17lb Springer Salmon From The Tweed Junction Pool
In the 2018 S&TC auction, I won a day at West Newbiggin on the Tweed and duly travelled up in late September 2019. On the day the river came up 3 feet overnight and fishing was a non-starter. I graciously accepted the situation and went to visit Warkworth Castle with my wife and watch some small Grilse coming over the tidal wier on the Couquet. Later that day my host to be called and said that the Chairman of their syndicate has asked, would I like to join them for a day on the Tweed Junction Pool in February.
Er, yes please, I couldn’t say yes quick enough!
So, after a smooth journey up on the train followed by a rickety bus ride across to Duns, I arrived at my hosts lovely home out in the bonnie Scottish countryside, (they kindly insisted that I come and stay with them), for dinner and a few fishy stories.
The next day (Friday 7th Feb), after a hearty porridge breakfast we headed to the river to meet the guys and the Ghillies. I was nominated as first in the boat on the Junction Pool, with the excellent Gavin Brown on the oars and supplying the wisdom. It was a beautiful frosty and sunny morning, with only a light breeze as I started my first run through the pool.
After about 30 minutes or so, Gavin advised me that we were coming to the drop off where fish prefer to lay. On my second cast over the ledge, whilst nattering away to Gavin, my rod was dealt a rather solid thump to which I lifted and the reassuring bend told me that it was a decent fish.
Some 15 minutes later, after a good steady fight with plenty of determined runs from the fish, Gavin slid the net under a beautiful 17lb Hen Springer. A new PB for me caught on a Fulling Mill Classic Dee Monkey and a wonderful end to a 2+ year drought due to family commitments and unwilling fish!
20 minutes later and the rod pulled over again in more or less the same spot, this time it was a 7lb kipper that fought well, but was clearly not in the best of health, although made a strong return after release.
What an absolutely fantastic opportunity to fish on this wonderful river, at this hallowed pool, with such superb Ghillie’s and wonderful company.
My thanks to John and Carol for putting me up, feeding me and making me so welcome in their home and amongst their friends. Said friends, too many to name, thanks for your warmth, hospitality, and fishy tales. To Chris Noble, thank you for inviting me along for the day and a special thanks to the hard-working team of Ghillies at the Junction.
We topped the day off with a visit to The Contented Vine restaurant in Kelso for what was probably the best Paella I have ever eaten.
A fishing trip that I will never forget…
Blog post written by Andy Kress.