When and where permitted, spinning finds a lot of favour in high water conditions. for salmon a 15 gram flying 'C' is most popular . The first time visitor will not go far wrong with black and silver for clearer waters and an odd red /orange or yellow for heavy colour. Toby type spoons also account for salmon. 12lb line or up to 16lb in autumn would suffice, as would a 8 1/2 to 10ft rod capable of handling up to 20- 25 gram baits.
For sea trout, it often works to use a slightly smaller flying 'C's or mepp type spinners which if flicked accross the tail of a glide can account for many a fish. I wouldn't spin with much less than 10lb line on, assuming that the water is up a bit at a traditional spinning height and this will also give you a chance should you contact a summer grilse. Where spinning as allowed in low water a tiny 00 or No 1 mepp on 6lb line flicked into rapids and streamy runs with stealth can sometimes outwit a sea trout which you might have scared with the fly rod.
Much the same tackle as for spinning, it is mainly done with a drilled bullet above a swivel with 2 to 2 1/2ft of leader trace to a single hook. the same principles on breaking strains apply. I would recommend short shank, wide gape carp type hooks (eg. Kamasan B980) , size 8 or 10 for sea trout and size 8 or 6 or 4 for salmon dependant on time of year.
Other equipment & advice
must be of a knotless mesh variety.
with studded soles are the most popular and a wading stick makes good sense. However beats and safety conditions vary and you are advised to check before wading. A life jacket is advisable.
Some of the Esk system has rocky terrain with gullets and fast flowing waterfalls, some flows through pasture and has gravel bottom . Toward the tidal reaches, sandy mud flats will be found, some of which are quick sinking. You should also be aware of occasional over head power lines, farm animals and electric stock fences. Take care, tell someone where you are going and when you should be back!
may be troublesome during summer, particularly on warm damp evenings and some net protection or suitable repellant may make life more comfortable.
: Many beats restrict permitted methods to certain water heights and some do not allow certain methods eg shrimps or upstream fly fishing. Please check the terms of your permit and local bylaws before fishing.
This general advice was supplied by Iain Bell of the Buccleuch Esk and Liddle fishery Office, Ewesbank, LANGHOLM DG13 0ND. If you require more detailed information on tackle, tactics or even where to stay, you are most welcome to telephone his office at Langholm 013873 81951. A recorded message of River conditions is also usually available as an option from this line.