Fishing reports

79 min read

All the latest news from our local experts. The only monthly record of catches and news from the major fisheries of England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland



England & Wales

THE Border Esk has experienced more significant floods since my last report, with a few exceeding 8ft. Hopefully, the fry have survived the heavy spates. There has been bank erosion in some areas of the river, leading to significant gravel shifts.

April should mark the arrival of early salmon and the occasional sea-trout. Fish should be slipping into the lower river pools, offering an early chance.

Burnfoot, Longtown, Westalls, Netherby, Willow and Cauldron, and Canonbie are likely areas for an early fish, but given water, fish could well push further upstream.

The Esk and Liddel Angling Club permit prices remain the same for another season. All Waters Tickets for 2024 cost £350, while the Canonbie ticket costs £300. Langholm is £175, and the Lower Liddel fishing is £125.

The day ticket covering Canonbie is available at £40. The Langholm beat is £30, and Lower Liddle is £25. Ticket outlets include Canonbie Post Office, The Cross Keys in Canonbie, Stevenson and Johnstone in Langholm, and Copshaw Kitchen in Newcastleton. For further information, you can also contact

Recommended sea-trout flies include Silver Stoats Tail, Black Pennell, Silver Butcher, Dark Mackerel, Thompson’s Terror, Teal, Blue and Silver, Peter Ross, Medicine, Teal and Black, Greenwell, Esk Greenwell, and Border Belle in sizes from 10’s down to 14’s.

An invitation is extended to any Esk rods wishing to report catches, especially from beats that don’t normally report. Contact 07590 411015.

I attended the Blagdon Fly Fishers AGM two weeks ago and found the meeting very interesting – for an AGM!

Firstly, the club talked about how 2023 was such a good year for competition fishing on the lakes, and how many of the events that the club had participated in had seen average catches in excess of ten fish, with one event showing an average of over sixteen fish per man. Then, one of the committees went on to say that there just was not a spread of fish around either Chew or Blagdon these days, and to be in with a chance of doing well in the competitions, you had to go where there were concentrations of stock fish! There was even a discussion about how even when out on a “pleasure” day or merely a practice day for a competition, people generally didn’t explore the lakes like they used to. Another member of the club asked why, to do any good in a competition nowadays, we need brightly coloured flies back reasonably fast. He asked why we were no longer able to use the nymphs and flies of old. This brought about plenty of discussion.

Luke Cox, the Fisheries manager then took centre stage to talk of t