Yesterday's Catches - Today's River Levels - Tomorrow's Availability

Newsletter - August 2015

As this months newsletter hits your inbox we are fast approaching the time of the season when we all hope to connect with an Autumn salmon. This is an exciting time on the river as past recollections of huge “back end” Tweed fish awaken our senses with thoughts that the next cast might just be a fish of a lifetime.

The Tweed has fished well thanks to fairly regular rainfall during the summer months. The runs of sea trout are also worthy of note, along with reports from anglers catching and losing fish. The conversation this season is positive and optimistic compared to last years doom and gloom.

The office has been exceptionally busy with Tweed anglers booking fishing. The FishTweed web site has limited availability for the rest of this season so if you are still trying to get a fishing trip sorted then you would be wise to arrange it soon. The bulk of the remaining fishing available is for November which can be very good on Tweed. Top beats on the river such as Hendersyde, Junction, Tillmouth, Boleside have limited availability during this month. November is a fairly difficult month to predict what the weather will throw at us, so it is great to be able to remind you that unlike previous years, you can now insure your fishing this year if the beat you are booked to fish is in flood and you can not fish. Small consolation for missing out on your fishing but isn't it great to know that you will at least be able to make a claim to cover your costs. Full details of the cover on offer can be found via this link.

Keep in mind that if you are lucky enough to hook into a big “back end” Tweed fish then you can still enter the FishPal Malloch Trophy competition which is awarded now for the “best,” not necessarily the “biggest” fly caught salmon in Scottish waters. Measure the length and girth, weigh the fish if possible whilst still in the net and if you can, take a couple of photos of the fish and you just never know!

Thank you to Emma Crabtree and her team at Crabtree & Crabtree who share with us a selection of their handpicked properties this month. They also tell you where the best festivals, events and grand openings are during the coming weeks in the Borders, there's something for everyone.

Tight lines
Mark Cockburn

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Good Catches On Lower Tweed

Junior angler Tom Vickers with his 17lb salmon.

Weather conditions last week have favoured beats below Tillmouth. The river has remained consistently low at about nine inches and running clear with all beats from Milne Graden to Tweedhill catching fish on nearly every day. Both Milne Graden and Ladykirk rods have had days where anglers landed a total of six fish, most of these have been grilse. The biggest fish last week at 20lb was caught on Milne Graden beat. Find fishing lower Tweed.

Willy Elliot Head boatman on Tillmouth reports that there are quite a lot of salmon and grilse now in their pools, although getting them to take is not easy! The water temperature is fairly high so floating lines are having the best results. Small Cascades and Ally Shrimps seem to be the favourites on 8lb or 10lb nylon. In the slower pools sink tips and tubes are required. If the water is coloured spinning with Flying C's and Blair Spoons can be a good method.

A Place To Stay In Coldstream

Enjoy coffee on the terrace watching anglers cast a line on Tweed.

Tucked away on the edge of the bustling Borders town of Coldstream this charming period house offers guests the best of both worlds. The large, attractive, walled garden which surrounds the house is a peaceful, secluded haven with superb views over the Nun's Walk to the River Tweed.

Abbey House is fully renovated to a very high standard with four bedrooms each with their own bathroom. Chest freezer, large garage for secure storage of rods, dogs welcome, cook and daily housekeeping available - read more.

Ladies Cast A Line For Local Charity

Enjoying lunch overlooking the River Tiptoe Beat. Photograph taken by Helen Jobson.

FishPal's Anne Woodcock hosted a ladies charity day with the High Sheriff of Northumberland Lucy Carroll at the weekend on her stretch of water on the River Till at Tiptoe Fishing.

The day was a great success with ladies from as far as Norfolk travelling to attend. Unfortunately the low water affected catches and the ladies were not able to replicate the 5 fish Tiptoe beat had caught on the previous day.

This Year's Must Read

William Quarry's book 'Salmon Fishing And The Story Of The River Tweed' contains valuable contributions and anecdotes from more than 70 past and present ghillies - the 'unique' Tweed Boatmen. You can pre-order a copy online of this years must-read book. The perfect gift for Tweed anglers this Christmas.

NEW Offices For Crabtree & Crabtree

Pop in for a coffee and view their luxury holiday homes.

Family run business Crabtree & Crabtree have beautiful new premises in the picturesque abbey town of Kelso.

Emma Crabtree says "The opening of our new premises in Kelso is part of an exciting period of expansion for the business, which includes the growth of the Northumberland property portfolio and expansion into East Lothian. In particular we are on the lookout for potential or existing holiday properties on all three strands of the River Tyne".

Fly Fishing Rod For Every Occasion

Perfect for the beginner, or indeed for the improver looking to progress to the next level, the Purecast fly fishing rod series runs from a 7ft #4 up to a 10ft #7 with models geared for everything from delicate small stream work, through to reservoir angling, right up to single-handed salmon and sea trout fishing.

SPECIAL OFFER – Save up to 25% on Purecast ‘Just Add Water' Kits - read more.

What's On In September

"The Scottish Borders is brimming with festivals, events and grand openings this month" says Kirsty McConnell of Crabtree & Crabtree.

She picks the best non-fishing events for September and we're sure you'll agree there is quite the variety to keep all of your party entertained throughout the month - read more.

If you are in the Dumfries & Galloway area this week there is a free salmon fishing event from Monday 24th to Saturday 29 August, allowing juniors to fish for free on one of the leading beats on the River Nith. To book a place please contact Savills incorporating Smiths Gore on 01387 274393

Tweed Salmon Beat For Sale

1.8 miles of single bank lower Tweed for sale.

An opportunity to purchase in its entirety, a productive and secluded bottom Tweed beat providing about 1.8 miles of single (right) bank salmon and sea trout fishing with a 5-year average of 198 salmon and 35 sea trout.

Situated between Norham and Berwick, Horncliffe Fishings are easily accessible with vehicular access via a hardcore track leading through privately owned farmland for about 1¼ miles to the fishing shiel which occupies a very peaceful setting at the heart of the beat - read more.

Middle Tweed In Good Shape

Junior angler Jess England with one of her two salmon for the day

The middle river is in good shape, currently running at just below a foot and water clarity is excellent. If conditions stay as they are fish should hopefully be seen in good numbers. Pods of fish are travelling through beats and if levels rise this will encourage more fish to run the system - find fishing Middle Tweed.

Two new self catering barn conversions, Granary and Smiddy, near Melrose are perfect for middle beats, with fantastic views towards the Eildons. With six en suite bedrooms between the two adjoining properties, secure outdoor storage for fishing gear and a generous boot room the properties are perfect for anglers fishing middle beats - read more.

Award Winning Hotel

Dryburgh Abbey Country House Hotel nestled in a magnificently wooded private estate on the banks of the River Tweed and immediately adjacent to the historic Dryburgh Abbey is a very special Four Star Country House Hotel.

Its location bang in the middle of the Dryburgh salmon beats is perfect for anglers. The hotel is the Scottish Country Sports Hotel of The Year which it has won every year since 2010 and it has also won the Dog Friendly Hotel of the Year since 2012. The hotel also features an indoor swimming pool and sauna.

Complimentary trout & grayling fishing is available in season - read more.

This magnificent trout was caught on the hotel steps pool last week.

FishPal Insurance

If you are planning a trip and have not got round to booking it yet, do remember insurance cover is now available. This unique policy is the market leader, growing in popularity as you would expect, given the wonders of the UK weather!!

Full policy details can be found on our insurance page or give the office a call on 01573 470612 if you need any further assistance.

Junior Malloch Trophy

Cate Fenton aged 9 with her first fish. Pictured with proud father Marcus.

Congratulations to all the young anglers who have entered the Junior Malloch Trophy.

The top four junior anglers catching and releasing a salmon on a Scottish river in 2015 will be invited to attend a special day's fishing for salmon, with tuition by world spey casting champion Scott Mackenzie and his pro-team, on the River Tay at FishPonds on Monday 15th August 2016 - read more.

Fishing At Milne Graden Estate

From cosy gate lodges for two to elegant houses for families.

With salmon and grilse caught up to 20lb by anglers fishing Milne Graden last week and another good start to catches this week, it's no surprise that there is very little availability left on this popular beat for August and September.

The estate has seven, superb, period properties in idyllic locations, on or close to the river, offering an exceptionally high standard of accommodation for 2 to 20 guests. All with WiFi. Dogs welcome. Catering and daily housekeeping is available - read more.

Tweed Flies For September

Malolm Anderson from Caledonia Fly Company shares with us his thoughts on what flies to use for September.

"Dare I say we are getting nearer to the end of the season with slightly cooler morning and the sun setting far too early in the evenings. With one eye on the grisle that are still running hard and fast and the thought of Septembers backend run looming what an exciting time of the year.

With our river systems having fresh water over the last few weeks, September should be a great month and expectations are high. Water temperatures are still warm and the fish are very willing to come to the surface layers to take your flies. So hold off with those sinking backend lines and heavy copper tube flies.

My Caledonia Fly Company recommendations for September would be: Cascade patterns; Eternal and Raider Cascades are without doubt a must have for the early part of the month. Moving on to the middle part to the end of the month, I would put a little more orange and black into your flies as there should be a surge of backend fish heading up our system. Shrimp patterns like Junction Shrimp and Calvin Shrimp if the water is slightly tarnished, but if it's still running clear I would stick to the GWG, Orange Flamethrower and Gledswood & Orange. Mini copper tubes ½” and ¾” will be working if water stays consistent at above summer levels, moving on to 1” copper tubes if we get fresh water. Tube patterns you should have with you are Junction Rocket, Silver Willie Gunn, Cohn's Copper Sunray, Fire Gunn and of course the Posh Tosh.

Whatever you choose I wish you all the best of sport for September, remember to look after the backend fish as they are not as hardy as the Springer we caught earlier in the season" says Malcolm Anderson, Caledonia Fly Company.