Normally fishes six rods as three two-rod beats which rotate at lunch time each day. During July and August only four rods will be let. There is a highly regarded and experienced, full time ghillie on the beat, who is available to give advice and direction to fishers, and other party members, during or before fishing trips.
An exceptionally well-equipped, fishing hut, with WC is situated on the North bank of the river with easy vehicular access to it and extensive hard standing parking at the hut. Parties of up to 10 can dine inside the hut, or outside if conditions are clement.There is refrigeration, and cooking inside and out to support these facilities. The facilities are and can be used corporately to host fishing parties and other guests, and high quality catering for special parties can be arranged particularly in the summer.
There are eight named pools, three of which fish better at low water and the others are pools with fishing particularly productive in higher water.
Fishing is a variety of bank, boat and good wading offering the salmon angler an excellent selection of water, whatever the conditions, either for the exclusively fly fisher, or the full range of options, depending on the season.
At the top of the beat is Generals Stream leading to the Generals, which is a first class holding pool with some excellent lies, below which lies the Cauld, a deeper holding pool which can be excellent when fished from a boat in medium to higher water, or by wading in lower water. In the middle of the beat is Upper and Lower Bridge which are below the Melrose Cauld, and the strong streams hold fish throughout the season, and Island Stream, which can be very productive when it has good flow. The lower section leads to Little Battery and Battery, a long pool with fast streamy water, bounded to the South by a landmark mediaeval stone wall. The pool can be fished from either bank, depending on water height, and the lower boat gives further options. Cowies is the bottom pool, a very productive deep holding pool which can again be fished from both banks.
The beat has had some numerous and spectacular catches over the recent years, with up to 45 fish in a recent early Autumn week. Later weeks have in the past yielded up to 85 fish in a week.
Depending on river temperature Springers arrive in numbers by late March or early April, and there is nothing to compare with the thrill of a fresh run liced Spring fish after a rise in the river.
The beat catches more than its fair share of big fish in the Summer and Autumn, and last Autumn Lower Pavilion caught ten fish over 20lbs and one over 30lbs.
July and August often feature some magnificent large salmon with fish in the high teens not uncommon.
August has become more important in recent years with one rod catching six sea trout over 5 lbs and up to 9lbs in two days last summer. Almost every year there are a number of 10lb plus sea trout.
Equipment and Tuition
The beat is sponsored by Guide Flyfishing, sole distributors in the Uk of Sage, Rio and Vision, and there is a wide variety of tackle available to try in real fishing conditions. Scott Povey is an expert caster and can provide instruction and support within the bounds of his responsibilities to other rods.