especially after the late night boozing the night before), he was worn out and made the mistake of telling me to have a few casts, and 4 casts later there I was attached to a brute of a salmon! After a hectic battle it was ours and what a fish it was (sorry Rip).

My first ever 20lb plus Tyne Salmon

Guiding people on the Tyne is something I turned my hand to this year and I absolutely love it. There’s something very special about introducing new anglers to the joys of salmon fishing and for me guiding them to their first Tyne salmon is the closest feeling you can get to landing one yourself. One of my favourite occasions was having 2 young Angling Trust ambassadors and avid film makers Carl and Alex, who are carp fishing fanatics, come in search of their first Atlantic salmon with the added pressure of everything being filmed. The lads were absolutely fantastic and took to it like a duck to water, having an unbelievable first 3 hours both landing one each, including a belter of a cock fish around 15lb which gave Carl an epic fight, and a beautiful grilse for Alex. The day seemed to fly by as it always does and just before we called it a day the lads incredibly managed another salmon each to finish on an absolute high and give them and myself a day to remember (the video can be viewed at the bottom of the page).

My guest Mark with his first salmon! He then went on to complete a hat-trick of fish in the same day

One thing I always look forward to is my Big Fish buddy Phil coming up to fish, as there’s always a little bit friendly competition between us but most importantly we have great laugh along the way, which is how it should be. This season we had some incredible days down the river with Phil landing a total of 10 fish in only 13 days, which is a phenomenal catch ratio and included a beast of a 22lb fish that he hooked when I was fighting with a bush on the far side trying to get my fly back! (Typical of Phil’s luck!).

Phil with his 22lb salmon

I’m sure you’ve all heard stories about the one that got away, I personally have a few but while fishing with Phil this year I experienced something that wipes the floor with the rest. Fishing the same pool that Phil had caught his monster cock fish in the day before I got a take that felt different to any other salmon I’d hooked before, with it’s weight and power feeling something similar to the sturgeon we were catching in British Columbia last year.  In all my years fishing for these magnificent fish I’ve never had a salmon bully me up and down the river so much, using short powerful runs while unfortunately taking me into 2 different snags which I somehow managed to free the line from.  By now the rain was torrential and I was stood 250 yards down stream from Phil up to my chest in water, wearing leaking waders feeling like I’d been fighting the fish for hours, and it turned out I had been – it was well over an hour and there was still no sight of the leviathan on the end of my line but I knew eventually that something had to give, and eventually I started gaining ground inch by inch, slowly walking the fish 100 yards back towards Phil and the net but still not managing to get it’s head up to the surface.  Another 30 minutes passed and the fish was about 5 yards away from both of us, and most importantly the net, when disaster struck – the heartbreaking moment when the line goes slack and the rod pings up. The leader (25lb) had snapped, not at the knot or lure but right in the middle where at some point must have rubbed against one of the snags. The most soul destroying feeling wasn’t just the fact that after 90 minutes the fish came off, but that I never got to see the fish and will never know it’s true size.

Before I knew it the season was drawing to an end but unlike a few weeks before and the one that got away it finished on a massive high, as after guiding a couple of guests to their separate unbelievable hat-tricks of fish, I landed my biggest fly caught salmon to date – an absolute beast of around 22-23lb, which as always after a few quick photos was released to carry on his journey.  The last few days literally went by as if they were hours and it was time to say an emotional goodbye and thank this amazing river for such a sensational season, which personally totalled 28 fish. With the next season just around the corner who knows what 2017 and the mighty Tyne holds for us.

An October monster