There has been a lot of rain over the Tweed this week. And on one day – Wednesday – a lot of fish were caught. Certainly a lot for August. It’s difficult to tell exactly what the water levels were as it seems there’s been a hiccup or two with the SEPA river level data coming through this week.
But on Wednesday the river was on its slow ascendancy to what was to become a 9ft flood on the Norham gauge in the early hours of this morning and when that happens the salmon can often tell and will gleefully take the fisherman’s – or fisherwoman’s – fly before the water in front of their noses turns to turbulent chocolate soup. This pre-flood bonanza certainly happened to Mr John Podbury on Wednesday who went out on the famous Lees beat for a day’s fishing rigged out with an intermediate line and some 1.25in tube-flies – and caught 20 salmon as his contribution to a day’s total for the beat of 28.
Ok it happened before last year, but that was in the autumn salmon run proper when Mr Francis Sidoli caught 23 salmon in a day (on, to be exact, September 27 2010) – also on the four-rod Lees beat.
Elsewhere on Wednesday there were 114 salmon caught, including a 24-pounder at Tillmouth, and that’s only to include those recorded on gillieline/Fishpal.
But if one rod is pulling out 20 (darn it I’ve had 14 in a day but that’s in Russia for heaven’s sake) then one might wonder where we’ll be at in 4-6 weeks from now. Probably doing rather well I shouldn’t wonder. Well those who have autumn days on the Tweed that is..
STOP PRESS Now I’m told by Fishpal who spoke to John Podbury this afternoon that a floating line and sink tip was the successful line-age and a wee Cascade did the damage. I suppose sink-tip and intermediate aren’t a million miles away from each other and a 1.25in Cascade could be described as wee, if you were a cold water salmon nut who considered anything under two inches of brass tube as a shandy-drinker’s choice of fly. Or am I clutching at tube-fly tubing, so to speak?
And finally: the above photo is not the Lees but it is the Tweed. Birgham Dub in fact: pal Andrew Nathan playing a salmon in July 2010 when he caught five salmon in one day. Now I reckon five in one July day is halfway to being as good as 20 in one August day. Or are we numbers-gaming again? Discuss!