(Last Updated: Monday 20 March)
Pity the poor scribe when there is nothing to say, no fishy news.
Tweed angling was all but eliminated last week by floods, as the cold and dry first five weeks of the season reverted, with vengeance, into something warmer and wetter. Spring has arrived, the birds were singing away merrily yesterday evening as the gloaming gloamed. One of our woodpeckers, judging by the unusually dull sound of its pecker, was tackling something formidable, our walnut maybe. The sandpipers should be here any minute, if they are sensible taking advantage of these mild south westerlies to bring them north with minimal effort. The geese will be going/have gone Arctic-wards.
On the basis that salmon arrive here slightly later than the Tay’s, there is hope, in that that mighty stream is catching more than we are, even if they too are, to date, way behind their normal March catch. It can all change very quickly, and with eleven fishing days to go before we hit April, March might yet deliver for eager anglers.
The joker, apart from the arrival of fish in numbers, is the weather. Yr. No. says that Eskdalemuir, whence cometh much of Tweed’s/Teviot’s water, could have over two inches on Monday/Tuesday/ Wednesday, if so precipitating another flood, the third in little over a week, and further delaying any meaningful fishing. We are conflicted, are we not, in that there is nothing so damaging as prolonged drought (viz last July and August), but incessant floods are almost equally frustrating. At least we know that at some point it will all calm down, and the warmer/fresher water should have encouraged more salmon in from the sea.
And then the fishing should/could be good.
In furtherance of its educational remit, the Tweed Foundation is opening The Ian Gregg River Academy this week at Drygrange. You can read more about it on the rivertweed.org website here https://www.rivertweed.org.uk/tweed-foundation/education/ian-gregg-river-academy/
For those who do not already know, Ian Gregg (scion of those excellent shops where I/you buy pies) was the RTC chairman for many years and was largely responsible, together with Judith Nicol, for both beefing up the Tweed Foundation and setting the Tweed Forum on its way. After moving from Tweedside, he set about changing the fisheries management scene in England and Wales with the establishment of the Rivers Trusts movement. It not only flourishes today but has been instrumental in transforming the prospects of many rivers south of us. They do it by instituting and implementing good river management practices in a holistic way, by looking at river catchments as entire ecosystems, one part reliant on another, so that by tackling all the catchment environmental issues, in the end, the fish are the main beneficiaries. Our Tweed Forum was the prototype on which the whole English and Welsh equivalents were based.
Ian is a remarkable man, understated and modest to a fault. He has done more than anyone to restore all our rivers, despite the worst efforts of the water companies, to a state of good environmental health. It is entirely fitting that part of the Tweed fabric will forever bear his name.
Author of A River Runs Through Me.
Entries are now open for the Bemersyde Trophy for the best salmon landed on a fly on Tweed The winners of this prestigious award (senior and junior) will be invited to a presentation luncheon at Bemersyde House in 2023.
Previous winners of the senior award include Jim Reid, Shamus Jennings, Wayne Longstaff, Finlay Wilson, Craig Duncan, Andy Britton, Jonathon Murray, Janice Hogarth and current winner Adrian Gotzheim
Previous winners of the junior award include Jess England, Debbie Harris, Andrew Kitchingham, Debbie Harris, Harry Gotzheim, Samuel Ackroyd, Harry Brownlow and the current winner Sam Taylor
To be eligible for the trophy the fish must be caught on a fly in a sportsmanlike manner and be returned to the water. For more information and to enter this years trophy please contact the Bemersyde Estate office here.
Looking at the next couple of weeks ahead, once the river settles, there will be the prospect of good fishing. And there is some excellent availability. Hendersyde this week has a couple of last minute rods that are not subject to the usual 3 day, 2 rod minimums. With high water it may be worth exploring the upstream beats now, such as Makerstoun, Dryburgh Upper and Tweedswood. Milne Graden, West Learmouth and Tillmouth also have some enticing days on offer...
If you catch a tagged fish then please take a note of the tag number, this can be made easier by taking a photo of the tag. To report a tagged fish please contact the Tweed Foundation on 01896 848 277 or the Head Fishery Officer on 07884 230 045.
Last weeks catches are at the bottom of this report.
Tackle Shops and Outfitters on Tweed
Guides and Instructions on the River Tweed
Where To Stay on Tweed and the surrounding countryside.
Where To Eat on the river Tweed.
Fishing Permits for Tweed and its tributaries.
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We would like to thank the boatmen, angling clubs and beat owners on the Tweed system who have contributed to this report by providing their time and information as the weekly report would not be possible without your help and support. If you would like to share any interesting stories or pictures from your time fishing on the River Tweed for the purposes of this report, please feel free to contact us here.
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