Our 2009 Thank you

We would like to thank some very special people who have not only supported us, but have given up their time in many cases free of charge to help us. So how can we thank you all. Well were going to take you through our 2009 journey.

It all started sitting in a boat with Trish at Sweethope Fishery, the Northumberland Salmon & Trout Association fishing competition. We were eager to go salmon fishing as a group so we organised our first event. We started in style an overnight stay at Riverdale Hall, wine on ice at our dinner table greeted us from Ali’s husband Roger, an evening just giggling and talking fishing.  Salmon fishing on the Tyne with instruction from GAIA Cliff Johnston and our ghillie complete with boat, the day was just perfect.

We learned so much and had fun, we wanted to go fishing again. Until our next event Marion, Trish, Ali, Cathy and Sarah were honing their salmon skills on various beats across the Tyne and Tweed. I was away fishing for mullet on the fly with Sage, AAPGAI instructor Lee Cummings, salmon fishing on the Tay with APGAI Alberto Laidlow and Hardy Academy Ken Muter. Then the CLA game fair helping out on the S&TA stand, meeting old/new friends and trying to catch Ali and Roger from Chatton Trout Fishery for a glass of pimms.

August the weather was hot, then it rained a lot. Kevin at Tweedswood who is one of the nicest ghillies in Scotland finally secured a day for us to fish for Salmon. Warm Scottish hospitality came from Trish, Jack and Small, a drinks party and a fabulous dinner awaited all the ladies and our great friend GAIA Instructor Cliff Johnston. Our first time together on the Tweed was not dampened by the weather, Sarah hooked a salmon, only to lose it as we tried to net it, hard lesson to learn. Lunch came from one of our award-winning cooks Marion. Kevin our ghillie announced the winner of the most improved lady of the day, won by Marion for her dedication to master the double spey.

Another August event “a first”, night fishing on a river famous for its sea trout, the Wear. We were joined in the afternoon for a casting demonstration from writer, AAPGAI instructor and Orvis consultant Paul Procter. Paul introduced the ladies to single speys, snake rolls using a single handed rod. After supper in a local hotel and darkness fell we went fishing for sea trout with the help of instructor Cliff Johnston. Thank you to Colin for the loan of Sonik sea trout rods and reels. We were rewarded when a sea trout jumped in front of one of the ladies, I must admit it was quite scary in the dark.

September came and Ali organised 2 ladies teams for the Macmillan Big Fish. We had a master class from instructor Lee Cummings on the single handed rod at Chatton Trout Fishery. Lee started at 9am and finally finished at 7.30pm. Thoroughly enjoyed by every lady. Lee had us casting single, double speys, snake rolls, snap t’s, single and double hauling all with a single handed rod. We even had time to fish.

So it was lots of practice and raising money for the Big Fish, thank you to Cliff Johnston for your coaching tips and advice. I was lucky to be invited to go fishing for Sea Bass with the double handed rod, fresh caught Bass on the fly is something were going to be doing more of in 2010. We went to a Hywel Morgan (writer and tv presenter)  fly fishing day at Higham Lakes Ponteland, entering the distance casting competition on the day, we cast farther than some of the guys.

October was the Macmillan Big Fish, messages of support came from the world of fishing from Charles Jardine to Chris Tarrant and the Millionaire Team. Thank you to all the ladies who entered and our 2 instructors Neil and Cliff. The day is summed up by Trish

“We tried everywhere – into the wind, with the wind behind us, from rocks, from shore, wading, cat’s whiskers, black lures, MFF’s tufties, Consett Budgies, all sorts of weird and wonderful lures and flies. We stomped around the reservoir in our waders, from bay to bay, still there was no respite from the wind. Some had takes, some thought they might have had offers, others felt nothing at all, and one poor man lost a fish when it cleared the water and snapped the leader, and those who were watching swore it was about 3ft long.

But we raised lots of money, raised a glass or two to celebrate the end of fishing at 4pm, and had a good laugh at ourselves for trying the impossible. We went our separate ways, knowing the good cause had been supported and saying ‘Never again! Well, ’til next year’.”

End of October our first beginners fly tying event, who better to introduce ladies to the art of fly tying but AAPGAI Master and world recognised classic salmon fly tier Paul Little. Not only did we make flies but we even fished with them, and yes they did catch fish. We now have some keen fly tiers within our group. We visited the Hexham Fish Pass with the Environment Agency. October saw many ladies fishing the last day of the Tyne salmon season.

November came and the start of the grayling winter season was upon us, then came the rain, or should I say floods. We had a day booked with AAPGAI Master Tony Riley grayling expert, who was v busy helping families whose homes had been flooded in Cumbria. So it was back to casting days. By the end of November there were 36 flood warnings in the UK and still raining.  November also saw Vesalius the Tyne Tunnel dredger arrive and start cutting the underwater river trench for the new tunnel.

December and invites to fish with Alberto Laidlaw Grayling fishing on Tweedswood Tweed, including a day with Scott Mackenzie on the Tay Newtyle.  Thank you we had a great time. We were lucky to be asked by Carole-Ann of the Seafood Training Centre to have coffee with the Countess of Wessex at the STC, when she came to visit the North East.

Then our last event of 2009 held at Chatton Trout Fishery called ladies go christmas fishing without a shop in sight organised by Trish, we left the best event till the end. Flies tied by Paul Little and myself were given to every lady, and they caught fish. Party games of who wants to be a fish millionaire and pin the tail on the dog fish put us all in the christmas spirit, including Trish’s mulled wine.

We remembered children and ladies less fortunate than ourselves with a christmas present collection, and raised money from a day donated by Don Coe Northumbrian Water on Kielder, including donations. Were still raising money for the Macmillan Big Fish on the North Shields fish quays.

Finally we would like to thank every lady who has supported our events during 2009. For 2010 the words of Abraham Lincoln can only describe ladies fishing  “the best way to predict the future is to create it” and we start January 2010 with a bang.

Watch this space…….!

Regards Trish and Anne

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