Both the Esk and Liddle flow through picturesque countryside typical of the Border area and much of the bankside is wooded with indigenous hardwoods. The rivers are generally fast flowing and with beds of rock outcrop or pebble shingle with no natural weed growth.
The Esk may be regarded as 'gin clear' except during periods of high water. The Liddle, except during periods of fairly low levels, often carries peat stain, although this does not have a detrimental effect upon fish taking.
The salmon season opens on 1st April and continues until 31st October. Spring runs of fish, in common with many other rivers, have sadly declined and only odd fish enter the system until May. However, given good river levels from late June, fish start to run into the lower beats such as Canonbie and Lower Liddle.
Esk at Irvine House.
Late July usually heralds the arrival of the summer run and, if conditions remain suitable, will continue until they merge with the main autumn runs around mid September, which generally increase until the season closes. Both rivers produce fish weighing well into the teens of pounds and twenty pounders plus are taken every season.
The sea trout season commences on the 1st April and continues until 30th September, given good running conditions, fish in the 4 to 7lb class are usually present on the opening day. A gradual increase in numbers continues until early August or later in some seasons. The average weight of the main runs is usually 1.5 to 2.5lbs with a few larger specimens up to 10lbs.
A typical long pool on the river.
April 2015 at the Willow pool and Cauldron John Croasdell with his 12lbr.