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Newsletter September 2016

Combines are working hard in the fields next to Tweed and as the days start to get shorter, our thoughts are now turning to Autumn on the river. It's now time to prepare for your fishing trip. Have you checked your equipment, FishTweed permit, accommodation booking and insured your fishing?

It's also a good opportunity to seek advice on what tackle is required for Autumn fishing on Tweed if you are not used to large rivers. Give Tweed fishing tackle specialists Fin & Game and Tweedside Tackle, both located in Kelso a telephone call.

If you are lucky enough to hook into a big fish, and we know there are some big fish in the river, there was a 30lbr caught on Sprouston last month, do please remember to enter the FishPal Malloch Trophy and for young rods there is the Junior Malloch. You can enter both competitions on line which is quick and easy - read more.

We would like to thank Tim Pilcher of Tweedside Tackle for the weekly fishing report, it was last September when he started writing his excellent report.

The latest weather forecast is for rain which we hope will start to liven up the river and increase catches. Please give Tom a call in the office for up to date news and availability. Let the team at FishTweed help reduce the stress of planning your next fishing trip.

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

Tight lines
Anne Woodcock



Fishing Accommodation


We'll be honest, as much as we love actually fishing here at Crabtree & Crabtree, the most exciting side for us is, naturally, the accommodation you choose for your stay. We know more than a little about what makes a truly great property for fishing parties. In fact there are stringent requirements for a property to make it into our selection of " holiday cottages for fishing parties".

It is satisfying to match a guest to their perfect property and know that they're going to have a great stay. With lovely self catering properties on offer for all budgets and party sizes we spoke to Tom at Fin & Game to ask for his top tips on the essentials he feels parties should look for in their Crabtree & Crabtree fishing accommodation - read more.


Small Tube Flies


Malcolm Anderson from Caledonia Fly Company shares with us flies to try when fishing Tweed.

Fresh water has come in the last few weeks and more is needed to tempt any fish out at sea to run the Tweed. With temperatures dropping this week and hopefully the promise of more rain, fish will move up the system.

Fishing has been tough, but where fish have been caught there is a pattern, size 10 or small tube patterns and small Coneheads. Dressed patterns that are working are the Toucan, Gledswood Yellow, Ally's pearl and the editor.

Small tube flies are also catching, top of the list are the 8mm Conehead patterns; Cascade Dog, Posh Tosh and the Red Francis. These have great movement in low water conditions swinging round in medium flow pools. If you are looking for a bit more depth and still keeping it small then the ½" copper tube patterns Hot or Fire Tailed Snaelda are a great choice with the Sunburst Cascade in a ½" or ¾" a firm favourite at this time of year. All of these flies mentioned were designed for the Tweed system and can be bought from your local Caledonia Fly company dealer or a dealer around the Tweed area when you arrive.

Let's hope a drop in air temperature and cooler, higher water in the river will get us back to normal backend fishing.

Malcolm Anderson, Managing Director.
Caledonia Fly Company


Boathouse Norham


Nestled in an idyllic position at the end of a no-through lane on the banks of the River Tweed, The Boathouse boasts magnificent views over the river to the hills beyond with not a road in sight. With fabulously cosy accommodation, huge open fires and constant entertainment from the every-changing vista of the river and its inhabitants - ducks, geese, moorhens, herons and a family of otters to name but a few - this is the perfect rural retreat.

With fishing on one of the world's greatest salmon rivers a decent roll cast from the bedroom window, The Boathouse is an ideal base for fishing parties. The Boathouse is within easy driving distance of other prime beats including Tillmouth, Lennel, Ladykirk and The Lees - read more.

Last minute getaway at The Boathouse: There is a 20% discount on the week of 25th September - 2nd October. Was £1995.00, now £1596.00 - read more.


Angling Club Support


Clubs wishing to register an interest in how we might help, are being encouraged to complete a registration form on our site, so we can then contact them. The link to this page can be found here.


Glasgow Open Weekend


Come and meet the stars of our sport this weekend at Glasgow Angling Centre. There will be a variety of free activities available for all members of the family and great offers during the weekend event - read more.

Anne Woodcock will be there to answer your questions on where to go fishing this Autumn.


Wildlife Photography Exhibition


Heatherslaw Mill is hosting a wildlife photographic exhibition of talented local angler and photographer Ron McCombe. The exhibition is on until 30th October, it's free to enter, there's a great cafe and shop along with a small gauge steam railway. It's a great day out why not go along and take a look. The address is Ford Forge, Heatherslaw, Cornhill-on-Tweed TD12 4TJ.




Tom's Report

Photograph taken of Fairnilee beat this week

Ten days ago we got the lift of water the river needed, and boy it was a dirty lift, hitting almost four feet at Norham. The biggest rise in water since the end of March, which has cleaned out some of the sediment that has built up in the river since Spring.

Rarely have I seen such a prolonged period where night temperatures have remained in the mid-teens and daytime in mid twenties celsius. This will have affected catches. I experienced similar temperatures on the Thurso in August and the fishing just died.

Last week on Tweed was no different, a mini spate, good river levels, and the fish remained “un-interested” and who can blame them with recent high temperatures. I've received reports from anglers who fish Tweed regularly and are genuine when they say "beats have got fish in them! They may not all be bars of silver, many with varying autumnal shades, but a fish is a fish!"

Since the weekend, temperatures are starting to fall during the day and cloud cover has increased. Rain is expected from today and during this coming weekend, it's starting to look promising going forward - Fingers are crossed!

Please keep an eye on the website. Upper beats could well be worth a cast next week as fish are slowly creeping further upstream - find fishing.

Tom Carter


Hire Equipment

Hire Mackenzie rods from Fin & Game

If you are looking to book a last minute fishing trip this Autumn and your travel arrangements make it difficult to bring your own tackle, then hiring a rod, reel, line and waders is an obvious solution.

Tweedside Tackle and Fin & Game offer a rod hire service with a delivery and collection service from your hotel or beat. Please leave eough time for them to organise the hire, especially if delivery is required - read more.


Visiting Beats On Tweed

These last few weeks Tom Carter has been taking some time out to get onto the river to meet the boatman and ghillies in order to get a better understanding of their beats, the river and the men who look after you when you come fishing.

Tom travelled to upper Tweed above Galashiels to visit Nest beat, and their new ghillie Colin Bruce who was very busy clearing the bank, cutting paths and improving access to the river for the season ahead.

Nest is a single bank beat of one and a half miles with some nice pools, glides and some streamy sections of water. Wading the river is good, but some access points to pools do need a little care, as last winters floods have created some vertical two and three feet banks.

For the best fishing height the river level needs to be above one foot at Peebles. To access the beat, you park in the lay-by, then a short walk and two styles to get over before you get to the fishing hut. Five year average 42 fish - well worth a visit this season - read more.


Best Travel Rods


Travelling anglers can all relate to the struggle of managing your luggage restrictions when flying, made even more difficult when trying to include a salmon fly rod. The extra cost of sporting baggage just adds to the complexity.

As regular travellers to oversea fishing destinations, the team at Fin & Game recommend the following rods, Mackenzie Atlas and - read more.


Where To Fish

Photograph taken of Traquair beat this week

There is a good selection of availability this month on beats with seasoned ghillies and boatmen. A days fishing starts from £30, here's our top picks - find fishing,

Ladykirk Lower offers the angler some very productive early Autumn fishing. The fishing starts above the bridge in Norham and ends below Norham Castle opposite the Horncliffe Beat - read more.

Tweedswood is a renowned and picturesque beat on the middle stretches of the River Tweed, which provides 1 mile of double bank fishing. Due to its proximity to the A68 access to the river is very good, Edinburgh is 34 miles to the north, and the market town of Melrose is two miles to the west - read more.

Bemersyde is one mile in length, two-thirds of it double bank. The beat provides some most interesting quality fishing, with a pool or stream for every height of water - read more.

Ashiestiel is a popular beat amongst Upper Tweed fishers who return year after year. It is located opposite Nest and just above Peel, in spectacular countryside with a diverse range of wildlife. The beat consists of two miles of the right bank and there are six named pools - read more.

Fairnilee is one of the longest beats on the river at 3.5 miles of left bank with fishing for 6 rods and an extensive rod room/meeting place. The beat's fishing offers a great variety of river, from the fast water of the Gullet to the calmer waters of the Yair Boat Pool - read more.

Hotels for early Autumn Fishing on the Lower Tweed stay at The Collingwood Arms. For beats in and around Kelso stay at Ednam House. Middle beats around St Boswells stay at The Buccleuch Arms and for beats around Melrose The Kingsknowes Hotel. Best places to stay for beats on the Upper Tweed are the Macdonald Cardrona and Tontine Hotel.


River Till Restoration

Before and after photos of weir removal and bank re-profile.

The River Till and its main tributaries the Bowmont-Glen, Breamish and Wooler Water are of high conservation and ecological importance. About 130km of these rivers is designated as SSSI and as a Special Area of Conservation. The 'condition' of these designated rivers is not as it should be. The principal reason for the SSSI being in unfavourable condition is the physical state of the river channel - read more.


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.

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