2009 News


24 December

To all our members and readers of our website we wish you all a very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Details of the AGM to be held in February 2010 at Birtley Golf Club will sent to members and you will hopefully receive all details by 9th January at the latest.

26 November

We are now heading into the final few days of the salmon season on the Till with the season ending next Monday.  Having taken the week off for fishing then I will be like the rest of the members just left kicking our heels with the river level being too high for fishing. The level has dropped since Monday to just over 2 feet yesterday but regretfully it is now risen to 2 feet 8 inches. Members are reminded that catch returns are required asap and if you are going to or have fished the Till in November then please do not forget to send in your catch returns. We have to supply the RTC with our returns by no later than the 18th December and if we fail to comply then there is a minimum fine of £1000.00 so please comply and send in your returns.

We have received confirmation that our bids for the other two venues have been accepted in principal along with other bidders.  A decision by the riparian owners on the successful bid/s will be made shortly and the successful bidder will be contacted in the near future so we hope the efforts of the committee over the last two months bear fruition. Members of the management committee that visited a fourth venue submitted their report to the full committee last week and the whole of the stretch is excellent fly fishing water for salmon, sea trout and brown trout. There are a lot more conditions applying to this lease than other beats that we have but we have submitted an offer for the water in line with those conditions and await the decision. It is expected that results of all our latest bids for water will be able to be provided to the members at the AGM.

For our members that wish to carry on fishing throughout the winter we have Thornton Steward Reservoir which is open all year, weather permitting, and we will be carrying out our normal winter stocking of rainbows in December. Those members that wish to continue river fishing then the river Wear  is available for grayling throughout the winter months. As part of our conservation programme no fishing for grayling is allowed on the Till.

We are nearly at the end of the season and as usual our site will theoretically close down as there will be no fishing updates to post except when details of our AGM in February will be posted. It is hoped that both members and the general public that have visited our site, now over 38,000 hits, have found our site to be informative.

08 November

Members that will be fishing the Till over the last few weeks of the season should always check the river levels before setting off in order to avoid disappointment when arriving at the river and finding it in flood and therefore being unfishable and having a wasted trip. The river level at the time of writing, 7.30 pm, is one foot above normal level and is fishable whereas last Monday it was four foot above normal. Members will be aware that we only secured the lease on the Till for 2009 as it was being handled by a new agent and he needed to see how we operated this season as a potential new tenant. We are pleased to advise that discussions are now taking place on a new five year lease.

The fish counter has been updated for the Tyne and the Wear to the end of October 2009 and the figures provide grim reading. The Tyne for 2009 stands at 21,747 which is below 2008 figures of 29,326 and 2007 figures of 30,974. The Wear for 2009 is 11,811 compared to 2008 figures of 18, 957 and 14,280 for 2007. As for the River Coquet, answers on a postcard please.

Our membership level at this time of the year is very very healthy and although we do expect the odd resignation it has been necessary to start a waiting list for the coming year.

On our current  bids for three new venues for 2009 we have all but to cross the T,s and dot the I,s on one venue and should this be successful the venue will be available to members from March 2009. On another venue we have been placed on a short list of three applicants to attend an interview process to discuss our management plan with the Riparian owners in the next couple of weeks. Our management plan for the third venue is still under discussion with the land agent and the owner. This leaves us with two additional venues to consider and members of the management committee will be visiting one of the venues in the coming week to see if we are prepared to submit an offer. The fifth venue is still being considered by the committee at this moment and no decision will be taken until we have answers on our other bids.

01 November

Well, that's it for another year on the English rivers. I managed to get out on various rivers and beats last week and the nearest I got to catching anything was on the Rede when a sea trout took a belated bite at my spinner as I was lifting it out of the water so hopefully it went on its merry way and had a successful breeding season. Members are still being quiet about their latest catch returns but a member did catch an 18lb salmon on the Eals pool and contacted the committee to see if he was in line for the trophy for the heaviest salmon of the season. Sadly he was disappointed when he was informed that the heaviest we know about at this moment in time stands at 24lb and even this could be bettered.

Paddy Irving with his 7lb..salmon

On the Coquet on Friday member Paddy Irving managed to entice a lovely clean salmon of 7lb in crystal clear water. Revisiting the river on the last day of the season his day was cut short at around 12 noon when the river rose some 6 inches and within a further hour had turned a muddy brown colour.  Our member on the Wear, Billy as he is known, managed to entice a salmon on the prawn, weight unknown, which was a triumph in its own right as the river was very very low.

A member leaving the Boat Pool on the last Tuesday of the Season

Whilst visiting the Wear myself yesterday it was nice to meet members Paul from Cambridge and John from Teesside. Its always nice to meet the members, something I don't manage enough to do, and have a chat about the fishing and prospects for the future. Its amazing we all know what the problems are on the rivers and no matter how much talking we do to the Environmental Agency the answer is always the same, they don't have the money to do anything even though they agree with us.

Talking about prospects for the future, the club have bids in for three new venues and are looking at a further two venues, all for next year. Should any, or all, become  successful then the members will have an even bigger variety of fishing available to them next season. There is also the chance that we might not get any of them which would be disappointing considering the time the committee have spent over the last two months preparing our bids, so fingers crossed.

Catch return sheets were sent to members over a week ago so even with the postal disputes you should have received it by now. If you do not intend to fish the Till during November would you please complete and return your completed form to Dave Wilson asap also remembering to put your name and membership number on the form.

Members that do not wish to fish the Till but would still like to wet a line are reminded that our reservoir at Thornton Steward will be open throughout the winter.

26 October

We are now into the last week of the season and expectations are high for that last salmon or sea trout of the year for those members that do not fish the river Till. There has been very little rain over the last six or seven weeks and the rivers have been down to the bare bones. On Saturday when I fished the Wear there were plenty of fish showing and jumping which there has been over the last few months but catching them has been very difficult. The same can be said for all of our rivers. It rained for about 4 hours but not enough to bring any rise in the river over the weekend.

Younger members enjoying a day at Thornton Steward. We do not know if the smiles mean fish caught.

Strangely though there was even heavier rain in the Northumberland area which brought the Tyne, Rede and Coquet into flood on Sunday. Off to the Tyne today and low and behold the river is in good fishing order but the river rises again as there is a release from Kielder. Fished the Keepershield beat and although there are loads of salmon showing they are running through. Off further up river to look at the Eals and the boat pool and enough anglers trying their luck so decided not to upset them and headed to the Rede. Again the river is in excellent order and like the Tyne the fish are running through so no luck today. Better luck tomorrow?

Members that have been lucky lately are Steve Ackroyd, who earlier in the season broke his duck with his first ever salmon, enticed his second  salmon from the same beat at Keepershield. Steve broke his duck again when he caught his first ever sea trout, 2, again from Keepershield. On the Till John Porritt had a salmon at 8lb whilst head Bailiff Dave Cave had one of 15lb. Dave was happy with his exploits so headed back homewards to try the Wear and helped Alan Horner land a superb salmon at 24lb.

Member Malcolm Job was fishing the Tyne last Saturday and unfortunately left his fly box so if you have found it please contact any member of the committee and we will put you in touch with Malcolm for its safe return.

We have sent out the latest brief newsletter with the members catch return sheet for the rivers for 2009 that must be completed asap and returned to secretary Dave Wilson. PLEASE PLEASE complete and return the form.

The committee have submitted a third bid for another venue for 2010 and that left us with one venue to consider. We have now been asked if we are interested in another venue so that is another two potential venues for next year. We are only able to consider bidding for new water based upon the strength  of the club and we are pleased to say that the membership level is exceptional and we are more than likely looking at starting a membership list for 2010.

13 October

Things still seem to be very quiet on the catching front with very little news from members about their prowess. The Wear and the Till are again the only rivers with any reports with Alan Horner again being successful with three grilse to 6lb and a salmon at 10lb from the Wear and our member who wishes to remain anonymous, I'll call him Billy, who had two grilse to 5lb and a salmon at 9lb . On the Till head bailiff Dave Cave had three grilse to 4lb and a salmon at 8lb.

A member has reported seeing an angler on the Till with a spinning rod. Fly only now until the end of the season please. The details of the angler's car have been passed to our bailiffs for future visits. All members are realistically bailiffs as they have the right to ask any angler on club water for their membership card to ensure they are bona fide members. No membership card then they can be asked to leave the water.

Members are reminded of the rules for fishing the Tyne during the last 3 weeks of the season. I will not post the details as these have been issued in the last newsletter to all members with a new map along with the new signs that have been placed on all beats.

The latest fish counts for the Tyne have been posted on the fish counts page. Again we do not have any details for the Wear.

The committee are still, as always, very busy trying to acquire new water for the members and offers have been submitted for two venues for 2010 with a further two locations being considered by the committee as to whether these will meet our criteria. Any successful bids will remain with the committee until we feel the time is right to disclose the venues.

04 October

We are now into the last month of the season for migratory fishing in England and no doubt members will be out on the rivers as much as possible before the seasons end. Very little rain of late is keeping the rivers at a low level and making fishing very difficult with the fish being easily spooked. Whether this is resulting in poor catch returns of late or not is hard to evaluate as I have heard of very few fish being caught by members. It may be that members are keeping their catches quiet so as not to alert other anglers to their hot spot.

There is certainly a very good head of fish, both salmon and sea trout, in the lower stretches of the Wear but these are also proving hard to tempt with the only report last week being a 10lb salmon by Trevor Cave and this was Trevor's first salmon from the Wear. Out on the Till Jim McLean had two to salmon to 8lb  and his brother one at 7lb. Members are again reminded that this river is now fly only to the end of the season.

We have had very little response from the EA in trying to get the number of fish taking the local rivers with only the Tyne system being updated on a monthly basis. We know they have had major problems with the Coquet fish counter and do not expect any figures for 2009 to be published but there has been no update for the Wear since mid June with no reason being supplied.

Members will receive their catch return sheet in the next couple of weeks and we ask that these are returned to secretary Dave Wilson asap unless you expect to fish the Till in November.

25 September

No news has been supplied to me in the last week regarding any catches being made on the rivers north of the Tyne which only leaves the Wear. One member who wishes to be kept nameless has had 4 salmon from the Wear in the last week. Whilst he was being kept busy he was also being left behind by member Alan Horner who had six salmon up to 14lbs through to Wednesday. Alan bettered this yesterday when he caught a 20lb salmon which he returned to the water unharmed.

There are rumours that there are poachers about on the Coquet above and below our stretch. Members are reminded that if they come across any nets then they must not touch them but report them to the EA.

18 September

It is some four weeks since the last update and this has simply been down to an excellent holiday in the south of France during this period. Whilst I did not do any fishing on holiday I visited the local canal every evening where the French and some German holiday makers were fishing. At night the canal comes to life with fish jumping all over breaking the peace and quiet. The method of fishing mainly used is with live bait fished on a float bubble and on my last visit a French angler landed a superb catfish of 22Kgs. The fish was not returned but was killed with the intent of eating it. Rather them than me!

This brings us onto our own fishing and following some heavy rains of last week some excellent days were had by members when the rivers settled down into fine order. On the Tyne Geoff Horrill caught and returned a lovely clean sea trout on an Ally Shrimp. The fish measured 29" in length with a girth of 13" and we are pleased to report that Geoff returned the fish unharmed to the water. Out on the Till members had 11 grilse up to 8lb in one day. Member A Lee had 4 fish and D cave 3 whilst 3 other members all had one fish each with most fish in the 4 - 5lb mark with one fish at 8lb.

At Keepershield the salmon were giving themselves up when Aidan Currrie had 5 fish and D Cave 2 with  fish in the 8 - 14lb range. On The Wear Alan Horner had a salmon of 7lb whilst D Cave, again, had a fish of 9lb.

Two special catches to mention are that member Michael Porritt caught his first ever salmon on the fly whilst fishing the Till. The fish weighed in at 12lb and was caught on a single handed fly rod. Secondly member Stephen Ackroyd also caught his first ever salmon at Keepershield. Stephen's fish was caught on a black and silver Toby and weighed 15lb. Congratulations to them both and we wish them more luck for the future.

Members are reminded that the river Till is fly fishing only now until the end of the season.

The trout anglers within the club, and day ticket rods, are also having a good year on Thornton Steward Reservoir. To the beginning of August just over 4000 fish had been caught with an excellent rod average of 3.56 fish per rod per day. It appears that the additional stockings that we have put in over the last two summers, and I use that word lightly,  certainly appear to have helped  maintain the excellent fishing throughout the season.

We have had some comments about the videos on the site not working properly and we have hopefully rectified this so please have a look.

20 August

Latest Reports

The summer runs of sea trout and grilse are entering all our rivers on the North east coast. Fish are being caught on all the rivers with the Tyne (Keepershield) producing both salmon and sea trout as head Bailiff Dave Cave and member Steve Kettlewell both caught salmon of 10lb on 17th August. Jonathan Ellis landed a superb bar of silver sea trout at 6lb at Hesleyside today.

The Wear has a good head of sea trout  with summer grilse mixed amongst the shoals. Jerry McBeth catching a lovely sea trout of 5lb whilst Paddy Irving lost a salmon of around 10lb and bailiff Dave Ryan caught a lovely 13lb salmon . On the Till member Malcolm Peden caught a beautiful small grilse of 2lb whilst another member caught a salmon of around 7lb.

Web Site

The web site has been up and running for about 7 years now and we always try to keep members and visitors up to date with the latest news. The site has produced some 36,000 hits since the counter was introduced so we must be doing something right for that number of hits. As always we look to improve and we are seeking any constructive ideas on how the site can be improved so please contact us with any ideas that we may consider.

13 August

Lost and Found

Members have been having a poor time lately with losing various equipment out on club waters. Most important is that Charles Allister lost his car keys at Thornton Steward Reservoir on 31 July. Whilst this created a major problem it was thanks to committee members Jerry Mcbeth and Fred Richardson who took Charles home to South Shields and then back to the reservoir with his spare keys to enable him to get home safely with his vehicle. If any member or day ticket  angler does find a car key then please contact any member of the committee and we will put you in touch with Charles.

Member Dave Charlton left a landing net at the Keepershield beat whilst Geoff Horrill left a box of spinners at either the  Mill beat or the Ingram pool on the Rede. A day ticket angler found a landing net at Thornton Steward. Any information about these items then please contact the committee.

Latest River Reports

It may be the holiday season or the lack of  fresh water for the rivers but we are hearing of very few fish being brought to the net. Latest catches are Dave Cave with a 7lb sea trout and Alex Taylor with a 3lb sea trout from the Wear. The latest guestimate of fish taking the rivers shows some 5000 for the Tyne in July and some 2000 for the Wear also in July. The coquet is ?. Whilst mentioning the Coquet we are pleased to report that the dangers of 24 July has now abated and anglers can  fish in the knowledge that they will not be swept away. On the trout scene Thornton is still fishing very very well with plenty of fish being caught by both members and day tickets. The river Rede is still fishing very well following the stocking of brown trout and we offer our congratulations to a new junior member John Irving who caught his very first fish, 2 brown trout both around the 1lb mark.

24 July


We have been informed by the EA that following the heavy rains of last week that above Rothbury the course of the river has altered and has affected the Caistron fishery and also the gravel workings in the area. The effects of this are that where the course of the river is running at the moment it is being held back by the gravel workings but the butt that is keeping the river flow to a low level below could break and this will result in a very quick rise in the level of the river. The EA are expecting further rain on Sunday which could and probably will make the situation even more dangerous to members and anglers in general. The river could rise by as much as 7 feet with very little warning and any anglers in the river at that time will be in danger of being swept away. We ask that members and anglers that do fish over the weekend be extra vigilant and keep a very close eye on the river levels when fishing. The safest option would be not to fish.

On a further note for the Coquet and the fish counters the latest news, as of today, is that the South fish pass will not be repaired to its previous state. The damage caused by last years floods cost in excess of £7000 worth of damage and funds are not available for it to be re-built. A new fish counting cable has been installed right across the river and though this was  damaged last week it is still recording fish taking the river. Some 70 fish have taken the river on each of the last two days and over 1000 fish had taken the river this month to the end of last week and the EA hope to have some counts available by the middle of next month.  The fish pass at Acklington had been blocked by a shift in gravel but the majority of this has been removed by the EA and the river bailiffs to allow safe passage for travelling fish.

River Wear

From the end of June to the 07 July some 1250 fish had taken the Wear and from the 07 July to 12 July a further 1450 fish had passed through the fish counter.

23 July

Member Bob Crook reports catching a fresh run sea trout on a small spoon today on the Till. Bob stated that though the river is still a little bit high it should be excellent for fly fishing on Friday.

Committee member Brian Tindle reported that whilst trout fishing the Rede he saw a big salmon leaping in the Ingram pool. A salmon has also been caught on the opposite bank of the Carriteth pool on the north Tyne showing that fish are now moving further upstream onto our beats.

A member has  left his landing net at the Keepershield beat on the north Tyne. Should any member recover this then please contact the committee so we can put you in contact with the owner.

21 July

The news has been fairly quiet on the rivers front due to a lack of water. Like most regions we have had some very heavy flash floods resulting in localised flooding but not doing anything for the rivers to get fish moving. Last Thursday and Friday however we received some very heavy and persistent rain which put all the local rivers into flood never mind spate conditions. It is hoped that this will start to bring in the summer runs of grilse and sea trout.

The odd fish has been caught and the first to mention is junior member Jack Lee, eight years old, who caught his first ever salmon from the Till.  Dr Richard White has been out and about on the rivers and has had some success with two salmon from Keepershield, 1 returned and one retained, and a sea trout from the Wear.

On the river Tees on the new stretch at Wycliffe member Dr Mark Douglas had a days wild brown trout fishing and his comments are that the stretch is very very good. He caught seven trout to 11/4 lbs all beautifully fully finned. He states that access is easy and that wading is good and  he believes that with enough water the chances of salmon and sea trout are relatively good. Members are reminded that this is a two rod beat for the club and all members must book the fishing in advance with the owner.

The half year report for Thornton Steward is again very encouraging. On the information supplied by the members and day tickets submitting catch returns, all members are required to submit a catch return when they fish, show that 493 members have fished so far this year. The number of fish caught is 1729 giving a fish per rod per day figure of 3.47 for members. Day ticket show 86 returns catching 157 with an average of 1.82. The total number of fish caught is 1886 with 1212 being returned and only 674 fish killed. Thanks to both members and day tickets for this. A day ticket angler has found a landing net at the reservoir on 16 July and if you believe it to be yours then please contact any committee member and we will advise you how to contact the gentleman. Like last year we are putting in additional fish in the 11/2 lb range to try and offset the dog days of summer, what summer?

The fish counts for the Tyne and Wear have been updated on the web site, all the Wear figures for the year being posted on the same day, and both rivers are down on this time last year. Any figures for the Coquet will be supplied when the fish passes and counters are operable.

25 June

The rains of last week have started to move fish into our local rivers. We have received reports from members catching both salmon and sea trout on the Till and the Wear over the last ten days. The Tyne is still quiet although the rain of today might just push the fish up to our beats. The fish counters are showing very few fish taking the rivers so far this year, or should I say only the Tyne is getting any fish through the fish pass as that appears to be the only fish counter working  between the Tyne, Coquet and the Wear.

We know that fish are taking the Coquet and the Wear as members have caught both salmon and sea trout. Top rivers for fishing at the moment appear to be the Wear followed by the Till.

Members should have received there newsletter at the back end of last week with details of the new fishing for the river Tees. Members were also supplied with a new map of the top beats of the north Tyne and we are pleased to report that the new fishing hut has been installed at the top of the Eals pool. Members will also see that we have placed new signs on the beat which clearly show our beats marked A - B, C- D etc., that also match the beats marked on the new map so there should be no confusion in the future with straying anglers. Thanks to committee members Fred Richardson and Brian Tindle for the time and effort to put the signs up.

The Rede is fishing very very well for brown trout following the stocking at the beginning of the month and members are again asked to be selective with what fish they kill for the table.

We have to supply the Tweed commissioners with a half yearly report of any fish caught on the Till so a further reminder to members let us know of your catches at the end of the month.

The pictures of the salmon caught by David Pattinson whilst fishing the River Garry are now on the pictures gallery and what superb fish they are, well done David. Thanks to Charles for putting the pictures on the site.

11 June

Congratulations to member David Pattinson who fished the river Garry during Spring Bank Holiday week. On the Monday he caught a superb 15lb salmon with long tailed sea lice with the fish being carefully returned to the water. On the Wednesday he then caught a 15lb and a 17lb salmon, his personal best, with both fish in superb condition again being carefully returned to the river unharmed. For his prowess he was rewarded with three sides of smoked salmon.  Click here to see pictures of his catches..

The river Rede has had a good stocking of beautiful fully finned brown trout in the 11" to 13" range with some fish even bigger. Members are reminded about catch and release and also the maximum number of fish they are allowed to take for the table.

A new stretch of fishing has been acquired on the river Tees. It is a short stretch and is mainly for wild brown trout and grayling fishing which will take members through the winter months on the rivers. Some salmon and sea trout have been seen on the stretch in the past. Details will be supplied in the June newsletter and due to the lateness of agreeing this we apologise for the map that has been supplied.

Those members that have fished the Till and caught any salmon and sea trout are required to contact Dave Wilson or the club through the email portal at the end of June to inform us of any fish they have caught. This is a requirement under our agreement with the Tweed Commission and members are asked to fully co-operate with this request.

Members will also receive an updated map of the upper stretch of the North Tyne at Hesleyside. Both the newsletter and the map give, hopefully, clear and concise details about where members may fish at the end of the season.

We have had some rain of late, not a lot, but enough to get some fish moving into the rivers. The Tyne had 653 fish take the fish pass in May but sadly there are no figures for the Coquet and the Wear. We do know for definite that there are sea trout in the Wear and one only hopes that there are fish entering the Coquet.

As mentioned in the last news item , 31 May, about the River Wear being probably the best  sea trout river in England, upon reading the full article in the June issue of Trout and Salmon it was alarming to see that the club concerned could have up to 27 members at anyone time waiting to fish a single pool. YES, 27.

31 May

No need to mention the lack of rain with the glorious weather we are enjoying at the moment. This means that the rivers are very short of migratory fish and if the year continues like this weather wise, as predicted, then following last years excellent numbers of fish being caught then this year could be the total opposite. As well as our local rivers being affected Scottish rivers are also badly affected. As mentioned in a previous news item the Tweed is apparently being badly affected by poor runs of fish this year and rumours are that there are discussions being planned about total catch and release for all spring fish in 2010.

An article in the June issue of Trout and Salmon lauds the river Wear as being probably the best sea trout river in England. We have just under a continuous three mile stretch on the river and members that fish the river regularly will be disappointed that this news has been published by a national magazine.

Also in the same magazine, in the letters section, an angler complains about the perilous state of the river Coquet. See previous news articles for our thoughts and save buying the magazine. We also get no response from the EA about this marvellous river and have serious concerns for the future. As we all know, catch and release is mandatory until the 16th June, My own thoughts are that if the river continues in the same state then next year fishing may be stopped altogether.

Good luck to our two members that are fishing the river Garry over the next six days and also member H Stroud who will be fishing the river on the 4th and 5th June all fishing as part of a fishing holiday.

Thornton Steward Reservoir continues to provide excellent trout fishing for members and the yearly catch average stands at 3.43 per rod per day. Members are still doing better than the day tickets with members averaging 3.55 and day tickets 2.70. Some members believe that there are to many fish in the reservoir, that's a refreshing change to hear, but we will continue with our stocking policy for this year, because if the weather continues like it is then the dog days of summer will surely dampen their spirits.

Members should be able to enjoy some excellent brown trout fishing within the next three weeks on the river Rede as stocking with fish in the 11" to 13" will take place shortly. Members are again reminded that there is a bag limit for the number of fish that can be killed from this river. We always try  to stock this river as late as possible due to potential high spates earlier in April and May that could see us lose the fish downstream, we have however listened to members requests to stock earlier in the year and this will be decided at next years AGM.

25 May

Lack of rain is still affecting the regional rivers with no fish counts available for both the Coquet and Wear and the Tyne only having some 130 odd fish through the pass in April. Catches that I know of are very sporadic.

A question has been asked by a member if we could clarify the fishing on the north Tyne and this will be delivered to members via a newsletter in the near future but the club is looking at the cost factor for placing new signs on all the Tyne beats.

Members are asked to put the 16th August in their diaries as the EA will be carrying out their annual coarse fishing exercise on the north Tyne. They will be fishing the Ridings pool from the south bank and all other beats are unaffected.

Members that fish Thornton Steward Reservoir are advised that over the weekend of the 13th and 14th June there will be more sailing activity than normal but members are still allowed to fish.

15 May

Things still remain very quiet on the rivers for salmon and sea trout with only the odd fish creeping through.  Lack of rain is again a major factor but my initial feelings of events happening in previous years affecting juvenile salmon may be having a major affect on the Coquet. There are rumours that the food life for the juvenile fish has been killed off in the upper reaches, by what?. I do not feel I have enough evidence to print what I believe is the cause and await for other pieces of the jigsaw to fall into place. Those smolts that have survived this year appear to be cannon fodder for the sea gulls at Warkworth dam as they are unable to get beyond the apron of the dam and are left floundering. There are reports of a boom being placed above the dam to keep the water back to look at the fish passes. Can it get any worse?

Thornton Steward reservoir on the other hand is fishing excellently with anglers, both members and day tickets, catching up to 25 fish in days fishing. We may have to stop future stockings if these figures continue, only joking.

01 May

The recent rain over the last few days has started to move a few fish on the rivers. Member Steve Kettlewell catching a fresh run 6lb sea trout today on the river Till. There are sea trout starting to move into the river Wear with fish spotted at the top of our beat at Frankland Farm. It is expected that more fish will be caught over the weekend with the further heavy showers that we have had today.

With the rivers having been reluctant to offer any fish of late with the low waters members have had some good days at Thornton Steward Reservoir with plenty limit bags being caught. Member G Stevenson catching and returning a 7lb rainbow, K Fothergill returning a brown trout of around 4lb. Other members with limit bags are J Thomas, I Cruttenden, P Robinson, T Cave, G Horrill and R Garvey to name a few. Following on from previous years it is again pleasing to see members returning a lot of the fish they are catching.

Members are reminded that should they wish to fish the river Garry then they must pre book by contacting me direct at home or via the club web site. The following dates are already booked, and therefore unavailable, 23rd to 29th May and 26th June to 02nd July. A syndicate rod caught a beautiful 20lb salmon last week with the fish being carefully returned unharmed.

 23 April

General News

There was a good turn out of members at the bank clearing exercise on the North Tyne last Saturday but (excluding the Committee) still less than 10%  of the membership. The main objective - to improve the fishing access on the Boat Pool was achieved. When the work was completed, some new members were shown the rest of the beat and the fishing on the River Rede. When members come from Birmingham and Wales, with one on crutches following a knee replacement operation, it puts the rest of us to shame. As commented previously on many occasions, so many enjoy the benefits from the labours of so few.


Pictures 1-2 River North Tyne Boat Pool, before and after clearing and 3 - well earned refreshments. Picture 4 River Rede New members on ledge at the head of the Ingram Pool looking upstream towards the Bridge Pool, the bridge and the Tarzan Pool beyond. Click on image to enlarge.

Members should receive their latest Newsletter within the next day or two. Most of the topics cover the river Till and the Tweed Conservation programme. Anglers are being asked to return all spring fish on the Tweed system but the indications are, that with the lack of any major rainfall over the last few weeks, fish are few and far between.  This is true on the Tyne, Wear and Coquet. The odd fish is taking the Tyne according to the latest information on the fish counter whilst the Coquet still awaits its first salmon of the year. There are no fish reported having taken the fish counter on the river Wear and whilst our fishing is below the counter there are no reports as yet of any fish being caught.

16 April

River Till

Following weeks of discussion between the committee it has been agreed to join the conservation programme for this river. This will enable the club to apply for a rebate on the rates paid for this stretch of river from the River Tweed Commission under the conservation agreement. Details for members will be issued in a news letter to be sent out within the next week.

General Fishing Report

Things are very quiet on the river scene with very few fish about. The Coquet, as I write, is still waiting for the first salmon to be caught this year and after two months since the start of the season the early signs are worrying. Whilst the lack of rain is of course a major factor in fish running rivers it is getting later and later each year when the first fish is being caught. We voiced our concerns all through last year about the severe reduction in the numbers of the fish running this river and are starting to wonder if something is/has affected the juvenile fish over the preceeding years.

Thornton Steward Reservoir on the other hand is producing excellent fishing for the members with the daily rod average per member running at 3.21 per rod per day. Day ticket anglers are a poor second at  1.82. Members know best.

Working Party North Tyne

A final reminder that the we meet at the boat pool at 10.00am this Saturday for a working party. Dave, The Chef, Wilson, has a new BBQ to try out so don't forget to bring your tucker along.

09 April

Sad Loss

To those members that have fished the river Rede we have the sad news that the wife of the owner, Christine Willey, died suddenly a week past Sunday. Her funeral was on Tuesday 7th April at the local church at East Woodburn and was attended by Dave Wilson on behalf of the club. To those that ever met or got to know Christine will know that she always had time for a chat on the riverbank whilst out walking with the dogs and was the best bailiff we have ever had. Dave and myself have spent many hours at their house talking to Doug and Christine about numerous things and the kettle was always on for a tea or a coffee. We will miss her cheerie welcome and also her knowledge. Our deepest sympathy goes to Doug and his family at this sad time.

Working Party

Thanks to those 9 members that attended the working party on the River Wear last Saturday. Two bridges have been erected across two drainage channels into the river and now allow excellent access down to the Ashes stretch on the top part of the beat. Access has also been improved along the Ashes stretch and this now gives members  some wonderful fly fishing on this part of the river and all fully wadeable on a shingly bottom. Special mention goes to the one member of the coarse section who travelled to the exercise via public transport.

The next working party is on Saturday 18 April. Would members please meet for 10.00am at the boat pool on the north Tyne. We will have members of Bellingham Angling Club to assist but we would hope to have a better attendance from our members than that of the Wear exercise. We appreciate it is the Easter holidays and that family come first but Dave will have his BBQ ready again for an excellent lunch and we expect to show new members the parking and access to the rest of the beat.

01 April

Rod Licence

Members are reminded that the renewal date for all annual licences is the 1st April.  Remember that you must have your licence on your person when fishing, not in your pocket, not in the car. Bailiffs have the right to ask you to leave the water and come to them on the riverbank and if you do not have your licence on you then you could be in trouble. Buy your licence , keep it with you when fishing and keep on the right  side of the law.

Fish Counts

The finalised counts for 2008 (as published by the Enviroment Agency) have been updated and Jan/Feb 2009 for the River Tyne added. There is an update on the River Coquet's damaged counters but no figures for the River Wear as yet.

26 March

River Wear

The bank clearing exercise for this stretch will take place on Saturday 4th April at 10.00am. All members are welcome with any equipment they feel may be of use. As we will be using some moving machinery the club will provide high viz tops for members safety and will also provide suitable working gloves.  Dave "The Chef" Wilson will have his BBQ on hand so please bring any goodies that you wish to cook. A lot of work has already been carried out by committee members over the last few weeks but we hope to see a good turn out from both game and coarse members of the club. So many benefit from so few.

A bank clearing has also been arranged for the North Tyne on the 18th April and a further reminder will be posted nearer the time.

Liddell Water

Members are advised that the national rules about keeping salmon before the 16 June apply. Differences to the bye-laws for the Esk and its tributaries are, Close season, salmon 1st November to 31st January, sea trout, 14th October to 31st March. Only 2 salmon and 2 sea trout mat be taken in any one day, but catch and release is permitted after these fish have been killed. Only artificial fly or lure for salmon fishing before the 16th June.  From 10th September until the end of the respective seasons all female salmon and sea trout must be returned to the water unharmed. These do not purport to be the complete rules but act as a guidance for members.

24 March

Its been a fairly quiet start to the season on the migratory fish scene. Only reports received as yet are for several sea trout being caught on the river Till. The good news is that all the fish caught have been returned unharmed by the members concerned. This leads on to the next item

Catch and Release.

Hopefully all our game fishing members will have known that over the last ten years there has been a mandatory catch and release policy for all salmon. The policy was that all salmon caught before the 16th June each year had to be returned to the water unharmed. Last year there were discussions that the catch and release policy for the Tyne and Coquet would be lifted and therefore allowing anglers to keep their catch. The decision reached however is that the catch and release policy has been renewed for a further ten years.

River Till

As members have been advised the club have the exclusive fishing rights for this beat. The Till comes under the  River Tweed Commissioners and that has necessitated the club having to pay the RTC levy based upon the number of fish caught last year. This is on top of the lease paid to the owner of the fishing. The club have already paid the levy for 2009 but are looking at joining the conservation part of the agreement. This is optional and if the club joined then we would receive 30% of the levy back. The conservation part is complicated and the committee have discussed this point at our meetings over the last two weeks without making any decision. It is expected that we will have a full committee for our meeting this week where we take a vote on whether to join the conservation part or not. Whilst we believe that all members, along with the club, play there part in the  conservation of fisheries we are still undecided on this point.

Thornton Steward Reservoir

The season has got off to a very good start for both members and day ticket anglers. Members are averaging just under 4 fish per rod per day with day ticket rods averaging just over 3.  Biggest fish this season is a 5lb rainbow caught by committee member Fred Richardson and biggest brown trout is  4lb safely returned by member John Anderson.

Fishing Lake - Mid Tyne Valley

As mentioned on the 1st March below the committee viewed a 7acre lake at the beginning of the month for the purpose of stocking with rainbow trout for members only. Whilst the lake was in a beautiful setting the access for members vehicles would have been, in our opinion, a big  problem. There was limited bank space which would have meant the purchase of probably 4 fishing boats and its associated equipment, life jackets and of course the fish themselves to name a few. The projected outlay for a three year lease, although within our finances, was believed to be too high risk and we therefore informed the agent that we will not be submitting an offer.

01 March

Members of the committee viewed a 7 acre lake last Monday in the mid Tyne Valley region that has become available on the market. Whilst the lake would have met the clubs objectives to provide a still water facility to the members living north  of the river Tyne the club have declined to submit an offer for the water. There are varying factors for this decision but the decision was unanimous by the committee. We have advised the agents of our decision and await to see if they come back with any proposals though we don't expect this to happen.

The club are also looking at some river fishing on two rivers but it is very early at the moment as our enquiries have only just been made and as usual we will not disclose any details of there location until anything has been concluded.

If any members have been fishing abroad in Europe we again mention the dangers of infection of the GS virus, see previous years news, and ask that all fishing equipment be cleaned prior to fishing in this country.

20 February 2009

Thornton Steward Reservoir

Members are reminded that the reservoir closes tomorrow, 21st February, to allow for stocking prior to the start of the season on 1st March. Biggest fish so far by a member throughout the winter was caught two weeks ago weighing in at 9.5lbs

Bedburn Beck

Members will not be aware of this stretch of fishing but for the last 17 years the club has been involved with the Wear Valley Anglers Association in the conservation of this feeder for the river Wear. Fish are basically unable to travel much further upstream and gather in very large numbers in this beck and fish were literally slaughtered by anglers. For the last seventeen years the lease was taken by the WVAA and no fishing was allowed for conservation purposes. Felling Fly Fishing Club were proud to be part of this conservation process and over the years the number of clubs within the association has reduced which in turn meant the remaining clubs were required to pay more for the beck. This year Felling offered to pay all of the lease for the next three years if not enough clubs could afford to pay their respective costs towards the lease.

We are pleased to announce that the Forestry Commission, the owners, following discussions with the Environmental Agency and backed by the WVAA have agreed to discontinue the annual payment for the lease and fishing on the Bedburn Beck will not be advertised or granted to any other body in the future. We offer our thanks to all the Clubs within the WVAA, both past and present, for their efforts over the last seventeen years and applaud the Forestry Commission for their decision.

Working Parties

The dates for the working parties are the 4th April for the river Wear and 18th April for the north Tyne.

Bailiffs Course

We are waiting for a date from the Environmental Agency for the date of the bailiffing course they will be running and any member interested in taking the course should let us know asap as places are limited.

05 February 2009

Annual General Meeting

Despite the very adverse weather conditions that have affected the country over the last few days we are pleased to report that the AGM went ahead as planned and on time on the 4th February. A very good turn out of the membership, some 35 members attended, were given details of events over the last twelve months. These included bids for new waters,  financial status of the club, membership levels, stocking policy for 2009, catch returns and election of club officers and bailiffs. Below are some of the main topics of the meeting:-

For 2009 members no longer need to book their fishing for the river Till. This fishing is now for the sole use of members and members can just go and fish.

On the river Wear our stretch at Frankland was broken in two by a stretch in the middle. We are pleased to report that this stretch has now been incorporated into the club and now offers just under three miles of continuous fishing. Working parties have already been down to the new stretch and it provides some beautiful fly water.

The Keepiershield stretch has been retained with  a long lease as this fishing was only agreed initially for 2008. Thanks go to the membership for their patience last year following the parking problems.

The disappointing news was that we had an agreement in place where if things turned out right then on the Tyne system the membership would of had access to the Watersmeet stretch that included the junction pool where the north and south Tyne join to form the main Tyne. Regretfully this failed but oh so close.

Membership level is very high with only three vacancies in the club following the committee decision to go to its maximum level of 180. The club also has a very healthy junior membership level.

Picture - Membership Secretary (left) and Secretary with Map showing disribution of Membership throughout Northumberland, Tyne & Wear, County Durham and North Yorkshire. ( click on image to enlarge )


Details of catch returns for the individual rivers were supplied and the overall totals for 2008 were 191 salmon and 198 sea trout. These details are supplied from the catch returns returned by the members. The award for the heaviest salmon went to head Bailiff Dave Cave for his 23lb salmon caught on the river Wear to a spinner. The heaviest sea trout caught on fly was jointly shared by Barry Gibson and Toby Diggens who both caught a sea trout weighing in at 10lbs. The heaviest sea trout caught by any legal method was 12lb 10ozs caught by Dave Cave. Other salmon in the 20lb region were also caught on the Tyne at Bellingham.

Thornton Steward Reservoir had a good year with over 3000 rainbow trout being caught. Members rod average was 3.26 fish per day whilst day ticket anglers averaged 2.5 fish per day and the combined average was 3.1 fish per day.

Dates were set for two working parties. The first on the river Wear and the second on the north Tyne. The north Tyne date will also incorporate a visit to the rivers main fishing areas and parking places and if time allows also a visit to the river Rede.

All seven committee members were re-elected un-opposed.

Thanks also to the stewardess of the golf club, Lyn Whitfield, for providing an excellent buffet for the members.

( click on image to enlarge )


Details of the full AGM will be sent to the membership in the next couple of weeks.

26 January

Annual General Meeting

As members will be aware we hold our AGM next Wednesday, 4th February, at Birtley Golf Club with an 8.00pm prompt start. For those members having to travel any distance we have arranged for the clubhouse to be open form 7.00pm.

House of Hardy and Greys of Alnwick

We have agreed with Bob Smith from  Hardy and Greys Ltd Angling Academy to supply fishing places on the rivers Till, North Tyne and Rede to the Hirst Park Trout Ticklers free of charge. This is to encourage young people within the region to take up and become active within our chosen sport.

19 January

Members should have received their latest newsletter over the weekend with the agenda for our Annual General Meeting for the 4th February. With the newsletter the membership sticker for 2009 was attached and for this, our 25th anniversary, we decided to move away from the normal membership and year details and replaced it with 25th anniversary. It is also part of our new checks that our club/water bailiffs will be able to readily identify this year.

01 January

Wishing a peaceful New Year to all Members, enjoyable fishing and "Tight Lines" for 2009.

25 years on.

The year 2009 marks the 25th Anniversary of the founding of Felling Fly Fishing Club.

Over the 25 years there have been many changes not only in the fishing available, the tackle we use and even the way we communicate information to Members using email and this website. None of this progress would have been made without the dedicated service over the years of many members past and present as Officers and Committee members of the Club, Bailliffs and working party stalwarts. Thanks to them the Club is in good shape to start the next 25 years.

Past News

This page of information and snippets of news from members has been very popular in past years. However, this has resulted in very large pages. so previous years - from 2005 - have been put on a separate page.

Diary Note.    Wednesday 4 February 2009 - Annual General Meeting at Birtley Golf Club 8pm. Details with the agenda will be sent to members by post