Having caught only one fish this season you would normally think that a summary of the season would be both brief and uneventful but that is not really the case for me.
Admittedly I has been a season of highs and lows, but there is more to highs than fish on the bank, and more to lows than blanking!
My season didn’t really start until March.
It was a mixture of discovering beats on the club that I had recently joined and a few sessions on some of those beats. Early sessions were mainly confined to the Eden and the Whiteadder in search of a first Springer. The Whiteadder held the most promise and we did see a number of springers running the beats. The Eden on the other hand seemed dead- I am yet to actually see a Salmon on the Eden!
Some of the Tyne beats around Wylam and Byewell also looked good although we were told that spinning is the best method and the fly doesn’t really produce. I don’t spin…not because I think it’s a non-purist approach or lacks skill, it just doesn’t float my boat as they say!
We continued our trips to the borders and Cumbria without success. Our approach was a little haphazard in terms of location but this was mainly dues to work pressure and the promise of sea trout on the horizon in May
The end of April usually signals the start of the Sea trout season on my local river Lune. The Lune is a fantastic river and some of the loveliest water you could imagine, especially with the fly. it’s such a shame that the Salmon stocks have dramatically collapsed – but that is for another ‘rant’ article!
The only gap in the Sea Trouting was a trip up to the border Esk. We fished in ideal conditions and did a very taxing 2 mile wade from top to bottom of the beat without seeing a single fish (of any type).
My intention was wholly concentrate on Salmon this season but a mixture of long journeys and blanks meant that the prospect of a few Sea Trout to put a bend in the rod was very appealing. Much of the mid season was spent catching Sea Trout on the middle and upper reaches of the Lune. However as the season progressed the Seat Trout reduce in size and thoughts turn again to Salmon….and the Tyne!
Traditionally this is the time of year when the Salmon are most abundant in our rivers. However, this season has been a fairly dry one again. With less than high hopes we set off to the South Tyne at Alston and I managed to catch my one and only fish of the season.
I do love the Tyne even though it hasn’t been kind to me considering the number of hours I put in on the river. Some parts of the South Tyne are small river fishing, which I really do enjoy. Seeing near 30Lb fish splashing around in a river no more than 10 yards wide really does inspire you to put the hours in.
Most of my time was spent on the South Tyne, Whiteadder and Ettrick with the latter rivers having absolutely no water in them.
It was during this time that I met a few of the other members of the club and it was great to get some more experienced views on our beats and how to fish them.
Even though I still have access to fishing in November I’ve decided to hang the rods up for the season. Not due to lack of success, more attributed to letting the fish do their thing in peace.
It’s been a good season in many respects for me. Catching a fish is obviously up there but there are some other aspects that I’m happy with.
- My casting has come on leaps and bounds and I’m confident I can handle almost any challenging beat
- I’ve finally settled on a tippet material that I’m happy with – Kryston (still a carp fisherman at heart!)
- I’m reading that water much better and where I think there are fish has often been correct
There are quite a few things I have learned this season and I imagine they will form the basis of my approach next season.
- Fish for Salmon and not Sea Trout!
- The rivers seem to be changing and much more time should be spent May-September on the rivers
- Long drives are not conducive to good angling, staying over, having a few beers and a meal makes more sense!
- Don’t rely on heresay and check out beats for yourself. What someone thinks is a crap beat may well be a winner
- Just because fish aren’t showing doesn’t mean they aren’t there.
So that’s it really. To many this will represent a very poor season (1 fish). Indeed I would expect to have caught more given the effort. But it is a wonderful sport and THE hardest angling there is.
I’m already looking forward to next season….