Trout fishing returns have been encouraging on both lakes and the lower Lough has seen some excellent pike catches both on lure and on dead bait. Yesterday Mark Frain caught a ten lb pike on a lure and earlier Jimmy Short caught his heaviest pike to date on dead bait, weighing in at 12lb 8oz.
With the water temperature at a respectable 10 degrees C. trout are still feeding well and taking dries and buzzers as well as lures.
Fish caught: 25 rainbows
Fish Taken: 8 rainbows
Successful fly patterns: Cat’s Whisker, Yellow Dancer, Black Hopper, Buzzers, Dries.
The fishery has been in the grip of extremely windy weather this week and angling has been difficult. Fish have been caught from boats on the sheltered South Westerly margins of the top Lough but the catch of the week was without a doubt that of Messrs. Wade and Kane who, deciding conditions were too windy for boating caught and returned 17 rainbows and several jack pike to the Lower Lough yesterday. It was reported that many fish were spotted breaking the surface and seemed to be feeding on nymphs.
I am going to put the final top up of stock in the Upper Lough today which should improve conditions for the closing weeks of the season so that if the wind dies down a bit come and have a fish.
Fly pattern of the week: Cats Whisker
Number of rods: 10
Rainbows returned to the water: 22
As the season draws to its close and the water cools down Cat’s Whisker and Dawson’s Olives have become the favourite fly patterns to the visiting angler. Other successful patterns have been: bibio and diawl bach . We will remain open, weather permitting until Christmas and I will arrange a final stock top up later on this week.
We were visited by the Police Angling Club this week on Wednesday and they had a very successful match against their colleagues from Fife. The match was very narrowly won by the Scottish visitors who caught 15 rainbows weighing 41lb 12oz to Northumbria’s 13 weighing 29lb 14oz.
For those planning a visit the loughs appear to fish better in the afternoon than the morning.
Total number of visitors: 39
Fish caught: 57 rainbows
After some appalling weather at the start of the week, things settled down to some relatively still conditions. Some amongst us were catching fish on small fly patterns using size 16 and smaller hooks. These included buzzers, emergers and dries. Some were catching on lures and blobs: Cat’s Whisker and Dawson’s Olive being favourite.
As an experiment I went out on the lower lake yesterday and fished from a canoe. I experienced some success with a size 16 diawl bach and am considering putting down 2 moorings next season so that anglers can fish from 2 boats in the middle of the lake on these. I would appreciate feedback from anglers on this suggestion.
We will stay open again this year through November and December, stock levels appear to be adequate at the minute but I can’t guarantee the mild Winter and subsequent number of over-wintering fish that we experienced last year!
Number of anglers visiting: 30
Fish caught: 19 Rainbows
Fish returned to the water: 14
Successful fly patterns: Hopper, buzzer, diawl bach, shuttlecock, orange blob, bloodworm, cat’s whisker, Dawson’s olive.
A good fishing week until Autumn arrived with a vengeance on Friday. Despite the wet and windy conditions on Friday, Gregg Johnson from Ashington managed to catch and return 6 rainbow trout to the Little Lough.
The wind had dropped by Sunday and a better day was enjoyed by the 14 visiting anglers. Dave Moody and Mark Strachan from Norham caught and returned 8 rainbow and 1 blue trout to the Great Lough and three visitors from the Kelso Angling club also had a rewarding visit, catching and returning 12 fish.
The best fish of the week was a 4lb rainbow, caught by Ken Davison from the Great Lough on Wednesday.
This week we were visited by 49 rods who caught 80 rainbow, 2 blue and 7 brown trout. Of these 79 were returned safely to the water.
Successful fly patterns were: Black Dries, hoppers, diawl bach, whisky muddler, damsel nymph, booby, Kate McClaren, buzzers, bloodworm.
The early part of the week and the end of the week have provided good conditions at the fishery but Thursday and Friday were too windy for successful angling. Furthermore we added to the fish stock on Friday so that tis week anglers should experience productive fishing conditions.
Seven members of the Benedictine Angling Club held a competition on Saturday which was won by Ian Macauther who had 12 Rainbow trout to the boat. His winning catch weighed 14lb.12oz. Second was Adam Calvin and third Jimmy Calvin who also caught the heaviest fish, weighing in at 3lb.2oz.
Heaviest fish of the week was a blue trout, caught by Mr. Purves of Forres who visited on Tuesday.
We were visited by 26 rods who caught 59 rainbow, 1 blue and 2 brown trout. £6 of these fish were successfully returned to the water.
Best fly patterns: Black Pennel, Hare’s Ear, Dabbler, CDC dries, F fly, Lures.
We have experienced still misty conditions for most of the week and what wind we’ve had, has been from the North and the East.
Fishing has been hard but nevertheless there have been some good catches made. On Saturday we were visited by the Ashington Kingfishers and by Shane Kelly and party from Scotland.
The Kingfishers’ Loch Style Competition was won by Steve Bowden who returned 5 fish for a weight of 6.53 kg., second was Steven Taylor with 5 for 5.46 kg. and third Jimmy Forster with 4fish for 5.5 kg.
Shane’s boat returned 9 rainbows, 1 blue, and 1 brown trout.
In total we were visited by 71 rods who caught 72 fish of these 68 were returned to the water.
Successful fly patterns: Buzzers, Sedges, Okey Dokey, Hoppers, Dabblers and Hawthorn Flies.
The week has seen relatively calm, bright and warm conditions with the wind predominately form the East. Fishing has not been easy but significant catches have been made on dries, mainly Hoppers Daddies and tiny black patterns. Towards the end of the week more catches were made on wets such as Bibios and nymphs.
We were visited by 59 rods who caught 113 rainbow, 5 blue and 11 brown trout. 12 rainbows were taken and the rest returned to the water.
Successful fly patterns: Daddy, Beetle, Very small Blob, C.D.C. Buzzer, Orange Dancer, Guthrie’s Beetle, Small, black dries, Hopper, Clan Chief, Bibio.
Picture Below: Raftbuilding Challenge at Sweethope – the balanced management of water based adventure activities and fishing is working well!
A mixed week at Sweethope with some excellent overcast days and some bright days which have given both perfect and challenging conditions.
The best conditions were probably found on Thursday when 8 rods brought 36 fish to the net. The best of these was without doubt a 6lb Brown Trout, caught by Bob Todd from Brampton.
Conditions were a little more challenging on Saturday when we held a catch and release boat competition but the competition was well attended by 15 anglers. The event was won convincingly by Scott Nellins with a total of 19 fish. Second Chris Guthrie and third Richard Wood. Many thanks to all who attended and made the event a success.
Total number of visitors to the fishery this week: 67 rods.
Fish caught: 89 in competition, 144 rainbows, 1 blue, 11 rainbow. Total: 245.
Rod average: 3.66
Number of fish taken: 16
Best fly Patterns: Bibio, Hopper, Daddy, Buzzer, Black Beetle, Black Spider, Knotted Midge, Montana, Diawl Bach, Black Cormorant, Sedge, Muddler, White Hare’s Ear.
Saturday’s Sweethope sunset taken by Kevin Dotchin.
The fishery continues to perform well as the water temperature remains at levels appropriate to the welfare of rainbow trout.
We were hosts to “Hoy and Hope” from Ashington on Sunday who participated in a club competition. The event was won by Jim Carr who took a bag of 3 trout, weighing 7lb 2oz.
Heaviest fish of the week was a 5lb rainbow, caught by “Mitch” in the Great lough on Monday and other notable angling performances have been made by: Grant Downie ( 37 fish from 2 visits), Scott Nellins( 29 fish) and Rob Frame and Jim Tuck (40 fish).
Total visiting anglers this week have been 67 rods who caught: 346 rainbow, 6 blue and 5 brown trout. 59 fish were taken and 298 returned to the water.
Successful fly patterns: Damsel nymph, Nomad, Bibio, Diawl Bach, Sedgehog, Hoppers, Daddies, Invicta, Buzzers, Small Black Beetle, Black Spider.
Next week’s competition starts at 10, refreshments will be available from 9.00. a.m. at Lough House.