End of an Era.

Rennie

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Well folks, today would've been the day the bus was filled with fishing gear, flee's had been tied, gear had been prepped, bags packed and hair combed for the annual Tweedy jaunt.
Sadly its not to be, the 3hr drive North was allways an integral part of the week, once off the A1 the A68 was a lovely drive, nice to motor along and the Autumn scenery was /still is spectacular.I'll miss my friends, sadly we see so little of each other nowadays thats the part that will be hardest to bear.The nights in Burts, Timmy Taylors Landlord, the craic and jokes, stories galore and a good plate of nose bag.
Mondays were always special, that first drive out of Melrose then along the back road looking down onto Fairnilee and across to Sunderland Hall and Yair was absolutely spectacular, the trees in all their Autumn glory is indeed something to behold-especially in a frost!.
Every lay by had a car in it with attendant fisher person 1/2 clad in waders, rods waving in the air, smile's full of a weeks anticipation at what lay ahead!.
I'll miss the company of the Ghillies too, Dave P. at Ashiesteil and Jack M. at Holylee, two nicer guys you just couldn't wish to meet.
Then I'll miss that hike up into Tiger country, and my first shakey steps into Nowt Sykes before launching a customary Black n Yellow tube out across the stream.
God knows how many years I've made that trek and spent so long looking forward to it every time.
I hope it's just a temporary thing and sooner or later we might get back up there as a party,I won't hold to expectation rather to hope!.
Yours a bit sad and melancholy,Pedro.
 

budge

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Well folks, today would've been the day the bus was filled with fishing gear, flee's had been tied, gear had been prepped, bags packed and hair combed for the annual Tweedy jaunt.
Sadly its not to be, the 3hr drive North was allways an integral part of the week, once off the A1 the A68 was a lovely drive, nice to motor along and the Autumn scenery was /still is spectacular.I'll miss my friends, sadly we see so little of each other nowadays thats the part that will be hardest to bear.The nights in Burts, Timmy Taylors Landlord, the craic and jokes, stories galore and a good plate of nose bag.
Mondays were always special, that first drive out of Melrose then along the back road looking down onto Fairnilee and across to Sunderland Hall and Yair was absolutely spectacular, the trees in all their Autumn glory is indeed something to behold-especially in a frost!.
Every lay by had a car in it with attendant fisher person 1/2 clad in waders, rods waving in the air, smile's full of a weeks anticipation at what lay ahead!.
I'll miss the company of the Ghillies too, Dave P. at Ashiesteil and Jack M. at Holylee, two nicer guys you just couldn't wish to meet.
Then I'll miss that hike up into Tiger country, and my first shakey steps into Nowt Sykes before launching a customary Black n Yellow tube out across the stream.
God knows how many years I've made that trek and spent so long looking forward to it every time.
I hope it's just a temporary thing and sooner or later we might get back up there as a party,I won't hold to expectation rather to hope!.
Yours a bit sad and melancholy,Pedro.
Sounds as though you should have gone ! Always the same after a bad week, make the decision not to go but when the time comes you wish you were going. I'm in a similar dilemma with my annual TT trip. Haven't missed for the past 18 years, but after this year's total washout I didn't book the ferry whilst we were there. The doubts are starting to creep in now, I know come May with the sun shining I will be gutted

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Elibank

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I’m sitting here like a corpse after getting back yesterday afternoon - we had three for our week, 16lbs and 8lbs (2). All caught by our guests (thank you gentlemen), but we forgive them because of the craic.

I seriously could not consider a year without our week in the borders, our friends up there make us so welcome. Next year, same beat, same week, usual suspects God willing, same pubs/chip shops/curry houses, and the same old stories being trailed out again...

Got to go now, there’s something in my eye..
 

Oscar

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Echo what budge says - sounds as if you should have gone!

Totally get why you didn’t - as with everything there comes a point where it just doesn’t add up. It’s a hard decision.

We did the same on the Don, and it was tough given the people and accommodation we had found, but a few really bad dry years helped us make our mind up.

We’ve now found the Thurso and for the moment feel the excitement and trepidation that a week in the river brings. And there’s a few fish...

I really hope things improve, or you find a suitable substitute.

Oscar.
 

tomj

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Well said Rennie!
Last year the drive we took on the way home from Milfield across to Yetholm and beyond was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen; the autumn colours were sublime, but it has to be said that none of us are getting younger.Or richer.
What do you do? Well I for one am planning a trip to Michigan. It will cost more. And I will have to forego the Borders next year.
Perhap we shall leave it to the cyclists,ramblers and stargazers- but I fear they will not return as we did-or feel for the place as we do.
 

lefthandup

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Well folks, today would've been the day the bus was filled with fishing gear, flee's had been tied, gear had been prepped, bags packed and hair combed for the annual Tweedy jaunt.
Sadly its not to be, the 3hr drive North was allways an integral part of the week, once off the A1 the A68 was a lovely drive, nice to motor along and the Autumn scenery was /still is spectacular.I'll miss my friends, sadly we see so little of each other nowadays thats the part that will be hardest to bear.The nights in Burts, Timmy Taylors Landlord, the craic and jokes, stories galore and a good plate of nose bag.
Mondays were always special, that first drive out of Melrose then along the back road looking down onto Fairnilee and across to Sunderland Hall and Yair was absolutely spectacular, the trees in all their Autumn glory is indeed something to behold-especially in a frost!.
Every lay by had a car in it with attendant fisher person 1/2 clad in waders, rods waving in the air, smile's full of a weeks anticipation at what lay ahead!.
I'll miss the company of the Ghillies too, Dave P. at Ashiesteil and Jack M. at Holylee, two nicer guys you just couldn't wish to meet.
Then I'll miss that hike up into Tiger country, and my first shakey steps into Nowt Sykes before launching a customary Black n Yellow tube out across the stream.
God knows how many years I've made that trek and spent so long looking forward to it every time.
I hope it's just a temporary thing and sooner or later we might get back up there as a party,I won't hold to expectation rather to hope!.
Yours a bit sad and melancholy,Pedro.
Dare I say it...time to think about abroad, better value than Tweed and far better scenery than the Scottish Borders.
 

Rrrr

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If the cost reflected the fishing then maybe it would be worth the trip as it seems as if you miss alot of the other factors too.

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Well folks, today would've been the day the bus was filled with fishing gear, flee's had been tied, gear had been prepped, bags packed and hair combed for the annual Tweedy jaunt.
Sadly its not to be, the 3hr drive North was allways an integral part of the week, once off the A1 the A68 was a lovely drive, nice to motor along and the Autumn scenery was /still is spectacular.I'll miss my friends, sadly we see so little of each other nowadays thats the part that will be hardest to bear.The nights in Burts, Timmy Taylors Landlord, the craic and jokes, stories galore and a good plate of nose bag.
Mondays were always special, that first drive out of Melrose then along the back road looking down onto Fairnilee and across to Sunderland Hall and Yair was absolutely spectacular, the trees in all their Autumn glory is indeed something to behold-especially in a frost!.
Every lay by had a car in it with attendant fisher person 1/2 clad in waders, rods waving in the air, smile's full of a weeks anticipation at what lay ahead!.
I'll miss the company of the Ghillies too, Dave P. at Ashiesteil and Jack M. at Holylee, two nicer guys you just couldn't wish to meet.
Then I'll miss that hike up into Tiger country, and my first shakey steps into Nowt Sykes before launching a customary Black n Yellow tube out across the stream.
God knows how many years I've made that trek and spent so long looking forward to it every time.
I hope it's just a temporary thing and sooner or later we might get back up there as a party,I won't hold to expectation rather to hope!.
Yours a bit sad and melancholy,Pedro.
I was thinking exactly the same thing today. How about a spring trip? I'm planning to contact Mr H and the doctor.

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morphfly

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It wasn't a decision made in haste or individually. It'd been coming for a year or two. When 6 of you fail to touch a fish over 6 days it's time to go.
As Pete says we had a great time on and off the river.
The reunions would start in Norris's where last minute purchases were made.
Thanks Pete
Morphfly
 
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It's a difficult decision to make you will always think one more year and might be lucky with conditions.
I have now got to the stage in my life where it's all about getting away
for a bit of fishing clear the mind in nice surroundings I've made a trip to the Alness by myself at the end of September this year and last 1 fish last year and 3 this year probably not a great return given if I'd spent the same amount of hours fishing at home on local rivers I would have probably
caught the same.
But if you think about it we are searching for something that may or may not even be there and if it is it apparently doesn't feed in fresh water!
So enjoy the surroundings and company even if it is your own.
I'm not in the numbers game anymore although it nice to get a few.
PBP
 

Cookie-boy

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Sad to read that, Pedro. When you are a young man it's all about fish on the bank. Now I am an old man and the other aspects of my anual trip to the A'an have started to outweigh the lack of fish. The friendships forged over a lifetime, the unrivalled beauty of that Strath, the stories around the fire after a good dinner, a large single malt in your hand. I couldn't give it up!
 

firefly

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I cannot but reiterate a famous quote from a much wiser man than me: many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing it is not the fish they are after. Henry David Thoreau.

Maybe the time has come to take his words to the river and contemplate. On the knowledge you gained and the memories you collected, on the wealth of nature you experienced and aspired to carry into your heart. You may find some more wisdom in his words and open up a new dimension to the fishing you think you lost. A new path to discover on your journey through life.
How sad woud it be to die moaning about the lack of fish and long lost experiences when you lived a life many wont even know, when you felt the exhilarating thrill of being in contact with another lifeform and what it did to you. It would be a sad thing to fade away in the reminiscence of things in the past when you can still broaden your horizon in the presence of what you deem lost. Take it to the next level and die a happy man. Nature and your instinct will guide you.
 

Rennie

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As you well hint firefly, the fat lady certainly isn't singing her head off just yet.Indeed its just a part of life and it will go on, certainly for my stint at it any way.
We are looking already towards opening the next page, just have to see which book opens for us.
It's certainly 20 odd years of very very good memories I have of being up there and I do reflect on those memories frequently,
Really its looking at a river like the Tweed that was once full to the brim of Autumn Bounty-and I mean that too- now merely being an empty river.Nothing will be done on that I'll happily wager and its certainly not the only river so blighted, ask the Nith fishers!.
Any way-off to put the gear to bed for the year, I'd wish you all tight lines, but for some?, well its a forlorn hope.
Pedro.
 

MCXFisher

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Pedro,

I think you're right to emphasise the human aspects - the joys of good company and craic - that Cookie so correctly underlined. Of course, it's difficult to keep the party going without fish, but in my experience it's the people that add the most joy to the equation.

I don't wish to steer this thread off into one of those areas of interminable blind debate. Nevertheless I suspect that the underlying causes of the decline of the Nith and Tweed autumn runs are different. The Tweed scientists hold that there has always been a spring-summer-autumn cycle, with the components waxing and waning over time, and thereby suggest that at the moment the autumn run is waning. I'm not well placed to assess the correctness of their belief. In contrast, I fear that the fortunes of the Nith, like all the north western rivers and indeed those in Northern Ireland, are connected with those of the west coast of Scotland.

But if you like a good autumn view there's always this available:

View attachment 40180
 
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flytay

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Well folks, today would've been the day the bus was filled with fishing gear, flee's had been tied, gear had been prepped, bags packed and hair combed for the annual Tweedy jaunt.
Sadly its not to be, the 3hr drive North was allways an integral part of the week, once off the A1 the A68 was a lovely drive, nice to motor along and the Autumn scenery was /still is spectacular.I'll miss my friends, sadly we see so little of each other nowadays thats the part that will be hardest to bear.The nights in Burts, Timmy Taylors Landlord, the craic and jokes, stories galore and a good plate of nose bag.
Mondays were always special, that first drive out of Melrose then along the back road looking down onto Fairnilee and across to Sunderland Hall and Yair was absolutely spectacular, the trees in all their Autumn glory is indeed something to behold-especially in a frost!.
Every lay by had a car in it with attendant fisher person 1/2 clad in waders, rods waving in the air, smile's full of a weeks anticipation at what lay ahead!.
I'll miss the company of the Ghillies too, Dave P. at Ashiesteil and Jack M. at Holylee, two nicer guys you just couldn't wish to meet.
Then I'll miss that hike up into Tiger country, and my first shakey steps into Nowt Sykes before launching a customary Black n Yellow tube out across the stream.
God knows how many years I've made that trek and spent so long looking forward to it every time.
I hope it's just a temporary thing and sooner or later we might get back up there as a party,I won't hold to expectation rather to hope!.
Yours a bit sad and melancholy,Pedro.
Pedro,

I read this while contemplating a trip to the Tweed next week. I have never fished for salmon in November before and whilst catches this autumn have "improved" I understand that they are still much less than the good days.

However, I am still tempted to book. There is much availability and the cost in November is much more reasonable bordering on cheap! Whilst a fresh fish appears unlikely, there are fish in the river and the thought of that electrifying salmon take is hard to resist. I have not fished since mid September when I blanked and will not fish again until March which seems a long way off. I know my chances are not good but I love spending a few days with like minded people and the Borders is such a beautiful part of the country especially in all its autumn glory.

I will go and even if I blank I will have few regrets. Perhaps I'm just feeding my addiction!

Cheers
 

PB

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I have just seen your very sad post Pete. My wife and I used to see you and your mates in Burts every year, and we met a couple of times at Ashiestiel. We didn't see you last year for the first time, and guessed you had moved on because of the fishing.

Tomorrow I will be driving again to Melrose for my autumn week at Lower Pavilion plus a few days on other beats. The fishing is pretty dire now, but I can only echo what others have said above, that there is so much more to the trip than actually catching fish, a few evening pints of Timothy Taylor in Burts being one of them. So I'm sorry you won't be there again, and good luck for the future. Paul.

PB.
 

keirstream

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View attachment 40185

For Pedro, maybe you'll walk the dog sometime and get to know the river. :thumb:
I fondly remember another fishing memory by seeing the photo of the dog.
I was lying tucked out of the wind having a snooz at the edge of the forest on the Varzuga when I became aware of something cold and hairy brushing my cheek. I woke up with a fright and found myself staring into the ice blue eyes of what I thought was a wolf.:shocked::shocked:
Luckily it turned out to be a friendly Samoyed type dog from the local village but really, I wasn't to know that.
It licked my face then helped me clean up the mess I made.
Only fair, I thought.:lol:
 

Tyke

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I know precisely what you are feeling Pete, I feel just the same - it's a hollow feeling like something significant is missing & there doesn't seem to be anything to fill the hole created by missing our week. As you so rightly say it isn't just the fishing, it's the anticipation & planning, the journey up to the borders made with the speed & enthusiasm of a 7 year old boy leaving school at the 4 o clock bell, then the reunion of friends who have assembled from England, Wales & the People's Republic of Yorkshire.

Some great nights in Burt's (although to be fair due to our advancing years I don't think any 2 of us together make it into double figures of pints in an evening anymore, let alone on our own like we occasionally, OK not all that rarely, did back then) & we still made it for a full Scottish breakfast the next morning. Going back even further, it was the Traquaire before we moved a bit further down river - remember that ferocious night with the mad Irishman & the potcheen, how we chocked down a full breakfast the next morning I'll never understand.

By the way I just checked my diary & I believe it was 22 years ago that you joined me for 3 days on Sunderland Hall before finishing the week off on Traquaire; so you're correct, it is more than 20 years of trips & memories as a group together.

Still, on the bright side, I don't have to put up with Neil's snoring in the B & B. Good job I don't snore myself.................

As Nigel said, we need to sort out a spring trip - make sure the thermals still fit mate.

Tyke.😢😥
 
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westie4566

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Pete,

Like you I constantly review how the pennies are spent.

I'm seriously considering dumping my Feb fishing on the Dee. It's nice to be out then but it's been fishless. That said, come the time though, will I end up kicking myself?

That said, myself and few other SFF pals have actually increased our April let on Tulchan for next year. So it's not all doom and gloom.
 

kingfisher

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Pete I share your sadness after seeing the Nith and Lochy fall of a cliff in recent years. Two rivers I loved fishing and sad to say won’t spend too much on Fishing again.
Others may Add the Tweed, Annan and Earn etc to their lists too.

In fact could we all just basically add all the rivers to our “used to love” listings.

whilst there is not doubt rivers are struggling, I have been discussing this topic with others in charge or in the know of rivers over recent weeks and they all say the rivers are hardly fished like they used to be. Of course that doesn’t help.
We fished a West Coast spate river last week for two days and in low conditions had a couple for our two days.
a friend took another friend of his to the Southie and had 7 between them for their day.
Nothing to write home about in years gone by but they can be caught if your flies are in front of what fish are there.
Were on the Tweed this weekend and it will be good to catch one or two to with the efforts put in.

yes it’s dire but if more fished then perhaps, just perhaps a more reasonable catch reports would look a bit better.

Pete I hope you get back to Tweed and catch a few that you’ve done in the past.
 
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