Newsletter - February 2015 Yesterday's Catches, Today's River Levels, Tomorrow's Availability
The new season on Tweed is well under way and what a cold, frosty start to the season the day was. I would rather have these conditions than the horrible wet and mild conditions that greeted us at the start of last season. It takes a brave angler to spend a full day on the river at this time of year.
With few anglers fishing the river, it was those around Kelso that had pretty well enjoyed all of the spoils of opening day. The first week saw Junction finish on 33 fish, off to a flying start! A total of 39 fish were caught on opening week up to 18lbs. Hendersyde, Sprouston and Makerstoun rods also off the mark with spring fish reported - find fishing.
This week's weather is a tad milder than it has been of late with reports of some early snow melt making the river rise slightly. We could do with a frost again to settle things down. Again Junction rods are enjoying some excellent sport, with fish also caught on Upper Makerstoun and Rutherford - latest catches.
The grayling fishing continues to be good, although the cold conditions have slowed things up slightly. The water is crystal clear, with every stone on the bottom visible, which means the angler must use the finest of cast material and stealth to get results. The price for a days grayling fishing starts from £7. It's a great day out - find fishing.
An early opportunity to fish the Tweed at West Learmouth just might be tempting with prices for February and March now only £30 per day, to encourage those who have not yet experienced the beat to have a go. You will certainly be well looked after under the experienced guidance of boatman Bob Harrison who knows the beat like the back of his hand.
An early date for your March calendar - we are joining forces with the Tweed Foundation Seminar on the 25th of March at the Ednam House Hotel, Kelso, to present the winner of the FishPal Malloch Trophy with their prestigious prize. Why not come along and join in the fun? The seminar itself will be interesting, concentrating this time on salmon, having previously held events looking at trout and sea trout. The winner, Wayne Longstaff, caught the "cracking springer" on Hendersyde in April last year and is a worthy winner.
FishPal are again represented at the Glasgow Angling Centre open weekend. Come and meet myself and Anne Woodcock on the 6th, 7th & 8th March.
Let’s hope we get a good season this year, we certainly could do with one. Remember that old famous saying “you need to have your fly in the water to stand a chance of catching a fish” so get yourself out on the river soon and you just might strike it lucky!
The winner of the prestigious Tweedside Tackle trophy for the first fish of the Tweed season was Derek Clover, fishing Junction. He caught a 16lb hen at 10.25am on opening day using an Eternal Optimist fly. The fish was safely returned to the river following its verification by boatman Gavin Brown.
Junction rods caught 10 spring salmon on opening day with 2 fish at 16lbs. Head boatman Billy Jack said "it is the best opening day on the beat since 1976"
The presentation of the Tweedside Tackle trophy enjoyed an excellent turnout of both anglers and boatmen. A local piper kicked off the night with some tunes, whilst everyone enjoyed wine and shared their stories of the numerous fish caught. Thank you to Caroline Pilcher for the opening day report.
The first fish caught on Kelso Angling Association (KAA) water on the Teviot was by female angler Dorothy Graham. Dorothy caught the 9/10lb hen fish on a Blue Charm treble from the Castle Pool on opening day. Tim Pilcher presented Dorothy (pictured) with a certificate, goodie bag and the Tweedside Tackle Crystal Decanter. This is the first time since the trophy was commissioned 8 years ago that the first springer off the Teviot has been caught on opening day – proving that the 2015 season has really started with a bang.
For the latest catches and news on the river this week visit the river reports page.
We are pleased to announce the FishPal Malloch Trophy will be presented to this years winner, Wayne Longstaff, on Wednesday 25th March at the Tweed Foundation Seminar at the Ednam House Hotel.
Mark Cockburn, FishPal CEO, says "This year we wanted to bring the most prestigious trophy in game angling to the winning river. What better place than in one of the iconic fishing hotels in Scotland, on the banks of the Tweed overlooking the famous Junction pool and at a Tweed Foundation seminar on salmon".
The FREE seminar at Ednam House Hotel, Wednesday 25th March, will focus on all aspects of Tweed Salmon, including what happens to these incredible fish during their life cycle as they make their way up and down our river system each year. Spawning, Tweed salmon at sea, catches, and trends in size and age will be some of the topics covered during the evening by their speakers - read more page.
In the first of a series on how technology helps Tweed Forum conserve and enhance the freshwaters of the Tweed catchment, we find out how GIS has influenced the Forum’s work.
The GIS, or Geographical Information System, we use at Tweed Forum is a complex software package which lets us work with maps to store, present or analyse information. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? In reality the software can do fantastically complicated things and it takes a fair degree of expertise to get the best out of it. Luckily, Tweed Forum has Alex Baillie on hand to help.
Alex is the Tweed Forum’s resident GIS expert and has been exploring what the software can do, “I think technology can add something really useful to the work of Tweed Forum and I’m enjoying seeing what GIS can do to improve the freshwater habitats of the Tweed catchment ” - read more.
Our first featured hotel can be found in the heart of the Scottish Borders, perfect for the following beats; Rutherford, Mertoun, Dryburgh, Bemersyde, Ravenswood, Drygrange, Tweedswood, Lower & Middle Pavilion.
The Award Winning Buccleuch Arms is a charming four star inn with an incredible history dating back to 1836.
In recent years the Buccleuch has earned a reputation as one of the finest inns in Scotland, welcoming both locals and guests from the UK & Internationally, most recently winning the Scottish Inn of the Year at the Scottish Hotel awards.
All 19 guest bedrooms are located on the first floor of the hotel and comprise a mixture of Standard Doubles, Classic Twins and Superior King size beds. Their beds, duvets, pillows and linen are chosen for comfort and quality to ensure that guests have a great nights sleep, one of the reasons anglers and their families return each year.
The Blue Coo Bistrot opens in the morning at 6.45am, offering a scrumptious breakfast menu that is perfect for anglers. This is also available for non residents. Lunch in the bar or the bistrot is available from 12 noon until 2.30pm, a perfect place for a bite to eat for those anglers travelling further north or visiting Borders Gunroom. Dinner is served from 5.30pm.
This hotel has special offers and packages throughout the year on accommodation and dining. For anglers visiting the borders in February the Buccleuch Arms has a mid week room offer at just £60 per night (subject to availability) - read more.
A selection of restaurants and public houses in the area, serving fresh, local, seasonal produce - read more. New for this year - hotels and caterers who can organise lunch for your fishing party. For daily dishes and speciality nights check the FishTweed Facebook page.
Whitehouse Country House has been "Highly Commended" in the award for the "Most innovative British Breakfast 2015". Their entry, a Borders Breakfast Terrine, made using 100% Border ingredients, is a very popular dish on the breakfast menu. "The dish showcases some of the fantastic local produce we have in the Scottish Borders" says Angela Tyrer - read more .
During the last few years we have been building up an unrivalled selection of places to stay that cater for every angler's needs. We now have accommodation listed along the entire length of the river, offering you a selection of the very best hotels, pubs, guest houses, self catering establishments and including sites for caravans and motor homes - read more.
Kirsty McConnell, from Crabtree & Crabtree, shares with us her wealth of experience in the first of a two-part feature on accommodation 'must haves' and general information for fishing parties - read more.
There is a selection of superb salmon fishing to bid for in this year's annual auction, with lots on the rivers Restigouche in Canada and Orkla in Norway, along with most major UK and Irish fisheries.
As well as wild sea trout, brown trout and grayling fishing, that offer extraordinary value, there are a number of unusually interesting shooting and stalking lots including a once in a lifetime chance to bag a MacNab!
The annual auction of 167 lots, ends on 14th February, Valentine’s Day - view auction.
Moving rapidly into the end of the second week of the 2015 salmon season, we find the river remaining in good order, with catches mirroring those of the opening week. South Wark have now reported their first fish on the season, which is promising for lower beats. Please keep sending in your news, stories and photographs to my weekly Tweed report at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The water temperature has risen by 2 Celcius since opening day and looks quite settled for the next few days. The prospects page will keep you up to date on the latest conditions.
As we move into the later part of the month the catches normally begin to increase. Download the free app to keep you up to date on catches for the Tweed via your mobile phone.
Beats below Coldstream are still finding it very quiet, but fishing pressure has been little to nothing at all so far this year. As of Monday, spinning is now allowed on the river, though please check with the beat you are fishing if they allow this method.
If you would like more information on fishing in the Scottish Borders please contact the office 01573 470612. We can offer local advice on beats, guides, instruction and places to stay.