The last few days of April and the start of May, proved a little better than most weeks of the month.
The weather patterns changed over night on Monday and this led to more cloud cover and a general cooling of temperatures during the week.
This in turn had an impact on the river and fish started to be caught on most beats all the up to Boleside.
Doug reports on the Lower Tweed.
The water level, as shown on the Norham gauge, stayed at about 8 ins. until Thursday when it rose to 1 ft. 2 ins. after overnight rain. It was back below a foot by Saturday morning however. There was a cold Easterly blowing on Monday morning and I was glad of my windstopper fleece when fishing at Tweedhill on Tuesday. This colder weather didn’t just affect me as the water temperature also dropped to 46 degrees from a high of 56 the previous week. It was, however, still warmer than the air, creating conditions which many expert fishing writers, both past and present, claim to be amongst the worst for fly fishing. Jostein Devold, who was visiting the Tweed with a group of friends from Norway, proved that there are always exceptions to these rules however, as he landed two springers on a size 8 Gledswood Yellow at Tweedhill on Wednesday . Both of these 7 to 8 pounders were fresh in on the tide and still quite heavily sea-liced. I know that this group were moving on to beats further upstream including Milne Graden which had a fish on Friday when I think they were there but I don’t know for certain if it was them who scored. No matter, all I can say is, Gratulerer Jostein og kommer tilbake snart (Congratulations Jostein and come back soon.) I have seen anglers out on most of the bottom beats this week and note that running fish have been seen every day with fish being caught at Tweedhill (2), Milne Graden (1) and Ladykirk (2) including a 9 pounder for Chris Foreman, her first fish of the season on a Â¾ inch Flamethrower conehead. Well done Chris! Matthi also tells me that Saturday’s fish took a 3/4 inch Green Highlander and that two fish were lost on a Wullie Gunn on Thursday.
All encouraging signs! The weather forecast for next week is variable and it is raining steadily as I write this on Sunday morning. I’m hoping the river stays low not just because it gives more chance of me catching something at Ladykirk on Tuesday , but because I noticed some road signs on either side of Norham Bridge informing motorists that the road would be closed for a couple of days starting on the 5th. If it stays below a foot I can wade across on Tuesday morning, but any higher and I’l have to make a detour via Chain Bridge or Coldstream. Any anglers visiting from the South may wish to plan an alternative crossing if they are fishing these beats from the Scottish bank.
A similar story was told on beats around and above Kelso.
George Elliot fishing Boleside has four fish on the two day trip and landing a very nice 15lbr. Congratulations to him, not a bad tally for a difficult week. Nigel the ghillie commented that he was seeing fish moving on the beat and with the higher water on Sunday and more rain today the beat could fish well once the river has settled.
The Saturday rods arrived with a spring in their step and saw fish moving, but within a matter of mintues the wind changed into the East, and the river went dreadfully quiet.
Mick Charlton had a better few days on Middle Pavilion landing four fish to the same rod.
Not a bumper end to the month, but with fish coming in and fish being seen, I am sure that May could be exciting.
This weeks weather patterns look like a lot of rain, which will not suit the lower beats, but rain forecasting is rarely correct. However, this lift in water will certainly help, and no doubt bring in more salmon and seatrout.
Don’t forget two cracking fish were caught in May\June of last year.
Iain Wilson had a 45 inches, estimated 32lb salmon from Mertoun on the 12 June, and FishPal Malloch Trophy winner Wayne Longstaff had his 33lbr in May at Hendersyde. He also went on to win the Bemersyde Trophy which will be presented to him this week at a ceremony at Bemersyde House.
Mike reports on the Trout,
Poor weather has seen catch rates drop a bit this week, although the fishing improved significantly on Friday and Saturday with good hatches of olive uprights mid to late afternoon resulting in some good dry fly sport. The March Browns seem to have all but disappeared and the hoped for hatches of Iron Blues never really materialised on many beats although there have been some localised hatches. Best dry fly seems to have been olive emerger patterns with these flies scoring well during a hatch. The emerging flies are vulnerable to trout just as they just break the surface and their wings are not quite fully formed, so emerger patterns are often more effective than the duns. CDC F Fly type emergers and klinkhammers are two favourite patterns to fish during a hatch.
Tight Lines Tom.Carter@fishpal.com
Beat catches reported
(week ending 2nd May)
SALMON & GRILSE: Tweedhill 2, Ladykirk 2, Milne Graden 1, Tillmouth 2, West Learmouth 1, Lower Birgham 2, Birgham Dub 9, Sprouston 6, Hendersyde 3, Upper Hendersyde 3, Junction 15, Lower Makerstoun 2, Upper Makerstoun 4, Rutherford 3, Lower Pavilion 1, Middle Pavilion 4, Boleside 5.
Total: 65 Largest: Junction & Boleside 15lbs
SEA TROUT: None reported
TROUT: None reported