Prestigous prizes for best salmon taken on the Tweed
The exploits of anglers from home and abroad on the River Tweed have been honoured at a recent prizegiving.
Lady Haig of Bemersyde, near St Boswells, welcomed guests last week for the annual Bemersyde award ceremony, celebrating the largest fly caught Atlantic salmon to be caught and released, on the River Tweed.
This year’s winner of the prestigious Bemersyde Trophy was Fin Wilson, who caught and released a 24lb spring salmon at Lower Floors on February 13, 2015.
He caught his magnificent fish using a 14 foot Demon rod from Alnwick-based rod manufacturer Hardy and a Monkey tube fly.
This year Lord and Lady Haig also announced a new Junior Award which they hope will encourage more young people to try salmon fishing on Tweed and increase participation of existing junior anglers.
The inaugural winner is Jess England (17), for a salmon caught and safely released on the Hendersyde Beat, River Tweed, on July 31.
Jess caught two fish (weighing 15lb and 13lb) that day, using an aurora shrimp, size 8.
Jess also won a gift voucher which was presented to her by Tom Leslie, owner of Tweed tackle business Fin & Game.
The Bemersyde Trophy is awarded annually by Lord and Lady Haig to the captor of the best salmon caught using a fly on Tweed.
All fish to be considered for the award must have been safely returned in order to qualify.
The Bemersyde Junior award is open to all juniors aged 18 years old or under, on December 31 of that year, who catch and release an Atlantic Salmon on Tweed river using any legal method.
To enter the Bemersyde Trophy, interested anglers can complete the form on the FishPal website (Malloch Trophy), where they will be automatically entered into both national fishing awards.
Meanwhile, there was another red letter day on the river, this time for 86-year-old Bob Mattioli.
Bob only recently started salmon fishing at 82, and ever since making that first cast nearly four years ago he has been trying to hook his first salmon.
And last week, fishing from the boat at Kelso and with a downstream northerly wind affecting his every cast, the retired serviceman ( he was once a navigator on the Wellington Bombers) was not deterred by the poor conditions.
While he ws casting across the famous Tweed Junction Pool a 10lb fresh salmon succumbed to his lure.
A ten minute battle followed and with the guidance of his boatman Gavin Brown Bob got his first ever salmon under control.
A quick photograph was taken of Bob with his 10lb sea-liced fish before it was returned to the river.
That evening there was a celebration in the local pub with his family and friends who had been trying to get him a fish since he started salmon fishing.
Local author Bill Quarry even presented Bob with a signed copy of his book “Salmon Fishing and the story of the River Tweed” which is now a Best Seller.