Chasing Silver
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Newsletter December 2018 - No. 40

We've turned the corner into December and our attention is firmly fixed on where to fish in 2019.

With just 32 days to go before the start of the season on the Helmsdale, Oykel and Shin, hopes are on "a strong run of early salmon, fattened on their feeding grounds in the north-east Atlantic" says the Helmsdale Fishery Board.

The Helmsdale finished their season with a flurry of larger than life catches. Their 2019 season starts on the 11th January and again they will welcome anglers for seven days of free fishing. We know many of you travel to the Far North of Scotland to fish the opening few days then make your way down to Perthshire to fish the Tay.

The Tay & District Salmon Fisheries Board official opening of the Tay on Tuesday 15th January will be at Meikleour Fishing. If you would like to fish Meikleour on opening day, be quick, as there are only a few places left. All money from the day will be donated to the charity Angling For Youth Development (AYFD).

If you're like me and you enjoy a cast on the Tay during opening week, we have the information on where to fish. Alternatively please give the office a call or visit the new FishTay website.

With Christmas on the horizon and thoughts of what to buy your nearest and dearest on your mind, the gift of fishing has never been so easy with a FishPal Gift Voucher which can be used to buy fishing, providing that it is currently showing as available on our booking system. Instead of buying a days fishing let the recipient choose when and where they want to fish. When they are ready to go fishing all they need to do is give the office a call to redeem the voucher and our friendly, helpful staff will do the rest.

Time is running out if you would like to enter the Malloch Trophy adult and junior. The Bemersyde Trophy adult and junior on Tweed and the Callum Mackenzie Cup for juniors on the Dee. Please send your entries into or call the office on 01573 470612 for further information.

Tight lines


5th December 2018

River Reporters

Would you like to become a FishPal river reporter? If you have some spare time and can send us a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly report on the river you fish, then please contact for more information.

Fish The Dee

The River Dee is famed for spring salmon fishing and remains the best river to try for an early run springer on the fly. Traditionally, given a cold winter, the best of the early spring fishing is to be had in the lower and lower-middle beats.

Prices for a days fishing including ghillie start from £30 a day. Find fishing.

The River Dee Review 2017-2018 is now available to download. I would encourage you all to read this informative report on a river that was ravaged by Storm Frank at the beginning of 2016 and how it is recovering.

Chris Clemes


Fly rod and reel makers Chris Clemes are giving away a free field knife with every rod order until the end of December.

Their range of limited edition carbon trout and salmon fly rods have been reduced by £150. Each fly rod is built using their unique low diameter English blanks - read more.

Chris Clemes range is available in Farlows of Pall Mall, London.

If you are visiting or working in London please contact Chris Clemes to try their range of double and single handed rods. Bespoke split cane fly rods, also known as bamboo fly rods are built to your specifications.

Ness 2019 Availability

Beginner Geraldine Connah won IAC Angler of the Year. Lawrence Deans won The Corie Horne Trophy for the first Spring salmon.

The Ness is a river that has been on the radar for those in the know for many a year with international anglers regularly visiting this productive river. The first fish caught in Scotland on the fly in 2018 was caught on the Upper Ness system of the Moriston in January.

Availability has been added to the site for Inverness Angling Club who offer affordable fishing and are one the top performing clubs in Scotland with 233 salmon in 2018. Ness-Side have also added some September 2019 fishing.

Dochfour will be releasing their availability today. Fishing consists of four rods, two full time ghillies and two lunch huts. Last year rods caught a total of 212 salon and 16 sea trout spread throughout the season - find fishing.

Country Life Magazine Fishes Tweed

Summers day on the Lower beat.

After one barren trip too many, Country Life magazine editor Mark Hedges had fallen out of love with fishing. Could a trip to tackle the River Tweed in the company of his regular companion – 'The Judge' – rekindle his joy?

The Judge and I decided to try our luck again at beautiful Ladykirk on Tweed – the member of the judiciary caught three double-digit fish there last year (I, of course, blanked). However, Ladykirk boasts some of the best returns in low-water years and, as that has been the demon on most of our recent fishing trips, we drove north with hearts full of hope - read more.

Mark and his party stayed at The Boathouse at Norham which is available through Crabtree & Crabtree.

Grayling Fishing

Ashley Thomas with a winter grayling.

The FishPal site has day permits for grayling fishing in England and Scotland. Please visit the Find Fishing page or alternatively give Tom a call in the office on 01573 470612.


Fish The Tweed

A brace of spring fish were caught on Makerstoun beat during the first 7 days of 2018.

2019 fishing renewal letters have been sent out to all our Tweed Salmon Fishing tenants. If you wish to continue with your days please make sure you send your booking form to by the 15th December 2018. After this date your fishing will be released to the general public.

Spring fishing opens up on the river on the 1st of February. For the first seven days of the 2018 season, catches on beats below the Teviot were affected by a dirty river. Beats above caught their first of the season.

Prices for a day salmon fishing start from £30 plus vat and grayling fishing permits are £10. Give Tom a call in the office on 01573 470612 or visit FishTweed find fishing.

If you want advice on the best places to stay when visiting the Scottish Borders, please visit the FishTweed Where To Stay page or give the team a call in the office on 01573 470612.

Fish The River Tay

Anglers with fish caught during 2018 opening week.

The Tay is certainly the place to come to for the chance of a fish of a lifetime. Anglers out fishing on opening day (January 15th 2018) caught salmon up to 21lbs.

Availability on the Tay system is now live. A day's fishing in 2019 starts from £30 plus vat for a bank rod and a boat starts from £100 plus vat - find 2019 fishng.

Gary Scott and Ballathie House Hotel are hosting two luxury fishing breaks during February and March. They include accommodation at Ballathie House Hotel, tuition with Gary Scott, salmon fishing on Ballathie Beat. Five course dinner on both nights in the hotel's 2AA Rosette restaurant, full Scottish breakast and picnic hamper lunch each day - read more.

River Lochy

Playing a fish on the Lochy.

The River Lochy offers the salmon angler some of the most spectacular and scenic salmon fishing in the UK. Condensed into just 10 miles, it meanders it's way through the Great Glen with the backdrop of Ben Nevis (UKs highest mountain) and the surrounding peaks.

Over the last few years the river has produced more than it's fair share of BIG spring fish, with a typical average weight of 17lbs (7-8kilos) - read more.

Give Tom a call in the office on 01573 470612 for advice and information on fishing the River Lochy in 2019. Check 2019 availability.

Bemersyde Trophy

Lady Haig presenting the winners trophy.

The closing date for this year's Bemersyde Award for the best Tweed fly caught and released salmon is January 31st 2019.

The winning angler, young person and boatman will be invited to a presentation at Bemersyde House with Lady Haig in 2019.

Lord & Lady Haig hope the Junior Award will encourage more young people to try salmon fishing on Tweed and increase participation of existing junior anglers.

For more information please contact Anne at FishTweed on 01573 470612. Please send your entries into

Tweed Ladies Days


FishPal is hosting a series of Saturday Ladies Tuition Days with the Orvis Store in Kelso - read more.

The events are free, but if people would like to make a donation when they come along to the "Pets As Therapy charity box" in the store that would be brilliant.

The next Tweed Ladies Day with FishPal's Anne Woodcock is Saturday 15th December.

Peter Murchison

It is with sadness that I write to inform you all of the passing of Peter Murchison in November. I first met Peter in a non-fishing capacity when I moved to Caithness some 25 years age, when he was part of the team that helped put the roof on our new flat. The conversation soon turned to fishing and also an invite to the Halkirk Burns supper, where we discovered Peter's talent for singing.

Peter's association with the river goes back a long way. He was known by many as a ghillie, a host, a man with passion for fishing and most of all as a friend. Peter had many stories about the river and it was always a pleasure to talk to him and share a dram.

Peter, we will all miss you and whatever river you are fishing now, may your line be tight and your reel run free.

Tim Hawes
River Thurso River Manager

Salmon Farming

Salmon and Trout Conservation Scotland (S&TCS) has warmly welcomed the Rural Economy and Connectivity (REC) Committee's report on salmon farming, published today on the 27th November 2018.

The report builds on the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform (ECCLR) Committee's report published in March - read more.