Andy Britton has won the Bemersyde Trophy with a 32lb salmon. The fish, which was caught at Tweedmill Beat, near Coldstream, secured Mr. Britton’s award for the annual trophy, which celebrates the largest – and best-caught – salmon landed on a fly on the River Tweed. Harry Brownlow of Denholm won the junior award with a 16lb specimen caught at the Hawick Association Water at Rulefoot on the Teviot. The winners were announced live online from Bemersyde House on Saturday, 27 March.
Andy, from Braidwood in Lanarkshire, caught his fish on 11 August 2020 on a light 12lb nylon and tackle, using the latest Gaelforce fly line and a self-tied, size 12 double-hooked fly. He played the fish for 45 minutes before it was netted by Jock Veitch, one of the two ghillie witnesses to the triumph and winner of the Ghillie’s Award. Harry also landed his fish on a 12lb nylon with a Conehead Ally Shrimp on 29 October 2020.
Harry Brownlow’s fish was described by the judges as a “super catch in every respect”; it was caught on a cold and windy day with coloured water and his party was about to head home. Harry’s father offered to cast for him but he refused before casting, hooking, playing and landing the fish – his first salmon – on his own. The fish was returned safely to the river after 15 minutes of rest in the water. Harry, who was 11 at the time, kept the fish in the water only taking it out briefly for photos.
Andy Britton said: “It feels fantastic. I have fished the Tweed quite a lot but and caught big salmon before – including a 43lber in Norway – but to land a 32lber is a massive achievement and something I never thought I would achieve, especially on the Tweed. I was so pleased when they lifted the restrictions last August and it was great to get a 32lb salmon on light tackle.”
Harry Brownlow said: “I am very happy to have won the trophy, but most of all it was worth the wait for the fish. I have fished for a long time and the salmon finally came along!”