It has been a very cold and windy start to the season with few anglers venturing out to face the elements. Fingers are crossed that the rain and gales disappear soon and we can look forward to settled conditions and feeding fish. Can all members and day tickets please remember that the grayling season is now over until the 16th of June so please handle and return any of these fish with care. Another reminder is to nip those barbs off any new flies you may have bought for the new season!
As some may have noticed we have been working with the Environment Agency and the Tyne Rivers Trust to improve upstream access to fish at High Dam. The work has taken place throughout the winter and looks fantastic. Reminder that club meetings are the first Wednesday of every month starting at 7pm at Swalwell Junior Football Club, members are more than welcome to come along.
Heres to a great season!!
There has been very little rain for a long time now and the river is running low and clear in most parts, we could do with a good flood to freshen things up a bit. The bright days and low rivers do present some challenges to the angler however deeper pools with a heavier nymph can work well if there is little feeding near the surface. Richard Wood adopted this tactic recently and was rewarded with over 20 fish in an evening session.
The club held its annual open day on Sunday 27th July at Rowlands Gill Park which was a great success. Over 100 people attended the event and had a great time, watching young people catching their first ever fish really is something special particularly if that fish is a 16 inch grayling! Well done Cieran!!
Congratulations must also go to Simon Robinson who has been a member of the club for over 20 years now. Simon has just qualified for the 2015 England Team which will compete in the Home Countries International over in Ireland. Good luck!!
One little reminder for anyone wanting to take photographs of their catches, please do not lay fish on the rocks to get that shot, either keep in a landing net or in your wet hands. Grayling in particular are delicate fish and when the rocks rub against their protective slime disease and death can occur.
Enjoy the rest of the summer and keep those big catch returns coming in!
Early season sport has been fantastic when conditions have been favourable. Both regular rods and new members have been taking good numbers of fish from all areas of the river. Some of these coming to large dark olives providing great top of the water fishing for those that give it a go.
A gentle reminder that all smolts and out of season grayling should be handled with the great care and released back into the water without any distress. The seatrout smolts will be starting their migration downstream now and the grayling are in spawning mode so both should be left well alone.
The club have confirmed that their summer open day will be Sunday 27th July at Rowlands Gill Park, please keep the date free!
The last month has been very dry and very warm resulting in some terrific early morning and evening sport. Anglers out in the midday sun really need to look for those pools with cover to be successful. As the sun begins to set there has been some fine dry fly fishing with many good 1lbers within members returns. Sedge patterns will come into their own now and the river will have clouds of both black & brown varieties! The river could do with some fresh water to clear some of the slime off the rocks so please take care when wading!
On Sunday 28th July the club will be having its annual open day at Rowlands Gill Park. The day will commence at 10.00am and is open to all ages and abilities. We are lucky enough to be joined by expert fly casting instructor Jim Fearn (AAPGAI) plus a number of other qualified coaches so everyone can ‘have a go’! We will also have some bait fishing for juniors down on the river to see if they can catch a trout. We hope to see you there!
The late arrival of spring has finally arrived although when looking at the river and hatches we seem to be a month behind the usual schedule! The bitterly cold February and March left members wondering if the river was still alive during the opening weeks of the season. As temperatures reached double figures some of the early olive hatches appeared and trout responded well to both wet and dry imitations. Hopefully now that leaves are starting to appear on the trees we will see some good hatches of hawthorn as these are yet to put in an appearance.
Members are having to work a little harder for their fish at the moment but those that have persevered have been rewarded with some cracking overwintered fish. Several of these have been in the 14-18 inches which is a good’un for this river, please handle and return these larger adult fish to fight another day as they are the lifeblood of the river for the future!
The committee are aware of some of the anti-social behaviour that occurred on the Lockhaugh Meadows over the bank holiday weekend and we are being well supported by both the police and local councillor to ensure this type of activity does not continue and spoil this beautiful spot.
The start of the season on the 22nd was greeted with gale force easterly winds and temperatures barely getting above zero, very few members braved the elements so it was a quiet start to proceedings, what a difference a year makes!!
The first week in April has seen temperatures rise and hatches respond accordingly, the first dark winged olives are now floating down the river and trout are taking these off the top. Anglers enjoyed some good dry fly sport over the weekend which was great to see.
We now have in place a new enlarged Bailiffing Team which is great news and we are working closely with the Environment Agency to prosecute anyone found illegally fishing on our waters. As the month progresses hopefully the temperatures will too, look out for the hatches of hawthorn which the trout will really turn on to in the near future.
Please note that grayling are now out of season until 16th June and if you do catch one please handle with great care and ensure they have recovered before release.
Next month will see the start of the 2013 trout season on the river and hopefully a return to more settled drier conditions than those experienced from last April! 2012 was certainly different for members with the river levels fluctuating every month as the rain continued to fall. With Derwent Reservoir now full and groundwater levels fully saturated we will all welcome a nice warm sunny spring.
Following the numerous spates certain sections of the river have changed and anglers may need to start again in searching for their ‘hotspots’. At the AGM back in October the committee reiterated its commitment to providing some of the most affordable and accessible trout and grayling fishing in the North East and have kept season permit and day tickets at the same level as they were in 2008. Its a shame petrol prices weren’t the same!
The first club meeting will take place on Wednesday 6th February at Swalwell Juniors Football Club, all members are welcome and subs can also be paid. On behalf of the committee I would like to wish all members and friends of APDVAA a great 2013.
Adam Brougham (sec.)
August has followed a similar pattern to last month with a fluctuating coloured river making fishing very difficult at times. The good news is the fish are still there and once conditions settle down normal service will be resumed. Sedge patterns should do well over the next couple of weeks.
The Tyne Rivers Trust carried out some electric fishing during August which found the river to be in a very healthy state with an amazing number of juvenile trout in some sections. The electric fishing also discovered that there are eels in the system which is great as populations of these fish have dropped by 70% in the last 5 years.
We had another clean up of the river banks during August which hopefully members appreciate. Massive thank you to all that turned up and helped out, all your help is essential to the successful running of the club.
A big thank you also goes to Scott Nellins (Member of the England River Team) who provided members with a great demonstration last Sunday. Scott provided a real insight into some of the nynphing tactics he adopts. It really was fascinating!
Fly fishing for trout has been rather difficult over the last month or so primarily due to the torrential rain, flucutating water levels and the river carrying a considerable amount of colour. Despite this some members have battled through and been rewarded for their efforts. It can offer pay to concentrate more time towards the tails of pools in flood like conditions. Kevin Dick found this paid dividends for him having some very successful evening sessions on dry sedge patterns.
Some members have been spending some time on the coarse fishing stretch and it is really great to see some lovely dace putting in an appearance. Please remember if you are bait fishing to use barbless hooks, carry a disgorger and a landing net. Whatever fish you catch please handle with care.
On Sunday 29th July the club in partnership with Gateshead Council and the Tyne Rivers Trust will be holding an open day at Rowlands Gill Park. This event is completely free and open to both adults and children. Qualified coaches will be on hand with equipment so everyone can have a go. There will also be casting demonstrations from world renowned APGAI Instructor Jim Fearne.
The fingers and toes are crossed for some more settled periods of weather, the fishing will certainly pick up as and when things calm down.
As this article is written the river is again in spate as a result from the weekends torrential downpours! Hopefully we are due a dry week which will see levels and clairty return to normal. Prior to this recent rain the Mayfly hatches had been in full swing and anglers experienced some great surface sport once the fish switched onto these high protein treats!
The start of the coarse angling season is nearly upon us and the club has membership available for stretch below Derwenthaugh Dam. Last year saw members return some great bags including dace, chub & roach. The trick is to find these species before the trout find your bait! Anyone interested in taking up this membership should contact Alan Dodd (details can be found on membership & ticket page).
Congratulations goes to Simon Robinson a club member for over 20 years who represented England at the recent World Fly Fishing Championships in Slovenia, England finished a respectable 7th.
The committee would also like to remind all members and day tickets to please make a note of your catch returns and send this information to Alan Dodd email firstname.lastname@example.org