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

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

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

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

Well 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……..!

Over the last few seasons June has always been a ridiculously hot month with water temperatures reaching up to 23 degrees, when the water reaches these temperatures both the salmon and sea trout start to struggle due to low dissolved oxygen levels often causing multiple fatalities of fish.  We do however have one god send on our river system, kielder reservoir at the top of the north tyne, built in 1982 and spans a colossal 2000 acres making it northern Europe’s largest man made lake and dam that holds a huge volume of water.  They are very fish orientated and strategically release throughout the hotter months to help keep the fish alive and get them throughout the system as recent June’s have seen the second highest runs of fish during the year, up to a crazy 7500!

Not a rainbow over the Tyne but in it!!

Another great day guiding Simon on the south Tyne in search of silver and bronze, we caught a couple of corking brownies but the shock of the day turned out to be silver but not the right type. Fishing with sea trout tactics we hooked into a good fish on light gear and thought we’d done it, it was going to be the first sea trout from the south Tyne this season. After a good scrap and a flash of pink we couldn’t believe it, another escapee, but a bonny rainbow to say the least.

An escape rainbow trout from the Tyne

Luck of the Irish!

I’m lucky enough in my career to come across some great guests and this occasion was no exception, Andy and Stanley have travelled across the water from Belfast to fish the mighty Tyne and be guided by myself. With water conditions and weather against us it was always going to be a little harder, but as I always say low water only condenses the fish into certain areas, you just need to know where to look 😉!

After the birthday boy Andy thought he’d struck silver straight away, which unfortunately turned out to be a good chub we thought it was going to be one of those days.

The Boys fished their hearts out for the next 4 hours in bright/hot conditions and we covered at least another 6 pools up and down the beats, it was Stan the man that struck silver, and what a fish it was. After creeping to one of the deep runs and putting out a short cast a fish took literally a yard from the bank and gave him a run around he’ll never forget. 10 minutes later our prize was in the net, 15.5lb of her and an absolute stunning fish, it was not only Stanleys first salmon from the Tyne, his first in 5 years but his biggest yet.

With a combination of apocalyptic wind, sunshine and low water conditions it was always going to be a tough second day on the water for my Irish duo! But as the previous days nothing was going to stop Andy and Stanley getting on the water! Again the lads fished like troopers in horrendous conditions and eventually Andy got his long awaited prize , his first ever salmon (8lb) and I know for sure I won’t be his last. It’s been an absolute pleasure guiding these 2 lads and I’m going to be gutted when they leave on the plane tomorrow

 

Stan with his biggest salmon yet

The Dream team

World fishing day smashed!

Well this was a monumental day for not only myself but fishing in general! It was the official first live 24 hour World Fishing day which saw Anglers and celebrities from around the world participating in this incredible day live on Fishing TV! I was lucky enough to present live in the studio in the prime time slot of 7-9 with the amazing Michelle Orpe and Damon Valentine AKA the London Flyfisher, it was a surreal feeling knowing that thousands of people around the world were watching us live and taking part in this special day!

A huge congratulations to everyone involved for making it such a successful event and the next one can’t come soon enough!

Live Tv with Michelle

Bring on the silver and water next month………!

With the relentless heat and weather conditions my salmon fishing and guiding has been effected horrendously, to the point of only fishing a couple of days and guests cancelling due to un-fishable  conditions.  Now when I mention un-fishable condition I refer to water temperatures of up to 23 degrees and really low dissolved oxygen levels in the water and air temperatures of nearly 30 degrees.  Selecting specific times of the day like first light and last light have given anglers a best chance of getting any interest from fish!

It’s not all been fishing doom and gloom though as myself, ripon and mr Hywel Morgan have been filming our current Untamed Anglers – Iconic Fish series!  To give you guys the low do on our project it’s consists of us 3 travelling the length and breadth of Britain in search of some of The most incredible species in inhabit our rivers, lakes and seas.  The great thing about our series is that it doesn’t just concentrate on the fish, we also meet some very familiar faces that have spent a lifetime chasing these fish.  Our special guest each week gives us a crash course on how to understand and hopefully catch these incredible species, but it doesn’t just end there, myself and ripon go head to head against each other matched with either Hywel or our guest in a big competition to battle it out for supremacy.  

Our first episode saw us head to Winchester in February and to the world renowned chalk streams of the test and Itchen in search of the lady of the stream.  We Would not be alone tho and our Chief helper was the one and only Charles Jardine who’s knowledge of these rivers would help us bag our prize, the spectacular grayling!  Tactics over the 2 days fishing would be something new to me and a style of fly fishing that I’d really only read about through social media and books – French nymphing!  The style of casting consists of more of a raise and flick rather than your standard airborn false casts, along with the casting using heavy weighted fly’s on a jig head style hook with both the eye and bend of the hook being upright so that when fished it minimises snags due to how low in the water the fly’s are fished.  The final piece of the puzzle consists of is a multi coloured French leader that is used as in indicator and positioned in the surface layer of the water, I can happily say it’s a really productive, addictive and exciting way of targeting Grayling and won’t be the last time I use it.

Episode 2 had to wait for warmer weather and the months of May when our next target species would be on the well on the feed and hopefully gorging on a specific and famous species of fly.  Yes you guessed it Trout and with the chance of some mayfly action.  Even tho Hywel is probably one of the best trout anglers I’m lucky enough to know and fish with we still needed another legend, this time it would be the incredible Peter Cockwil and again we would be Hampshire bound but this time to the chalk streams of the river Kennet and the lambourn and the added bonus of a trip to one of the original “big fish” fisheries – Dever Springs.  During our 2 days fishing we got to fish and see some of the most pristine water I’ve ever seen that held some incredible brown trout, which is credit to the river keepers that work tirelessly to keep them in check.  Dever Springs was at the other end of the fish scale as we used our stalking skills gained from the previous day to stalk monster rainbows, browns and tigers at this historic fishery.

Episode 3 was something i literally couldn’t wait to try, being totally different to my usual target species and something that had been on my bucket list forever.  So this time the whole squad headed north to the only lake in Scotland in search of one of the fiercest fish in Britons water – The notorious pike.  As always we would need help to catch and understand our prize, this time we were fortunate enough to have predator pro and fish fanatic Dan Esox, as you’ve probably guessed by dans surname this week was the incredible pike.  Over the 2 days fishing we would be targeting these top predators from boats using a mixture of both lures and fly’s with the hope of getting some surface action and tail walking croc’s for camera, obviously due to not wanting to spoil the programme im not going to say anything apart from it being absolute carnage at times.

Unfortunately for now you will have to wait to see how our iconic adventure has panned out but I can guarantee its full of what fishing is all about – Being outdoors experiencing something you love, making new memories and friends with a few incredible fish thrown in.

For now Tight lines……!

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!

After an incredible August and September we had high hopes for October but we had no clue of what lay in sore for us.  The 1st of October couldn’t of started any better with both myself and phil getting into fish within the first 30 minutes, Phil managed a nice 8lb hen fish and i chipped in with a hard fighting 13lb hen fish caught on you guessed it, a red Stokoe shrimp.  Unfortunately i missed half the day as had to fly off to play football but i managed to get back to the water just in time to see phil land 2 fish in succession and complete his first Tyne treble.  The next day followed suit with Phil absolutely kicking my arse, not only  did he mange a fish within 5 minutes he smashed another hat-trick of fish in, including a 20lb cock salmon and a brute of a sea trout.  Day 3 seemed to come around far to quick as it always seems to do when fishing and having fun, it was our last day fishing together and i was determined to get on the score board, as the previous days within 30 minutes i had a fish in the net, not just any fish tho, an absolute monster of a cock fish tipping the scales at 23lb, my biggest of the season and second biggest i’ve ever landed.  Once the adrenaline, screaming and hugging had finished we took a a few seconds to marvel at the king of fish as he lay calmly in the water beside us, as always we got our photos and set him on his way shortly after.  That was our day made and anything else would be a bonus, we were on an incredible 8 fish between us in 3 days, it didn’t finish there tho as we both managed a fish each later that day bring us to the grand total of 10 fish in 3 days fishing, even tho phil totally cleaned up we always agree its a team effort.

 

Salmon number 1

My first fish of the 3 days

The king of fish and my second biggest salmon

Phil’s 20lb beast of a tyne salmon

Phil makes it 10 fish with this stunning 16lb hen fish

My other Big fish buddy Ripon decided to venture up north to try his luck again after successful trip last season, of course the inevitable happened again and we got far to drunk the evening before the fishing, we woke up late and only managed to fish 2 or 3 hours but when he’s on a mission theres nothing stopping Rip.   Even tho other anglers had fished the pool through with no luck i still decided to put rip straight in the hot zone, it literally took him 30 minutes and he was into a fish, even tho he was as ceased and solid as an old engine playing the fish, he got it to the net like a pro.  As always a few quick photos and he released her to carry on her journey to carry on her legacy.

Ripon with his prize

As my last blog i had the great pleasure of meeting and becoming great friends with the one and only Robson green, as all of us alike his passion and love for fishing is true and second to none, after having some great success with Neil lobban ( a spectacular fly casting instructor) not only catching fish but becoming a master caster i had the joy of taking Robson onto some of my local stretches with Phil.  Unfortunately the fish we managed to connect with managed to do a Houdini on us and throw the hook after 5 minutes, a funny thing was myself and Phil were more disappointed than Robson, although i can imagine it hit home later on and he shed a tear.  We did however mange to score a steak dinner from him on the day so not all was lost – Cheers buddy!

The dream team (part2)

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My next guest and great friend was Damon AKA the London fly fisher, i only met Damon this year at the London Fly Fishing Fair where we hit it off immediately and became good friends and fellow ambassadors for fishing organisations.  After his long journey up north and being washed of 2 separate rivers it was my turn to get him on the mighty Tyne, as soon as he saw the water his eyes lit up like a kid at christmas, id always told him we had incredible fly water but its always hard to believe until you see it with your own eyes.  The morning we must have seen 30/40 fish on 1 of the beats but they literally wouldn’t look at a thing, this tends to happen a lot in October as the fish have other things on their mind.  In the afternoon we rotated to the other beat we had booked, the first run through the pool he hooked a fish which had its mind set on going back to sea, he played it like an absolute boss and 10 minutes later Damon had his prize, a PB salmon safely in the net which fell as always to a red Stokoe shrimp.  After both calming down we got carefully took her from the net got our photos and returned her, this is one of the highlights for me as it helps to secure the future of this incredible species.

Damon with his PB salmon

I managed a few days myself to get out the second half of October as the beats were fully booked so i couldn’t get guests on, i did manage to get amongst some nice fish tho, it doesn’t pay the bills but it’s a great feeling to land these exceptional creatures.  One day that stands out is when we experienced horrendous wind and rain to the point that we had a severe weather warning, this was never going to stop me and phil tho, we managed to find a few spots that were sort of sheltered now when i say sort of i mean the wind was only hitting us at 40 not 80mph ha ha.  The whole day we never saw a soul well apart from the 2 stunners i managed to land, one a sea trout about 4lb and the other my last salmon of the season that we estimated around 12lb, this just shows you that no matter the conditions theres always a chance especially if you fish a Stokoe shrimp.

Sea trout caught in shocking conditions

My last salmon of an incredible season

The last few days of the season for me didn’t produce much but for Robson it proved to be the perfect ending to a great season for him, well when i say season i mean 3 months.  Not only did he manage his biggest Tyne salmon from Lambley a fish of around 16lb, the last day of the season on what he said was his last couple of casts he accomplished something most of us can only dream of, the biggest sea trout i’ve seen or heard of from the Tyne, a monster fish estimated at around 15lb.  Unfortunately i wasn’t present to witness the fish mostly to see his reaction but to be in the presence of the create (the fish) itself.

 

Robson with his biggest Tyne salmon

The fish of a lifetime

I just wanted to personally thank each and everyone of you that i’ve not only guided or fished with but who’s helped me to get to where i am today, i cant wait to see some new faces by the water next year and hopefully get some bucket list fish.  In the mean time 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!