Right at the end of last season I briefly (10 seconds) shook hands with a Nith salmon. The reel I was using that day was the one pictured right in this picture, a Bouglé 4in, attached to a ten foot SH rod. It’s actually the Lightweight, but the one on the left is the Bouglé proper, a fab present from my parents on the occasion of a rather big birthday I celebrated with family in Suffolk last month (epic weekend!).
This latest has the authentic Hardy Perfect sound, the enclosed spool acting like a sound-box. How much do I yearn to hear that sing to a Nith, Gaula, Miramichi salmon this year? A lot. So I now have the pair and they really are wonderful bits of engineering and will look very fine on the rod racks and up at the head of Langøy – I hope – this season.
Flicking through the March issue of Trout and Salmon last night I turned straight to the Nith report as I usually do, still expertly edited by one Sandy L, to find confirmation that Continue reading
Playing a summer salmon at Borse Stream at Birgham Dub a few summers ago.
We all have our favourite Tweed beats. Mine, going from the top downstream, are Middle Ettrick, Sprogbank on the upper Tweed proper, Boleside, Bemersyde, Birgham Dub, Lower Birgham and Tillmouth.
Anyway I was pleased to see that some early season rod-bending action has been had on the two Birghams. An 8lb sea-trout from Lower Birgham last Wednesday following a rise in water the night before (you can always get a sea-trout in dirty water). Then two salmon, one sea-liced at Birgham Dub to the rod of Mr Colin Somerville on Friday. This following up on a cracking 20 pounder the day before. Overall there have been 24 springers caught on the Tweed so far on the beats reported by Fishpal.
Meanwhile, I turned down the chance of a fish on the Dee at Park last week, but it does look as though the water was high and fluctuating – not ideal for a bottom beat river.
Anyway that’s it, my last HSA post this side of the half century.
If you are out fishing, and that includes you Mr Rouse, tight lines.
It has been a fairly quiet opening to the Scottish salmon season on the Tay, and the Dee and Tweed kicked off yesterday with odd fish on the Tweed (just a 7lb springer on the Whiteadder posted on Fishpal for yesterday).
The Dee reported springers caught at Park, Ballogie, Birse, Commonty, two at Cairnton and Mid Blackhall and one at Upper Blackhall.
Pictured here courtesy of Salmon Fishing Club on Mr Zuckerberg’s Facebook is Daniel Stephen with a super springer caught from Park. It was also his first-ever salmon!
On the Tay the fishing has been steady in a small way, with only small runs coming into the river and fluctuating weather making the fishing difficult. It is good to see typical Tay spring salmon with size and depth in the photographs. A fish of 20 pounds was caught by Paul Kelly in the Castle pool at Meikleour and Upper Islamouth. Another beauty was Continue reading
Porters pool. I of course like this pool, one of the best on the Nith and after all it gave me my first ever Nith salmon one July day in 2002. But it has been a harsh learning curve: I have missed, fluffed or otherwise failed to connect with a successful outcome on, I think, the last 4 salmon that have taken my fly here. I even missed one this July, then again last week. The water elves are tough but they do teach you stuff over time.
I wistfully turned around at the end of 3 days on the Nith last week. I had barely seen a fish with the river at summer low (well, I’d seen 5 or 6 actually). Then, on the last morning, we negotiated some tricky potholes and tracking down to Beat 1 and I did some casting with Pippa. She’s getting better and she’s only nine: she’s learning about the rod as spring, the line and the kinetic forces that govern its motion.
Time for a last cast. I had up my SH ten-footer. What I call my trout rod but I’ve caught 3 or 4 salmon on it, not to mention an 8 pound arctic char that went like a 15lb salmon with it. I put on a pukka little dark Templedog. A largish plastic tube and maybe because of this Continue reading
Going . . . Neil in wild and beautiful Icelandic terrain with a chunky late-August fish . . .
Neil Bryson once provided sterling multiple grilse-catching backup on a memorable Trout and Salmon trip to Islay and has also for years been a fellow rod in my Closeburn Castle group on the Nith. He kindly allowed my father to catch his first-ever salmon while fishing his rod there one July day and has often given me a rod to boost options when he couldn’t make it. Continue reading