It was with great sadness that we learnt of the passing of one of the greatest stalwarts of Tweed, Ted Hunter. Ted ran the Anglers Choice Tackle Shop in Melrose for many years with Jean giving able support. He was a man of great patience and would wax lyrical about all aspects of the river, be it the river itself, the grayling, trout or salmon fishers and their respective histories. He has been ill for some considerable time and we miss him deeply on the river. Happy to praise where it was due, he was not adverse to knocking heads together when required.
As a novice angler, I spent many happy hours in his company asking him ‘why this’ and ‘what about that’, he always had the patience to impart knowledge happily to all. He loved the river, was a Tweed Commissioner, a Trustee of the Tweed Foundation and from within the shop in Melrose or outside, one of the best river ambassadors Tweed could have.
I only ever saw him angry once, it was many years ago on a day a foreign ‘gentleman’ handed in a tag from one of the spring tagged fish and asked ‘what he should do with the tag?’ This was a year when the tags were radio fitted and their positions monitored up and down the river over the course of the season. This particular tag had been put in place on the fish several months previously in the Spring, I think from memory it was 7 months the fish had wandered UP and DOWN the Tweed and ALL its tributaries on its wanderings, meaning the fish must have been ‘as black as the ace of spades’ as Ted put it, by the time this chap had landed it and obviously killed it otherwise he wouldn’t have had the tag. The ‘gentleman’ left the shop knowing the score, but as Ted told me, “I had to get rid of him out of the shop, before I did something I might regret”.
RIP Ted, we mourn your passing, but bless you for having passed your knowledge on to the future generations. It’s now up to us to make sure the river is kept to the fore.