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Fly Fishing On The River Tees

Published: 11th August 2020 | Author: Phillippa Hake

I recently took a trip up the A1 towards Middleton-In-Teesdale to meet up with friends Kieron Jenkins, Matt and Callum Russell to go fly fishing on the river Tees.

Upon arriving on the Friday night the guys were telling me they had a successful day’s fishing. Even in the midst of a one day heatwave which saw the temperatures get above 30 degrees, they had all caught an astounding number of fish. After chatting all things fishing over some food and drink I was extremely eager to get going the following day and catch some wild brown trout! 

We began our day fishing the upper Tees starting just above High Force Waterfall. It’s an absolutely brilliant sight. A glance around and you’ll see continuous rolling hills of breathtaking countryside. It really is a beautiful place to fish. Thankfully the temperatures had dropped over night to a pleasant 15 degrees. Much more comfortable for walking in waders! After a few quick photos, we were on our way to fish.

A photograph of High Force Waterfall where the water rushes down. Fly fishing on the River Tees is beautiful!
There was a truly beautiful view at High Force Waterfall.

Wading on the Tees can be difficult. So, if you’re not too confident wading be sure to remember your wading staff and life jacket to make things a little easier and safer for yourself! If you still don’t want to wade, fishing from the banks can provide excellent fishing. 

A photograph of the rocky river as well as a photo of a small wild brown trout in hand.
Pocket water and wild browns. It doesn’t get better than that! Just don’t forget your wading staff…

The Tees is a fantastic river with a huge head of wild brownies. They aren’t big, but what they lack in size they make up for in numbers. Because the water is tinted with a peaty colour, the trout are a much darker colour than what you typically find on other wild trout streams.

The Tees offers some exceptional pocket water fishing! To accommodate that, I set my rod up and rigged it using the Fulling Mill Masterclass Tapered Leader (3lb) and added a couple of feet of 2lb World Class V2 Fluorocarbon. On the end, I tied a single sedge patten. If you’re daring enough and a confident wader, zig zagging your way across the river will allow you to pick fish off with ease fishing big bushy sedge patterns. I missed two fish in my first few casts, but it wasn’t long before I had my first fish of the day in the net.

A full box of dry flies with a reel in the background.

Although they don’t come big, you can still expect a good scrappy fight and aggressive takes on dries from the fish on the Upper Tees. Throughout the day Callum and Kieron had fun pulling mini jig streamers through some of the bigger pools as well, which resulted in a few fish. 

As much as I do enjoy fishing on my own, I also greatly enjoy fishing with friends. No matter how long you’ve been fishing you’ll always pick up and learn new things on these types of days. Weather that’s a way of approaching a river, presenting a fly differently, or a new patterns you’ve seen in their box that you’ll go home and tie, every time I go home having learnt something new.

Several anglers stand on the bank of the River Tees as they prepare to fly fish.

If you’re looking for some excellent sport in a truly beautiful part of the country look no further than a trip to go fly fishing on the river Tees. I will certainly be taking another trip to this amazing river.

If you want to read more from Phillippa, make sure to check out some of her previous articles on our blog!

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