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Sunday, 6 September 2020

River Tweed River Report Week Ending 5th September 2020 - Tay Salmon Fly

River Tweed River Report Week Ending 5th September  


Apologies work commitments last week meant that I struggled for time to get the river report written, I have included the successful anglers from last week in to this one. Overall it was a pretty decent week with Wednesday and Friday lost to dirty rises with fish caught on the other days. 392 Salmon and 101 Sea Trout were reported, Lower Floors having a good day on Saturday landed 12. South Wark 30, Ladykirk 29 Birgham Dub 23 and Junction 22 also had some good sport over the week. The largest fish was an 18lber caught on the Sprouston Beat. Above Kelso 96 Fish were reported, Kelso to Coldstream 190 and Below Coldstream 106.

Back to this week now and what a week it was…. With the falling water from Fridays 6ft dirty rise and some reasonable catches on the Saturday in pretty high beery water hopes were really high with conditions looking very good first thing on Monday morning and the fish didn’t disappoint and good catches were made on the river as a whole with fish spread out from top to bottom. Reports indicate that over 400 Salmon were landed on Monday and Tuesday as the water clarity and level continued to drop in from the previous weeks rise. There was a small rise on Thursday that put the fish off the take a bit and the following days the water remained quite black and there seemed to be a vast majority of fish “coming short” with many brief contacts not resulting in fish been landed. The hope is that this run of fish will continue into the autumn months, I feel this coming week will be a big tell if there is any sign of good numbers of fresh fish to come with the conditions looking good for the bulk of the river. Fresh fish or the older fish that seem to have got the bottom end of the river filled up at the moment be interesting to see what gets caught. Fingers crossed there are lots of fresh ones to come.

The River Tweed Salmon Fishing Museum opened on the 3rd September, unfortunately due to coronavirus restrictions an official opening ceremony couldn’t take place but plans are to have one at a later date. In the meantime the Museum will be open on Weekdays 10am – 4pm and on Sundays 10am – 1pm.

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.

Above Kelso 174 fish were reported, Between Kelso and Coldstream 287 were reported and below Coldstream 310 were reported. With the best fishing being at Tillmouth where 88 Salmon were landed. Sprouston 42, Lees 38, Rutherford 33 and Birgham Dub 32 also had decent catches for the week.

Waltham and Dritness Beat reports Dropping water and a small rise mid-week slowed thing down, but we managed eight salmon/ grilse this week, largest around 9lb, Dave Lorimer 5 (Five Fish) , Jack Weightman 2 and Martin Inkster 1

Tiptoe fishing this week, Tim Robert’s who stayed for the week caught an 8lb salmon in the Old Egypt Pool (No. 5) THEN Storm Francis arrived, and the river began to rage in the shade of chocolate colour. Monday 31st August was the next best day as the water was slowly subsiding.  Kelvin Russell, and Sam Pattinson booked their 2 days through Fishpal, and they had some excellent sport. On 31st Kelvin caught a 9lb Salmon (returned) in the Long Flats Pool (No 2)   on a Flying C. Kelvin also caught 2 sea trout 5lb and 3lb in the Long Flats. Kelvin was fishing under the mist! At 7am on 1st Sept He caught 2 x 3lb sea trout in the Top Stream with a flying C. Neil Sullivan who is staying at Tiptoe caught & returned a salmon in the Pump House Pool. 11 Neil said” Truly, the most beautiful fish I have ever seen.


Please note some of these are from week ending 29th August.


Mr Rob Mitchell landed a lovely fresh fish at Cardrona on a Munro Killer. Mr Scott Connelly using his famous Scoobydoms landed a nice fish on Ashiestiel last Saturday. Mr Ian Bennet landed 2 at Drygrange. Ms Fiona Brown landed a 14lber in the Boat Pool at Bemersyde, The Boat Pool produced another 2 fish on the fly 6lbs and 7lbs. Dryburgh Upper have been picking away steadily, last week there was success for Mr Matthew Crowe who landed a grilse, Mr David Leaver and Mr Will Shropshire also landed fish. Mr Paul Bradbury landed a grilse and Mr Ted Inness-Kerr also had success. Mr Jonathan Reddin had a good day on Rutherford last Tuesday landing 4 on a Black and Yellow Bottle Tube. Mr Gregg Ellis had success at the Junction. Mr Mike Graham had a good week fishing at Lower Birgham and Upper North Wark landing 14 salmon inc 7 in one day on Wednesday all on the fly. Mr Keith Triffitt landed salmon to 14lbs along with grilse on a Samurai Shrimp Fly at Upper North Wark, his son Jack also got in on the action with a grilse. Fishing at the Lees, Mr Russell Sanderson had a lovely 12lber from the Cauldstream. From the same pool Mr Mike Cook landed a 10lber and Mr Toby Kembel landed an 11lber on a Size 6 Cascade. Mr Tim Poole landed a nice fish in the Slap on a Size 6 Green Highlander. The Glide produced a 10lber to. Last Thursday fishing at Cornhill Mr Alex Knox of the fabulous Contented Vine restaurant in Kelso had a superb day landed a handful of fish up to 17lbs in a couple of hours in the afternoon. Pedwell landed 6 fish last Monday with Mr Dave Boyd landing 4 of them up to 15lbs on a homemade fly. Mr Toby Tisdale landed his 1st Salmon a lovely fresh grilse that was safely returned after a few photos. Father and Son very happy.

Mr Hayden Reith had success on the River Teviot.

Fishing on the BDAA stretch of the River Whiteadder with the rise in levels fish were moving through the river. Successful rods were Mr Alan Spence, Mr Brian Allison and Mr Brian Reid. 

Mr Callum Simpson while fishing for Pike on St Mary’s Loch landed a Salmon.


771 Salmon and 63 Sea Trout were landed for the week with the best fish 26lb Salmon caught on the Birgham Dub beat.


It’s always good to hear how the fishers enjoy their experiences on the river, please let us know about your catches and memorable moments of your trip. Below is some first-hand feedback from anglers last week


Lower Pavilion

My first time fishing this beat, expert advice form Scott on how to fish each beat with a great little tip to improve my casting. An easily accessible beat, well maintained and a very knowledgeable and approachable Ghillie in Scott.


Great day on beat. Scott made the Day more enjoyable with his help and knowledge. Will definitely be back. Thanks Scott.


I was lucky, the river was at just the right height, and Scott the ghillie put me in the right places where he expected the fish to be. 3 salmon caught, 1 cock, 2 hens.


Middle Pavilion

Enyoyed the trip more than usual. Stephen is a very good ghillie. 



Dryburgh Upper 

This is a fantastic beat with an excellent ghillie on a beautiful part of the Tweed. I can’t wait to return. Sadly, I lost a stunning fresh grilse at the net. We were lucky to get any fishing after the previous day’s big flood but the river was still so big only spinning was available. 



Jake at Holylee is awesome - his knowledge is second to none - look forward to going back soon




Bemersyde Head Ghillie Mr Ian Farr reports “W/E 29th Aug We started the week well with 3 fish on Monday then the weather took over lost most of the week to floods no fish landed till sat in a big beer water was disappointed not to see more fish running on the sat should be a good water all next week if no more rain last week of the syndicated rods we have a few rods to let second week of Sep will be worth a go hear is hoping the fish deep moving from the lower river”


Hendersyde Head Boatman Ketch reports “A week of two halves, we started off with a reasonable water and good height for the beat on Monday but for some reason the fish just weren't interested and the only reward for our efforts were a couple of pulls. It all changed on Tuesday and Wednesday though with 17 for the 2 days, the biggest being 17 pounds and quite a few in the teens. The second half of the week was another frustrating few days having to contend with another rise in the river but by sat conditions looked good and we saw fish on the move but we were unlucky not to land the few offers we had”


Lower Birgham Head Boatman Mr Tom Davis reports “W/E 29th Aug What a week on the river this week has been. We have had the highs of catching fish and the lows of unfishable days... but you always wonder what could have been if we had been on the river every day.... or without the water would the fish not have been on the take and not there... who knows! But some great sport was had this week with 17 salmon and 2 sea trout landed. Plenty of others on and off, some agonisingly close to the net. But at least after the 2 lifts of dirty brown water we were able to get fishing the day after on both occasions. It cleared and dropped remarkably quickly after the flood and what a fantastic day we ended up with on Saturday with 8 salmon and a sea trout. Sometimes you’re glad to get a rest on Sunday’s, but this week with the fishing getting better and better you want this week to never end. It will certainly have next week’s rods turning up sharp ready for action hopefully! If ever we wanted a nice steady week next week would be it. But who knows what the weather has in store for us. But with the catches throughout the system being so high, next week has the potential to be a belter! Tight lines. Tom” “My usual reports are based on river heights, temps, conditions etc etc. All very interesting, but this week we are all about fish, fish and more fish! What a sensational week it has been on tweed! And what an amazing week at lower birgham we have had. We landed 28 salmon and 2 sea trout. I will just repeat in case you missed it! 28 salmon and 2 sea trout! What a week it was. We had fresh fish, old fish, big fish, small fish, fish we landed, fish lost and fish we saw and didn’t catch. It was incredible. Our biggest fish landed was 18lb and fresh and we did also have a good tale of the big one that got away.... and after 30 mins of trying to land it and get it to us it let go of the hook, no drama, no fuss... it just let go. But the story of the big one that got away lives on. We had fish every day last week which was great for all the rods last week. Looking to next week we can only hope that this rich vein of form the tweed has been in continues. It’s a great height, fish in the beat and eager fishers who have probably been glued to the rivers catches every night counting down the days till Monday morning! One thing for sure is the expectation on Monday morning will be sky high and hopefully we can driver! Tight lines Tom.”


On Upper North Wark, well we picked a good week to reopen with 39 fish being hooked on the beat, frustrating at times to be losing so many but good sport for our fishers. A mixture of fresh and coppery fish landed. Amongst the successful rods this week, Mr Keith Triffitt landed 2 with the best a 14lber from the Snipe on a ½” Samurai Shrimp Conehead, Mr Jack Triffitt kept up his record of catching every trip to the beat and Mr Mike Graham had some good sport on a Red Frances. Any enquiries or booking requests please call Martin on 07825334427.


Lees Head Boatman Mr Malcolm Campbell reports “W/E 29th Aug Most of the week was quiet or flooded, Saturday things picked up, we didn't have a pull until 3.30pm then 7 in a row, all on fly a large Temple Shrimp on a plastic tube teamed up with a wet 4 tip. Looking good for next week, just hope the rain stays away on Wednesday.” “38 for the week which isn't too bad considering the conditions and we didn't pick up a spinning rod, mostly river fish but some brand new ones as well the best being an 18lber. Everything on floaters with various sink tip on the end. #6 doubles and trebles or inch to inch and a quarter tubes. Only had the one wee fresh grilse this week they seem to have dried up. No complaints about catching big ones though. Must still be some good numbers of fish below us looking at Tillmouth catches? For full Lees report go to Tweedbeats home page and see Malcolm’s fishing reports”


Berwick and District Angling Association reports “What a year for fishing on the Whiteadder, lost a big chunk of the year with no fishing allowed then when we got back the Whittie was in a drought with no real rain until July and even then it was a 6” rise which we laughingly called a spate. Despite the paltry rainfall there were six fish caught in July then came August. On the 18 th of August we got a real spate, bank busting water. As ever the Whiteadder roses quickly and fell quickly, clearing fast and fishable by the 19th. From the 19th of August up to the 3rd of September 18 fish were recorded, our club president having a bumper 3 fish on the 19th. As is the case with salmon there was no consistency regarding flies. One fish came to a small Ally while another fell to an inch and half brass tube. The water remains in good fettle with a rise yesterday, the 3 rd of September, the Whiteadder running clear above Allanton Bridge while the Blackadder spewed out hot chocolate coloured water. By 3pm the Blackadder had cleared well improving fishing conditions downstream. Prospects are good now that fish have had time to run. Here’s to a more optimistic back end.



We are blessed in this area to have some superb local fishing tackle shops that are well worth a visit the superb well stocked Borders Gunroom in St Boswells. I would recommend for a rummage round which and find out from the local staff what’s currently doing the damage on the river and lochs.


After any fishing trip on the Tweed it’s always worth a trip to Kelso to enjoy a superb meal with great atmosphere in the fabulous Contented Vine restaurant. I would highly recommend it as a must visit during your trip. Call 01573 224777 to reserve your table.


The stunning Saddler Cottage, located within the grounds of Tillmouth Park in now under new ownership. Suitable for fishers and families this lovely cottage is very handily placed for fishing the Lower and Bottom Tweed beats. If you would like more information please check out the link


The week ended with the level at Sprouston 1ft 3” and the water temperature is 52.



Looking at the availability for this coming week I would recommend Tweedswood, Dryburgh Upper and the Pavilion beats should have a chance of some action this week.



The forecast this coming week, a cloudy and wet day with spells of rain moving in from the northwest for a time, perhaps becoming locally heavy. Rain will linger into the afternoon, but should become more patchy. There will be variable cloud on Tuesday, with a few showers, which will merge into longer spells of rain into the evening. It will feel warmer. Wednesday will see spells of rain for a time, but it should turn drier as the day goes on and high pressure builds in, with some sunny spells later. Thursday will start largely dry and cloudy, but rain could start to move in later.


As always I would like to thank all those who provide me with the information to make this report, it is very much appreciated. If you have any information or photo’s you would like included please get in touch with Martin on 07825334427 or



Look at what to bring for the week aheads fishing, with the rise last week falling in a floating line with assorted poly leaders should suffice on most beats, Copper Cascade, Tritton Shrimp, Gledswood Shrimp, Willie Gunn and Ghillie Flies are all capable to tempting fish on size 6-10 dressed hooks or 1” – 1½” tubes. Great time of the season for giving the Sunray Shadow a go to. On the spinning front it’s the final full week of spinning on the river with no spinning allowed after the 14th September, the flying c, rapala and toby should be worth a go.


As always come prepared and always listen to the advice of your boatman or ghillie. If you’re needing to top up your fly box ahead of your trip please check out


Season So Far catches (This figure is a rough guide and does not include fish caught during the Lockdown period 24th March to 12th May)


Total catch last week:  771 Salmon & 63 Sea Trout

Total caught so far this season: 5184 Salmon and 988 Sea Trout

As reported on Fishtweed:-

(Biggest Salmon 26lb Birgham Dub)

(Biggest Sea Trout 15lb Drygrange)

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To book or enquire about fishing on the Upper North Wark beat on the River Tweed please give Martin a call on 07825 334427

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