Great Fly Fishing venues

Fishery Reports


River Tweed with Tweedguide at Melrose

31/03/2013 report Ian Akers

A day on the river wth Tweedguide at MelroseAfter a night in the Station Hotel we were to meet in the Abbey car park at 09:00 sharp as our guide from Tweed Guide, Ken, would be leaving promptly. The sun was shining bright onto the Abbey ruins across the road and I bumped into the other guy joining us this morning, who had also travelled up from the North east of England the night before.

Anyway, 09:00 came and went, 09:15 arrived so thinking of the prompt notice I called Ken who was to be our guide for the day, and He was surprised to hear from me quite so early?? Yup, he'd forgotten that today was the start of British summer time and hadn't put his clocks forward by the required hour. 

Ken wasn't long in arriving and off we went to our fist pool for some tuition on casting and a bit of river lore. Now this is what it was all about for me. This was a beginners session and took it all right back to basics; This may seem a strange thing to do for someone who fishes as much as I do, but following the worsening of a back injury my casting had gone to pot and more importantly it had been years since I'd fished the rivers and basics was just what I needed. Ken took into account our differing levels of experience setting me up with a dry fly to practice my overhead cast, roll cast and to try and put into action the snake roll  cast he had demonstrated and took the other guy off to start from scratch showing him how to cast a fly line. Throughout all of this Ken talked to us about the area, the river and had some great stories of otters, fish caught and more great craic that had me engrossed from the start.

So, what about the fishing; well, the tweed at Melrose is famous for the Salmon that run every year in their thousands, but that's a sport for far wealthier people than me so it was trout and grayling that were the target species and when we moved on from the tuition part of the day it was into the water to chuck and dunk heavy nymphs into the flow, a more respectful name for the method is bugging or perhaps Czech Nymphing. That's all there is to the method, there is no casting, all you do is lob the nymphs into the flow and follow them through the flow with your rod held high, then chuck and dunk again. The terminal end is important in this fishing, the line and rod less so as there is no casting of line at all in this method, the cast is made up of three nymphs, very heavy nymphs, with lead under bodies or tungsten beads to get them down to the bottom of the river where the fish were in these still very low temperatures and an indicator on the end of the fly line. No waiting for delicate rises or sipping in of the nymph but more of an obsessive watching for any movement on the indicator that doesn't look right. now doesn't look right didn't sound like good advice to me but believe me it is perfect; you will see a normal untouched run through on the nymph and then you will see the movement that doesn't look right, the indicator may pause or it will twitch or a number of other movements that just don't look right, if you see one, strike. That's all there is to it, simples!

I watched the indicator and now and again I felt the weight of a fish on the nymphs and even one that hooked, tugged and ******* off, frustrating it is, but with the same frustration that has you wanting more and more and let's be honest, we fly fish rather than any other form of fishing to make it challenging and at times frustrating, all of these things are what makes it a sport not a chore.

Tweedguide.comBack to the fish, or in the end a lack of them, I didn't land a thing and loved it, The problem I had was; to do all this chucking and dunking meant getting out to where the fish are and Tweed guide miss out nothing, they supplied the rod, reel, line, flies and even chest waders in your shoe size to get out into the river to be able to chuck and dunk where the fish are, none of this is a problem surely? It's not it's great service and attention to detail, the problem is that I suffer from back pain and standing above waist high in a river this big and powerful takes it's toll and this toll was starting have it's effect on me and as lunch break arrived I was looking forward to taking some painkillers and having a bit of a break and some more craic with Ken and his other customer. No detail is missed out, Ken had also supplied a wading stick which had proved a great help while wading and was aiding me in the slow and cautious wade back to bank, until, the one thing Tweed guide had missed out of their preparation proved crucial, they hadn't cleared the river bed of large slippery rocks, they must have done a reasonable job of removing them but the one I put my right foot on had been missed. Yup you guessed it, I took a tumble and into the cold, cold water I went. The stick proved invaluable and after a few more falls, just for effect it helped me to my feet and back to the bank. I was bloody freezing, the water was still too cold for the salmon to run the obstacles downstream yet but I'm obviously tougher than the salmon, well maybe not tougher, perhaps more stupid than a fish.

We had a laugh and a bit of ribbing about it and as it was lunch time we were to move to our next location passing the car park that had a change of clothes in the boot of my car, problem solved. As we took the short run back to my car the pain in my back was getting worse, the cold clothes weren’t helping and I made the decision to call it a day, changed my clothes and head home. I was gutted, I may have been able to carry on for the remainder of the day but I wasn't sure that I’d be able to make the journey home afterward. I think Ken was more gutted than me, the disappointment on his face was clear. I think this is the mark of the man and why Tweed guide will continue to be very successful. Ken had given up part of his Bank holiday week end and yet he was obviously having a great time too, this is what makes a business great, employees whose passion is obvious to the customer and; based on the day I'd  had, the attention to detail through the booking process and Ken's commitment to making it a memorable and informative day, I'd recommend Tweed guide to anyone planning a trip to the borders of Scotland to fish for salmon, trout or grayling, whether you want to have your first foray into fly fishing or a guide to put you on the fish.

On a personal note; As my back got worse over the last year I could no longer cast effectively, the session at the start of the day going through the basics had me casting better as soon as I picked up the rod, I have also had a session on my local still water and I can once again cast a decent line. Ken's advice reminded me of the basics to casting a fly rod, it should be almost effortless, and the rod should do the work. Let's hope I don't forget it.

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Aldin Grange

25/09/2011 report Ian Akers

Aldin Grange county Durham

Met up with some old and new pals today for a session at a local fishery I hadn't visited for some time and boy have they invested well with the barn with a couch gone replaced by a nice cafe and the tackle shop in the container is now a shop. The farm shop is still there and the place is still at Bear Park but on first view it is a different place.

There was sufficient room on the fly lakes but the coarse lakes at the venue were heaving with a match on the big one.

The bottom lake has matured well and there were fish moving all over, the top lake (the newer of the two) on first glance didn't have a lot happening but was later to be the first to surrender a fish. The fish itself had some Heron damage and I suppose that this is an indicator of the fish average size.

After a 3 hours of chases and misses following very gentle pulls we broke for lunch at the cafe. The cafe opens at specific times and is run by Mick the fishery manager who's craic is great and couldn't be more helpful. So after a sausage burger and a cuppa it was off to the top lake for the fist to the net to a bead head Black Drake pulled not so quick.

Back to the bottom lake which is stuffed with fish but the unusually warm weather had them sluggish and disinterested, however with some concentration and persistence and regular changes of flea the next on fell to a deer hair sedge pattern sunk and twitched, the water was so clear I didn't feel the fish I watched it follow then the light coloured fly disappeared and I struck, and hey fish on. 

The third and final fish, before I retired and went home to make Sunday dinner with legendary yorkshire puddings, fell to a size 16 GRHE but with a silve rib so proabaly a SRHE.

Any way a nice session with some great craic and good company, the one thing I'd change is my rod choice. I attacked the lakes with my 8 weight, after witness the average size of 1lb to 1.5lb the day would have been even better with a 6 weight down and I believe more of the fish would have connected but even more importantly the fight would have been better. So, Lesson of the day is to check out the average fish size before fishing at a new fishery, after all you wouldn't attack a wild Scottish lochan full of butter bellied fingerlings with an 8 weight, you would match the gear to the quarry and I'd recommend that here and then enjoy a great day.

A great fishery successfully mixing coarse and fly in the same complex, don't miss this one out.

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South Causey Lakes fishery now closed

Report by Ian Akers June 20

Relaxation with a natural slant

South Causey Lakes

I arrived at the South Causey Hotel at Stanley around 08.30 am on a bright, red hot, end of June day to pay for my fishing at reception. I wasgreeted by a very cheerful and helpful receptionist and as I walked back to the car the gardener offered a bright "Good morning" making me feel like I was really welcome.

The fishery is over the road from the Hotel which also offers an equestrian centre and a small farm and stunning gardens including a duck pond.

The morning was stunning, too bright and too hot but the lake looked beautiful and the scenery magnificent and there were fish rising all round the water despite the previous day's temperature and the bright morning sunlight.

The fishery manager Joe Forster climbed out from his caravan on site to greet me while I was still gawping at the scene in front of me. I have known Joe for some time and felt I had been letting him down taking so long to wet a line at his fishery but it didn't show and a nice cup of coffee saw Joe tying me one of the finest may fly patterns I've seen, a great welcoming gift.

The fishery has ample picnic facilities and free tea and coffee in the lodge where the craic with Joe or resident fly tyer John is typical of the North East of England, friendly with some gentle ribbing for good measure

Any way on to the fishing, I tied on a Partridge and Orange with a variant of the same with a seal's fur thorax (Yellow with a touch of red) and a slim mallard bronze wing.

I worked up the right of the lake where I'd seen fish moving and was into my first fish, I saw it feeding on nymphs in the crystal clear water, cast ahead and watched the nymph sink slowly through the gin clear water before adding a tweak to the fly, the mouth of the rainbow trout opened and inhaled the fly and I struck, it looked around a couple of pound and I expected a bit of a fight but not what I got, the water exploded and this fish made great use of it's full tail and fought like a tiger. Netted it had more than a full tail, it was also fin perfect and beautifully sleek. Just what a rainbow should be.

South Causey Lakes

I missed a few more rising to the fly on the surface as well as inhaling the fly and spitting it out as I watched them in the depths, without even a twitch in the fly line, if it wasn't for the clear water I wouldn't have even known the fish had taken the fly. The next fish came just in front of the lodge a bit bigger than first exploding on the surface when it hit the fly then off it went. It headed for the far bank but decided that wasn't far enough, so off it went, up the lake like a steam train. It fought until my arm ached before it slipped over the rim of the net. At a guess, 3 pound and again fin perfect. I eased the net down to support the fish to recover after a great fight but, amazingly, it didn't need it, as soon as it saw the chance it was off to freedom at full speed. I would hardly believe it possible after such a great fight.

Joe had a bit time on lake with me on the afternoon landing a nice fish in a crack, while I missed a proper take while watching the damsel's in the margins. Surprisingly I didn't even feel a bit of regret at the loss, such is the relaxing nature of this beautiful fishery.

The day finished of with a pint of real ale in The Stables, a beautiful bar/restaurant in the grounds of Beamish Hall just around the corner from the fishery, with Joe. Joe's passion for the fishery he runs is obvious and coupling his angler's understanding of what makes a great day's fishing with his commercial awareness from his previous career should guarantee the success and longevity of this fishery.

For me a couple of fish in this heat and to quote Joe "and on spiders", in beautiful country side is one of those sessions that will remain special for many years to come.

Ian Akers June 2010

Directions to South Causey.

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Black moss Fly Fishing Assosciation

report by Tony Downing September 2009

Black moss brown trout  
Seclusion, Flyfishing & Low Flying Broomsticks

I was offered the chance to take a guest ticket on the waters of The Black Moss Fly fishers club, at Barley, nr Burnley, Lancs. An offer that I gladly accepted, as I had seen these waters many times and wished that I had time to spend a few hours along the shores.

The arranged day arrived, and the journey began in low cloud and heavy drizzle, which cleared a little on route then came in again as we arrived at Barley, our host for the day was the club Membership Secretary, John, who detailed the waters superbly.

The previous evenings weather report was nothing like what we were being offered at that moment, we were expecting cloud cover, but not the half Gale that came rattling off Pendle Hill !!, home of the infamous Pendle Witches (beware of low flying broomsticks) for some idea of what this place looks like on a good day, have a look on the club website. This is a truly beautiful area.

John suggested that we begin on the Lower Res, leaving the Upper one for the afternoon
After tackling up and deciding which banks we would fish, we split up and made our way to the water, It is quite some time since I fished an upland reservoir (800ft), so I set up as I would on a Scottish Loch, Black Pennell on the point, Green Peter on the dropper and a big Bibio on the top, then after a few casts realising that the wind was not playing fair, I went to single fly, a lightly weighted size 14 PT nymph. This, after a few casts did the trick, a lovely fish of about 2.5lb was stripping line before coming to the net, fin perfect with a tail like a No2 boiler shovel, what a power house. During the next two hours, four more fish were caught and released using a mix of traditional flies and nymphs.
This all took place on the lower res.

After a break for lunch we decided that the wind was far too strong to do the upper water any justice, as this is Brown trout only, so that was left till the next time, and there WILL be a next time.

Note:- The Lower res contains both Rainbow & Brown Trout, The upper res, contains BROWN Trout only. I highly recommend these waters to any discerning angler who finds himself in the Pendle area with time to spare, or on Holiday in Lancashire.

Fishing is available on day ticket, from a variety of outlets, all listed on the clubs website:- Ask for directions when you buy your ticket. The club is also on the lookout for new members, again visit the website for details.

O/S Grid Ref:- SD825425

Tony Downing Sept 2009

Contact Black Moss Fly Fishing Association for tickets or membership details here

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Whinney Loch

Report by Ian Irvine July 2008

Whinney Loch Coldingham

I arrived at Whinney Loch at 6am after a good nights camping at Crosslaw caravan park,as I didn't want to disturb the owners at that time of the morning I sat and enjoyed the tranquility of the area. the fishery is located about 2 miles from the town of Coldingham. As you get to the Primary school in the centre of town you go over the car park for the school, and you will see the single track road follow it for a mile and a half and at the bottom of a dip you have a caravan site on your right and the fishery on your left.
You need to go to the house on arrival for your ticket, you then have the option of walking down into the valley or driving down. At the bottom of the hill there is a superb wood lodge, with facilities you wouldn't find in many larger fisheries. There are cooking facilities , all cutlery and crocks provided, there is coffee and tea as you need it, I started by making bacon butties for myself and a visitor by name of Dave from Newcastle,who had used the loft to stay overnight, another unusual facility. The sleeping arrangements need to be checked before you leave home, the sleeping facilities are all you need for an overnight stay. the lodge is even heated if required and the toilet facilities include a shower (these facilities are SPOTLESS.)

Whinney Loch Lodge

So, having finished my breakfast, I made my way to the lake. The path down to the lake ends at the bankside with a path that runs around the entire site, at the bottom of the path there is seating and here I tackled up with a single dry pheasant tail size 12(fishery rules).  
Swish swish boom and I was into a fish, my best of the day 3 and a half pounds of rainbow that felt like five, in superb condition, like all the fish I caught that day. this start obviously was ideal, I fished for 5 hours on catch and release ticket, and had 4 fish, apart from the first one all in the 1 and 3/4 pound range to 2 and 1/2 pounds. Every fish was full finned and didn't come easily.

The owners provide their own landing nets (this prevents transmission of disease form other fisheries) and like everything about the fishery they are as good as you could want for the job. As to the owners, they are both very helpful and nothing seems to be too much trouble, they have provided (FOR ME) a fishery I would be happy to visit every time I go over the border, as I have said the setting is stunning, and tranquil, the price is good for the service you receive, and the fish, the reason you are there, are more than could be expected.
So If you ever get the chance to visit Whinney Loch take it, you wont regret it.

Whinney loch is located at Coldingham (near Eyemouth) in the Scottish Borders.Caravan sight just yards from school car park, also superb quality..

Contact on 01890771838  or email to

Method. Catch and release or catch and kill priced from 5.00 to 24.00 depending on time and method.Single hook only on floating line using conventional traditional flies.

Opening times 8:30 am till dusk.

Owners  Ted and Tina Wise.

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Sharpley Springs

Report by Ian Akers May 2013

It's been some time since I've done a report for Practicalfly on my local water. There's been a lot of reasons for this, work and not fishng anywhere near as much due to a deteriorating back condition. Any way following a referal to the pain clinic the situation has changed the situation and with that in mind here's a collection of three reports over a fortnight this month.

A rise of buzzers at Sharpley Springs05/05/2013

I booked an all day C&R at Sharpley Springs on Saturday, starting late, 11am, and wasn't really sure how long I would be there as I had some commitments at home for around tea time. 

The day was very bright but there was occasional cloud cover and while I watched the water fish rose every time the cloud covered the sun, not in great numbers but at least there was a feeding response.

A couple of the guys fishing had had some fish lures pulled at different depths, so with this information and the behaviour I'd observed I couldn't wait to get a couple of buzzers in the water.

I'm constantly told that planning prevents piss poor performance, a great piece of alliteration but on this day it did nothing for the piss poor performance, six hours after I started I'd had one knock at the buzzzer, missed on offering to the G&H Sedge and many changes of fly resulted in nowt in the net, killing yet another one of those phrases rolled out by HR of the 21st century, this one being the one from Darwin that goes something like, it's not the strongest or the fastest that survives but the one that adapts to change.

That previous paragraph reads a bit like I didn't have a very good time, far from it, I'd had one of the most interesting and engrossing sessions of the year, anyway i went for tea fishless. I made tea for the family, as we sat having tea I said to Lynn " I think I'll switch the gear from our car to Laura's so you can go to work and after I've dropped Laura off I'll go fishing for the last hour or so before dark" anyway it didn't work quite like that but, none to say, I was back at the fishery for about half eight/quarter to nine.

Well, this had been a day for destroying maxims but this last one rang true "RIGHT PLACE RIGHT TIME".  I walked onto the dry fly and nymph lake (Hangman's hole) and Gary had had fish, only two but on a yellow owl emerger. So on went the owl, or my variant of it, size 16 and the next twenty minutes was amazing, three fish all of the top in the net and released.

Gary left shortly after that little flurry and I continued, I'd found that the fish were looking for a bit of movement in the fly and another two to the owl in the net and released. with the fish looking for a bit of movement I replaced the Owl with a Green Peter and an Invicta, finishing with one more fish to the Green Peter.

Perhaps I've been a bit harsh To darwin and you cold say adaptability played a part in the success of the day but for me the lesson, re-learnt was that if the conditions are not right for the fish to be on the feed, you won't catch them with an imitative approach, the fact the lure guys had fish when nothing else worked I think supports the fact that the is predominantly triggering an aggressive response on still water Rainbows.
.anevening fly fishing at Sharpley Springs


The hot spell had broken to a degree, in as much as the sun was behind cloud but the temperature was still up, driving a bit of fog rising from the ground and water. The fact the sun was hidden had me convinced that the fish would respond to the dry fly approach. I started fishing before 3pm on the Albert and Alice for a change with the recently successful yellow owl ad the fish co-operated and it wasn't long before the first fish hit the net. This wasn't to continue as it started, the fish swirled, pushed the fly with their snouts and flashed beneath the surface as they turned away short of the target.

a move to the Hangman's made no difference with the same pattern repeated so I had to adapt. I changed fly after fly, the conditions changing fast. The sun out one moment and the next a cloud covered it and the fish rose only to stop as quickly as the clouds moved on. I'd be tying on a different fly to look up and see the ripple gone and flat calm taking over then the wind would get up again.

The wind had been north easterly when I left work, From the west when I arrived and then switched to the south in a flick of  switch. Terry arrived with his mate Graham up from the deep south visiting. we see him a couple of times a year so off we went to have a bit craic and a cuppa. Graham was telling us he doesn't fly fish at home as it's too expensive but loves his sessions in the north east.

I took up the rod again about 6pm on the Doxford where past my feet swam a beautiful Brownie around 8 or 9lb, wow. Anyway buzzers were the choice for the evening  and the wind now south westerly I was casting toward the bottom of the lake and drifting them in. The odd pluck but nothing solid. Time for a change and back to the Albert and Alice, starting on the south bank and casting along the eastern side. The pulls came quick but no hook up. After 10 minutes first fish on.

The wind hd moved to the west and the Albert and Alice are separated by a spit of land through which a shallow channel connects them running west to east and I could see the fish holding off the point to the west as all of the food was blowing through the channel and the fish were lining up to have their fill. so the point it was and the next 2/3 hours up till dark at 10pm was frantic. I had fish after fish almost a fish a cast, Terry and Graham had joined me on the lake and they were getting their fair share too.

I was casting the buzzers across the wind and slow figure of eight back and the fish were slamming the flies, I stopped counting at about eleven fish, I think, and kept hitting them. As the time got on the fish started to bow wve so on went the Green Peter and the Invicta, they finished honours even with two fish to each and the second lost cast from a smash take. To keep it real, I recorded 15 fish in the book, I couldn't be more accurate but it was more like twenty. For numbers of fish this is the best session I've ever had.

Great session with a great mix of fit strong rainbows and blues. I don't think i can ask for more. I think, again, it's a case of right place, right time .


I finished work at Three and thought about a few hours fishing but by six had given up on it as I still hadn't had tea, it was windy and didn't look that promising, by half six a nice chicken casserole and some beautiful light suet dumplings with golden crispy tops had filled a hole. The weather looked ok, the wind had died so by ten to seven I was in the car and on the way to Sharpley Springs, tackled up and paid by a quarter past seven and looking over the Albert and Alice with a nice ripple on and the occasional fish rising.

The choice of flies were a Balloon Caddis of sorts on the dropper with a Black Buzzer on the point. I'd cast maybe twice and Gary turned up looking for rising fish. I started quickly by missing a few rising to the Caddis and then one hooked on the buzzer. The technique being to cast allow the buzzer to settle while watching the Caddis in the surface and then a slow figure of eight back. The first two landed on the buzzer and the next two to the Caddis and i left the Alice and Albert to move to the Doxford as we'd lost the ripple.

On the Doxford I rose quite a few to an olive emerger and landed one, with a few hooked and lost. Gary was hammering them with a smaller foam headed emerger. When Gary got the call to go home had already given me one of his emergers to try so I took it back to the Albert and Alice. The ripple was no better but there were fish topping all over so the next 25 minutes saw some amazing sport. fish 6, 7, 8 and 9 came to the net after taking the emerger with many of their friends facing narrow escapes.

I was on for double figures but dark was approaching and the next fish was lost after a spirited battle with me feeling the pressure of the double figure playing on my mind. Yet another fish took well and after what was probably less than a minute threw the hook. The approach had been that if the fish didn't take quickly I was inducing them with a short pull on the line to move the fly just enough to disturb the surface which was by this time pretty flat. both static presentation and the induced approach worked, the fish had been well on the buzzes and there was thousands flying around the margins. I had also seen my first caddis skitter earlier on the evening.

As dusk settled and the dark moved in it was about twenty five to ten and I had to make the decision to change the fly as the takes were drying up. The sight of the earlier Caddis was in the back of my mind and I believed that perhaps something bigger might have a bit more luck in the dimming light, I settled on a G&H and proceeded to allow it to sit in the surface then move it, not quick but moving none the less, the fish were trying and i was failing, I was stood on the point and noticed that the fish behind me were topping nearly as much and they had the advantage that I hadn't been tormenting them for the last hour, I tuned around, still casting from the platform I was on across the point and second cast saw fish on and after another cracking fight it slid into the net.

It was about time for the last cast by now, so as i was casting i had the urge to cast back to the original side of the point so released the line on the back cast to where a trio of fish were topping in rhythm and fish on. it felt like the hardest fight of the night to get this one in the net, however looking back it was probably the fact that I was just knackered.

so another cracking late session at Sharpley, the third in a fortnight. I'd like to take credit for a great display of fly fishing prowess, to be honest the fish made it all possible rising freely to a great hatch of buzzers.

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Report by Ian Akers 23/09/2011

No work today so I opted for a catch and release session at Sharpley Springs. I had tied a new Snatcher and wanted to give it a go and it worked all too well.

Snatcher a'l'orange

I teamed the Snatcher as a point fly with a Green Peter, The first take on the second cast on the Albert and Alice lake saw the full cast gone with a smash take to the Snatcher. The second snatcher went during a double hook up on the Doxford.

Anyway the rest of the session saw fish taking caddis fly larva on three lakes with splashy takes and bow waves. So the session saw me pulling the green Peter through the waves with bow wave after bow wave and hit after hit. This has to be my favourite fishing method.

The score in the end saw 12 fish to the net, 11 of which fell to the Green Peter and one to black buzzer, all my efforts on the dries resulted in miss after miss, but with a session like this who cares.

Sharpley goes from strength to strength and when you combine the facilities and the selection of waters this has to be the North East of Englands top small still water.

Sharpley will remains open throughout the year for Rainbow trout fishing. (Fly only)

22/10/2008 Sharpley Springs update

"1 pound blue from Hangman's at sharpley springs, taken by Dave Mordue of Durham.


The Hangman's continues as a specimen lake with some monster doubles stocked this week. All the lakes have some specimen trout so don't fish under gunned, tackle up strong just in case.

Here's an example of one of the recently stocked Monsters taken by Dave Mordue of Durham. A specimen Blue Trout weighed in at 21lb exactly.

Report by Ian Akers 29/07/08

Sharpley Springs Trout Fishery, Seaton, Co. Durham

I started late in the morning of 29/07/08 at around 11.00am on a grey and misty day. Ther was a slight easterly breeze. The fact it was only a breeze is unusual at Sharpley and I started fishing the east bank of the Doxford lake with a team of three wets. The top Dropper was a Green Peter, the middle an unamed orange mylar pattern with a Duck a l'Orange on the point.

The Doxford Lake at Shrpley Springs

The ripple was about 20 yards out so that was my target, I cast the team just past the ripple and retrieved with short sharp pulls on the line. It wasn't much later that this resulted in two fish to the Green Peter. The fish were clearly on the sedge pupa and were willing to give chase. I had missed a lot of takes within the first half hour.

I changed lakes to see if the team of wets would perform on the Albert and Alice, twin lakes behind the lodge joined by short narrow shallows. The edge of both Lakes was thick with blanket weed and most of the pegs were unfishable as landing a fish through this mess would be impossible. (The weed problem has now been sorted) 11/10/2008

I took the peg nearest the point on the larger of the two lakes, pulled out the blanket weed, and cast out, three sharp pulls and smack first miss, the next fifteen minutes was filled with takes and misses with two fish to the net. The first to the Green Peter and the other to the Duck a l'Orange.

The Albert and Alice at Sharpley Springs

Unfortunately the blanket weed got the better of me, tangling my line as the second fish dragged the dropper through the weed causing a right mess and tangle trying to remove it. This made the decision to return to the Doxford simple.

The next half hour or so was full of takes, fish on and off and one more to the net to a Butcher varient on the point in place of the Duck a l'Orange. Cup of tea time. The Lodge at Sharpley is good with comfortable seating and free tea and coffee and the use of a microwave. The conversation in the lodge is good humoured with some friendly ribbing thrown in.

After the cuppa about 12.30 the sun had burn't off the mist and the fish had stopped moving. The rest of the afternoon resulted in one more fish from the Albert and Alice with me leaving about 6.00pm.

Sharpley Springs is found easily from the A19 south bound or the A690 Sunderland to Durham road on the b1404 between Houghton-le-spring and Seaton and is run by Carol and Simon Weightman. Payment is via an honesty box and tickets covering 4 hours catch and release to a full day taking 3 fish.

Opening times 07.30 until Dusk

Contact on 0191 581 8045 or

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Lambton Lake

Report by Ian Akers 29/08/08 (This Fishery is has now turned over to coarse fishing)

I Started the afternoon session at 12.00 and boy was it hot. The lake was flat calm and I was having second thoughts.
The lake was too tempting, it has really grown up this summer. This is a new lake and I have fished it occasionally since before it opened. The only guy fishing was John, he is pretty much a resident in the porta cabin that serves as a lodge at Lambton. If you want to know whats working John is the man.

I decided to have a go for four hours taking one fish, at a tenner it's great value, you can fish four hours catch and release for just 6.00.
View from the bottom end
The Lake is about one acre in size with an island and I started at the shallow end nearest the entrance on the right in the picture above. There was the odd rise to the sedge so on went a Goddard's Deer hair Sedge, which tempted the fish but no tight lines. On went a yellow shuttlecock, another favourite when the fish are on the sedge, and pretty soon I had two to the net, both hard fighting rainbows.

I then moved right to the top end next to the deep water(Note the Golden Orfe in the right of the picture above), No rises so on with a buzzer, retrieving very slowly I tightened into a hard fighting and very fast fish. In the net it turned out to be a Brownie. Beautiful fish, and quickly followed by another full finned rainbow.

I finished the session early with one last rainbow from the very bottom of the lake, again to a buzzer retrieved very slowly.
Lambton is found at the end of Henry Terrace in fenchouses in what was once a timber yard and is still surrounded by workshop building. Despite this you will struggle to find a more peaceful environment to enjoy a days fishing.
Facilities are basic with a toilet close at hand and a portacabin to sign in and make yourself a cuppa.

Lambton Brown trout

For full directions and details of pricing go to
Contact Dennis on;
Telephone: 01913857025
Mobile: 07933 832592


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Farelton View

Report by Maeve Downing September 2008
Farleton View

We are very lucky that we have one of our favourite fisheries only a 5 min. Drive away, Farleton View.
This is a man-made fishery brought into being since the Foot and Mouth scare made the local farming family find other means of an income............ A family run business, Mother and daughter in law running a terrific cafe, son, grandson and help, looking after the farm and fishery. We have always felt that they have everyone’s interest at heart. A touring caravan site and somewhere to pitch a tent is also available. The fishery is exceptionally clean and tidy, toilets could not be bettered, there is even a shower unit. The food is out of this world, home made cakes and snacks are always there waiting when you have finished fishing.

The weather had settled down a little over the last few days, so when we woke and saw the early morning mist lingering over the fields, and Farleton Fell, it was ‘up and out’ as soon as breakfast was over.
It was flat calm when we arrived at the fishery. Not a breath of wind, no ripple.... Caddi(Tony) tackled up two rods, I just kept to the one with a floater on to start with. Needless to say and I HATE to admit it, but once again, Caddi was right..(only please don’t tell him !!) With in half an hour, my floating line needed to be changed as there wasn’t a single fish showing.

Caddi was way out in the distance, so when I saw him hauling in a fish he was too far away to ask ‘what did you get that on’ . For a while I tried everything but the kitchen sink. But the sun was warm, and it was so great to be out. What the hell, have a sit down and give this fishing lark some serious thought.

Farleton lake
needed to get down a bit deeper so I tied on a weighted
‘Scruffy Nymph, which was one of the first flies I ever made, more years ago than I care to remember.
Moments later..... Success..... Fish on.......nothing can stop me now !!!, well that is what I thought. The fish weren’t giving in so easily.
Caught another on the same fly,

And then nothing..............
Caddisman had caught his limit, we were both happy, it had been a perfect day and one to remember, we will be back.......
So until next time............
Damselfly. (Maeve)

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