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

Newsletter July 2016

July has been a very busy month for me including time out of the office after the death of my close friend Cliff Johnson who was a tremendous advocate of FishPal and well known across the industry. It is however, good to be back in the office and looking forward to a few days fishing with fellow ladies on Middle Pavilion this weekend where we will have the BBC coming along to film us all, giving good publicity for the Tweed.

Great to have also been able to catch up with a few of our good customers in Kelso and the Borders in recent weeks, making sure we are keeping our ear to the ground and we continue to seek out new proactive opportunities to promote Tweed to our wide audience of anglers and owners.

If you need any help and advice on where or what to fish on the river, then please do contact Tom Carter our Office Manager, who will gladly help with up to date advice. Tom can be contacted on the main office number 01573 470612 and can also help recommend where to stay or which guides to use.

For the latest fishing availability this month please follow this link.

Have a great July

Tight lines
Anne Woodcock

Latest Tweed Report

"Despite the poor low water conditions last week, Tweed managed to record 159 fish for the week from recording beats. We have heard of some older river fish being caught, but generally most fish seem to be fresh, we are also seeing pulses of fresh fish coming in on the little rises of a few inches that we keep experiencing. Generally, the feeling is positive, if only we could get a good enough lift for us to see what is there!" says Tim Pilcher, Tweedside Tackle.

Read the latest Tweed River report here. Please give Tom a call in the office on 01573 470612 if you need any help arranging a last minute fishing trip to the borders.

Lower Birgham

An excellent double bank, secluded, Lower Tweed beat. Situated well away from the road, between Kelso and Coldstream, Lower Birgham offers approximately three quarters of a mile of private, tranquil fishing from both the Scottish and English banks. Split into three sub beats which are rotated on an am/pm basis, there are 12 named pools fished by three rods, two from the boats, and easy and extensive wading for the third from both banks.
Rods now on a single three day let basis, see availability.

Horncliffe Appointment

Horncliffe beat have appointed a new head boatman, and will also take delivery of their brand new Tweed boat due to arrive soon. More information and details will follow just as soon as we have them.

Modern Fishing Rod

A rod specifically designed to complement modern fishing styles with the more familiar casting techniques of top hand dominant, traditional, casting styles.

The XF2 “S" Series is the perfect choice for those who feel they would like to venture into the world of short head lines and shooting heads, and are seeking the correct tool for the job, but don't want to go back to casting school - read more.

Job Vacancies

FishPal are expanding and are looking for full and part time staff.

A Social Media Specialist is needed to interact with our customers. Applicants must have excellent communication, writing, and editing (photo/video/text) skills, social networking experience and analytics knowledge.

We also need help with our classified advertising and someone with an in-depth knowledge of IT systems and web site design.

The vacancies for the right people can be full or part time. If you would like to work for our award winning company please send your CV to

Kelso Edenside House

Hidden away at the end of a leafy drive in a substantial private garden, the elegant proportions of this six bedroom Georgian townhouse with open fire and classic period styling, is a warm and welcoming gathering place for relaxation, celebrations or country pursuits.

Close to renowned Lower and Middle Tweed fishing beats and just a gentle wander from the charming cobbled Market Square of Kelso, this grade II listed property has ample entertaining space for extended families, friends and sporting parties, with the option of privately catered services for the ultimate holiday indulgence - read more.

NEW Borders Fishing Shop

Great to see the progress being made in the most recent addition to the tackle/gun shop world with the arrival of Fin and Game in Kelso. The shop has been going through a major refurbishment ahead of the first day of opening which is still on track for early August. Fin & Game have secured some of the very best fishing and shooting equipment allowing you to make the most of your time in the field or on the water. Further information and details will follow in future newsletters, but you can already now register for their new newsletter ahead of their new site also going live - read more.

Tweed Forum

ONE of the main organisations responsible for the protection of the River Tweed will mark their Silver Anniversary this year with the introduction of a special River Champion Award.

Over the last 25 years, the Tweed Forum has worked with farmers, foresters, landowners and public and private sector bodies, on both sides of the Border, to protect and improve the 5,000 sq. km. catchment of the second largest river in Scotland.

This partnership approach has led to the planting of over 300,000 trees, created over 120 ponds and wetlands, enhanced around 300 km. of river, restored over 20 listed buildings and scheduled ancient monuments and enabled the management over 10,000 hectares of woodland, wetland and heather moorland.

Tweed Forum is launching the new River Champion Award, which aims to showcase the diversity of ways that local people in the Borders and North of England are working to preserve one of the country's most precious assets and ultimately reward one individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the cause.

Please click here for more information on the River Champion.

The UK's National Fish

Over 7000 votes were cast in the first National Fish Vote. The brown trout received the most votes (21%), followed by the stickleback (16%) and the tench (13%).

"The native trout is a special fish: it recovers from much of the abuse that humanity throws at it, lives in many of our rivers (even in some surprising places) and where it thrives, we know that the river or lake that is its home is doing ok" quote Wild Trout Trust - read more.

Summer Fishing

Tom Carter reports: "The Tweed continues to wait for water to really help liven things up but that said, with over 2,000 fish now reported to the end of June the river is fishing well, particularly on the Lower and Middle river with some excellent catches reported on beats like Tillmouth, Hendersyde, Sprouston and West Learmouth with many others keeping anglers busy too. Tweedhill, Ladykirk and Birgham Dub are also reaping the rewards of the current conditions as is Junction with good June catches. Most recently, July's totals are up year on year and the trend on the lower and middle river continues with catches strong. Last week Steve Negus in 3 days had 5 fish on Tillmouth and lost 3 at the net and also Mr. Peter Sinclair-Knipe fishing Tweedmill had 3 fish for his trip to the river.

With a lift in water over the weekend of the 10/11th July, Middle Tweed started to see some movement with large fish arriving in pools on beats and signs now of grilse too. Boleside had a good couple of days with anglers hooking and losing fish. One rod enjoyed a Red Letter day with 6 fish. Mick says Middle Pavilion has seen new resident fish appearing in his pools and the odd run of fish moving through the beat. All very encouraging indeed.

Iain Wilson and a summer tenant fishing at Merton has shown again that fishing early has proved successful with some nice fresh grilse and seatrout only last week.

The Tweed tributaries have been a little subdued in the salmon department, but have had some excellent trout fishing, mostly in the evenings, while the Upper beats have been mostly productive on Nymphs. Seatrout have been caught around Kelso and St Boswells and seem to be resting in these parts, similar to last year and will no doubt move on shortly. 

The Berwick District anglers have had good May and June sport and Bluestone have had their best start in recent years and have almost passed their last two seasons totals.

The current forecast continues to favour anglers fishing lower beats, but, if we get rain it could ignite beats from St Boswells to Melrose. It's a hard one to call with temperatures rising, but great to hear of so many good tales from the river of fish caught and lost, which is keeping anglers very much wanting to come back for more."

If you need advice where to fish, please give me a ring on the office number, 01573 470612. Information is coming into the office all the time and it's always nice to be able to share what's going on with you as you plan your next trip.

Tom Carter.

Tweed guide reports

As we move into summer proper, there is a frequent pattern emerging for trout and grayling success. Good trout and nice grayling are still around, but harder to catch. High numbers of parr are evident which is good news for the future of the river, but of course standard down and across tends to mean that the majority of takes are from greedy young fish, to avoid them the day is often split into 3 sessions.

In the morning a deep sunk nymph and even a sink tip has produced best trout and grayling; In the afternoon some dry fly to targeted bigger fish from sporadic hatches or Klink and Dink methods has produced best results; In the evening a 9pm to darkness stint and dry fly has been the most productive approach.

The chance of a sea trout (returned) on light tackle at that time, makes for extra excitement, although many such fish will break the inexperienced angler or shake the hook in seconds on a 3 or 4lb leader and small flies.

The bigger trout have seen a number of flies now and extreme caution in wading and presentation is essential. Size 14 and 16 is the norm right now in flies with light and long leader, Softly softly.
Tweed Guide

Keep Up To Date

If you would like to receive regular updates on catches, river levels and fishing reports please follow this link to subscribe.

Milne Graden Experience

Hamilton House on the banks of Tweed.

Nestled on the banks of Tweed within the Milne Graden Estate is Hamilton House. This classic Borders house is well-presented, with an elegant interior decorated in a traditional, country house style. A particular highlight is the cosy drawing room with open fire and double doors leading to a patio seating area with magnificent views of the River Tweed.

The house is perfect for parties fishing the Lower Tweed. FishPal have secured a special rate for customers wishing to stay in the property during Autumn of £725 per week - read more.


Ginge at Tweedhill is enjoying an encouraging early summer with 28 salmon reported for June which is his best for 5 years. July has started well with 15 salmon and 4 sea trout so far, although the beat has been affected by dirty water during the last few days - read more.

Fishing Insurance

A popular question asked by customers "What is covered if my fishing trip is cancelled due to unavoidable events beyond my control?"

The following would be covered: Travel within the UK, accommodation and the full cost of the fishing rent paid to FishPal, including booking and card charges and any Fishery VAT. Maximum £1,500 per rod/day with £50 excess.

Full policy details can be found on our insurance page or give the office a call on 01573 470612 if you would like a quote to insure your fishing.

John Charlton

We sadly lost one of our experienced boatmen this month with the passing of Fairnilee head ghillie John Charlton, who lost his fight with cancer. John was well known throughout the river and I'm sure many will join us as we send our sincere condolences to his wife Mhairi and his family.

Cliff Johnston 1938-2016

Photograph courtesy of Helen Jobson

I also wanted to let the broader angling community know that we sadly lost of one of our own this month with the passing of Cliff Johnston. For those who knew Cliff, he was a true gentleman and an expert fisherman who was always only too happy to help out both young, new and old to the sport. Cliff was always a great help for us here at FishPal with him helping us and Anne out at numerous charity or ladies days and various Game Fairs across the country. He was also an excellent photographer and has contributed to many of our site pages, newsletters and other communications. He had an amazing ability to make people laugh and was always such good company both on and away from the river bank. I know I speak for so many when I say the world has lost a true gentleman in the fishing world and as a father, leaves a family that will always remember him so fondly for everything he has done over an amazing lifetime.

Success For Jess

Jess England was back on Tweed at the weekend and her successful season continued with 4 fish to 14bs on Hendersyde Beat.


Whether you are looking for fly water that tests your casting ability, to water which will reward those with stealth, perseverance and patience, the Tweed system offers something for every angler regardless of age and ability - find Tweed fishing.

Don't forget to add your fish to the new Your Photos page and enter your fish into the FishPal Malloch Trophy.