The challenges ahead

22 March sees the start of the 2013 trout season on the river. We hope this season will bring a return to drier conditions than those experienced last year, when it simply rained for months on end, rendering the river unfishable for large parts of the year.

You win some/you lose some

As secretary I have heard many rumours that the club is giving up water. This is simply not true. We are committed to securing as much water as possible for the association to allow the membership 15 miles of quality river fly fishing from the Derwent road bridge to Lintzford.

We do however have to report that one of our riparian owners has decided he no longer wishes anyone to have access to the river adjacent to his land. We’re still awaiting documented clarification of the extent of the loss, but at present, as we understand it:

Members may no longer fish from the corner of the field below the new road bridge at Ebchester to the corner of what was the old village football field, and then down as far as the old Sturdy Electrics site. This only applies to the County Durham side of the river. The vast majority of the lost water can still be fished from the Northumberland side of the river, so although it’s a great loss, it could be worse.

Once we have full documented clarification from the riparian owner, we will be updating the maps on the website. We appreciate that this stretch was a favourite for many members in the Ebchester area but the committee tried their utmost to change the owners mind, to no avail.

On the plus side, the association have now acquired more fishing up from Lintzford, by agreeing rents for the Chopwell woods area on the Northumberland side of the river. We will be updating our maps shortly to reflect this.

Poaching and Pollution

Once more as the season begins so does our battle with those who through greed and ignorance break the law by fishing and taking fish without a current club or rod licence.

We have a good network of water watchers, who as well as patrolling the river, target hotspots of illegal activity. Recognising these hotspots is where we need members; help: by informing us when poachers are present, we can target our resources to effectively bailiff the area.

Pollution is a constant worry and we would ask all members to inform both club officials (at the numbers on your club licence) and the Environment Agency (at the numbers on your rod licence). If they come across obvious pollution, especially dead fish.

Alan Farbridge, Club Secretary

Fathers and sons (and daughters too)

One of the aims of our association is to keep a healthy junior membership as we recognise that they are the club’s future. We also realise how costly it can be to kit out a child and then buy the licence, only to find that after a couple of weeks they decide they prefer the Xboxstation.

So we’ve had an idea. Any senior member can take their own child under the age of sixteen on the river for free for a maximum of four outings. This will allow you to see whether the great outdoors and fishing in particular is what they want to do.

All you have to do is email the club through the website with the name of the senior and junior member and the day of your first outing. After the trip, please do email us and let us know whether they enjoyed the experience and if you’re planning to take them out again. And don’t forget: if they do enjoy fishing, get them joined up before the second weekend in May to qualify for the junior competition.

Remember they must be accompanied by the adult at all times, so please take advantage of this offer to encourage the younger generation to participate in a wonderful pastime.

Membership cards for 2013

Members’ licences for 2013 will be available for renewing members to pick up from Ebchester Post Office from this Saturday 16 March. Be warned though that licences will only be available during Post Office hours, so will only be open in the morning on Saturday (until 12.30pm, I believe). Mondays and Tuesdays are also very busy days for the Post Office, so unless it’s really absolutely unavoidable, if you can avoid going then, they’d be extremely grateful.

This is for membership renewals only – any prospective new members should get in touch with membership secretary Ian Colborne at at

The Post Office also has a shop attached which sells a wide variety of snacks and drinks, so if you’re looking to pick up a bite to eat on your way to the river, give them a try.

Catch returns for 2012

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 2012 season already, 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. This survey will be open until 15 April 2013.

Thanks, everyone.

Fill in your catch return form here

Howard Croston: Fishing Home and Abroad

Howard Croston

Howard Croston

To whet everyone’s appetites for the coming season, the club has arranged for Howard Croston to come and give a slide show talk, Fishing Home and Abroad, followed by a Q&A session. Howard is product development manager at Hardy & Greys and a member of the England team who recently won the world championship. He has also represented England at every level.

Come along and meet Howard on Tuesday 9 April at 7.30pm at the Crown and Crossed Swords, Shotley Bridge. Admission free – no need to book.

Anyone recognise this picture?

Stocking the Derwent

Stocking the Derwent (Click on the picture to see a bigger version)

We were recently given a copy of this picture by someone who knew not a great deal about it, apart from what was printed on it: ‘Stocking the Derwent with fish’.  From the look of it, it might well have been taken in the 1930s, but does anyone know anyone anything about the picture at all or recognise any of the members pictured in it? Or even where on the river it might have been? Or can you make out the name on that milk churn? (We can just about make out the ‘Return to…’ bit but nothing of the word underneath it.)

If you do know, or have any theories, please drop us a line at


AGM 2013

If you’d like to find out more about how the club is run and exactly what your club membership fees get spent on, be sure to come along to the Derwent Angling Association AGM this year on Saturday 23 February at The Crown and Crossed Swords, Shotley Bridge. Proceedings kick off at 7pm, but as the room usually gets quite crowded, allow a bit of extra time if you want to make sure of a seat.

Whether we’re speaking to the Environment Agency or to our riparian owners along the river, it’s incredibly useful for the club to have an accurate record of how many fish are being caught on our water, so don’t forget to bring your catch returns along on the night. (It’s not a competition, so don’t worry if you’ve blanked all season – that’s just as useful for us to know as it would be if you were having a golden day every day.) As a special thank to members, all entries go into the pot to be entered into the draw to win a year’s free fishing!

And don’t forget to bring a generous pocketful of change so you can buy plenty of raffle tickets!


North of England Fly Fishing Show

Just a quick reminder to come along and say hello to us if you’re planning on attending the North of England Fly Fishing Show which will be taking place tomorrow 10 February at the Nissan Sports & Social Club, Sunderland. The show is the only one of its kind in the North East, with a massive selection of rods, reels, fly lines, fly-tying materials and equipment, flies, hooks, tippet materials, sports clothing, etc. The 2013 show will see more new attractions including many new tying demonstrations projected onto display screens, allowing you to see all those skills in more detail, with plenty of question and answer sessions with all the flytiers. Included in the attractions there will be additional presentational talks on a variety of subjects such as small still water fishing, competition fishing, salmon and trout fishing holidays, etc. Admission is £4 for adults, which includes a free raffle ticket worth £1 for a Hardy’s Ultralite Fly Reel. Juniors enter for free. For more information, see

See you soon

Derwent Angling Association

Derwent story concludes

From spa towns to streamer fishing, wooden bridges and stray wolves, Ian Colborne concludes his fascinating story of the Derwent – Until the River Ceases to Flow – at

Until the River Ceases to Flow: the next chapter

Don’t miss the second instalment of Ian Colborne’s fascinating history of the Derwent valley, and the river at its heart at

Seniors competition 2012

The 2012 seniors competition will take place on Sunday 9 September. Meet at Derwent Reservoir main lodge at 8am to commence fishing at 8.30am. All members welcome. This is always a fun day out so don’t worry if you feel like your reservoir bank fishing skills are a bit lacking! Quality prizes available.