Tackle Advice

Hardys have generously provided a selection of their finest rods, reels and lines for guests to try.

Rods, Reels & Line

In the Spring and Autumn a 15 foot double handed salmon rod is essential to cover the water effectively. These are traditionally weighted 10/11/12 AFTM. In the summer, one could easily get by with a 13ft double handed rod AFTM 8wt or 9wt at most. Some of our most successful summer anglers use 10ft single handed rods AFTM 7wt or 8wt and for the huge sea trout which patrol our beats a single handed 9ft or 10 ft AFTM 7wt will suffice. All reels must have a large arbor. It is common for sea liced salmon and sea trout to go on heart stopping runs so a large arbor and plenty of backing are strongly encouraged. In 2012 a sea trout of 16lbs was caught on The Pot pool. Sea trout of 10lbs + are frequently reported. You have been warned !!

When it comes to line choice, with over 4 miles of water to cover, the variety of salmon fishing is all encompassing. When you fish for salmon or sea trout at Tillmouth you will need the full armoury of line depths to be assured of optimising your chances of catching a fish. You may well get by with less, but having the full compliment of floater, sink tip, intermediate, slow and fast sink will allow you to fish the variety of pools with confidence that your fly is being presented at a depth to suit the conditions. The depths of the many salmon pools on Tillmouth, and their speed of flow, vary enormously and we therefore encourage our anglers to make sure they are suitably equipped. At the very least a full set of interchangeable tips is required. Of course, as outlined above, in the summer months rods tend to use lighter lines and rods but there are always occasions when the full range is very handy. Nylon tippet material of 20lbs in Spring, 12lbs for summer and 18-20lbs for the back end fishing will be fine. If you are after sea trout you might go down as light as 6lbs tippet but run the risk of getting into a fix if one of the "big" chaps takes you on.

Spinning is also permitted at Tillmouth, in the period on or after 14 February and on or before 15 September, and rods around 9' 6" to 10' capable of casting up to 30g would be ideal.

Flies & lures

There are a myriad of flies and patterns developed of the years and which continue to be developed and it is nigh on impossible, and perhaps even contentious, to give comprehensive information on all these.

In early Spring our boatmen will urge you to use the Gordon's Fancy tube fly (essentially a Black and Yellow), Ally's Shrimp and traditionally patterned Willie Gunn's tied on copper tubes and fished slow and deep. Sizes very subject to conditions and a range between 1 inch and 2.5 inches is recommended. When the water begins to warm up smaller tubes and dressed trebles, doubles and singles come to the fore and some of the most successful are shrimp patterns such as Ally's Shrimp and Cascade, and paterns such as Editors and Munro Killers can be very successful. As the season progresses into Autumn the return of bigger tubes as the water cools and black and orange patterns are widely used, with the Comet and Gold Bodied Willie Gunn patterns being popular. As the light fades many anglers turn to patterns such as Junction Shrimp and White wing

Spinning lures include the Toby and Blair spoon type lures and in the Summer the Rapala and ubiquitous Flying 'C' are widely used.

Tillmouth Fishings


When fishing life jackets should be worn and are available on request without charge. The proprietors of Tillmouth Fishings take no responsibility whatsoever for any aspect of safety or equipment and it is a precondition of fishing that rods sign these conditions and accept they undertake their fishing and activity ENTIRELY AT THEIR OWN RISK.

Whilst the wading is generally quite easy at Tillmouth the use of a wading staff is recommended.

Anglers should be aware that overhead electric cables cross the beat and care must be taken when passing these and when fishing near them.

The boatmen's decision is final in all matters including safety aspects which relate to this fishery. In conditions of high water/a rising river and/or high winds, it will be left to the boatmen to decide whether it is safe to use boats to fish. No fishing will be allowed on Tillmouth Water either from a boat or from the banks when the water height is 4 foot or over for safety reasons.

Tackle Shops & Tackle Hire

* Tackle hire available

Tweedside Tackle*
01573 225306
32-36 Bridge Street, Kelso TD5 7JD - Map

Borders Gunroom
01835 822844
Main Street, St Boswells TD6 0AA - Map

01573 225810
11 The Square, Kelso TD5 7HH - Map

Hardy & Greys
01665 602771
Willowburn Trading Estate, Alnwick NE66 2PF - Map

Castle Gunmakers
01289 382526
17-19 West Street, Norham TD15 2LB - Map