Farnley Estate Salmon Video
with thanks to David Corcoran
Farnley Estate Tyne News Briefing
July Sea Trout and Grilse
Moons ago I had the pleasure of being a loyal member of the 9th Gosforth Scout Troop and without fail we would find our summer camp somewhere near a Salmon river and a few times this happened to be the Tyne and Tweed. We would build canoes bridges swim and generally make as much noise as possible in and near the river. Late at night however I'd stand by the quiet river and watch local anglers appear and watch sea trout salmon and grilse leaping. In those days the Tweed was rarely seriously fished in july and August so the locals would get on the river after work and could sometimes get some excellent catches when these great beats were really only fished by the well heeled in Spring and Autumn.
Times have changed and the advent of new technology allowed us to understand that latterly good Summer runs are creeping in now during June and July (maybe they always were?!) so Summer has become a more popular time for game anglers. Certainly I have seen some excellent runs on the river when the river seems alive and then a few hours later its all over. Our catches have been sporadic when one could have hoped things might have been easier and this appears to have been the case on a lot of Scottish rivers. To understand why this is so many theories have been put forward, the fish are getting more cautious, the water temperature is higher than in the past, water quality is impacted by road and agricultural run-off. A final thought is the need for us to adopt our tactics , smaller flies, lighter lines and outfits resisting the deep wading of past times. Certainly on the beat there appears to have been greater success for rods trying lighter gear wading less and trying local patterns. As ever we always recommend our highly expert guide Barry Mitchell to suggest tactics to improve your chances.
Take a look at our latest NEWS page to see what's been happening over the past month...
Big Runs and a Very Big Catch
We suggest you check out the news page for a very exciting capture by Chay Hedger and Tim Down. We had some lucky rods that managed to connect in June and here is one Dom F nailed of 12-13lb very fat very feisty it managed to tear out of the hut pool into the Pump and after release it tore off!
On the 5th of June I parked up at Wylam to see if any migratory fish were heading in, rain was forecast decent tides ect.
Nothing doing for half an hour I just about packed up and then suddenly hey presto a burst of grilse some 20-30 dashing through the middle weir. Another five minutes pass and then things really went mad, some very serious multi winter salmon crashing out athletically belying their great size then a stack of sea trout along with tiny finnock (dwarf sea trout , herling or peal)! Always wondered about these little ones and its said they also head to the spawning grounds where they try to muscle into the action. Apparently scientific studies show they will mix into various rivers along the NE coast, why they hop into the rivers when the feed at the seas should be greater is unknown.
In one hour I estimated between 300-400 fish came through on that tide. I was very hopeful we were in for a hectic time and relayed this information to the rods. As the month progressed we had some serious lifts some dirty and I felt concerned about the water quality (do the EA take samples along the river during such high waters? I've had my suspicions from over 40years fishing the Tyne catching Dace and Trout at Ovingham (there is also an Ovington nearby!) and the estuary at north shields that there are those who take advantage to discharge nasties during these times maybe its not just local rumour its possibly based on fact and we should demand better automatic monitoring and catch the culprits?
Our rods had to contend with very low days undispersed with dirty lifts of water. Certainly fish were moving through in good quantities but the catches were way lower that we hoped for. People lost fish more than landed and some days not even a touch. Highly unusual given the generous rains which have over the years been a marker for consistent catches.
June Is looking Fishy
The water is now exactly how any visitor would wish the Tyne to be. Some pretty heavy downfalls hit the South Tyne and up the river came pretty dirty and unfishable. Before that a couple of nice fish were landed of 8lb and 12lb with others connecting and a decent run before the waters came up, pretty typical as experienced anglers know the fish sense the water rising and it can be a very good time to fish. To see current chit chat go to the News page.
Low Water May but things are now improving
The fish were definitely running in the second week with a little rain and Kielder unfortunately Eddie and Roger saw fish and Roger connected but nothing to wet the net! On Saturday morning they headed off early and with rain teeming down I searched the container for a rod and reel plus wellies because I couldn't find my wader boots. It was quite exciting I had seen fish so thought take some time off work and have a go! Anyway I found some line a small double red and yellow and set forth. The river was very slippery and wellingtons extremely hazardous. Top of the hut pool I cast into the fast stream and within seconds a savage take and a very decent salmon writhed on the line and shot down the pool I tried running after it but non studded boots and a reel that decided the clutch would work defeated my efforts and it kicked itself off way below. Nooooo!
Patience and calm was called for and a small sea trout of around 3lb was released followed soon after my a 5lb salmon (a grilse ? or perhaps just not very fat) my phone screen had separated from the body in my wet pockets so no pictures but fortunately in London a few days later open heart surgery and a new battery meant all was well thank goodness. At the time of writing we have Brett and Dr Malcom on with a clear but risen river so hoping they are successful.
Think Spring 2020 ?
The April 2019 counter readings were excellent with decent runs coming through. Unfortunately we had only a sprinkling of rods some of whom got into salmon only for them to part company. We will definitely be pushing Spring harder in 2020 because the fish are generally large and if you get one it could be a fish of a lifetime, its hard work it can be cold but with our new facilities anyone who fishes or stays on the Estate will be very comfortable. It will take a few years for the net improvements to improve spring runs but the signs are there and Tweed seems to be providing good sport that heartens all North East folk. Doubtless people will be disappointed with the catches thus far but take heart this was not due to lack of fish rather quite unusually heartless weather that caused the fish to sulk and fishermen curse.
Oh where were you ? have Salmon in the beat !!
We have had nothing to report with only a sprinkling of locals on the past month and Dave W from down south. I tried to politely explain I'd seen fish here and there and the occasional late afternoon push of fish but everyone had work pressures or luckily headed to Scotland. I still have some lets in April BTW for intrepid rods!
This week in April two old rods the McGregors arrived and Dave W shared the fishing for a few days. It was our first let and the river has dropped and the sun unrelenting added to this a nasty NE wind appeared in the afternoon! Dave W came armed with special flies which looked rather good, he took it steady and apart from a trout and a pull nothing for his efforts. The brothers McGregor got stuck in and we provided advice hope and warm encouragement (thanks Barry N).
Dave W slept well on Thursday night and planned his ventures for Friday dreaming of those big springers!
Friday came and suddenly in Willows a slow pull followed by a terrific run of 100 metres he could only just hold on...
With heart racing and days of effort before this was the one and he concentrated on the fight that followed and was eventually rewarded with a magnificent beast estimated to be 24-26lb over 103cm long and as fine a fish as one could ever wish for.
thanks Dave for your company your effort and the Muntjac deer which was truly delicious and we look forward to seeing you in warmer times. Fingers crossed for the McGregors and their guest this weekend....
Spring Comes Early to Farnley Estate
As an American client said to me about Farnley 'Its Off the hook' which caused me some consternation, until I investigated further that its a thumbs up we are doing something right so thank you! We are now up and running on the Tyne (not all catches are on FishPal ..sorry we don't participate we are independent and happy), beautiful weather allied with big spring tides saw a good run of fish moving on Monday 18th. Some fish have been caught below us and above as we predicted a few weeks back. Below us at Bywell and Styford and above in Widehaugh and Hexham pool topped by a fish that looks in its mid twenties caught by a lovely chap who was a guest here last year Andy Blyth who has appeared in the Trout and salmon this month.
Fish have been seen moving in Grey Court next to us as revealed by Phil A who is secretary of the STA (please support it we do with our free days for new fishers here and Grey Court) , we are waiting eagerly for our first eager guests rumour has is David W is coming down on a three river odyssey from the Helmsdale this week then Dee then the Tyne !! If things continue as they are why miss out, get best advice and include a great guide double your chances. Get in touch today and give it a go, the nets are off fishing is very light on the river its all to play for...Tyne springers can run from teens up to terrific weights and are exceptional fighters. Call 07733389474 or email us firstname.lastname@example.org for availability. Don't miss out !!
High Quality Salmon Courses 2019
We promise to improve your skills and knowledge; why not impress your friends with a mastery of tight loops mastery of modern spey fishing techniques and fishcraft.. guaranteed you will leave more confident and head full of ideas to deceive the mighty salmon. Of the 3 courses we ran in 2018 all the kind people who attended really learnt a lot, relaxed and thoroughly enjoyed their break.
COURSE 1 April 15th to 17th 2 places left
£600 per person lunches refreshments and top teaching by Barry Mitchell. Don't delay contact email@example.com or call 07733389474 John last years guests had thoroughly enjoyable courses and they told me to go again in 2019. Watch out for course NO2 late May 2019! You will have tailored instruction , course materials , plenty of time to fish and ask anything you need. Rods and reels lines can be provided! In 2017 in April one Salmon course guest caught a 20lb springer in April!
Time to look at what needs to be done on the Estate now the last guests have gone and the place is quiet. We have taken down the old lodge extension water tower and other and our challenge is to replace this with a proper changing area and flushing WC. For news on this go to friends of farnley !!
We finished up with 83 Salmon and 30 plus sea trout in 2018. It ranks in twenty years of fishing the Tyne as the most challenging with bright unrelenting sunshine and no rain. The Fish Counter has revealed good runs and it should mean decent spawning! what is most interesting is the real lack of dead fish on the banks and kelts lurking about as they tend to. Ive researched this particular occurrence and its not clear why some years the banks are strewn and others nothing or very few? If anyone has any theories on this we would be interested to know.
I've been contacting our regulars and we have pretty much repeat bookings in 2019 I can reveal that some have had to cut back some of their lets due to family commitments and some ill health. This means I can offer some new rods places in 2019, April May and June so please contact me soonest if you are interested! firstname.lastname@example.org
Autumn 2018 Plenty Of Happy Faces
September has passed and its been rather good. The book has some days where nothing was caught yet people had fun got onto some but none in the net. Generally most days people have been lucky and enjoyed some very pleasurable times. We don't know what the counts will be in September and early October but its looking like a normal autumn after last years blip. Interestingly my visits to the Wylam Bridge pool were quiet generally it might just be the fish were going straight through, because the fish have been running hard and rarely stopping meaning people have had fish that were resting briefly rather than residents. We are hoping all our lovely guests enjoy a successful seasons end good luck to everyone. If you are interested in 2019 please contact us soon as the demand is growing and deposits to secure 2019 are already being taken. Email us on email@example.com to enquire.
Danny J did rather well too (sorry no picture of apparently his front tooth fell out ! 😉 )
For current news full details are as always on the NEWS page. Its been a case of too many projects on the go and typically some more challenging than before, these I'll explain on FRIENDS OF FARNLEY. Briefly when the season is over we are knocking down the current shelter next to the Lodge for something more watertight and useful for our lovely rods. As a brief summary for our busy readers we had a partial April let and a full beat in May, fully booked June so plenty of demand but exceedingly bright weather and record lack of water tested everyone's patience.
The runs were pretty consistent in April , May very decent and June had some terrific days judging by my contacts as regards the Fish Pass technology at Riding Mill.
We had some successes Dominic Fairmann and his terrific 20lb Spring April fish , Robson 8lb , Malcom Walder's lovely 15lb fish. Disheartening for our lovely people were the fact that quite a few fish properly on, played then parted company. I can't remember quite such a long period where this happened, whatever advice we can all provide as in hit it hard, let it run, stay in touch, check your line, hooks, be gentle its better to accept the fact everyone is cheesed off when they lose a Salmon so any advice after the event is puerile ! Spring salmon are hard fish and this low down the river they have plenty of energy and are tough customers. I hooked one early April a few years back in our Willows Pool that my friend Bill said 'its a Kelt hahaha ' it took off at break net speed and leapt clean out in front of us tail walking !! You know what happened yes indeed it straightened my hooks and I'm afraid Bill laughed even more. So no matter what they say there is nothing at all you can do if you hook one of the big ones just hang on for dear life and pray !!!
Late March 2018 John Rogers Happy Cheers!
There was a apparently a great atmosphere this morning on a beat below when some welcome springers leapt forth during morning coffee! Hooray !! They just can't sulk about around Tynemouth Pier forever mind the haddock and chips are world beating.
You can bet there will be anglers hastily checking their tackle for a go this weekend! Good luck to them, there is nothing better than being on the river in Spring rather than waiting when things might be easier but the prize cannot be greater this time of year.
We have some activity on the beat later this week and a new party hitting the beat for a Tyne Salmon next week, so I'll keep you abreast. After what was frankly the "hell in a hat winter" trying to get a large number of things in place in diabolical conditions with incredible help from contractors (Michael Tulip and Robert Charlton, earthmover extraordinaire and water guru respectively and not forgetting the motor electrical genius John Grieves). Barry M, John T, Mike T , Barry N , Big Peter, Alan Reid , Lee Milburn all pitched in and Kenny has done a wonderful job helping bring a level of civilisation to our little world there.
Our river works are ongoing and some access points are work in progress.
Early March 2018 John Rogers Springers Running
The river has been bombing through as a result of snow and rain some 6ft and very dirty. Pauline sent me a video yesterday of the water lapping the seat at the Hut Pool. Tides have been massive and the Fish Pass will not be a barrier with water like this they can creep by and move up. A week back two guests spotted some fish in tail of Dead Tree moving through steadily. Good signs for great times ahead on the river. Its also surprising to see lovely sea trout this early, where they go up the system Ive no idea but beautiful and a mysterious worthy quarry. We have guests up in a weeks time for an early go we will keep you posted with some pictures soon.
Late September Beat Report John Rogers "Festum Salmo"
When we opened the beat to new friends of Farnley we had no inkling that in the happy days ahead the beat was to produce some of the most exciting fishing we believe could be ever wished for! In the past few weeks stationed here in London and not feeling well and only my mobile relaying the unfolding excitement !!
Go to NEWS....
Beat Report John Rogers "Salmon Fishing Is for all generations and is always female friendly " Early September2017.
The river is fining down today after a few big pushes of water ! Barry Mitchell our wonderful guide has seen fish on off and caught even allowing for the conditions (3ftplus!) yesterday the Oundle team headed by Chris Porter had fish on/off and a lovely afternoon topped off by a 11lb fat sea trout a real beauty netted by Barry. Pictures in 'news'...oh Garry Dog Waddington...fought like a dog terrier. I bet today (15th Sept ) and tomorrow will be very interesting for the right reasons ..good luck!
Luncheon was enjoyed by Mr Bateman's lovely friends and following this fine repast and a small glass they proceeded to haul the fish in ! So remember relax enjoy the place the salmon will always wait.
Previously (on FE news) John the Osprey M and his team absolutely bagged up, 6 salmon 1 seat trout for more details news !
The day before a fish 18-20slipped the knot at the net ! Check those knots or buy the classic Orvis Book on knots I've always a copy in my tackle.
Sadly John M of Upper Caberston fame can't fish his week and he was really cheesed off , Robert W has filled his slot and no doubt a fun group of keen friends will be on next week looking forward to see them. Peter a great friend of Robert W lost a lovely fish in the hut then for good measure Robert decided to shake another one off, what a pair of charlies !Elk joined the gang and didn't put a foot wrong lovely casting the right flies and determination , this time the fish evaded him; salmon fishing is a cruel master.
We had the great pleasure to host the regions Salmon and Trout Association people in late August in conjunction with the Grey Court beat. Phil Adams its secretary organised the event and Barry Mitchell offered the casting tuition. The party included two anglers Fupi and Cathy Muse , FishPal's Marketing director Anne Woodcock in attendance , three beginners Stephanie Duck, Cathy Muse and Jo. It was wonderful to see new faces enjoying the place and one guest even hooked a couple but the fish were the winners that day.
The river settled at last and this helped the fish to slow their rapid pace to the upper reaches. The latest folks trips were great fun Anthony T's team had great success and some new faces caught their first salmon , the Cooper (I put Hooper sorry I'll stop swanning around) Brothers ably assisted by their expert guide Neil Lobban. Well done all!.
We then had a new group on the beat George U and friends who managed 3 fish and a Gudgeon! James B managed to catch his first salmon ..oh and he is a father for the first time what a double ! Yes your very welcome back in 2018.
Roger Naish brought the team back and had great fun in not always easy conditions with powerful wind making casting very difficult, they still managed to catch but also lose some sadly.Finally Keith J and his pal popped in for three days and both had fish and for his guest it was again his first salmon. Please read our News page for pictures and more.
Daily Regular Salmon Fish On !
Late July 2017
Please read the NEWS page for more detail. In summary the teams had great fun and fish were there to be had , not spectacular but regular catches and lots lost ...best to date Robert W we will call 27Lb near as dammit well done ! A double figure sea trout from Anthony T's team! The river was up and down and at times had a beautiful malt whiskey colour I always feel lucky when its like this and the salmon seem to take that much more regularly.
We are getting delightful feedback from our clients in this our new way of running the estate , thanks and feedback is always welcome. Please let us know what we can do to improve your trip in 2018, we are hopeful again that the runs could be good and you all enjoy the thrill when the elusive salmon snatches our fly. More importantly to enjoy friendship, laughter , relax and create lovely memories to cherish.
Just contact us by email to enquire availability in 2018 or call 01661843674 or 07733389474 :
Farnley Estate covers some 140 acres and had the only tunnel on the Newcastle to Carlisle railway. This line was only the 4th railway to be built in the world and it runs to the south of our estate with our own private crossing. The line connects a story of great engineers, a certain George Stephenson was busy nearby on the Tyne downriver making the world famous "Rocket" in Wylam on the Tyne where a tea shop celebrates his achievements. Stephenson's inspiration was the Puffing Billy built by William Hedley another global hit now housed in the London Science Museum . The railway's first carriages were pulled by horses, apparently due to local landowners fearing the noise of the steam engines! We don't know what the hardy Navvies ate but its no doubt that Farnley Estate Tyne Salmon nearby would have made a welcome addition to their fare.
The salmon are still there and we are a short distance from the Riding Mill Fish Pass which tells the story of the daily movements of salmon and sea trout. These fish have to pass through our water so the canny fisherman just needs to concentrate and hold tight !
The land has been used for race horse training and was farmed until 1965 when my family started to take sand and gravel away which has left the Estate with three magnificent lakes which have been stocked with brownies and rainbows for many years. The members of the company were very proficient and keen fishermen they saw the Tyne revitalised as a Salmon and Sea-Trout fishery that rapidly gained the respect of anglers in the know.
When Kielder Dam (the largest man made reservoir in the UK ) was built in 1980 surrounded by the countries largest forest people feared for the future of the magnificent Tyne. In the years that followed the river had changed and the mighty shoals of dace and renowned trout fell away. The Tyne angler and owners fought and got a salmon hatchery at Kielder to compensate for the loss of spawning sites. This along with ongoing habitat improvement has meant that the Tyne is a very successful river for migratory fishing and the counter at Riding Mill (only a mile downstream from Farnley) can be between 37,000 and 45,000 fish per year! The situation got better when the Northumbrian coastal netting interests were largely bought off this further improved salmon runs on the Tyne.
When the ownership changed the Farnley beat has been run as a syndicate since 2000, and our best month fishing the Tyne was September 2013 when the catch was 73 salmon and 5 seatrout, our biggest salmon so far is 35lbs. Some very large Tyne salmon have been lost over the years and this reliably witnessed by rods that have fished the best rivers on the planet most years we get 30 pounders and a good quality fresh fish. The wading is easy and the pools are all different giving the angler a great days fishing. The whole estate is wooded and there are some lovely walks through the woods. Before the Estate was opened to visitors some incredible catches were taken. One of the owners took 12 Salmon from 15 to 25 pounds followed up by a 13pound sea-trout, all before lunch and rightly he called it a day. The senior Estate partner was a very skilful salmon fisherman in his day and its reckoned one of the top catchers on the Tyne. He really enjoys now giving the younger generation a hard time if they don't seem to be catching fish when perhaps they should! Contact us if your interested by booking your Salmon fishing days here , we will try and fit you in (but be warned demand is high on the main Tyne) last year the runs in July and August were terrific so don't miss out we can let you know availability within hours here on : firstname.lastname@example.org
We have a great variety of wildlife on Farnley Estate Corbridge including deer, otters, heron, kingfishers and one lucky angler saw an osprey take a fish from the water in front of him. We also have some swans that have made a home here and Pauline H will be sharing some of the stories and images of the various inhabitants over the years.
The land is covered in many varieties of tree including our own cherry trees that make a welcome treat in August.
The Estate has had an interesting life since the machinery and men left and then returned to extract sand and gravel over many years. Its a place that is forever evolving and quite unique with many private places and views that bring our friends and guests back.
The River has Roman workings evident in respect of a massive man-made wall which was badly damaged by the 2015 floods incorporating fish traps that are just about visable on the north bank just above our fishing rights on the estate. These ancient fish traps could even be prehistoric as there is much evidence in the well-wooded and fertile middle Tyne valley of settlements. The Romans settled hereabouts as well, having built a rather major wall a few miles to the north with its major supply-base at Corbridge, only two miles to the west. The road that rods often use is Corbridge to York Roman “Dere Street” which is chiefly now the A68 you will note just how straight it is with terrifying blind summits so please drive carefully!