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By scottishriverfishing, Jan 28 2017 12:36PM

With Spring just around the corner the grayling season will be drawing to a close soon. Most of the Tweed closes for grayling at the end of January but there's still some fishing available in February. It's been a funny season. It started well then began to get a bit harder with the grayling seeming very reluctant to feed some days, especially when it was bright and sunny. Everyone has a theory as to why the fishing has been hard of late. It's been a pretty mild winter so could it be that there's been more food available than normal so the fish can be a bit more picky? Or simply angling pressure? There have been many more anglers out on the Tweed this year than normal, so could the fish simply have moved from their normal lies just to avoid anglers? I've certainly had a good number of fish from water I wouldn't normally expect to hold many grayling. Avian predation must be having some effect too. It's not unusual to catch grayling which have bird damage showing. For me though, it's been mainly weather related. Grayling like settled conditions and the weather, for the most part, has been far from settled. I've all but given up fishing bright sunny days this winter as the fish are just not putting in an appearance on such days. I like to fish a water which is dropping and clearing after a flood, but we've not had that much rain.

The lower parts of the river were producing large numbers of smaller fish early in the season so there seem to be plenty of fish present. These fish should ensure good grayling fishing for at least the next year or two.

I'm pretty hopeless with a camera which is a real shame as you can get some fantastic pics of grayling if the light is right. I love close up shots of their dorsal fins. The one in the pic above obliged and held its fin up just long enough to get a decent photo.


Pic above is a monster of 3lb 8oz caught by client Ian on a recent guiding session. A new PB fish for him and one which will be very hard to better. Definitely a fish of a lifetime! This was the third time I've guided for Ian and he's had a new PB on every session! 2.10lb, 2.14lb and now 3.08lb. I've had a few people out over the Winter and they've all done fairly well with decent numbers of fish caught and some whoppers.


Danny has done plenty of fly fishing but had never tried the Czech nymph before. We fished through a couple of spots without any success before he got the fish in the pic above. His first ever purposely caught grayling weighing a hefty 2lb 14oz.


Unfortunately torn ligaments in my ankle have put paid to any plans I had for long sessions before the end of the season. This also caused me to miss the Earlston grayling competition and cancel a couple of guiding sessions.Hopefully I'll get out for a couple of hours here and there but the priority has to be to allow the ligaments to heal fully before the start of the trout season.

By scottishriverfishing, May 29 2016 09:07AM

As usual for this time of year there are some big trout around. Spotting them is one thing, catching them another. There have been a few in the 5 or 6lb bracket caught and make no mistake these are huge for wild brown trout on a river. There have been lots of caught in the 2-3lb range too. These are great trout, very fit and in excellent condition and give some great sport.

It's normal for the fish to become a bit more picky at this time of the season due to the abundance of different flies. This week we've seen olive uprights, blue winged olives, yellow mays, sedges, iron blues, large brook duns and large dark olives. When you take into account that the fish might take any of these flies at any stage of it's life you can see why fly choice gets more difficult.

The TTGI trout recognition is now beginning to show some results for repeat catches. I've had one fish thrice in a few days (twice in one night) so it does look as though repeat catches will perhaps be much more common then you'd think. Repeat catches highlights the importance of catch and release of wild brown trout. The software plots the spot pattern on the trout's head and once the data is entered it can scan through hundreds of pictures in a few seconds. As well as trout recognition it will also be used to plot the movement of fish throughout the Tweed system. I'll be at the TTGI meeting next week so should get an update on any findings, although it's early days yet.

Trout of around 5lb goes back
Trout of around 5lb goes back
Me looking extremely happy with a big trout!
Me looking extremely happy with a big trout!
Photo taken to show spot pattern on left side of head for TTGI programme
Photo taken to show spot pattern on left side of head for TTGI programme
59cm trout caught first cast in early evening
59cm trout caught first cast in early evening

By scottishriverfishing, Apr 10 2016 08:43AM

At last the trout season has opened on the Tweed again. I've only made it out for a couple of brief sessions but had a few on dries so I'm quite happy. Large dark olives have been trickling away and yesterday there was a good, but very brief, hatch of March Browns. I'm looking forward to getting plenty fishing in over the next few weeks.

This season we've got some interesting stuff to do, one of which is photographing trout for the Tweed Trout and Grayling Initiative's new fish recognition software. This will enable fish to be tracked for movement and growth. One pic of the head and one of the whole fish need to be taken. The length of the fish and place of capture are also noted, and sometimes scale samples taken. The picture of the head is then uploaded to the software and spots on the head are plotted. Once there is sufficient data entered it should start to show up repeat catches, fish growth and movement. The software can scan through hundreds of pictures in a few seconds and identify individual fish from the markings plotted in. This process relies heavily on angler participation so hopefully there will be enough people interested enough to make it work well. It should be interesting to see what information this project will produce over the next few seasons.

Close up picture of trout's head to be used fot TTGI fish recognition
Close up picture of trout's head to be used fot TTGI fish recognition
Small fish coughed up by a 35cm brownie
Small fish coughed up by a 35cm brownie
Lots of large stone flies around just now.
Lots of large stone flies around just now.
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