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Tackle advice

Tackle to bring

Depending on which month of the season you fish the river, will directly determine the appropriate tackle you will need to bring. As a brief guidance, 14-15ft fly rods will find general use up and down the river throughout the season, but smaller rods in the summer months often find favour for grilse and sea trout fishing.

As for correct density of fly lines, again time of year will decide this but a floating line, a sink tip or intermediate, and a fast sinking line (2/3" per sec) will cover most eventualities. Care should be taken to balance your fly rod with the appropriate weight of fly line to maximise your water coverage.

A fully automatic lifejacket should be seen as a necessity when either fishing from a boat or wading in the river. Many beats now provide lifejackets for their guests' use and you will be strongly recommended to use this facility by your boatman or ghillie. Some form of eye protection is strongly recommended, whether in the shape polarised sunglasses or clear safety glasses to protect your eyes whilst fly fishing.

A strong, sturdy wading stick is also highly recommended on an angler's 'must have' list and the additional support it provides when fishing through a pool, inspires a more confident wade. Make sure the end is weighted and has a rubber stopper to minimise noise and vibration as you wade down through a pool.

It is impossible to give a definitive summary of tackle to bring for your visit to Tweedside. Time of year, water height and water temperature are all deciding factors on which tactics to use for any given day on the Tweed. For more detailed and accurate information about the tackle and safety equipment you will need (ie lifejackets, safety glasses etc), please contact your boatman or ghillie after your fishing has been booked.

Hiring Tackle

Visiting and local anglers are able to hire tackle from local tackle shops and mail order outlets. 

Borders Gunroom St Boswells

Contact 01835 822 844.

For the website Click here 

Flies to bring

Tweed can lay claim to some of the most famous salmon flies ever tied for the pursuit of salmon. Garry Dog and Jock Scott are among the many well-known patterns that the river has inspired, and can still be found in many Tweed fisher's fly boxes. As well as traditional patterns, modern fly tying techniques have also inspired a new breed of deadly flies like the Temple Dog and the ever-evolving family of deadly shrimp patterns. Some of the most widely used patterns are Junction Shrimp, Willie Gunn, Comet, White Wing, Garry Dog, Yellow Tosh, Ally's Shrimp, Cascade Shrimp, Plop Fly, Temple Dog, Purple Shrimp and the Thunder & Lightning.

As for size of fly or tube to use, a general guideline is the colder the water, the bigger the fly, fished deeper in the water. Each individual beat will have their particular favourites where the boatman or ghillie will be able to advise not only which pattern, but equally important, the correct size of fly to use for a given day.

For further advice see our Flies to Bring listing below.

Tackle shops


Borders Gunroom St Boswells

Our fishing Department has an extensive range of fishing rods and fly reels from leading manufacturers like Hardy, Greys, Rio, Sage, Lamson, Vision with most products in stock, our fly tying section is equally large, have a look at the online shop for lots more products.

We have excellent relationships with our suppliers and can consequently offer very competitive prices across our full range of gaming products and services - read more.

Contact Borders Gunroom on 01835 822 844.



Spring flies for the River Tweed

Gold Willie Gunn

Quite simple one of the most deadliest Salmon patterns that has been around since the 1940’s and still going strong today, even though we have touched it up here and there with modern materials its one you must fish on the river Tweed. When fished in spring you will need to fish it deep in the faster runs using 1” to 2” tubes.

Posh Tosh 

This Tweed classic fly was designed by a local on the river Iain Wilson from Borders Gunroom in St Boswells. This fly is just the most astonishing black and yellow pattern that you will fish anywhere on the Tweed. With its mirage body jumping out and a beautiful waving black and yellow wing is a must for any Salmon looking for movement in front of them, this pattern was designed for the Tweed be it in clear water or silty water it is a great fly to fish with confidence.  

Gledswood Yellow

This vibrant Gledswood Yellow copper tube pattern was designed by Ian Bennet. It works its magic in murky and coloured water. It was for poor water condition that this fly was created, with a bright yellow hackle and long black tail. Fantastic Spring Fly for cloudy spring water conditions or high water.

Black & Yellow Super Snealda

Can you fish too big a fly in the spring, well I think not, better be seen than not to be seen is my philosophy and its done me no harm. This pattern had long boar whiskers vibrating out of the back of the tail and fluorescent sunburst eyes to attract the fish, very popular with anglers all over the river. 

Cascade Dog “Bomb” Conehead

The Cascade bomb is a great clear water pattern with its long flowing black and yellow wing and its striking black and silver body. It is tied on a copper tube and has a silver Conehead to give it a bit of extra weight to get your fly down to the fish. This fly has a longer wing that suits the spring fishing conditions. Spring fish like eye catching patterns and this is a winner and won’t let you down.

Black & Yellow Loop Tube 

To truly get down on those very cold water condition days a 15mm or 22mm Loop tube is a must. We tied this Black & Yellow gold holographic bodied loop tube for just that occasion, crisp frosty and finger numbing early season days.

Gold Willie Gunn Pro Ultra Sonic Disc

The Pro Ultra Sonic disc patterns have their followers on many rivers and the Tweed is no exception. My fishing friend Ian Wilson fishes them right through the spring time with great success you only have to keep up with his Facebook page to see this. The Conehead style head with its holes drilled to allow water to flow through the holes and causing the wing to be agitated, dancing around even in the slowest of runs and pools. 

Ice Maiden

One of the iconic Spring patterns wished all over the UK with is distinctive icy blue and green coloured wing and that mirage body and standout Sunburst eyes. It comes in all sizes of copper tubes from 1” to 2 ½” and will fish well in most water conditions. I particularly like to fish this in high water condition be it clear or slightly coloured. 

Eternal Optimist

Green and Yellow winged tube flies are a favourite on the Tweed in the spring. A must have pattern   with Ghillies up and down the Tweed.  Striking pattern made up with a vibrant green, black upper wing and the brightest of yellow under wing to truly have a striking set of colours and we have finished this pattern of with a pearly Mylar piping body to make sure everything with a set of eyes won’t miss it. Must have spring pattern, don’t meet the ghillie without one in your box. 

Summer flies for the River Tweed

Donegal Gunn

Plain and simple but a fly you need to carry for clear water conditions, be it in low or high water a must have pattern. I recommend a size 8 & 10 in a double or even on an aluminium tube.      

Gledswood Blue

Gledswood Blue patriot double pattern was designed by Ian Bennet. It is an all-round summer pattern that works from May onwards. It’s black, blue and silver colour scheme will attract summer Salmon, Grilse and those hard fighting Tweed Sea Trout. You can fish all different sizes but do not ponder over fishing this fly as small as a 14 double. A very effective pattern in clear water conditions.  

Pearly Stoat

Pearly Stoat is one pattern for fishing on those sunny blue sky days or as the sun starts to go down over the hills. Not much to this pattern but extremely effective at producing fish in the hardest of conditions, lightly dressed and a twinkle from the mirage body. This can be fished from sizes 8 all the way to a size 14 depending on the height of the water.     

Silver Tosh

This Tweed summer pattern was designed by Iain Wilson. This fly is a take on the Posh Tosh but refined down to attract those summer fish. Fished on a size 12 Nordic double giving you plenty of strength in your hook and a great gape on the iron for a good hook hold at the same time, a superb summer pattern.    

Raider Cascade 

Surely one of the iconic summer double patterns that catches fish after fish on most Salmon rivers, designed by Robert White from the Tay this pattern has proved its worth on so many occasions on so many rivers and to so many anglers it is just one pattern you should not be without. A firm favourite with the Tweed fly fraternity for good reason.

Minister’s Shrimp

Looking for those summer Grilse or a large Sea Trout from the river, here is deadly grey squirrel winged pattern tied on the Nordic double. You can fish it by itself or in a two fly cast with a Silver Tosh or a Silver Stoat, remembering to always fish it on the bob.


Mini Coneheads 

One of my favourite style patterns to be fishing in the summer, slight bit of weight but not too much. The 8mm Cascade Dog mini Conehead is a great all-round catcher of those summer fish but if things are getting difficult and you need to fool those wiser fish try the Silver Stoat or the Sunray Shadow 8mm Coneheads. Thin wing profile does best in these patterns in the lowest of water conditions.    

Sunray Shadow patterns 

Yes it’s that time of year when fish will chase and boil at your sunrays and of course engulf them like there is no other fly worth taking. The sunray style is truly a must for the Tweed in the summer months whatever the height of the water. We have developed and improved this style and the Cohn’s Sunray Shadow is one of the standout catching patterns in most water conditions. If you have a silty sandy flush of water we have found that the Cohn’s Copper Sunray is preferable. Truly a wonderful way to fishing through the summer months, remember you do not have to start with the sunray but if all else is proving to get nil reactions then get it on.      

Copper Killer Micro Treble

How small can I fish in low water conditions on the Tweed, well this is one of the smallest pattern that has proved effective in those summer drought conditions. If I had dull overcast conditions I would choose the size 16 Collie Dog micro treble. Remember to give your patterns a bit of life but twitching them pulling them round in the slower currents, this is very important

Autumn flies for the River Tweed

Junction Rocket Shrimp

One of the most popular patterns used on the Tweed at the backend, with its striking hot orange and white colour scheme and dyed orange eye it is one to have in your box. You can fish it on a double or a copper tube depending on the height and temperature of the water, normally a size 6 or 8 double and if fishing a copper tube you can be using a ½” to a 2 ½” tube. If the weather is bright and sunny try the Junction Rocket with its pearly mylar body catching all the light and reflecting it back out from its body. 

Comally Shrimp 

This salmon double pattern was designed to incorporate two favourite Tweed patterns, the Ally’s Shrimp and the Comet. It fishes well in the colder weather and low to medium waters in a size 8 & 10   

Magenta Shrimp

The river Tweed is very consistent with its popular catching colour and purple is never to be forgotten, this striking pattern is not only very pretty but a fish catcher. Great just after a flood and the water is just starting to clear, fish it in sizes 8 & 10 or even on a ½” 1” or 1 ½” copper tube.        

Black Red & Silver

This patterns name is not one that roles off your tongue but certainly has a place in your fly box, catching many a back-end fish in all heights of water. Good on a double in lower water and best on a 1” copper tube in medium water.  

Calvin Shrimp

Truly a one off colour scheme Red, Pink and orange but a catcher of fish even in late summer it can be effective. The fly has the artic fox wing and tail which gives it plenty of movement in those slower pools and hand lining is certainly recommended as the pools draw fades away. A must for dirty or dark back-end water, use it on a double or a copper tube it will be a hit with those cock fish.   

Gold Willie Gunn

No need to say any more about this pattern than you have to have it and use it when fishing for Atlantic Salmon. It’s quite simply a no brainer to have in your fly box in a double or a copper tube.

Aurora Cascade Feeler

One of my back-end favourites and will produce fish consistently in the later end of the season. It simple just attracts fish and a smile to the angler.     

Red Devil Pig

This is a most reliably back-end copper tube and fishes best in October and November. Deep red hackles, red holographic body and Boar whiskers vibrating out of the back of the fly. This pattern is known to take those stubborn fish that have been lying around the pools for a while.       

Copper Devil 

One of the top autumn catching patterns on the river, with its copper body, red and orange wing. It can be fished in clear or coloured water on a double or on a copper tube depending on water heights. A firm favourite with me as I normally start with this pattern at the start of the day in October. It works on most of the river systems at the back-end. 

Gow’s Shrimp

One of our feeler range on brass loop tubes, this red and orange pattern was designed by Don Gow from Crieff for a famous stream on the river Tay at Meikleour. The stream fills up with fish at the back-end and this pattern is a favourite of ours due to the amount of sport we get. After trying it on the Tweed system it works just the same, a true all river autumn fly that you should carry around in your fly box. It has regularly caught fresh fish at this time of year and of course the odd crocodile.   

Red Francis 

Last but by no means least this iconic pattern will account for a high majority of salmon on the Tweed system as many an angler will have it on his line. It can be fishing from as small as a 4mm Conehead in low cold water to a 1” copper tube in normal back-end conditions. There are many variants and colours and I can also recommend the Purple or Ruby Francis patterns. 

Embers Shrimp  

This was designed for fish that are aggressive and territorial. The Embers fly has caught multiple fish for many anglers in a day, they hit it hard and there is no mistaking the take.  This feeler style of this fly and its tungsten Conehead is great for bugging through deep runs as well as swung round a pool.