Senior Competition 2011

This year’s competition will be held at the Derwent Reservoir on Sunday 26 June and is open to all current senior members of the Association are welcome to attend. Competitors are asked to assemble at 8am in the car park outside the lodge to commence fishing at approx 8.30am and return for weigh-in at 4pm. There is no need to reserve a place – just turn up on the day.

There are some extremely fancy prizes to be won this year, courtesy of Laurence at Ultimate Fishing Supplies, so don’t miss out.

Please bring your current DAA licence as this will allow you to fish the concessionary ticket at the reservoir.

Junior Competition 2011

The Junior Competition will be held this year on Saturday 14 May at the weir at Shotley Bridge. The competition is free to enter for all junior members and everyone will receive a prize.

There’s no need to register – just meet at the car park next to where the iron bridge used to be at 8am, with the competition starting at 9am. With any luck, there may even be a new bridge in place by the time of the competition!

Parents are encouraged to attend.

Good luck to all who enter!

Found a net?

If you were the angler who picked up the landing net on the river today (Sunday), could you drop us a line via the contact page on the site so that we can reunite it with its owner!


Ticked off

As we dust off our waders for the new season, it’s worth bearing in mind that as the trout start thinking about a bite to eat, then so do some other rather less pleasant characters. According to the Health Protection Agency, up to 3,000 people contract Lyme disease (Borreliosis) from the bite of an infected tick each year in the UK.

Tick Bite Prevention Week, which runs from 11-17 April, is an annual programme which helps promote awareness of tick-borne diseases and effective tick bite prevention for at-risk groups, ie, people who spend a lot of time outdoors, like anglers. A dedicated website has been launched offering advice on what to do if bitten and how to stay protected in the warmer months at

As they used to say on Hill Street Blues… Let’s be careful out there.

AGM 2011

Another year of fishing the River Derwent is at an end and I hope all members enjoyed fishing our little river. I would like to thank all members of the committee for their efforts over the last 12 months. As the 20010 season ended I looked at a difficult year for the Association but as always, Ian [Colborne, membership secretary] and I continue to enjoy the honour of being club secretaries of the Derwent Angling Association.

As always the AGM is vital to the running of this Association as it lets members meet and discuss their concerns with members of the committee. Last year’s AGM was well attended and on behalf of the committee I thank all who came and all who are attending today.

The Nissan game fair was an excellent day where we promoted the club among the fishing community. It was nice to see other clubs asking for advice and of course when we saw good practice we were not shy in gathering information.
We hope to have a guest evening with a world class and widely respected fisherman. Once dates are confirmed we will add them to the website.

To help with habitat restoration and to improve the quality of fishing for members, we will be asking for help from both The Grayling Society and the Wild Trout Trust. This, we hope, will involve a riverbank workshop where we will gain hands-on experience in creating both up- and downstream groins and scour pools.

The committee will contact The Grayling Society to get expert information to improve the depleted grayling stocks on the river and what we as an Association can do to improve the habitat for these wonderful fish. Getting hold of grayling to stock the river with has taken us up one dead end after another and we hope the Environment Agency support us in our endeavours.

I’m sure many of you have visited the club website and I would like to thank attendant member John Adair for his hard work and commitment in keeping it up to date. Anyone wishing to have articles or pictures added to the site please contact john through the site.

Also any members who have not given us their email addresses, could you please do so by putting it in the book provided or contact John through the website. This will allow us to keep you up to date with club business and guest speakers and the like.

The Association wishes to thank Jon Barnes for his demonstration of fishing French leaders which took place last summer. This was well attended and Jon has now shot videos of other techniques that can be viewed on the club website and on YouTube. Members wishing to be river watchers, could you please contact me at the end of the meeting?

We will also be taking names of members wishing to help with river bank maintenance in the coming year.

Junior competition
The junior competition was once again a massive hit with our junior membership and I would like to thank all who helped on the day. 27 young anglers caught 66 fish, with Josh Etheridge taking first place with a 6lb 1oz bag, followed closely by Sam Currie with 5lb 15oz, and in third place, Jonathan Swift with 5lb 14oz. The biggest fish of the day was caught by Arron Merritt with a bonny brownie of 1lb 15oz.

The sponsors of the competition deserve praise for their help in obtaining prizes handed out on the day. These were:

•    Lawrence Hawley of Ultimate Fishing Supplies
•    Hardy Greys
•    Don Coe at Northumbrian Water
•    AMH Angling, Anfield Plain

Senior competition
The senior competition was well attended and the Derwent Reservoir as usual proved to be a tough nut to crack. Results were as follows:

1) Gordon Swain
2) Chris Hope
3) Andrew Coates

And I came fourth – always the bridesmaid and never the bride!

The 2009 pollution incident
After an extremely long and stressful case I am happy to announce that a settlement has been reached with Northumbrian Water that will allow the club to re-stock the river and improve the habitat for spawning wild trout and grayling. The compensation, as reported, amounted to nearly £20,000, which has been ring-fenced to improve the affected area of the river.

I would like to thank all those who contributed, especially Will Rundle of Fish Legal. Without his expert help we would have been at a loss what to do. The Association is a member of the Angling Trust and Fish Legal is now part of the Trust and I would encourage all members to join on an individual basis. Visit their website for more information.

As I’m sure many of you are aware, the river went without its final stocking at the end of last season. The reason for this was unavoidable as our supplier, Bob Booth of Welham Park Trout Farms, suffered a heart attack and was unable to supply us with the fish. Bob has recovered well and will be supplying our fish for the upcoming season.

New members
Any members who have friends wishing to join the Association could you please contact Ian as soon as possible as we have limited vacancies for the upcoming season. Contact Ian tonight or on 01207 591 454

I hope you all have an enjoyable 2011 season and continue to fish The Derwent with us.

Alan Farbridge, Secretary, Derwent Angling Association

Derwent goes barbless from 2011-2012

Following discussion at this year’s AGM, it was agreed that from this season onwards, all hooks are now to be barbless. (Crimped down barbs are acceptable.)

We would also like to remind members that the wild trout area above Allensford is all catch and release and that all grayling are to be returned. We’d also be very grateful if anyone who does catch any grayling could let us know through the website.

Many thanks and good luck for the coming season

New season permits now in

Club members wishing to renew their membership for the coming season may now pick up their new permits at the Post Office at Shotley Bridge. The fee for membership this year is £50 for seniors and £21 for juniors.

Prospective members should email Membership Secretary Ian Colborne. There is currently a short waiting list for senior membership.

Don’t forget: you must have an Environment Agency rod licence before you fish. You can buy your rod licence from your local Post Office, who would certainly appreciate the business, or online from the EA website.

New video from Jon Barnes

Once again, many thanks to Jon for allowing us to use these.


Just a quick reminder that it’s the Derwent Angling Association AGM this coming Saturday 12 February, upstairs at the Crown and Crossed Swords, Shotley Bridge. Proceedings start at 7pm and all members are welcome to attend.

See you there.

Northumbrian Water pays bill for Derwent pollution

This is the press release that has just been put out by Fish Legal, who acted as our solicitors in our recent case against Northumbrian Water following the pollution incident in 2009 which did so much damage to the river. We’d particularly like to thank Will Rundle for all his hard work and determination in what turned out to be such a long drawn out case and look forward to seeing him on the Derwent when he can spare a day!

Fish Legal secures £20,000 compensation for anglers following River Derwent pollution

The Angling Trust’s legal arm Fish Legal has kicked off the New Year with a £19,632 settlement for one of its member clubs – the Derwent Angling Association – whose fishing in the upper reaches of the River Derwent in Northumberland and County Durham was wiped out in February 2009 when sodium hydroxide escaped from a bank-side water treatment works operated by Northumbrian Water Ltd.

Sodium hydroxide (commonly known as caustic soda) is used as a chemical base in many industrial processes, but is also used domestically to strip paint and clear drains. Exposure to it can quite literally ‘burn’ fish tissue.

The pollution occurred when a delivery of the chemical was pumped into a damaged plastic storage tank at the Mosside Water Treatment Works from which an estimated 3,200 litres escaped whilst the tank was being filled. The bunding around the tank which is a first line of defence in the event of a spill, had a loose cover on its man-hatch that not been replaced properly following maintenance work in January 2009. Incredibly, the chemical was stored next to a surface water drain, down which it promptly flowed straight into a tributary of the Derwent, raising the pH of the river to lethal levels and killing thousands of fish.

Fish Legal claimed for a loss of amenity when the club’s resident wild brown trout and grayling populations were decimated over a 13 km stretch between Ebchester and Blackhall Mill, near Consett, to the northwest of Durham. In addition to the financial settlement, a further programme to restock the river with grayling and trout has also been successfully negotiated.

William Rundle, Fish Legal Solicitor, said:
“Negotiating this settlement was difficult at times because Northumbrian Water was reluctant to agree a reasonable amount for the ecological devastation they brought to the Derwent. This was particularly hard to stomach given the extreme carelessness that was the root cause, but we were determined not to let them off the hook.

“We are relatively pleased that following protracted discussions the utility took full responsibility and agreed to a sum that better represents the cost of restoring the river. Whilst never truly compensating for the damage to the environment, it will help Derwent Angling Association enhance the river for future years, and go some way to making good the distress caused.

“The overall bill footed by Northumbrian Water for polluting the Derwent – which includes legal fees and EA fines – is likely to be in excess of £38,500. £28,132 of this bill was recovered by Fish Legal – well over twice that which the EA secured in fines and costs during their prosecution. This demonstrates the invaluable role of our work in punishing and deterring polluters.”

Alan Farbridge, Secretary of the Derwent AA explained how the club intend to use the settlement money:
“We’re going to ring-fence the compensation Fish Legal has won for us to do habitat work when the weather warms up. We’re hoping to train up one of our members to use a chainsaw to cut-back some of the overhanging trees which shade the river in the damaged stretch. We also plan to do some fencing to protect the banks. The area that was polluted used to offer some beautiful fly fishing and although we don’t expect the river to fully recover for about four or five years we’re going to do all we can to make sure it’s in the best possible condition when it does.”

He added:
“Fish Legal was absolutely fantastic throughout. They kept us motivated even though at some points the struggle seemed pretty hopeless. We wouldn’t have this money without them”.