What a difference a day a makes (24 little hours)

Yesterday I spent a very enjoyable day on the River Coquet with my good friend Phil. It was my first time fishing this particular river, and from the places Phil showed me, hopefully won’t be my last.

Coquet – different and good

It’s certainly very different from what I’m used to on the Derwent, but in a good way. My wading skills aren’t up to much, I don’t have a very good sense of balance, so the gravel bottom of the Coquet was a welcome relief to the bolder strewn river bed of the Derwent. I actually waded out up to my nicky, nacky news (as the adverts says) and didn’t feel like I was one step away from a dunking – unusual to say the least.

One thing that wasn’t as we’d have liked it, but didn’t spoil the day at all, was the weather. I know this is well trodden ground, but bloody hell, it’s MAY!! We had rain, hail and wind blowing a gale. Willy, the head bailiff, said there was snow falling (and settling) on top of the cheviots earlier in the day. That’s just not right.

So thanks Phil, for a thoroughly enjoyable day, I am looking forward to coming up again soon. I can highly recommend a trip to the Coquet, day tickets are available and there’s some great water to try out.

Near perfect conditions (but no one told the trout)

24 hours later and I’m just back from a sneaky four hours on the Derwent, and in those 24 hours there has been a big change in the temp. I spent the whole time fishing in a t-shirt, if I’d done that yesterday I’d be in hospital now suffering from hyperthermia!

A good indication of the difference in temp was the effort required to squeeze out some Gink. Yesterday I needed to jump up and down on the bottle to get any out, today it was dropping out as soon as the lid was off.

And for the first time this year my local river was actually showing signs of fly life with a constant stream of Duns and sedges making their way along the river. The sun streaming through the trees, the warmth and the fly life could almost fool you into thinking it was summer. Unfortunately the bad weather we’ve been having still managed to make its mark. The river wasn’t running high, but it was coloured. There looked to be water still coming off the land, and this caused the water temp to be down and the colour to be up.
The net result of this was, even with the burst of fly life, no fish moving. Towards the end of the night there was the odd (tiny) trout turning, but that was about it.

Camping, rough

Something that I found even stranger than the lack of rising trout, was the amount of people camping in the Lintzford woods. This was rough camping though, none of your Glamping posh tents here, this was plastic/canvas slung over a rope between two trees camping. Four separate groups were in there, with fires a’burning and cans of Fosters and Special Brew a’plenty. They also looked to have a beach caster or two between them. Obviously not for using on the Derwent. I would have said something, but the 6′ 8″ bald guy with the Staffie didn’t look like the sort who’d have taken kindly to me advising him of the need for fly only, and a club membership before fishing.

I hope their evening meal wasn’t going to be trout based. Even with the evil looking beach caster rod, and the range of mepps spinners I’m sure they’re packing, I think they may be going hungry tonight.

I did manage one fish, taken on a size 20 grey hackled thing. I’d gone through three other flies, each smaller than the last, before getting any interest from the one rising fish I’d found.

I thought I’d connected with a bit of a monster, it swam off and was having none of my attempts to turn its head towards me. It was shortly after its first run that I realised I’d foul hooked this brownie in the tail. It’s amazing how a small trout can seem so much bigger when you hook it in the wrong end.

If I can swing a pass for a few ours tomorrow, and we get no rain this evening, then it should be pretty damn good. The colour should be gone, and the water temp up. If the flies are still coming off like today, game on!

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