50-pound salmon catch is 2013 record breaker

Shamus Jennings with the heaviest salmon caught on the fly in Scotland on record in 85 years
Shamus Jennings with the heaviest salmon caught on the fly in Scotland on record in 85 years

A MELROSE angler is in line to win the prestigious Savills Malloch Challenge trophy for the heaviest salmon caught on Scottish rivers this year.

Keen fisherman Shamus Jennings from Ireland landed the estimated 50lb fish on the Boleside Beat of the River Tweed, near Melrose, which he part owns with his brother, Francis.

Daisy Ropner with her first salmon at Kelso last week

Daisy Ropner with her first salmon at Kelso last week

“It’s taken me almost 40 years to catch a 25-pounder, (caught the day before on the same beat), but this is simply incredible,” said Shamus who has fished for salmon all over the world.

The salmon was measured at 50in long, with a 33in girth, which puts the fish weight at approximately 50lb.

Shamus hooked the fish in Glenmayne pool using a Boleside shrimp head boatman Nigel Fell created a few weeks earlier. There followed a 35-minute tussle to bring it to the boat.

Shamus said: “This was the first we saw of the fish and we were shocked at the size of its head. It took us until the fourth attempt to get it into the net.”

Hooking to landing lasted 45 minutes and the salmon is believed the largest caught on the fly in Scotland since another 50 pounder was caught on the Tay in 1928.

Meanwhile, London’s Daisy Ropner, staying at Whitehouse Bed and Breakfast, St Boswells, caught her first salmon weighing 15lb, on the Lower Floors beat last week.

Whitehouse’s Angela Tyrer said: “The Ropner family have been staying with us for over 15 years. Daisy’s grandfather passed away last year having fished the Tweed for many years. This year there were three generations of the family fishing and all of them caught a salmon. There was certainly a celebration at Whitehouse.”