The new salmon season has well and truly started; with the first fish of the 2014 season being caught it was time for us to begin our salmon courses. When you choose to run a spring course the venue has to tick four boxes and the Tyne at Bywell certainly does that.
- You have a genuine chance of a spring salmon; two years ago they had 22 springers in February.
- Bywell have very nice well equipped huts for unpredictable February weather.
- Good access to and from the river even in high water conditions.
- Excellent hard working gillies to increase your chances of success.
I treat these spring courses as a stepping stone to the rest of the season. Yes it’s cold and probably wet; however, having three days at the very start of the season certainly blows away the cobwebs! The early part of the season gives you a special feeling of anticipation and who only knows what’s just around the corner.
For this course we split the week into two three day courses, this seems to work well with all clients spending time with the instructors equally. The rest of the time was spent practising the casts and fishing techniques they had been taught.
The weather and river height throughout the week was indifferent; however all was not lost, even though the river was high at times and not conducive to catching a prize springer. Through the courses our clients learnt various casts, including the snap c, double spey, snake roll and single spey, off both banks.
We are pleased to say that our clients caught a few fish in the form of well mended kelts. Unfortunately, despite providing some sport, due to the high water most kelts had been washed down towards the sea. During our stay the gauge at Bywell didn’t dropped below 2’ 9” and it had been running at this height since last November. This is the critical height when Bywell starts to produce fish from most of the pools.
On the Wednesday, Nick Webb caught a nice fish of 7lb fish which looked as though it was a ‘Christmas fish’. A Christmas fish is a salmon that has run the river during the winter and not spawned. Not to be confused with a baggot (female) or a rawner (male) these are fish which entered the river during the previous season and didn’t spawn. Christmas fish are classed as springers, however, without a scale sample we were reluctant to make the call.
With the success of this course we now eagerly await March for our first visit to the Tweed at Lower Floors. We still have one rod available on our first course plus other dates throughout the year – view our River Tweed course dates »