Newsletter - May 2015     Yesterday's Catches, Today's River Levels, Tomorrow's Availability

May Madness

Catches on Tweed did not relate anything near to the amount of fish lost last week. Wednesday and Thursday saw anglers hooking into running fish, only to lose them just as quickly. A frustrating few days, but anglers were still in good spirits.

Tweed Bemersyde

There is still some available fishing on Tweed this bank holiday week and with salmon caught up to 20lb and sea trout up to 10lb, along with good fishing prospects, we don't expect it to be around very long - find fishing.

Congratulations to Tweed Forum - the 2015 UK River & Nigel Holmes Trophy winners at the River Restoration Centre’s Annual Conference this month. Every month the Tweed newsletter features the great work of the Tweed Forum. This month you can read about their work on the Till River Restoration Strategy.

The first spring fish have been tagged by Tweed Foundation biologists who are asking anglers to look out for fish with yellow tags! The biologists also report the number of fish caught per net shot has increased noticeably this month. After the rise in river levels at the start of the month locals reported the biggest run of sea-trout on Tweed seen for many a year.

If you need any help with arranging fishing on Tweed then do give Tom a ring in the office on 01573 470612. He can help you find the perfect beat for you and your family and also recommend places to stay near your chosen beat.

Tight Lines

Marketing Director

PS Get ahead of the game - keep up to date with Tweed catches on the move and book your fishing from your iPad, iPhone, tablet or smartphone with the FishPal App

Bemersyde Trophy

Bemersyde Trophy

Lady Haig welcomed guests to Bemersyde House last week for the annual Bemersyde award ceremony for the largest fly caught Atlantic Salmon, caught and released, on the River Tweed in 2014.

The trophy received entries from anglers who had caught some magnificent salmon on the Tweed, including Iain Wilson’s 32lb spring fish.

This year's Bemersyde Trophy winner is Wayne Longstaff from North Yorkshire who caught a fine spring salmon on the Hendersyde beat of the River Tweed last May. His ‘fish of a lifetime’ at 33lb was superbly shaped, in prime condition and sea-liced - read more.

Optimism on the river

Mark Cockburn & John Kitchingham

As we speed through the month of May there is a hint of optimism from anglers fishing the river, news not necessarily about reported catches, but many a tale of fish hooked and lost, along with good numbers of fish seen. This all bears well for those lucky enough to be heading out this weekend. With river levels, temperature and indeed colour all looking pretty good I look forward to checking the latest catches during the coming days.

I am reminded of the cracking fish caught almost a year to the day on Hendersyde beat by Wayne Longstaff, winning the FishPal Malloch Trophy and Bemersyde Trophy. I do hope someone is lucky enough to hook into a fish of a lifetime again on Tweed, which will see the river crowned FishPal Malloch Trophy winner for the 4th consecutive year.

May I just remind those who have already booked their fishing trip, and those who are still hoping to squeeze a few more fishing days this year, that it is not too late to take out the NEW FishPal Insurance Cover. The policy protects you from losing out financially if the river was to be in flood and you were unable to fish. You can read more by following this link.

For those needing help in finding the right fishing, we are always only a phone call away! Tight lines everybody!

Mark Cockburn

FishPal Malloch Trophy

Till River Restoration Strategy

Tweed Forum

The River Till and it's main tributaries the Bowmont-Glen, Breamish and Wooler Water are of high conservation and ecological importance. About 130km of these rivers are designated as SSSI and a Special Area of Conservation (SAC).

The implementation phase of the TRRS is currently working on a number of projects to achieve restoration measures for the benefit of key river reaches. This work includes: Haugh Head Ford – this structure remains the final significant artificial barrier to upstream fish passage on the Till system and as such is a high priority for resolution through the TRRS - read more.

2015 UK River Prize Winner - Tweed Forum

In the last 5 years Tweed Forum have restored and enhanced over 60km of river through fencing off and planting, re-meandered over 2km of straightened channel, installed 120 engineered woody debris features (flow restrictors, deflectors, gravel capture structures); removed 9km of flood embankment, planted 230ha of riparian woodland; created 30 ponds/wetlands; enhanced 125ha of raised bog, dammed 9km of ditch and controlled invasive plant along 300 miles of river - read more.

Borders Gunroom

Accommodation in the Scottish Borders

Kingsknowes Hotel

During the last few years we have been building up an unrivalled selection of places to stay that cater for anglers' 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 and camping and caravan sites in our where to stay section.

May's featured B&B is a recent Scottish National Award Winner and recommended in the Michelin Guide 2015. Whitehouse Country House is run by an enthusiastic fishing host. All bedrooms are en-suite, each with stunning countryside views. Facilities include; rod storage, freezer, drying facilities, picnic lunches and dinners. Perfect for middle beats on Tweed - read more.

Nestling on the banks of the Upper Tweed is the 4 star Macdonald Cardrona Hotel, Golf and Country Club. This luxurious 4 star hotel offers 99 well appointed bedrooms, AA award winning restaurant, state of the art leisure and spa facilities and an 18 hole championship golf course. The hotel is perfectly placed for trout and salmon fishing on the Upper Tweed - read more

'Warm & Welcoming' is what customers say who stay at Hendersyde Farm Cottages near Kelso. Four holiday cottages include contemporary Millsyde and a trio of traditional farm cottages. If you are looking for a blissfully peaceful spot for a self-catering holiday in The Scottish Border countryside - read more.

Crabtree & Crabtree are proud to unveil their latest collection of new properties in Northumberland and the Scottish Borders. They are very particular about what it takes to make the grade and have been working hard to bring you these fabulous new additions, every single one of them handpicked and special - read more.

Crabtree & Crabtree

Where To Eat

Salmon on the menu at The Townhouse

After a hard day's fishing finding somewhere to eat that offers good, hearty, wholesome food is important to us all. Each month we will be sharing with you a selection of the best restaurants, pubs and cafés to eat out in the Scottish Borders in our where to eat section.

May's Recommendations

In the heart of the Scottish Borders is the town of Melrose, birthplace of the Rugby Sevens and home to two award winning places to eat. Burts Hotel is The Good Pub Guide's 2015 winner of 'Scotland's Dining Pub of the Year', an award nominated by members of the public for good food and service. Sister hotel, The Townhouse, has just been awarded a tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence. This unique accolade is granted only to those businesses who have won the Certificate of Excellence for 5 years in a row. Both are perfect for beats on the Middle Tweed.

Set in the centre of a peaceful conservation village, Allanton Inn is famous for its Seafood Platters which include Eyemouth smoked salmon, Shetland blue mussels, Holy Island oysters and more. The Inn is 5 minutes walk from the River Whiteadder and perfect for guests fishing the Lower Tweed, Whiteadder and Coldingham Loch. Read more

Tontine Hotel

Featured Guide - Mike Allan

Mike Allen

Mike Allan is a Scottish Borders river guide specialising in trout and grayling. He has fished the river Tweed & its tributaries for over 40 years and is a regular contributor to the weekly FishTweed reports page. You may remember Mike from last year's filming with Keith Arthur for Sky Sports Tight Lines, Mike caught a specimen grayling for the TV programme.

Mike says "Fishing the Tweed for wild fish can be daunting. Local knowledge and choosing the right flies and methods are of paramount importance to a successful day on the river.

The Tweed is fishing really well now the water level has dropped. Trout are feeding on good hatches of grannom, iron blues and dark olives. Last week I witnessed the biggest hatch of large brook duns I've ever seen on the Tweed. Anglers fishing in the evening are seeing some decent hatches of olive uprights around 8.45pm, with rises lasting up to an hour on a good night. Good numbers of trout are being caught and some PB fish too. It is well worth staying out until 10pm if you can".

Call Mike on 01896 751620, Border Angling Centre, if you need help and advice on where to go. Border Angling Centre, 97 High St, Galashiels, sells game, coarse, pike and sea fishing tackle - visit Mike's website.

Tom Carter Reports

Tom Carter and Mark Cockburn

May has been a very different month compared with the last two years and one thing is sure, we have not had the heat wave or wall to wall sunshine like last year.

The river has not fished to its full potential this May. The beginning of the month produced some much needed rain, and when it came the lower river was a dirty flood, rendering some beats un-fishable. The rain did liven up the fish, and rods fishing from Kelso to Melrose benefitted. Just as the lower river was beginning to fish another weather front reduced its performance.

Fish have been on the move but catches have not reflected the number of fish now in the system. Some beats have reported a frustrating time - hooking fish only to lose them. There were moments of sheer joy for some anglers who had red letter days with multiple catches - latest catches.

Bemersyde anglers had some fun last week. Ian Coghill had a couple of nice fish and Tony Whalley landed a cracking fish from the Dish pool. Joe Hewittson, fishing Middle Pavilion on his first ever day's fishing, caught a 7lb salmon. Mick Charlton was 'pleased as punch'. Tweedswood angler Craig Murray had a belting time, with a haul of three salmon in one hour from the same pool! Fishpal's Anne Woodcock, fishing the Whiteadder at Bluestone, caught 2 salmon on Saturday up to 12lb - find fishing.

Sea trout have arrived in good numbers, including some big fish. This coming weekend the weather and conditions on the river are favourable for fishing and sport - Tweed prospects.

Andrew Lee has called the office today and informed me that the Hutton Castle gauge has been recalibrated by Sepa and it's now reporting at 7" higher than you would normally be familiar with. If you are going fishing on any of the beats on the Whiteadder please be aware of this. Andrew Lee has contacted Sepa for further clarification.

For Tweed news, photographs and chat from our online fishing community please visit Tweed's Facebook and Twitter pages.

If you would like more information on fishing in the Scottish Borders please call the office on 01573 470612. We can offer local advice on beats, guides, instruction and places to stay.

FishTweed & FishPal offices will be closed Bank Holiday Monday 25th May and re-open again Tuesday 26th May at 9am.

Tight Lines

Tom Carter.

Tweedside Tackle

Tweedside Tackle

The fly fishing online shop from Tweedside Tackle includes news and reviews, along with tackle from leading brands catering for the salmon, sea trout and trout anglers. They also offer a range of tackle and flies for most saltwater species and exotics including golden dorado and peacock bass - visit shop.

The shop on Kelso's Bridge Street, has a selection of car rod clamps from Vac Rac, tackle bags from Simms and sunglasses from Costa Del Mar. Their selection of fishing gadgets is broad and wide reaching and includes everything you need for a successful day's trout or salmon fishing on Tweed - visit shop.

Tweedside Tackle Limited also caters to the equestrian world with clothing, footwear and full safety apparel, read more.