England & wales

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England & Wales



THE Burnfoot Beat below Longtown was again the top Border Esk beat, finishing the season with a total of 222 salmon and grilse and 112 sea-trout. The beat again saw days when flows were pitiful during the drought, and fish were coming in and out on the tides. From late summer, levels were constantly up and down, making for very varied conditions, but catches were consistent.

Among the late-season catches was Colin Little with a salmon caught at the Iron Dyke. Mike Mark had one on October 23 when three salmon were landed. Richie Murchison had a couple of salmon at the Mound. Dominic Mellor, John Coates, and Don Ashworth all landed salmon on October 25. Willie Arnison caught a 2lb sea-trout, while Vic Wilson had a 5lb grilse. Colin Little caught a clean fish in the Pipe Pool on the final day of the season.

On the Willow Pool, Nigel Graham landed a 6lb salmon. Late catches received include a 10lb salmon on Mid Irvine House for James Bumby, caught on an Orange and Red tube fished in Boat Pool. Geoff Harris fished the Mid-Pool, catching a 12lb salmon spinning.

There were very few late-season rods out on the BELAC waters. Constant rainfall kept the river high for much of October. Richard Mosedale had an interesting day hooking three salmon. He landed one at 10lb. Catch returns have been filtering in. So far, 54 salmon and 150 sea-trout have been reported. Martin Coulthard told me that the whole river has suffered from the lack of sea-trout. "In the late 80s, we would have caught around 5,000 sea-trout just on club waters. Now we are in the hundreds." The BELAC Committee will be carrying out maintenance and improvements for the new season.


CHEW Valley and Blagdon Lakes: Last month, I reported experiencing a couple of my best weeks of the season.

There was a decent spread of fish in the lakes, positioned high in the water and ready to rise to our small dry flies. Shortly after that report, I was in Spain for my annual autumn barbel trip but stayed updated with the fishing scene.

The weather once again played a significant role in the final weeks of boat fishing. However, those who ventured onto the lakes managed to catch some beautiful fish. Pike anglers also had success catching plenty of trout — especially brown trout, although there were always a few decent rainbows too. Many big brown trout fell to deadbaits, indicating that our larger fish are far more predatory than we tend to think. Bank fishing remained open until the end of November. Walley Bank on Chew was particularly productive.

However, the Barrow Tanks excelled in the past six weeks. Some remarkably large rainbow trout are feeding on the vast shoals of sticklebacks. I came across a report about a small club competition on the Tanks where the winner landed six trout weighing in at over 21lb. I will get a breakdown of the seaso