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Fast and furious sport despite wind 

A WEEK of weather extremes resulted in a quieter week angler-wise, with bitter cold rain and strong winds whipping up dust storms along the south shore.

In contrast, sport has been fast and furious, with the rod average hitting 5.3 and 33 limit catches recorded.

Multi-bait anglers found fish feeding well around the first fence and west to Murray’s Point, with ledgered PowerBait Eggs and Mice Tails the top baits. Maggots and Magic Dust in a feeder is a great tactic for holding fish in the swim and has been used to great affect by knowledgeable anglers.

R Marley from Crook netted a nice 5lb rainbow between Pow Hill and Hunter House. Fly anglers have often had to fish where the wind would allow them to cast, which often meant visiting new locations. Paul Bell from Fenham landed a cracking 5lb 8oz rainbow at Hunter House on a Black Fritz.

Warmer days allowed the first hawthorn flies to hatch, one of the trout’s favourite delicacies which bodes well for the coming week.

More than 1,000 fish will be stocked this week in time for the Bank Holiday.

Best flies: Black fritz, Red Montana, Hawthorn, Bibio.

Best Baits: Ledgered Pink PowerBait Eggs or Chartreuse / Orange Mice Tails, both with Magic Dust/maggots in a feeder.

Best areas: All of the south bank.


Weather dominates proceedings

CHANGEABLE wind direction and weather conditions dominated sport at the beginning of the week at Fontburn, with good numbers of fish still showing in the shallower water at the west end of the reservoir.

However, with a change in wind directions and the introduction of fresh water into the reservoir later in the week, rod averages began to rise as the fish moved from the nature reserve. Many of these fish can still be seen feeding on frequent hatches from the surface and close to the margins.

D Lansdell landed eight, including three at 3lb-plus, for weight of 23lb; S Barnes had eight for 18lb 8oz; and E Taylor also landed a limit catch. The heaviest fish of the week – a fully-finned 5lb rainbow – was brought to the net by G Rice.

Returns and comments left by anglers showed ledgered PowerBait fished in the margins and well-presented float-fished worm on a short trace produced good sport.

Fly anglers also had some quality sport with many limit catches being recorded, many of which have succumbed to a fast retrieved Dawson’s Olive or a Black Fritz, with most fish striking close to the end of the retrieve.

Best flies: Cat’s Whisker, Dawson’s Olive, Black Fritz, Kate Maclaren.

Best Baits: PowerBait Mice Tails (all varieties), Pink PowerBait Eggs.

Best areas: North shore point to nature reserve and middle section.

Brian Campbell with his last fish of the day at Grassholme; a 7lb rainbow taken on a Toby spinner.
Brian Campbell with his last fish of the day at Grassholme; a 7lb rainbow taken on a Toby spinner.


Regulars brave the conditions

MONDAY and Tuesday should have been a complete write off, as waves were blown by strong winds onto the Dam Wall, but Grassholme regulars anglers carried on regardless and returned good catches.

A crisp start to Wednesday encouraged plenty of anglers to make the most of the blue skies and sunshine. Reg Lewis, fishing a Loyalty Day permit, had a red letter Loyalty Day permit had a 10-fish limit, his last a 7lb rainbow, which fell to a Pink PowerBait Egg.

B Smith had an eight-fish limit to 3lb oz from Easter Bay by midday; Jim Nicholson caught a £200 tagged fish and Brian Campbell, fishing a Credit Cruncher permit, landed four, the last a 7lb rainbow taken on a Toby spinner.

The fishing was consistently good Saturday, with good numbers of limit bags recorded, with Doug Neil landing eight for 7lb 8oz.

There will be a bumper stocking for Bank Holiday weekend.

Best flies: Black Fritz, Dawson’s Olive, Bibio.

Best Baits: Orange Sparkle PowerBait Eggs, Chartreuse / Orange Mice Tails.

Best areas: Witch’s Hat, Dam Wall.


Teams of wet flies do well

DRAMATIC black clouds were the backdrop for white water on Hury on Monday and Tuesday provided anglers with a truly magical setting. As the sun rose on Wednesday, the wind dropped to a light breeze and anglers were rewarded with good catches including 3lb-plus fish.

Anglers enjoyed improved conditions Thursday and Friday and took mixed catches of rainbows and blues. Three anglers reached their eight-fish limit and many others netted respectable figures to contribute towards impressive catch returns.

Teams of wet flies and lures again produced good results, especially when the wind dropped and fish could be seen breaking the surface across the whole reservoir.

There will be a bumper stocking for Bank Holiday weekend.

Best flies: Dawson’s Olive, Black Fritz, Bibio, Black Pennell, Orange Fritz, Cat’s Whisker.

Best areas: All bays and inlets.


Hotspots vary throughout week

WITH the very unsettled weather continuing and the wind swinging around the four points of the compass from day-to-day, it was not easy to predict where fish were.

The water temperature has moved towards the 9 degree C mark, which will bring fish nearer to the top-of-water but, at the moment, they are still patrolling at three to four feet below the surface, so floating lines and float-fished baits, especially a float-fished worm, have worked well.

Fly anglers have caught on a mixture of floating and intermediate lines, with weighted flies on the point and more traditional flies as droppers.

The hot spots have varied quite considerably over the week, due to the changing wind direction, but Stockie Bay, Tower Knowe, Hawkhope and the west of the Belling have all fished well at some point. The hatch of black buzzers is still very impressive but it seems that only the wild brownies are taking advantage around rocky headlands and inlets.

Boats can now stay out until 8pm. Half-day boats are also available throughout the week. For bookings call Leaplish Waterside Park on 01434 251000

Best flies: Cat’s Whisker, Viva, White Tadpole, Diawl Bach, Montana, Damsel Nymph, buzzers, fritz, various blobs.

Best Bait /Lures: PowerBait, Worm, small spinners

Best areas Bank: Hawkhope Slipway, Stockie Bay. Boat: The Belling, Matthew’s Linn.


George rewarded for his loyalty

A WINDY and unpredictable week kept fish on the move shoaling in varied areas around the Scaling Dam depending on wind direction and speed.

Overall, the east end was most productive, with anglers catching from both north and south shores.

It has been a very good week, with lots of anglers reeling fish in the 3lb to 6lb range.

George Goldsborough from Redcar enjoyed, fishing a his Loyalty Day permit landed 10 to 3lb 10oz for 17lb 11oz. Andy Moscrop from Loftus had a great day fly fishing with a Montana and Black Spider along the south shore, catching his eight-fish limit, which included a 4lb rainbow.

Colin Boughey, with son Stephen, from Crook each had a fantastic first visit, catching their limits for a total of 18 rainbows between, including the week’s biggest ar 4lb 8oz, for 33lb. Peter Floyd from Ugthorpe fished the east end of the Dam Wall with a combination of Red Honey Worm and Green PowerBait to land eight to 3lb 8oz for 14lb 4oz.

Best flies: Montana, fritz patterns, Black and Peacock Spider.

Best Bait /Lures: Worm, White Gulp Egg, Green / Blue PowerBait. Red and Silver Honey worm, Mice Tails

Best areas: East end, south shore.

Reports updated May 18


Pete wins Sunday match

THE WIND dominated proceeding this week as anglers struggled to locate and keep fish congested long enough to accumulate decent catches.

However, anglers did net up to 10lb of roach and bream using a waggler and maggot combination.

Pete Smith won the latest match Sunday using the pole, as catches were limited due to the horrendous conditions.

The results were: 1, Pete Smith, 8lb 11oz; 2, Nick Jose, 7lb 8oz;3, Barry Evans, 7lb 4oz; N. Ripley, 6lb 11oz.

Best baits: Maggot.

Best method: Waggler.

Best areas: Lower.

No coarse catches were recorded at Derwent Reservoir.

Report updated May 18

Busy calendar of competitions

NORTHUMBRIAN Water has put together a busy calendar for the new season headlined by the annual WaterAid fundraisers once again generously supported by Hardy & Greys.

This partnership has to date has raised £50,000 for WaterAid - saving more than 3,300 lives in Africa and Asia.

Rainbow trout marked with special sweep tags will continue to be stocked in Fontburn, Derwent, Grassholme and Scaling. Anglers who catch one of these marked fish and who have joined the optional over-18 sweep for just a £1 stake before fishing could win up to £400.

Building on past successes of encouraging young people to have a go, Northumbrian Water continues to push affordable family fishing. The age limit for free fishing with an adult is 18 and all the children in the family under that age can fish for free and share the limit catch with their full paying parent.

Competitions lined up for the season include:

Kielder Water: WaterAid Boat Pairs: Heats: May 24, June 21. The final will be held on July 12.

Kielder Water: ATTEFF England qualifier - May 31.

Derwent: Bankmaster - June 7.

Kielder Water: Jack Charlton Disabled Anglers Cup - June 10.

Fontburn: Northunberland Blind Association charity day ­- July 31.

Kielder Water: Team of four - August 2.

Whittle Dene: Coarse challenge - August 31.

Derwent Reservoir Charity coarse challenge - November 15.

Last updated 1414 Thursday, May 21, 2015