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 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…..

Sometimes in fishing we come across a fly or a lure which totally changes our season and the way we fish, or even think.  It may be by mistake or even by our own hard work, but either way when it happens it’s life changing.

Personally I’m the type of angler who tries to make things happen and I’m always on the hunt for new fly patterns, materials and ideas to test but it’s not always just the future we need to look at, it also pays to look back.  So one evening sitting at the vice and looking for inspiration I decided to look through some old knackered fly boxes that were laying about under the stairs, where the lasting remains of previously used flies live, and while I unfortunately found nothing but bare hooks it got me thinking about a monstrosity of a fly I used to tie when I first started my life sentence of salmon fishing, and some how it used to catch fish.

The idea behind the fly is in some eyes pretty simple and revolves around the different materials used, and more specifically the colour change between them which, when in the water, looks mesmerising.  Well to me it does but you might say I’m easily pleased!

It all starts with using hot orange thread down to the bend of the treble, then you’re ready to tie in the tail section which, and to some people this may sound strange, is the centre section of an orange buck tail.  This centre section isn’t orange due to it naturally being the dark part of the tail but when dyed it actually goes a really dark brown/maroon colour.  Now the reason for using buck tail is that it’s really rigid and holds it’s shape, and that allows it to replicate a shrimp/prawn’s feelers or antenna and I actually like the colour, it works really well with the others on the finished product.

I then tie in a strip of holographic copper tinsel with a strand of silver wire – I always varnish the hook before laying the copper tinsel just to give that extra bit of security.  Then once tied off I rib the body with the silver wire (from AMC Fly Tying), then secure at the eye.

Stokoe Shrimp

The third part is to get a section of ginger shadow fox tail (from Foxy Tails), that I measure so that it matches the length of the tip of the tail, and tie in just behind the eye.  Now this material acts totally different in and out the water compared to the buck tail, as it actually pulsates and moves freely in the water and has a mind of it’s own which works really well when you move and work the fly.

The last section and the finishing touch is to use the tip of a feather from an orange cock cape, to use as a hackle which after about 3 turns should be enough obviously depending on the size of the fly.  I personally like to make them stand out and be prominent, so tie it off then slightly brush it back and hold with a few turns of thread just to allow more movement when worked through the water, so it pulsates.  Building the head up with more turns of hot orange thread gives the front of the fly a bit more bulk, which seems to balance the fly out well.

Stokoe Shrimp

I am by far no where near the best at tying flies and can happily say I’m still at a novice level, but sometimes the fly catches the fisherman and not the fish and I feel like what I’ve put together – the materials which individually work differently but also as one, and the merging colours that are subtle and also bright – is doing me proud! It’s catching me more fish than ever before, even when following people through a run or pool using all manner of flies it still seems to come out top, and I’m happy to share it with you as the next best thing for me is seeing others catch fish….!

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Tight lines guys.