RIVER TWEED

Trout & Salmon (UK) - - Scotland -

FOR A long time, few would have dis­puted the rep­u­ta­tion of the River Tweed as Bri­tain’s best salmon fish­ery. In re­cent years, there has been a re­duc­tion in the num­ber of salmon re­turn­ing to the Tweed, par­tic­u­larly to­wards the back-end of the sea­son. How­ever, it re­mains one of the most pro­duc­tive rivers in Scot­land.

Salmon

Early sea­son usu­ally of­fers the best value for money, and the Tweed of­fers a good chance of a fly-caught springer. Sim­i­lar to the Tay, fresh fish should en­ter the sys­tem through­out the course of the year. As the weather warms to­wards May the num­ber of fish in the river grows and wa­ter height plays a vi­tal role in de­ter­min­ing whether the mid­dle or lower river will have the best sport. Fresh fish are of­ten caught on the mid­dle and up­per beats when the wa­ter level is high. Tra­di­tion­ally, the Tweed has been at its fish­pro­duc­ing best dur­ing the cooler days of au­tumn. It is at this time of year that prices for prime beats rise to­wards £1,000 a day. In the last few sea­sons, the au­tumn fish­ing on the Tweed has been dis­ap­point­ing. It re­mains to be seen whether this is a blip, or the start of a trend to­wards more pro­lific spring and sum­mer runs. No doubt the Tweed will bounce back next sea­son to ce­ment its ti­tle as the top river in Scot­land.

Sea-trout

Most of the sea-trout caught in the main river are taken dur­ing the day by salmon an­glers as night­fish­ing is not usu­ally per­mit­ted. The River Till, how­ever, is a renowned sea-trout fish­ery where night-fish­ing is pos­si­ble, and can prove to be ex­tremely pro­duc­tive from May into June and July.

Brown trout

In terms of brown trout fish­ing, the River Tweed is one of the best places to tar­get large, wild fish. Every year trout in the 3lb class are caught reg­u­larly, with one or two that push the scales con­sid­er­ably fur­ther. A few years ago a nine-pounder was taken on the fly. This pro­duc­tiv­ity is due to pro­lific fly-life – hatches can be ex­cep­tional – which sup­ports a high pop­u­la­tion of fish and al­lows them to grow rapidly. In spring, day­time fish­ing is the or­der of the day while those heady sum­mer evenings give rods the best chance later in the year.

Grayling

In ad­di­tion to mon­ster trout the Tweed also con­tains spec­i­men grayling, with fish up to 4lb caught in re­cent years. The grayling fish­ing be­gins in the au­tumn and con­tin­ues through­out the win­ter on the up­per river and key trib­u­taries such as the Te­viot.

The ul­ti­mate prize: a Tweed salmon comes to the net.

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