River Reports

Salmon River Reports – Riverdale Hall Hotel




July 2015

As the dry spell of summer shrank the upper reaches of the North Tyne everyone waiting to fish the Riverdale Hall beats prayed for the first big release from Kielder water of the salmon season.

The lower reaches of the river had been recently reporting large numbers of fish moving through the system which when added to the steady build-up of early runners would hopefully make for some healthy sport. As the release date of the 16th July approach eager and wise fishers booked onto the Riverdale beats in anticipation.

To complement and enhance this long awaited release Mother Nature stepped in on the eve of the 15th of July and gave the North Tyne a very welcome deluge of fresh fish moving rain. By the morning of the 16th Tarset burn like all the others on the top of the North Tyne was overflowing with fresh water mixing with the release. These conditions are perfect for fish movement and it came as no surprise when reports came through that large numbers of both sea trout and salmon had been seen moving fast through lower beats on the river.

As the conditions quickly became fishable as the rain stopped which is a bonus feature of the Riverdale beats both salmon and sea trout started to be caught. Long-time Riverdale angler Roger Craig was the first to score and over a couple of days fishing with small flies managed to notch an impressive mix of thirteen fish both salmon and grilse with the best a beauty of 12lb. Not only did Roger continue to catch well himself but he benevolently helped another Riverdale angler start his journey on the salmon path by lending him a fly that actually caught him his first ever salmon. Greg Hugg was the happy fisher who bagged a pristine 4lb grilse to record yet another fish from the Riverdale beats and his own personal mile stone.

With the release keeping the natural spate well augmented migratory fish still pushed through all the beats on mass as the weekend arrived. Steve Reading from Shropshire made the long journey to fish and was rewarded with a truly incredible catch. In two days fishing Steve an experienced fly fisher managed a grand total of twenty six sea trout ranging from 2lb to 9lb plus a couple of fine fresh salmon, amazing sport. Other reports were now flooding in and it soon became apparent by the end of the weekend that all the Riverdale beats were now starting to hold good numbers of migratory fish.

Latest news

As this report was being put together reports of fish captures are still being reported. Stu McFarlane is the lucky fisher bagging sea trout on small flies from the ever consistent Redeswood beat.


The prospects for summer sport on the Riverdale beats now look very promising and as each freshet of water both from rain and Kielder release arrives more and more salmon and sea trout will continue to fill these stunning places to fish. Overall advice to both the travelling and local angler is to keep a keen eye on the weather forecast and planned releases for the chance of this excellent and affordable sport.



27th May 2011

At long last we can report salmon caught on Riverdale’s beats, Trevor Harrison fishing at Redesmouth caught 2 in 2 days and lost another one all on the fly. Paul Scott fishing at Carriteth caught one, again on the fly. Reports from the environment agency concerning fish numbers coming through the fish counter are looking very good. March and April being excellent with 106 - March, 409 - April and up until Thursday the 26th May, 1089 which is by far the best May on record. Most of these fish seem to be wintered fish , so it will be interesting to see what the grilse and sea trout runs will be like, but reports suggest there are a lot of sea trout just off the coast. So let there be plenty of rain over the next few weeks to keep the river at a decent height and keep the fish running. Anyone keen on a good days fishing contact Nicole on 01434 220254

2010 Summary Report

Well that’s the end of another salmon season in England. Riverdale guests have had another good year on the river after a slow start to the season our guests have had 396 fish, 295 salmon and 121 sea trout. The 2010 season opened on a cuatious note after the relatively low fish count of 2009. Once the weather settled for a few days and with the added bonus of water in the river our guests had some great sport with someanglers having up to 10 fish in a day. With a very poor run of spring fish our first fish wasn’t taken untill July, however it was as early as May when we saw fish on the Carriteth beat which is one of our highest beats up river. Our biggest fish of the season was 22lb, and whilst this is a nice size fish it is a lot smaller than previous years. We usually have a lot of fish in the high 20s a a few 30s but this year the fish seem to be a bit smaller with a lot beeing in the 8 to 12lb bracket. It has been nice seeing a lot of our regular guests coming back and catching fish but also nice to see a lot of new guests at the hotel this year. The fish count through the fish pass at Riding Mill this year was 45.171 which is just short of the record count in 2004 of 48.668. October unlike July,  August and September was quite a modest month this year with 9.409 fish, the 6th highest on record.

Everyone at Riverdale Hall Hotel would like to thank all of our guests and hope to see them all back enjoying themselves next year.

Tight lines to all

2009 Summary Report

The best way I can describe the 2009 season on the Tynes as not the best on record but not the worst either. We had very little rain throughout the course of the season to keep the rivers fresh and coupled with the mild summer weather which carried on right through until the end of October and beyond kept the salmon running on the Kielder releases. When conditions are like this the salmon tend to disperse upstream, uninterested in the anglers offerings and settle into deep shaded pools until a change in weather conditions occurs.

Artificial mini spates are welcomed by anglers, the releases from Kielder keep the bulk of the fish moving steadily upstream but the salmon are often difficult to tempt. The fish counter at Riding Mill up until the end of October recorded 5103 upstream counts less than last season figures ( which are estimates), however there clearly weren’t many sea trout in the Tyne system this season which if present I’m sure would of made up for the drop in fish counts.

One thing to point out was the quality and average size of the Tyne salmon this season, reading through the north Tyne catch returns, weights averaged 14lb with a good sprinkling of 20lb plus, multi sea winter fish lurking in the pools including the heaviest recorded salmon of the season caught on the upper north Tyne weighing 37lb caught on a fly.

In the first two weeks of April we landed a few kelts and lost two springers after a lengthy battle but on April 13th, bank holiday, Riverdale guest Gerry Cowley landed the first salmon off the beat after I gave him a mornings casting lesson as he was new to fishing and this was the first time he had cast a line. Gerry’s salmon put up a spirited battle and the size 14 treble held long enough for me to slip the net under a gleaming 11lb fish. I had nine Riverdale guests over the course of the season who all landed their first ever salmon after a little tuition and it’s these people who I look back on at this time of year and make it all worthwhile. I also had experienced anglers out who had red letter days on various North Tyne beats where we had days of 4, 7, 9 & 12 salmon to one rod in one days fishing.

Conditions came right in August on the north Tyne where guests fishing Chesters landed 15 salmon in two days and I slipped the net under no fewer than 38 salmon for five days fishing. There we have it, no two seasons are the same and where one beat did well the previous season doesn’t mean that it will do well the following season because different stretches of the river produce different results depending on water/ weather conditions, that’s the norm no matter which river we choose to fish or how much we pay.

Guests staying at Riverdale Hall had a good season despite river conditions and the catches at the end of the season show this. Riverdale have prime weeks on the best beats on the north Tyne for this coming new season, early booking is essential to secure prime salmon fishing for 2010. Booking details can be obtained from Nicole on 01434 220254, we are currently changing our website to take online bookings for both rods & room reservations, we hope to have this up and running prior to the season.

Can I thank you all and have a very happy Christmas and a rod bending season next year and I look forward to the new salmon season on the Tynes.


Bookings for 2009 Season

The successes of this year should encourage anglers to book early for 2009, so, to avoid disappointment anglers are advised to contact Nicole Johnstone, Fishing Coordinator on 01434 220661 or email Nicole@riverdalehallhotel.co.uk to secure desired choice of beat etc. for the next season. Those of you who are unfamiliar with the water or would like to book my Ghillie and/or guiding services can contact me for a discussion on 07901 506454 between 9am – 7pm.

For more details on Ghillie services offered please take the time to have a look at the website and follow the links.

The catch returns are detailed below which I invite you to have a look at, and all that remains is for me to wish you and your families a Merry Christmas and we look forward to welcoming you to fish the North Tyne in 2009.

Tight Lines

David Turner (North Tyne Ghillie)
River Tyne Ghillie and Guiding Services
Tel: 07875035461

Riverdale Hall Hotel Catch Return (Upper North Tyne)
Beat Salmon Sea Trout Trout
Newton 27 18 18
Redeswood 61 60 1
Carriteth 19 18 1
Tarset 31 18 1

Hotel Beat

5 6 0

Mill Beat

3 1 0


1 0 0
 Snabdough 1 1 0
Total  148 122 21

Please Note: Minimal availability for Hotel guests on Mill Beat and Hesleyside.


Chesters Catch Return (Lower North Tyne)



Chesters (Upper and Lower)




Record of Total catches (by year) from 2005 onwards





Salmon Return for Riverdale Hall Hotel Beats





Sea-Trout Return for Riverdale Hall Hotel Beats





Salmon Return for Chesters





Sea-Trout Return for Chesters







2008 Summary Report

The season drew to a close on The Tyne with many anglers both resident and visiting reflecting on what turned out to be a successful season for many. The river was frequently flowing in spate with record levels of rainfall falling at various times throughout the year. The season opened with gale force winds and blizzards, but despite this there were hardy anglers to be found out on the riverbanks eagerly wetting their lines in the hope of landing a first fish of the season. As is usual for the Tyne early catches tend to be from downstream of Hexham to Wylam on the main Tyne; some early club reports in 2008 suggested that although slow to start their anglers were enjoying the best spring in over fifty years.

Anglers observed springers in pools on Chesters in early May even though most of the beats were running too high for guests fishing the waters. River levels did fall and by Saturday 3 May the river was in good fly fishing order; evidenced by two fine springers from the Chesters water. Regular hotel guest, Alex Chard produced the first, Alex is no stranger to Chesters having enjoyed many successful seasons fishing with us on the North Tyne. Alex’s fish, a salmon, was estimated to weigh between 17-18lb, caught off the large rock at Middle Island on the Upper Beat. The killing fly pattern was one which Alex has used many times before and enjoyed success with – a small orange conehead Pot Belly Pig.

Chester’s owner, George Benson fished the same day and landed a second fish for the day; a salmon estimated to weigh 10lb. George’s fish was also landed on fly but from the Beeches pool on the Lower beat. A catch I must mention was a superb catch for Frank Shaw, on his first ever visit to fish the North Tyne, Frank fished Chesters lower beat from the South bank and was rewarded with a beautiful silver salmon, estimated to weigh between 21-22lb. Frank caught his salmon using a sink tip line armed with a pot belly pig in the Boat pool stream.

The first fish landed on Riverdale waters fell to Harry Davidson on 16 May 2008, Harry fished low water conditions at Redesdale Junction on Redesmouth, Harry’s salmon was a superb 16lb taken on a Flying C.

Early in the season the hotel completed building works, adding nine new bedrooms which anglers and their families have taken advantage of over the year.

The hotel continues to go from strength to strength, with staff taking the time to get to know the guests and their family’s, as a result the hotel enjoys an enviable reputation with many returning year on year, enjoying what is reputed to be the best food in the north. The hotel is situated in rural Northumberland, an area which boasts outstanding scenery which undoubtedly compliments the fishing on offer.

As I’ve indicated river levels throughout the whole of the Tyne system have fluctuated significantly throughout the season; said to be one of the wettest seasons on record with many fishing days lost due to spate conditions. Beats on the lower reaches of the main Tyne at times found angling difficult, however on a more positive note the plentiful water supplies ensured that at times good numbers of fish were able to enter and continue to move through the river system, and guests fishing further upstream on the North and South Tyne’s have enjoyed the best of the sport.

In terms of catches, by mid June most beats had produced fish, and in the month of July when water levels allowed sport was superb with some cracking fresh salmon and sea-trout landed. The fish counter at Riding Mill indicated that most of the upstream fish movement at that time were sea-trout with odd pods of salmon heading upstream. As you will note from the catch return tables below, when compared to the previous seasons, sea-trout catches have increased which can only be another bit of good news for the Tyne.

In early August, kind water conditions were present; steady runs of sea-trout with pods of salmon were still running hard up to the headwaters with guests at Riverdale taking advantage. Using small flies on floating and sinking lines excellent catches were reported and enjoyed (and some good fish were lost too!). Sea-trout seemed to be more prevalent in the river, however reports of large salmon landed and lost did feature too – one angler fishing a private beat on the upper North Tyne took a salmon that weighed in at 26½lb! Mid August saw anglers flooded off Chesters however, hotel beats were fishable; the hotel’s beats are located above the River Rede which is the North Tyne’s main tributary and after heavy rain the North Tyne floods rendering all beats downstream of The Rede un-fishable.

Dominik Pozorski, a regular guest at the hotel fished fly at Redeswood landing twelve sea-trout and lost a salmon which was well over 20lb in weight. By the end of August, the Tyne had been subjected to constant torrential downpours and a 50 cubic meter release from Kielder (necessary to reduce reservoir levels) making fishing impossible as the river flowed six feet above normal summer level. Kielder reservoir continued to release 15.3 cumec of compensation water, such a long release period is unusual however it was in response to the quantity of rainfall which had resulted in the reservoir being “full to the brim.”

The benefits of such prolific water flow over a sustained period of time were evident in the fish that ran on the flows to reach the headwaters, upriver beats on the North and South Tyne’s by end of August/ early September held large quantities of migratory fish with the North Tyne reputed to be have had the best runs of fish than has been had for many years, certainly catch returns are up on last year.

September arrived, torrential rainstorms wreaked havoc on the river and its banks with fishing huts damaged and/ or washed away! Unfortunately rods found themselves washed off the river for days at a time, there were anglers able to wade and effectively cover the swollen pools, albeit predominantly using spinning tactics; the best conditions and catches were had by those fishing the North Tyne beats.

One party of determined anglers were Simon Evans & Co. battling difficult conditions at Chesters on the Lower North Tyne they successfully landed nine salmon and eight sea-trout for their week; which was an excellent return for their impressive efforts having been flooded off for a considerable part of the week.

The final month of the season arrived, the hotel was busy with anglers arriving in numbers; to prevent disappointment the hotel again secured additional fishing on Hesleyside beat for the last few weeks of the season and I have to say the atmosphere was upbeat with anglers in good spirits, enjoying steady sport. Whereas the summer months had seen Sea-trout present in numbers, October saw mostly salmon landed with fly and spinning tactics used, dependent on river conditions.

Despite the difficult river conditions which have featured throughout the season, overall the reports from our guests and the anglers I have the pleasure of working with over the course of the year are positive. The environment agency fish counter at Riding Mill on the main Tyne which records the combined salmon and sea-trout upstream fish counts recorded 26845 salmon and sea-trout to the end of October (2118 down on the same period last year) although the hotel and Chesters catch return show an increase compared to last year with some excellent specimens landed (and no doubt lost too!)


2007 Summary Report

The 2007 season on the Tyne has come to an end and I have spent the last couple of weeks reflecting on the season past; like many other salmon rivers up and down the country The Tyne got off to a rather slow start with fewer than normal springers occupying pools on the lower main Tyne (from the Riding mill pumping station / fish pass downstream to the tidal water at Wylam Bridge Pool.) The lower reaching pools usually hold and produce superb spring salmon sport however, sadly this season these fine spring fish were few and far between.

It was on Thursday 29 March that Riverdale Hall Hotel guest Michael Rowson landed the first salmon for the 2007 season on the North Tyne at Chesters. The fish a cracking, fresh run salmon estimated to weigh 20lb fell to a cascade shrimp, caught at the Top Island Stream fished from the South Bank.

In terms of fish catches April of this year was slow with only odd springers landed as far upstream as Hexham, although numbers reflected in the Environment Agency upstream fish counts indicate that there was slightly more fish moving through than in April 2006, obviously other factors (low water conditions – reported to be the driest April since 1938) were at play which prevented fish being caught, it was certainly not for the lack of anglers’ enthusiasm. Whilst the river may have been quiet the hotel was certainly not, Riverdale Hall Hotel’s extension works were by this time well underway, adding an additional nine bedrooms to cater for our ever-increasing number of guests requesting to fish the Tyne for salmon.

May on the North Tyne is normally a fairly productive month particularly on Chesters beats and also upstream on Riverdale Hall Hotel’s lower Redesmouth beat however early May continued to be below par, prolonged dry weather conditions, resulted in low river levels and at times sport was practically at a standstill. A brief spate provided some respite and salmon present in the Tyne system were encouraged to run upstream with occasional clean fish seen in Hexham Bridge Pool, catches increased; on Chesters we saw some lovely springers landed weighing between 8-18lb with the average being mid teens of pounds in weight. Further upstream, regular hotel guest, Dominic Bozorski landed the first springer on Redeswood (30 May) later than usual, however, this is attributive to the dry spring and subsequent low river levels we have experienced. Dominic’s fish, a fine silver fish with an estimated weight of between 14-15lb was landed from the lower Redesmouth pool on size 10 Ally’s.

Not to forget the Wild Brown Trout sport which this year saw guests land superb specimens in both condition and weight. Taking advantage of the good fly hatches, and fishing the Newton beat just upstream from Bellingham for trout, one guest landed four fine brown trout to dry fly with a total weight estimated at 6½lb.

From a dry spring, and low river levels the Tyne in June endured high river levels for nearly a fortnight; heavy rainfall began on 11 June resulting in the whole river system being in spate for a two week period, however, reports from up and down the river were not particularly encouraging with only the occasional small pod of fish seemingly entering the river, and the majority of these fish were noted to be sea-trout. From June onwards, Environment Agency upstream fish counts consistently report significantly reduced numbers of fish registering on the Riding mill fish counter. Having entered the fresh water the sea-trout swiftly made their way upstream to the North Tyne, and sea-trout weighing between 2lb and 10lb were landed on Chesters and the beats managed by Riverdale Hall Hotel.

July proved to be much the same as June, Rain, Rain and more Rain! With the Tynes constantly rising and falling throughout each week. However, unlike earlier weeks late July saw some decent runs of salmon accompanied by plentiful quantities of prime condition sea-trout occupying pools from the headwaters of the both the North and South Tyne down to the tidal water at Wylam on the main river, reports are good with many being landed and weighing in at between seven and ten pounds. Sadly, the CLA Game Fair, due to be held at Harewood House in Leeds was cancelled after heavy and sustained rainfall resulted in health and safety concerns.

The environment agency upstream fish count figures (see below) reflect the reduced catches from the North Tyne this season, however the persistent 9.3cmps flow of compensation water from Kielder, released to allow for Bakethin Dam Inspection works (scheduled to begin Nov 07) enabled fish to enter the lower river and kept the North Tyne in good fly fishing order – good news for the many visiting anglers staying at Riverdale and fishing waters on the North Tyne, some of whom enjoyed red letter days with multiple fish catches.

Despite the difficult river conditions prevalent throughout much of the early part of the season, and the lower catch returns, anglers have remained optimistic, and their enthusiasm remains infectious to all. We have seen some exceptional fish caught, and in particular i have noticed some fine specimens of multi sea winter salmon in the pools this season. A large percentage of the salmon caught throughout the main river, north and south Tynes have weighed in at the high teens of pounds with a lesser, although significant amount weighing in at over twenty pounds! The heaviest fish recorded was a cracking 33lb salmon caught by Burnley angler Peter Berret, falling to a Devon Minnow – what a fish!

Catch Returns for North Tyne beats

Salmon Returns




Chesters (Lower North Tyne)




Riverdale Hall Hotel Beats (Upper North Tyne)




Sea-Trout Returns




Chesters (Lower North Tyne)




Riverdale Hall Hotel Beats (Upper North Tyne)




The Tyne has an enviable reputation as the best salmon river in England, the environment agency are currently collecting brood stock for stripping in the Hatchery at Kielder ensuring that the Tyne sustains its reputation for many years to come. All that remains is for me to say thank you to those of you I have had the pleasure of meeting and or ghillieing for this year and I look forward to 2008 season.

Tight Lines

David Turner (North Tyne Ghillie)
River Tyne Ghillie and Guiding Services
Tel: 07875035461

Tel: 01434 220254 Fax 01434 220457


e:mail reservations@riverdalehallhotel.co.uk

Fishing @ Riverdale Hall Hotel

The table below shows the monthly combined upstream counts for salmon and sea trout at the Environment Agency fish counter at Riding Mill on the main River Tyne. The counter began operation in June 1996 (hence the lack of data for the earlier part of that year).

River Tyne Upstream Fish Counts – Riding Mill Fish Counter






















































































































































































NB: Figures in bold have not been fully validated, as a result of data loss from the counter. Totals for these months are therefore estimates. Figures in italics have not been fully validated, but will be validated in the future. These values may therefore change. * Indicates counter non-operational for part or all of the month due to routine maintenance/improvement works at site. Many thanks to the Environment Agency as the data source of the above figures.