Start for grandson - trout - grayling

Lynnzer

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It's been ages since I was river fishing having moved to the coast but when I got the chance I used to go to Durham - the free stretch behind where the ice rink stood.
Not able to fish as often due to health issues I didn't find it worthwhile to pay club fees for the privilege. The "free stretch" was ideal.
Now my 7 year old grandson has found all my fly rods and other freshwater gear and he's really keen to try things out.
That's about the age I was when I first started.
So, knowing this may be a flash in the pan is there still any free stretches in the Durham area that we can fish? I saw loads of posts on the ice rink stretch supposedly closed for Freeman Byelaws and I know the supposedly free Sands stretch being totally unsuitable for a 7 year old to try his luck, even if he could get past all the balsam weeds.
Something pretty accessible, shallowish with chance of trout and grayling would be great.
I live in Peterlee so not wanting to travel a lonnggg way, such as out to the upper Tees area.
I'd love it if my grandson took up the sport.
Any ideas
 

Andrew B

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Don’t know if they have up there? But some regions have those passport beats on some of the smaller rivers and tributaries where for less than a fiver you can fish some decent places without having to join any clubs.

They do em on the Ribble and Eden system so it’s possible the Wear has a similar thing going on?
Main thing is to fish somewhere the young lad has a good chance of catching some sympathetic trout and Grayling.
 

The flying Scotsman

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It's been ages since I was river fishing having moved to the coast but when I got the chance I used to go to Durham - the free stretch behind where the ice rink stood.
Not able to fish as often due to health issues I didn't find it worthwhile to pay club fees for the privilege. The "free stretch" was ideal.
Now my 7 year old grandson has found all my fly rods and other freshwater gear and he's really keen to try things out.
That's about the age I was when I first started.
So, knowing this may be a flash in the pan is there still any free stretches in the Durham area that we can fish? I saw loads of posts on the ice rink stretch supposedly closed for Freeman Byelaws and I know the supposedly free Sands stretch being totally unsuitable for a 7 year old to try his luck, even if he could get past all the balsam weeds.
Something pretty accessible, shallowish with chance of trout and grayling would be great.
I live in Peterlee so not wanting to travel a lonnggg way, such as out to the upper Tees area.
I'd love it if my grandson took up the sport.
Any ideas
Be a good idea to take him on a stocked fishery for a day.
Catching a fish can make the difference between being "hooked" and not for a kid.
Worth the money.
Once hes hooked take him out on the river
 

Andrew B

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Be a good idea to take him on a stocked fishery for a day.
Catching a fish can make the difference between being "hooked" and not for a kid.
Worth the money.
Once hes hooked take him out on the river
Absolutely this mate. For me it was minnows in jam jar, but they need to catch something to trigger that thing off don’t they?
There are exceptions to the rule with teenage lads fishing with a custom built loop😜
 

The flying Scotsman

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Absolutely this mate. For me it was minnows in jam jar, but they need to catch something to trigger that thing off don’t they?
There are exceptions to the rule with teenage lads fishing with a custom built loop😜
Haha He started off on a trout fishery.
The way I did it was to set everything up for him cast out and with my exceptional fishing skills haha it wouldn't be long before I hooked up then immediately handed him the rod.
He lost his first fish naturally but was truly hooked.
I progressed from there to getting him to strike next then play the fish.
By that stage he wanted to know how to cast so teaching him was easy.
Much better than taking him into a field to practice casting.
Now he much prefers a day on the river improving his casting knowing that the chances of catching are usually not the best.
But the rewards are great.
He dropped a springer about 12lb after 10 mins last year just before lock down.
He was near white shaking and his legs had turned to jelly :ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO:
Priceless
 

Andrew B

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Haha He started off on a trout fishery.
The way I did it was to set everything up for him cast out and with my exceptional fishing skills haha it wouldn't be long before I hooked up then immediately handed him the rod.
He lost his first fish naturally but was truly hooked.
I progressed from there to getting him to strike next then play the fish.
By that stage he wanted to know how to cast so teaching him was easy.
Much better than taking him into a field to practice casting.
Now he much prefers a day on the river improving his casting knowing that the chances of catching are usually not the best.
But the rewards are great.
He dropped a springer about 12lb after 10 mins last year just before lock down.
He was near white shaking and his legs had turned to jelly :ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO:
Priceless
Ah that’s superb mate. We would all rather catch wild fish but for a youngster who needs to feel that rod bend, those stocked fisheries are so good for kids and anyone really who wants to learn and be rewarded.
I met this guy in Wales whilst fishing for sea trout at night. We both fished hard for one tiny pull on the line and he said it’s no wonder these clubs are struggling. He did actually take both his teenage lads on the river but he said he chose a time in August on a falling river that had fish in. There are times with a spinner where it seems like you cant fail and he got em hooked by the time they caught ten fish between em up to six pounds. Lol usual story for me when faced with an empty river “you should of been here last week”
 

SteveG

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It's been ages since I was river fishing having moved to the coast but when I got the chance I used to go to Durham - the free stretch behind where the ice rink stood.
Not able to fish as often due to health issues I didn't find it worthwhile to pay club fees for the privilege. The "free stretch" was ideal.
Now my 7 year old grandson has found all my fly rods and other freshwater gear and he's really keen to try things out.
That's about the age I was when I first started.
So, knowing this may be a flash in the pan is there still any free stretches in the Durham area that we can fish? I saw loads of posts on the ice rink stretch supposedly closed for Freeman Byelaws and I know the supposedly free Sands stretch being totally unsuitable for a 7 year old to try his luck, even if he could get past all the balsam weeds.
Something pretty accessible, shallowish with chance of trout and grayling would be great.
I live in Peterlee so not wanting to travel a lonnggg way, such as out to the upper Tees area.
I'd love it if my grandson took up the sport.
Any ideas
Would you do the miles of it was worth fishing?
Not so much fly fishing but great sport on float or feeder

looks like around 50 miles each way tho for you
 
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Lynnzer

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Absolutely this mate. For me it was minnows in jam jar, but they need to catch something to trigger that thing off don’t they?
There are exceptions to the rule with teenage lads fishing with a custom built loop😜
Minnows? Years since I saw any of them. Seem to have disappeared in the Wear. I lived near Bishop Auckland when I was a kid and minnows were everywhere on that stretch.
I know what you mean though. Little fish onto big ones.
We netted 3 sticklebacks 3 years ago that went into a pyrex bowl. Now we have 3 big fish tanks and loads of tropical fish and shrimp.
I'm reluctant to say this as well BUT, I have crabs.
2 of them in one of the tanks.
You know, the best fishing I ever had in the UK was in creeping along the banks of small streams, spotting the fish and then trying to entice them onto a hook. Two places stand out in my mind. One was the small stream down at the bottom of the army camp in Ripon where I was stationed. The river Laver. It was stuffed full of mostly grayling of a decent size and brownies. I bought a small fly rod of only (I think) 6' as it was so overgrown with bushes and trees. Still have that rod. The other was a small stream in Hamsterley Forest where I used to freeline fish worm on a small hook. It gave me true involvement and satisfaction
Anyway, I wander off too much into my history here.
A stocked fishery is a canny suggestion and worth doing as I haven't even done it myself. But the hunting out and eventual taking of wild brownies and grayling is something I really want more than anything.

Now, Many years ago, (past experience again) I was a member of a club whose name I can't remember, that had a stretch on the Wear at Durham a mile or so downstream from the Sands. It was the stretch just before the Belmont Viaduct railway bridge. It had all the things you need. Shallow rapids, slow and deep etc. If anyone has info on who has the rights here at present I'd like to know.
 

Walleye

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Pretty sure it is mostly felling fly fishers on the north bank and Durham rangers on the south bank upstream of the viaduct. Both are several hundred quid to join. TAS is downstream from the viaduct and again is a few hundred quid.

If it has been a while on the Wear, you may be surprised at the reduced number of trout.

If you want to try a trout fishery, Westhouse lakes is perfect for a young kid to learn. "Fishing with Tom", a local charity involved with getting kids into fly fishing, used to run organised days there. If you ask nicely, I am sure they would let you drive your car down the hill and park near the lakes. Westhouse lakes is not too far from you. The water is usually so clear that most of the time you'll be sight fishing which I am sure would keep your grandson interested.

Or apply for Chester le Street club. I think they do a brown trout or coarse ticket for £50 per year. Easy access for fishing around the park at CLS and if he gets bored there's a tuck shop and play area for kids.
 

Andrew B

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Minnows? Years since I saw any of them. Seem to have disappeared in the Wear. I lived near Bishop Auckland when I was a kid and minnows were everywhere on that stretch.
I know what you mean though. Little fish onto big ones.
We netted 3 sticklebacks 3 years ago that went into a pyrex bowl. Now we have 3 big fish tanks and loads of tropical fish and shrimp.
I'm reluctant to say this as well BUT, I have crabs.
2 of them in one of the tanks.
You know, the best fishing I ever had in the UK was in creeping along the banks of small streams, spotting the fish and then trying to entice them onto a hook. Two places stand out in my mind. One was the small stream down at the bottom of the army camp in Ripon where I was stationed. The river Laver. It was stuffed full of mostly grayling of a decent size and brownies. I bought a small fly rod of only (I think) 6' as it was so overgrown with bushes and trees. Still have that rod. The other was a small stream in Hamsterley Forest where I used to freeline fish worm on a small hook. It gave me true involvement and satisfaction
Anyway, I wander off too much into my history here.
A stocked fishery is a canny suggestion and worth doing as I haven't even done it myself. But the hunting out and eventual taking of wild brownies and grayling is something I really want more than anything.

Now, Many years ago, (past experience again) I was a member of a club whose name I can't remember, that had a stretch on the Wear at Durham a mile or so downstream from the Sands. It was the stretch just before the Belmont Viaduct railway bridge. It had all the things you need. Shallow rapids, slow and deep etc. If anyone has info on who has the rights here at present I'd like to know.
My fishing pal could not get his head round fishing those tiny streams with a brook rod where a half pounder would be an event lol? I’m dead lucky to have a stream on my doorstep that has Trout of a decent size and Grayling. Half the battle is getting in to position as they’re wild educated fish.
 

Lynnzer

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My fishing pal could not get his head round fishing those tiny streams with a brook rod where a half pounder would be an event lol? I’m dead lucky to have a stream on my doorstep that has Trout of a decent size and Grayling. Half the battle is getting in to position as they’re wild educated fish.
Agreed. I used to live in St Helens, near Bishop Auckland and the river Gaunless, little more than a stream at the time, was 5 minutes walk away. There were never many trout there but I did catch some occasionally and the thrill of that is still with me. You see fishing isn't just about catching fish, it's the total experience. Catching a fish was the icing on the cake but the cake was sweet enough without that.
I sat for hours just watching the water voles and other wildlife. I even tickled trout in Langley Beck, a stream that runs through Staindrop, but gave that up when I pulled a few bullheads out. Pretty off-putting.
While over that area with a schoolfriend who lived nearby (Brian Fletcher) who is known for his Grand national successes but has sadly passed away, we also fished in the moat around Raby Castle. There were some really big perch in there. It's off-limits now I believe


Ah, I'm getting nostalgic again. Must make an effort to sort my tackle in readiness.
 

Andrew B

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Agreed. I used to live in St Helens, near Bishop Auckland and the river Gaunless, little more than a stream at the time, was 5 minutes walk away. There were never many trout there but I did catch some occasionally and the thrill of that is still with me. You see fishing isn't just about catching fish, it's the total experience. Catching a fish was the icing on the cake but the cake was sweet enough without that.
I sat for hours just watching the water voles and other wildlife. I even tickled trout in Langley Beck, a stream that runs through Staindrop, but gave that up when I pulled a few bullheads out. Pretty off-putting.
While over that area with a schoolfriend who lived nearby (Brian Fletcher) who is known for his Grand national successes but has sadly passed away, we also fished in the moat around Raby Castle. There were some really big perch in there. It's off-limits now I believe


Ah, I'm getting nostalgic again. Must make an effort to sort my tackle in readiness.
Lol nothing wrong with nostalgia. Jon Beer the angling author who also fishes small streams said that the riverside reminds us of our childhoods which is why nobody can walk over a bridge without looking down
 

SteveG

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Agreed. I used to live in St Helens, near Bishop Auckland and the river Gaunless, little more than a stream at the time, was 5 minutes walk away. There were never many trout there but I did catch some occasionally and the thrill of that is still with me. You see fishing isn't just about catching fish, it's the total experience. Catching a fish was the icing on the cake but the cake was sweet enough without that.
I sat for hours just watching the water voles and other wildlife. I even tickled trout in Langley Beck, a stream that runs through Staindrop, but gave that up when I pulled a few bullheads out. Pretty off-putting.
While over that area with a schoolfriend who lived nearby (Brian Fletcher) who is known for his Grand national successes but has sadly passed away, we also fished in the moat around Raby Castle. There were some really big perch in there. It's off-limits now I believe


Ah, I'm getting nostalgic again. Must make an effort to sort my tackle in readiness.
I also fished the Gaunless as a kid with a net then later with rod and line, I can remember catching brown trout in a pool below the hump back bridge in south church at first light before the traffic got too busy there were some absolute monsters in that river until it got poisoned by an industrial accident, the fish that died were unbelievable.

Recently I was walking with my daughter down the road near tindale and I said there’s some good fish in there and her boyfriend said not these days, I shone my head torch into the storm drain and counted half a dozen brown trout of about 10 inch that where obviously feeding on the many minnows there, still plenty of fish rising in there in the summer as well 👍
 

Rrrr

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Plenty of decent stiwaters localy for him to go at.
Knitsley mill and aldin grange are both well run and he should get into a fish or 2.

Sent from my SM-G981B using Tapatalk
 

Lynnzer

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I also fished the Gaunless as a kid with a net then later with rod and line, I can remember catching brown trout in a pool below the hump back bridge in south church at first light before the traffic got too busy there were some absolute monsters in that river until it got poisoned by an industrial accident, the fish that died were unbelievable.

Recently I was walking with my daughter down the road near tindale and I said there’s some good fish in there and her boyfriend said not these days, I shone my head torch into the storm drain and counted half a dozen brown trout of about 10 inch that where obviously feeding on the many minnows there, still plenty of fish rising in there in the summer as well 👍
I never got to South Church but was well aware of the possibilities as I used to go cross it on the way to my aunties on the bus. I do drive up and along the stretch by the roadside just up from South Church when I go over to my sister's at Evenwood. It seems little more than a ditch along that stretch.
Tindale upwards to the railway bridge that used to be there was my haunt. Best fish was never more than just legal size but as a kid it was just as exciting. I see there has been environmental work on the river that may improve the fishing. I did find once a complete river survey somewhere too.

There used to be a good size deep lake; a couple of them actually with one of them of unknown depth due to it being completely fogged out with algae. The crystal clear one had a crane stuck in the middle which poked out of the water by about 3'. We used it a diving platform when we went swimming. It had no fish though.
When I went over to Raby Castle and caught a couple of buckets full of perch and took them home there were a few still showing signs of life. I took them right down to that lake and released them. I joined the army shortly after at age 15 and didn't visit the lake for a couple of years. When I did the perch were prolific and some into a good couple of pounds. I think the lake was where Shaw and Knight used to dredge the clay to make their sanitary ware. It was all filled in not long after. Such a shame. I did intend to put pike into it at some stage.
 

greenlaner2009

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It's been ages since I was river fishing having moved to the coast but when I got the chance I used to go to Durham - the free stretch behind where the ice rink stood.
Not able to fish as often due to health issues I didn't find it worthwhile to pay club fees for the privilege. The "free stretch" was ideal.
Now my 7 year old grandson has found all my fly rods and other freshwater gear and he's really keen to try things out.
That's about the age I was when I first started.
So, knowing this may be a flash in the pan is there still any free stretches in the Durham area that we can fish? I saw loads of posts on the ice rink stretch supposedly closed for Freeman Byelaws and I know the supposedly free Sands stretch being totally unsuitable for a 7 year old to try his luck, even if he could get past all the balsam weeds.
Something pretty accessible, shallowish with chance of trout and grayling would be great.
I live in Peterlee so not wanting to travel a lonnggg way, such as out to the upper Tees area.
I'd love it if my grandson took up the sport.
Any ideas
I think the free stretch in Durham would be OK place for a youngster to learn.
 

Lynnzer

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I think the free stretch in Durham would be OK place for a youngster to learn.
That's the basis of this topic really. My understanding of the free stretch is from past experience when I fished there many years ago. I believe there's still controversy about the closure of the section down to the Sands stretch.
Has that been resolved yet? The stretch from the willow pool downwards isn't particularly easy for a 7 year old to fish so it's the upper area by the council car park that would be best
 

greenlaner2009

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That's the basis of this topic really. My understanding of the free stretch is from past experience when I fished there many years ago. I believe there's still controversy about the closure of the section down to the Sands stretch.
Has that been resolved yet? The stretch from the willow pool downwards isn't particularly easy for a 7 year old to fish so it's the upper area by the council car park that would be best
It is all still a free stretch it can not be closed by anybody it belongs to the people.
 

Lynnzer

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You just made my Sunday really bright.
Time to start planning now.

Last time I wanted river fishing tackle was up Gilesgate. Is that shop still open, or what is the best alternative?
 
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Lynnzer

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It is all still a free stretch it can not be closed by anybody it belongs to the people.
How about the Batts at Bishop Auckland? It was a free stretch when I was a kid. Is it still free and what are the boundaries if it is?
I caught a bat there once while fly fishing on an early evening. Didn't taste as good as a trout though.

Also hooked my right ear lobe there too.

giphy[1].gif
 
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SteveG

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How about the Batts at Bishop Auckland? I was a free stretch when I was a kid. Is it still free and what are the boundaries if it is?
Not a free stretch these days it’s classed as the town water, tickets can be purchased from Bishop Auckland Angling club

I had a cracking session for the grayling today on the town water 👍
 

greenlaner2009

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How about the Batts at Bishop Auckland? It was a free stretch when I was a kid. Is it still free and what are the boundaries if it is?
I caught a bat there once while fly fishing on an early evening. Didn't taste as good as a trout though.

Also hooked my right ear lobe there too.

View attachment 55891
If you think the grandson would enjoy the batts or similar get him a membership for Bishop Auckland angling club, it is free for him till he is 18 and you can get a ticket that allows you to accompany the kid but not fish, also in none corona times he could receive coaching on special days arranged by the club.
 

Lynnzer

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Not a free stretch these days it’s classed as the town water, tickets can be purchased from Bishop Auckland Angling club

I had a cracking session for the grayling today on the town water 👍
Well that could be worth a go. I'll see what they charge. Just love grayling too.
If you think the grandson would enjoy the batts or similar get him a membership for Bishop Auckland angling club, it is free for him till he is 18 and you can get a ticket that allows you to accompany the kid but not fish, also in none corona times he could receive coaching on special days arranged by the club.
Well that sounds a good idea. I could also buy a day ticket for myself from time to time to go out with him.
I'm starting to water at the mouth now......
Biggest fish I never caught was in BADAC waters up at Escombe lakes when I was about 10 years old. The old slag heaps up river from there were still smouldering in those days.
I was fishing a spinner in the bottom lake that was joined to the river due to a good spate. Trout were present in the lake at that time.
I ventured over to the river's edge by an overhanging willow and just dangled the spinner into the swirling water under the willow when this huge great mouth appeared in a hurried snatch at the lure. The size of the head was enormous. It took me so much by surprise that I snatched the spinner out of the water. What a miss. My legs were trembling and I swear I almost crapped myself.
Yeah, sounds like BADAC is about to get a couple of new members.
 

Lynnzer

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Have gone through my old tackle boxes and found a Martin WF71 Vision Attack reel.
Looks nice but I believe I got this from an online used tackle purchase many years ago.
PROBLEM : It has a broken seat. The end of one part is broken off.
Anyone know how this can be repaired, or suggest a company to do it?
 

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Lynnzer

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Also I have a spool of Scientific Anglers WF 7 S from years ago. Never been used and is still on the spool.
I don't know if the loose end is the end that attaches to the leaders or if it's the end to join to a backing line.
Don't want to get this wrong so if you know I'd appreciate a response.
 
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