The Northumbria Anglers Federation was originally founded in January 1894 under the name of the Tyneside Anglers Federation;
this was altered in 1896 to its present name. The waters controlled were leased from the Duke of Northumberland. In those days the
then Duke was unhappy about the non-sporting antics being used on the riverbanks of the Coquet. Poaching and snatching were prevalent
and the loss of the lease was considered but after persuasion from Northumberland county councillors he decided against the action
and the Federation gained control of the waters with conditions attached to their agreement. An annual rent of £5 was to be paid;
a separate committee was to be formed, approved by the Duke; with accounts kept; and that it should be a non profit making organisation.
Duke promised a donation of £50 at the end of the year, should the fishing be run correctly. This was done and paved the way for 50
years of tenure for the Federation at an annual rent of one shilling (5p) a year. During the early nineteen fifties the Duke of Northumberland
closed the tidal waters to the Federation again due to large-scale snatching of salmon/sea-trout by dragging large heavy flies across
the salmon lies in the hope that the hook would find its way into the fish’s body.
1956 saw Jim Hardy of Hardy Brothers elected as
chairman of the Federation and he approached the then Duke of Northumberland and persuaded him to re-open the tidal waters to anglers.
The restrictions were now to be much more stringent; these conditions are still in force to this day. This was an example of history
repeating itself as in 1897.
The Coquet rises in the Cheviot Hills running east to the North Sea entering at Amble. The river winds
its way through some magnificent country none more so than that controlled by the Northumbria Anglers Federation. The Rothbury and
Felton waters contain some lovely fly-fishing. The Tidal reaches, adjacent to the spectacular presence of Warkworth Castle are very
productive but more difficult to approach with the fly. It has been a long known fact that the federation controls much of the Coquet’s
best fishing with many fine holding pools. The season runs from 1st February to 31st October with the river receiving good spring
runs of salmon and late runs of predominantly sea trout. The Coquet sea trout are among the best in Britain with fish taken almost
every season approaching 20lb in weight.
The Federation fishing also takes in some fine water on the main river Tyne in the Parish
of Ovingham. The Federation also owns the Ovington Fishery on the north bank of the Tyne. Lower tidal waters are also leased at Stanners
near Ryton Golf Course.
While many anglers are not trophy conscious the Coquet Trophy presented to the captor of the river’s first
salmon of the season has become an institution on the Coquet and the holder will receive three years free permits and a replica of
the trophy to retain. The Federation introduced two new trophies in 1994 to commemorate its centenary, one for the largest salmon
caught on Federation waters i.e. Coquet and Tyne, and the other for the heaviest brown trout.
Northumbrian Anglers Federation