Salmon fishing is something which over the past few months has been high up on my ‘to do list’ and on Saturday 5th July I was finally able to tick it off! I was given the opportunity by the inspirational Anne Woodcock.
Anne organised the day to raise money for the brilliant charity Casting for Recovery. A charity that is there for women who’s lives have been affected by breast cancer and can join other ladies on retreats and learn to fly fish. The retreats also give the ladies the opportunity to meet new people and share their story with them, and also have a jolly good time!
on Friday evening my dad drove me up to Bishop Auckland where cliff very kindly let me stay at his house for the weekend. and made me feel very welcome. After talking about fishing all night it was bed time as we had to be up and in Scotland for 8:30 the following morning.
we set off from Cliff’s house at around 6:30am and departed on grey clouds and drizzle, however the further north we went the lighter the clouds got and started to break. we were fishing the Middle Pavilion beat which is close to the town of Melrose. the beat has easy access with it been just off the main road.
Middle Pavilion has 8 named pools, we were suppose to be fishing from a boat however water levels meant we had to wade instead. Our ghillies for the day were Mick and Colin who in the morning Mick kindly showed me and Elaine how to set and tape up the rods and also showed us the salmon flies we would be using.
After a brief of what the day would consist of by Anne fishing commenced at around 09:15 ish. With today being the first time I had been salmon fishing me and Elaine spent the morning with Anne and Cliff going through the cast and practicing them.
The thing I was worried about the most is not picking the casting up, but I think I took to it pretty well and was really enjoying getting to know the rod. as the day progressed I was confronted with a wet leg, oh no. I stepped out of the river and took my waders off, I had a wet leg from my knee to my feet, leaky waders are not a good look, so when it was time to take a break and have some lunch I left my leaky waders on the fence to dry out.
our lunch was provided by Mary from Wild Dining, just looking at the food made you drool at the mouth.
After lunch and a general chit-chat about the mornings fishing every one was eager to get back at it. my waders were dry so I put them back on and got back out. In the morning we started just above the bridge so in the afternoon we explored below the bridge, however before everyone went away what’s a day without a group photo?
before starting to fish, Anne suggested a change in fly, and tied me a silver Stoat on. Anne showed me the “circle C” cast I found this cast easier to use so stuck with it. throughout the day I was regularly reminded that it was a salmon rod, not a trout rod!
Later in the afternoon, previously loosing 2 fish, Mandy caught the only fish of the day, a 8lb salmon. It was the first time Mandy had caught a salmon on the fly too!
As the day came to a close, it was smiles all round, everyone had a brilliant day. the photos from the day were taken by Linda Mellor who is a professional photographer and writer.
Thank you to Anne for organising the day which was a huge success and to the ghillies!
I hope to get out and experience more salmon fishing in the future. next weekend (19th july) ill be visiting Raygill lakes near Skipton with a family friend, Jack Harris. be sure to come back and see how I got on!
find out more information on the Middle Pavilion beat at http://www.fishpal.com/Scotland/Tweed/MiddlePavilion/?dom=Tweed
Linda Mellor http://www.lindamellorphotography.co.uk/