It is with great sadness that I write to inform the membership that Bill Thompson has sadly passed away.
Bill was a true gentleman and a fine fisherman who served on the committee of our association for many years. He became club secretary when the club was in decline and its future looked bleak. But with Bill at the helm and a rejuvenated committee the club under his stewardship went from strength to strength.
It was Bill that handed the job to me and Ian and I was often on the phone for advice for the first year or three.
His hat, for many many years, was pinched from his head and used for the drawing of various club raffles, much to his delight.
Nothing was ever too much trouble for Bill as he loved the Derwent valley and of course the river Derwent He was proud as punch when his grandsons fished the junior competitions and he was often seen on the river with his son Lloyd enjoying a days fishing.
When the association celebrated its 150th anniversary both Bill and Lloyd were invited and happily attended to help to make it a memorable event where many fishermans tales of the one that got away were told.
He will be missed by all who had the pleasure to know him.
Bill Thompson, club secretary and president of the Derwent Angling Association a good friend and a fine angler. Rest in peace.
The funeral service will take place on the 1st of June at 2pm at St Ives Church Leadgate then moving to the mount set crematorium then on to the Grey Horse public house.
The area that has been closed to members for a number of years is once more available to fish.
The area has been split into two beats.
Beat one begins from the Durham side below the weir at Ebchester to five yards below the road bridge.
Beat two begins approximately twenty yards below the road bridge and ends at the holly bush at the corner of the field.
Beat signage is at the beginning and end of each beat attached to trees in the form of steel arrows pointing in the correct direction along with more normal DAA signs.
It is important that members fish only between these arrows in these two areas so not to encroach on land not controlled by the association.
No change has been made to fishing below and above the footbridge at ebchester and can be fished from the Northumbrian side as normal.
Any problems please contact club officials
From today the 21st of April I have nine days free from work. I have been given a list of jobs by my better half and today I promised to repaint some skirting boards.
I had every intention of making good on this promise but could not resist checking the forecast for the week ahead.
In my defence the forecast for today was sixteen degrees then seven for the rest of the week.
I considered the consequences of any decision that did not involve a paint brush.
I did not make the sensible decision but I made the one involving me heading to Ebchester to see if I could tempt a trout or two.
I walked down to the lower Ebchester beat below the footbridge and picked a good spot, got comfortable and simply watched the river for any sign of life. After about ten minutes a rising trout taking early Olives caught my eye.
My fist thought was a klinkhammer and as I fished through my fly box for a good Olive imitation my eye was drawn towards a neat row of red tags.
This is my go to fly when Grayling are rising and a favourite of mine so on it went.
The Trout was rising opposite me and the back cast had to be threaded between two trees. In this situation I ignore the forward cast and roughly aiming above the rising fish. The skill is to airiate enough fly line to reach my prey without loosing my fly in the trees.
Im proud to think I’m a canny caster as growing up fishing the Derwent has forced me to improve my technique or spend more time tying replacement flies.
So after my second cast to my first rising trout of the season I only went and caught it.Id like to report it was three pounds but it wasn’t, it was about half a pound and a wild trout to boot. After carefully releasing my prize I sat down to await any further rises but the fishing gods deserted me. I strolled along the bank working my way up to the road bridge without any signs of life. So I found a rock got myself comfortable and took half an hour just watching the river and enjoying what was a glorious spring day.
I bumped into a couple of members and we chatted about the river and we all moaned about the horrible weather we were having and how the early fishing was poor. Quite ironic as we stood in sixteen degrees of sunshine but it’s forcast snow next week and I did promise to get those skirting boards painted.
Both senior and junior fishing licences will be available for collection from Hamsterly Colliery post office from Sataurday the 12th of March. Post office hours.
Any problems please contact the membership secretary Ian on 01207 591454.
It’s very useful for the club to have a record of how many fish are being caught on the river, so if you haven’t submitted a paper return for the 2015 season, could we ask all members to complete our online catch return form. We’re not asking how many fish you took from the river – just how many you caught. To take part, go to www.derwentangling.co.uk/about/catch-return-2015/. The survey will be open until 15 April 2016.
Licenses are no longer available for collection from Ebchester Village Post Office.
The new outlet is the post office at Hamsterly approx one mile from Ebchester when driving on the same main road towards Rowlands Gill.
The address of the new outlet is Hamsterly Colliery Post Office Victoria Terrace , Hamsterly Colliery.
Post code. NE17 7SJ
There will be no increase in the cost of the licence for the 2016 season for both senior and junior members.
The 2016 annual general meeting of the Derwent Angling Association will be held on Saturday the 27th of February at the crown and cross swords public house Shotley Bridge near Consett at 7pm. All club members are invited and encouraged to attend.
Please come along and support your association
Time is running out for anyone who wishes to join us for the meal to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Derwent Angling Association with guest speaker Stuart Crofts on Saturday 26 September.
Any member wishing to attend please get in touch through the website to book your place for what is certain to be a cracking evening. Due to room size, the first forty people will get a place at the table so don’t hang about.
It’s on,it’s started in fact its the second week of the May fly hatch and the trout in our little river are dialled right on to them.
Duffers fortnight call it what you will but the best dry fly fishing in the North has started and I would encourage every member to get out and cast a line .
Feedback from members informs us the river is in fine fettle with stocked and wild trout coming to the fly in good numbers.
It’s also great to hear Grayling in more frequent numbers are turning up in catch returns .
Remember all Grayling to be returned with as little handling as possible. A good tip is to unhook them in the net and if you have to handle them wet your hands first.
Tight lines Alan
The Derwent Angling Association was formed in 1865 by local people from Shotleybridge and surrounding areas. From its very conception they took on the role of custodians of the river Derwent. Not only to fish it and tend its banks but also to fight polluters and developers from destroying it.
To this very day this ethos holds true and I’m proud to serve on the committee alongside gentlemen who are good friends and share the ideals of our Association.
To give you an idea of the time scale in 1865 the American civil war ended and I’m happy to say both we and America are still going strong.
As the year progresses we hope to add events to the calendar such as our 150th celebration meal with guest speaker Stuart Croffts on the 26th of September.
Any member wishing to attend please contact me through the web sites E mail to book your place for a cracking evening. Due to room size the first fourty people will get a place at the table so don’t hang about.
To learn more about the Association I would encourage you to read its history and articles written by Ian Colborne that are all on the web site and give a rare insight into the history of the Derwent Vally from the Romans to the present day.