Fantastic fishing

Ever wanted to try your hand at rod and tackle? Northumberland’s sparkling rivers are home to some superb game and coarse fishing. Salmon and sea trout are found in many of our rivers.

The River Tyne is England’s premier salmon river. Sea trout is found in the Tyne, Coquet and Tweed. There are brown trout everywhere, with some rainbow trout around too. The lower reaches of most rivers have good coarse fishing. Dace, roach, chubb and pike are found in the Tyne.

Types of fishing available in the Park

The season for salmon on the English rivers is 1 February to 31 October but, a “catch and release” byelaw obliges the return of any salmon caught before 16 June.

Salmon fishing

The River Tweed and the Till

The long history of fine fishing means permits can be expensive here. Fishing is usually from a hired boat which will probably include the services of a gillie (or boatman) who can provide expert advice and tuition.

There is no statutory “catch and release” on the Tweed and Till but a voluntary code requires the return of every other spring salmon caught by rod and line. Anglers catch the largest salmon in the autumn.

The River Coquet, River Aln, and River Tyne

Fishing permit prices are more reasonable. On the whole, the Tyne has the largest average weights for salmon.

Coarse fishing

Coarse fish can not be eaten and so are returned to the river, except for grayling, which is really a game fish. Here coarse fishing is largely limited to the river Tyne. However, The Tweed, The Till and the Blyth are noted for their grayling fishing.

The common varieties of coarse fish in Northumberland are grayling, perch, pike, roach, dace, gudgeon and eels. The season for coarse fishing on Northumberland rivers is 16 June to 14 March. Clubs and owners of still waters may not have a close season.

Trout fishing

The two main non-migratory trout in Northumberland are:

  • brown trout are usually wild and found in rivers, lakes and reservoirs
  • rainbow trout are usually stocked and found only in lakes and reservoirs

The season for brown trout fishing is from 22 March to 30 September in England and 15 March to 6 October in Scotland. Local Scottish byelaws there often impose a restricted season from 1 April to 30 September. Fishing on Sundays is not permitted on the Scottish rivers of the Tweed and Till. Typically, the average brown trout will weigh one third of a pound but top weights can reach up to four pounds.

Brown Trout fishing in Kielder Forest

The main streams for brown trout fishing in Kielder Forest in Northumberland are:

  • Kielder Burn
  • Lewisburn
  • Plashetts Burn
  • Belling Burn
  • Chirdon Burn
  • Tarset Burn
  • Warksburn
  • The River Rede

Access into the forest is on foot only. Please park in the car parks. All legal methods of brown trout fishing are permitted until 31 July. Fly fishing is allowed during August and September. There is no bag limit.

Daily/Weekly fishing permits for Kielder Forest are available from:

Tyne Rivers Trust Daily/Weekly or seasonal permits available from the Blackcock Inn at Falstone

Still-water fishing

Apart from brown and rainbow trout, species include rudd, bream, tench and carp. Eels are present in most waters. Numerous large and small still-waters are available for fishing. Many of these provide both bank and boat fishing.


All fresh water fishing in England requires both a permit from the owner or manager of the water in question and an Environment Agency National Rod Licence.

Licences are available from Post Offices, tackle shops or from the website.

Licences are available for 1 day, 8 days or 1 year (April – March) and have two main categories: “All Fish (incl Salmon and Sea Trout)” and “Non-migratory Trout and Coarse Fish only”.

The Tweed and its tributaries (including the Till) are classed as Scottish rivers, for which a National Rod licence is not required.

Fishing is not permitted on Sundays on Scottish rivers.