This page is to help those who have never fished for salmon before to understand more about what is
How do I organise a day's fishing
All you have to do is simply purchase the right to fish for the relevant number of rods and days on the
beat of your choice. A 'rod' is a Scottish term used to describe an angler, so taking two rods for a day
entitles two individuals to fish. There are no other fishery licences required in Scotland, so all you have
to do is to ring the ghillie a few days before you are due to fish (details are given on your booking
confirmation), find out what tackle you will need to take with you, and then turn up at the appointed time
What does a ghillie do?
Most beats employ a ghillie of some sort. He may be part- or full-time and on larger beats there may be
more than one (with one designated as the head ghillie). On the larger Tweed beats, a ghillie is often
referred to as a 'boatman'. The ghillie's job is to show you the water when you arrive, advise you on
likely spots where fish may lie and the best tackle to use. He will then visit you from time to time during
the day to see how you are getting on.
On some beats, the ghillie may stay with you for some or all of the day and if boats are available he may
row you if it will increase your chances of catching a fish. Gillies are also responsible for making sure
that you fish within the law and in compliance with relevant conservation agreements. Most can also assist
with some casting tuition, but if this is required, please make sure you have spoken to the ghillie in
It is normally expected that you should tip your ghillie at the end of your fishing.
What is involved in a day's fishing?
When you arrive at the beat, the ghillie will meet you, usually at the main hut at around 9am and help you
set up your tackle and select a suitable fly. He will then show you where to start fishing and where to go
for the rest of the morning. You will be expected to stop fishing for an hour at lunchtime, usually about
1pm, so please remember to take your own lunch!. He will then organise your afternoon session, often on a
different part of the beat. At the end of the day, usually about 5pm, you meet again to tell him about any
fish you may have caught and to find out how any other rods have got on.