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Newsletter February 2018

This week Mark Cockburn travelled to the official opening of the River Spey. Anglers gathered in Aberlour to watch the traditional pouring of a bottle of single malt whisky into the fast flowing waters of the River Spey, a gesture to wish the salmon good health and to herald the official opening of the season. This year the honour was given to Evelyn Glass, last year's winner of the Spey Anniversary Quaich for the first salmon caught on opening day.

The film 'Atlantic Salmon - Lost at Sea' produced and directed by Deirdre Brennan and Castletown Productions, is now available for everyone to access and watch online via Amazon. An epic journey through the oceanic kingdom of the Atlantic Salmon in an attempt to unravel the mystery of their life at sea. Salmon are plummeting to critical levels. The cause is mortality at sea - read more.

If you have not yet decided where to go fishing this year, please give Tom a call in the office on 01573 470612. We have everything from a days fishing through to fishing with accommodation.

Tight lines if you are out and about this coming week.


13th February

Upper Blackwater Opening 2018

Day 2 and Joe visited Upper Ballyduff Bridge salmon fishery.

FishPal's Joe Early visited Blackwater Salmon Fishery, managed by renowned spey caster Glenda Powell for the opening of the Munster Blackwater salmon season. Rain hammered the south west coast of Ireland the previous day, swelling the river to 1.8m, which dampened the prospects of a repeat of 2017 opening day spring fish.

The day was not a loss however, as everyone arrived for breakfast, gave a toast to the river and had some casting tuition from Glenda - read more.

During 2018 we will be receiving regular updates from Joe who is based in Ireland for FishPal. If you would like to fish Ireland or wish to add your fishing on to our Irish site please contact our offices on 01573 470612.

River Dee

It was a slower week last week, with thirteen springers on the fly. Alan Green picked up Crathes Castle's fish, an 8lber from the Sawmill on a gold Willie Gunn. Lower Crathes finished the week on six with two to Neil Stephenson's rod both at 11lb on a Dee Monkey. Paul Grewcock had the pick of them with a belter of 18lb - read more.

A nice 8lber for Alan Greene, fishing Crathes Castle, 8th February.

The River Dee now has a new website with videos for many of the beats. If you would like to fish the River Dee in 2018 please visit the FishDee website and give Tom a call in the office on 01573 470612.

Tay Casting Day


Meikleour Fishing on the River Tay are hosting a one day casting course on Friday 16th March (8.30am-5pm) with Tom Brown. The day is aimed at the complete beginner through to the competent caster wanting a refresher.

Make a weekend of it and stay at the Meikleour Arms Hotel.

GAC Spring Open Weekend


Mark Cockburn and Anne Woodcock will be at Glasgow Angling Open Weekend (March 2nd/3rd/4th). The event held over 3 days is Scotland's biggest angling event for game, predator, sea and coarse fishing. During the weekend there will be fly tying and tackle demonstrations, along with fishing tuition - read more.

Where To Fish

If you have not yet decided where to go fishing this year please give Tom a call in the office.

We have everything from a days fishing through to fishing with accommodation. This includes guides, instructors, and where to buy and hire equipment. If you're looking for somewhere to rest your head after a days fishing, we have places to stay along with where to eat.

River Tay

The fourth week of the salmon fishing season on the Tay sees the river in excellent condition for fishing, although cold.

16 year old Jordon Grant has caught the first Tummel salmon.

In last Tuesday's newsletter, we included the 35lber caught that day. This was not the only outstanding fish caught on the river last week. There was an estimated 23 pounds fish caught at Burnmouth earlier in the week and on Thursday, a superb 24 pounder was landed at Meikleour and Upper Islamouth by Graham McIntyre from the Castle pool - read more.

Congratulations to Jordon Grant a youth member of Inverness Angling Club who once again has demonstrated his angling skills by catching the first fish of the season on the River Tummel. Jordon caught his 14lb springer on a visit to the Pitlochry Angling Club water.

The Tay is certainly the place to visit for the chance of a fish of a lifetime. The sheer size of the river produces large salmon and the possibility of a 40 pounds fish must now be on the cards - read more.

Sea Trout Argentina


It's full on action in Argentina - if your lucky enough to chase monsters in Patagonia then give Tom Leslie a call at Fin and Game for everything you need for your fishing trip, including sea trout flies for Argentina - read more.

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

River Tweed

Last week fish continued to be caught mostly in the Kelso area. A total of 20 salmon were caught which included: Lower Makerstoun 2; Upper Floors 1; Lower Floors 2; Junction 7; Upper Hendersyde 1; Sprouston 2; Birgham Dub 5. The largest fish was caught on the Junction Beat at 19lb - read more.

Makerstoun off the mark with a brace of springers.

Looking at availability for this coming week, the following beats of Lower Birgham, Upper North Wark and South Wark should all have a chance of a fish - find fishing.

Anglers wishing to buy a salmon membership do take a look at Bluestone Beat on the Whiteadder with memberships starting from £200 per rod. The beat has a comfortable hut with tea/coffe making facilities, BBQ and a small stove. Every thing you need to enjoy a light lunch or picnic. Toilet facilities are located near to the fishing hut.

Fairnilee beat have some syndicate places left for the season at £124+vat. Please call Tom Carter on 01573 470612.

For places to fish and stay during the Easter holiday in the Scottish Borders please visit the website or call our offices on (+44) 01573 470612.

River Sog With FishIceland

Home of many 20-pounders, the Sog River is recognized as one of the finest Atlantic salmon rivers in Iceland. Sog is the largest spring fed river in Iceland and is renowned for its amazing bird-life, beautiful surroundings and high percentage of multi-sea-winter salmon. Sog also has a very good stock of Arctic char and every year char of size 5-6 pounds are caught. Sog river is only 65 km east from our lovely capital Reykjavik.


The Bildfell beat is the most productive beat on the Sog and frequently produces the heaviest salmon each year meaning salmon of 20 pounds or bigger. The name of the other beats are Asgardur, Alvidra, Sydri-Bru, Tannastadir and Thrastarlundur. Sog river is all private water and has six salmon beats and a total of 13 rods. The salmon season is from June 24 until September 24 - read more.

Jon Sigurdsson from FishIceland will be on the FishPal stand at the London Fly Fishing Show.

New Simms Arrivals

Founded on the pillars of innovation, Simms strive to build the highest quality products to keep anglers dry, comfortable, and protected from the elements - no matter the conditions.

Fin and Game owner Tom Leslie is an experienced and knowledgeable angler.

Today, Simms continues to take the fishing market by storm with a trained eye on fisheries conservation and inspired product development of the world's premier technical fishing apparel, footwear, and equipment - shop latest range.

Fin and Game are the specialist fishing, shooting and country clothing store based in Kelso, Scottish Borders, on the banks of the River Tweed. Speak with a member of their fishing team who are on hand to help you find the right clothing for your fishing trip - Fin and Game.

Fin and Game are exhibiting at the London Fly Fishing Show and will have the Simms representative for the UK on their stand.

More Rivers Opening

More rivers open later this week which include the Esks opening on the 16th February. FishEsks

Murray Stewart 30lb Spring salmon, April 2016 at Kinnaber beat.

The river has had some superb early season fish in the past. The site currently has some good fishing available - read more.

The Clyde opens this weekend, Saturday 17th February. FishPal's Anne Woodcock will be attending the United Clyde Angling Protective Association opening ceremony at the Popinjay hotel in Rosebank at 9.00am - read more.

More angling clubs are adding their 2018 fishing to the site. Nairn and Beauly A.C. have just added their rods for the season - find fishing.

Perfect Gift

Caledonia Fly Company sell a range of brooches.

Along comes February and with it, St Valentine's Day, so we thought we'd spread the love this month and a perfect gift for your loved one.

Brooches are the perfect gift at any time of the year to say thank you and to wish the angler in your life good luck - read more.

Go Fish Spain

Spain has become one of Europe's top destinations for fishing holidays, especially during Winter months when the temperature drops below zero in the UK.

Anglers looking for a short get away? Go Fish Spain are offering 7 and 14 day breaks starting from just £199 per person - read more.

Private fishing lake within the Valencian countryside.

The price includes transport to Spain from the port of Dover, accommodation at the resort and unlimited access to the private lake which has carp over 10kg in weight. Basic fishing tackle is available to hire. Anglers are encouraged to bring their own - read more.

Go Fish Spain are an English family run business offering holidays on their private parks in Spain for over 37 years.

Go Fish Spain are pet friendly. So bring your dog along for their best holiday ever, with an agility course, splash pool and loads of woodland walks, they won't get bored - read more.

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