Tales of Teviot woe

fishpond

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Hi All

Just a quick report as I made the annual trip to fish Upper Roxburgh at the end of last week with some friends (they were when we started they might now disown me for persuading them to come fishing!). So after the near 3' rise on the Teviot earlier in the week and some Tweed beats down stream starting to see a trickle of fish we were hoping that there might be a few turn left at the Junction and head our way. Conditions were OK with water around a foot above summer level and steady all three days (ideally I'd like it dropping from 2-3' down to 1' over the same period) although it was very dark and tinged the first two days it was clear on the third. The flood hadn't cleaned the gunk off the rocks so it was a bit like wading with a bisto plume downstream of you at times. Sad to report we had nothing despite four experienced rods fishing hard - not even a lost fish or good pull - we saw a handful of residents each day but that was it - highlight was seeing some otters at very close range and my beat partner demonstrating different ways to fall in on two days. Think this will be the last trip until things pick up - this isn't a blip as the run has been getting poorer each year as do our catch returns (the price strangely stays the same!) - there haven't been the stocks of residents that I used to see as a KAA member on the upper part for some time. So time to start thinking about a different time of year and/or river system.

Tight lines

Richard
 
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Oscar

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Nice honest report, thanks. Shame there was ****** all about for you though. :(

Oscar.
 

MCXFisher

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Bad luck: thank you for the candid report.

The lack of spates to wash the dead vegetable matter off the rocks has been a feature all over the North East of England: we've got loads of it in the Ure. Inevitably the process of its decay impacts the oxygen count and the smell of the water, which in turn may influence the salmon's readiness to enter the river in question.
 

fishpond

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Hi Michael

I wish it were down to the bad taste in the water but as Marty will tell you fish come into the bottom of the Tweed on the tide regardless of what's happening upstream in low water and they just aren't there. The few fish that are being caught in the system right now are largely stale fish that came in some weeks/months ago and are creeping upstream - there was celebration today on one beat apparently when they caught a solitary fresh fish.

We would usually catch a couple of stale fish each day in the conditions we had with hope of something silver.

I genuinely hope the run comes this week or next but suspect my lottery numbers are more likely to come up.

It was a great time to be on the river though with the leaves turning, nice fishing weather and good company.

Tight lines

Richard
 
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Midge

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Thanks for the report, we're up on the Teviot in 10 days time. Praying for a big washout and river fining down but I've more chance of winning the lottery and I don't take part!

MIDGE
 

MCXFisher

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Richard,

I can't speak for the Tweed, but on the Ouse system in Yorkshire (Ure, Swale, Wharfe, Derwent all share the same estuary) the autumn runners just won't come up until the river has been well flushed out and freshened. They seem averse to entering oxygen depleted water tainted with the smell of decay. The area of effect extends into the tidal zone. The local EA scientist down here in the late 1990s coined the phrase "oxygen blocking" to describe the situation and its delaying effect on the autumn run.

Last year the Ouse flush didn't occur until early November after the season had closed. As the 2015 spring run was below par owing to a very dry Feb-May, we spent Aug-Oct 2015 looking at small numbers of very stale fish. At least this year we had a very good spring run, which gave us rather more stale fish to look at, until a little spate in early September brought in a proportionately small cohort of autumn runners.

But we're still waiting for rain: a shortfall of 65% since mid-summer against average is an awful lot of missing water. The Ouse catchment, to the nearest whole figure, amounts to 1 million hectares. The missing rain equates to 1,400 tons of water per hectare. Not all of that runs into the rivers, but there's something towards half a billion tons of water that hasn't gone down the Ouse into the Humber. That's a lot, and certainly not insignificant.
 
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fishpond

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Hi Midge

Not sure where you are fishing or if you've fished it since the big flood last year but if you haven't its worth taking a wading stick as some gravel had been moved around exposing some new bedrock, deepening some bits and shallowing others - the dark gunk on the bottom also made seeing things deeper than 3' difficult when wading at last light - normally I wade everywhere without a stick up there but even I had to take it steady and use a handy branch wading home one night!

Tight lines and dry wading

Richard
 
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rm100

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Hi All

Just a quick report as I made the annual trip to fish Upper Roxburgh at the end of last week with some friends (they were when we started they might now disown me for persuading them to come fishing!). So after the near 3' rise on the Teviot earlier in the week and some Tweed beats down stream starting to see a trickle of fish we were hoping that there might be a few turn left at the Junction and head our way. Conditions were OK with water around a foot above summer level and steady all three days (ideally I'd like it dropping from 2-3' down to 1' over the same period) although it was very dark and tinged the first two days it was clear on the third. The flood hadn't cleaned the gunk off the rocks so it was a bit like wading with a bisto plume downstream of you at times. Sad to report we had nothing despite four experienced rods fishing hard - not even a lost fish or good pull - we saw a handful of residents each day but that was it - highlight was seeing some otters at very close range and my beat partner demonstrating different ways to fall in on two days. Think this will be the last trip until things pick up - this isn't a blip as the run has been getting poorer each year as do our catch returns (the price strangely stays the same!) - there haven't been the stocks of residents that I used to see as a KAA member on the upper part for some time. So time to start thinking about a different time of year and/or river system.

Tight lines

Richard
It may not be different river but in reality different country...
 

AlanT

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I've fished the Teviot roughly twice a week since late August. I have rarely seen a fish and haven't touched a thing so far which is unthinkable.

In fact it was only recently that I actually saw a fish. The odd fish that are around are very stale and/or showing signs of preparing for redding so twice this week alone, I've turned up and not even cast a line. I still enjoy my day out wandering the river bank and all that, but ultimately thats not what it’s all about and I don’t live locally so it’s an investment of time / fuel etc every time I go.

The water is bare bones which is really not helping but in the past fish would still eventually push through, water or no water. This year, so far, that hasn't happened and fish are very scarce.

I must be mad to keep persevering, but even last year, which was not a great season, the odd fresh fish would turn up and sneak through the beat usually without showing. In fact in really low water on the third week of November I had two stunning fish of 6 & 16lb on one day when I least expected it.

The Teviot gets constant trickles of clean fish in Autumn right through to January as any local grayling fisher will confirm, so it can be worth fishing late into November but this year feels different, it feels like it’s over before it’s even began.

I shouldn't be surprised as it will just be a mirror of the whole Tweed system this year, and yes I must be mad as I’ll still be popping down again before end of season but, realistically, my expectations are low to nil.
 

offshore

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'I've fished the Teviot roughly twice a week since late August. I have rarely seen a fish and haven't touched a thing so far which is unthinkable.

In fact it was only recently that I actually saw a fish'.


Hell, that's fairly stark reading to say the least. Its hard to gloss that over, which ever way you look at it.

Thanks for saving me a tank of petrol.
 
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marty31

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Richard,

I can't speak for the Tweed, but on the Ouse system in Yorkshire (Ure, Swale, Wharfe, Derwent all share the same estuary) the autumn runners just won't come up until the river has been well flushed out and freshened. They seem averse to entering oxygen depleted water tainted with the smell of decay. The area of effect extends into the tidal zone. The local EA scientist down here in the late 1990s coined the phrase "oxygen blocking" to describe the situation and its delaying effect on the autumn run.

Last year the Ouse flush didn't occur until early November after the season had closed. As the 2015 spring run was below par owing to a very dry Feb-May, we spent Aug-Oct 2015 looking at small numbers of very stale fish. At least this year we had a very good spring run, which gave us rather more stale fish to look at, until a little spate in early September brought in a proportionately small cohort of autumn runners.

But we're still waiting for rain: a shortfall of 65% since mid-summer against average is an awful lot of missing water. The Ouse catchment, to the nearest whole figure, amounts to 1 million hectares. The missing rain equates to 1,400 tons of water per hectare. Not all of that runs into the rivers, but there's something towards half a billion tons of water that hasn't gone down the Ouse into the Humber. That's a lot, and certainly not insignificant.
I can speak for the tweed! or I should be able to comment, 32 years of fishing the same 2 mile, once or twice a week sometimes more, in the winter cold, as well as the scorching sun of summer, I have seen years when its been that hot a august, the fish still come into the warm, weedy low river just to end up dying, I have seen many a low july, august and September when the low bottom river is stacked with fresh, and coloured fish, I have seen that many packed in to the bottom river holding pools, that regardless of it been illegally netted every night in life, the numbers still increase every tide, fish jumping 6 at a time, I have never in all those years seen the river to low, that the fish don't come in at all, after all its the mighty tweed, if its low the lower and bottom river fair well, if its high, the middle and upper river, get the fish, ask any gillie-boatman, who has any long time experience of the river? what I don't know is how many tones of rain per hectare we have had this autumn? but I know we have had a 6foot flood, and the last month its been running between 1 and 2 feet or above, that wont move the fish up to peebles but will (or should) move them well up the middle river and Teviot, with a month to go all I can say is anybody thinking water is the problem, and when it comes the river will mend overnight, will end up disappointed, the fact is, the fish are not there, this or last year, and if something is not there in the first place, its not going to come :(
 

MCXFisher

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Marty,

it is for precisely those reasons I don't presume to speak for the Tweed. You clearly have a serious problem, but as yet we don't appear to be any further ahead in understanding the causes of the absence of fish. I merely suggested that it might have something to do with the lack of water, a major factor on lots of other rivers, which you reasonably discount on the basis of your deep local knowledge of the special case of the Tweed. I have no argument with that.

M
 
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marty31

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Marty,

it is for precisely those reasons I don't presume to speak for the Tweed. You clearly have a serious problem, but as yet we don't appear to be any further ahead in understanding the causes of the absence of fish. I merely suggested that it might have something to do with the lack of water, a major factor on lots of other rivers, which you reasonably discount on the basis of your deep local knowledge of the special case of the Tweed. I have no argument with that.

M
what sort of "serious problem" do you suggest? is it because I beg to differ with your repeated "no water" reasons for there being no fish to run our rivers? I personally don't comment on Yorkshire rivers, reason being, I know absolutely naff all about them, we have a local river well two actually, that need plenty water, otherwise nothing comes into them, but the tay and tweed are mighty rivers that don't, face facts, there is a desperate serious shortage of salmon on our east coast rivers, and rain wont put this catastrophe right, and remember! we are on a tweed, well Teviot thread, not a Yorkshire river one.
 

porteouz

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what sort of "serious problem" do you suggest? is it because I beg to differ with your repeated "no water" reasons for there being no fish to run our rivers? I personally don't comment on Yorkshire rivers, reason being, I know absolutely naff all about them, we have a local river well two actually, that need plenty water, otherwise nothing comes into them, but the tay and tweed are mighty rivers that don't, face facts, there is a desperate serious shortage of salmon on our east coast rivers, and rain wont put this catastrophe right, and remember! we are on a tweed, well Teviot thread, not a Yorkshire river one.
I read Michaels comment as meaning the river has a problem, not you. I could be wrong

Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk
 

MCXFisher

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Marty,

I'm not arguing with you. The serious problem is the lack of fish. We don't know the cause. The process of trying to identify the cause will need to consider all the possibilities and then by a process of elimination arriving at some kind of answer (or not).
 

Reeboker

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i fished the lower tweed for years an can vouch that the build up of fish in low water can be astonishing ,i can remember wading an fish repeatedly hit my legs an seeing a shoal of over 500 moving upstream in bright sun an in inches of water. and i agree that fish always came water or no . for the last few years there has been no decent spate between april n september ,now i cant remember that happening before but i stand to be corrected ,does this have an affect ? does the gunk that still needs a good flush have an affect ? or are the fish not anywhere to come an have timings changed .i offer no answers but i am more than happy to entertain any theories ,this is not a one off its been a few years now and i think a shift in run timings is taking place but have no proof of that .we will all have to wait an see
 
S

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I have to agree with Marty on this one , if the fish are there they will enter the river no matter the water height, My local river is the Forth and the council run section is tidal and first beat up from tide. Some of the best days fishing I have had is when it is on its **** in the summer and early autum, fish entering off each tide and stacking up. Something is very much wrong with the runs on the east coast rivers last few years , our own river Forth has had poor runs even longer than 2 years.
 

dave_n

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what sort of "serious problem" do you suggest? is it because I beg to differ with your repeated "no water" reasons for there being no fish to run our rivers? I personally don't comment on Yorkshire rivers, reason being, I know absolutely naff all about them, we have a local river well two actually, that need plenty water, otherwise nothing comes into them, but the tay and tweed are mighty rivers that don't, face facts, there is a desperate serious shortage of salmon on our east coast rivers, and rain wont put this catastrophe right, and remember! we are on a tweed, well Teviot thread, not a Yorkshire river one.


Think you've got the wrong end of the stick with Martins comments :cool:
 

marty31

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Think you've got the wrong end of the stick with Martins comments :cool:
was that not days ago? but maybe or maybe not, at the school I went too, it would have been taken as meaning a serious problem with my brain! all this just because I made a opinion about the lack of salmon in the river I spend half my life on :cool:
 

Oscar

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was that not days ago? but maybe or maybe not, at the school I went too, it would have been taken as meaning a serious problem with my brain! all this just because I made a opinion about the lack of salmon in the river I spend half my life on :cool:

Marty he's saying the river has a problem, not you. Michael is not one to lower himself to barking derogatory comments at people!

Seems to me there is a lack of fish, but nobody knows why. Michael's thoughts (I think) are that the continuous and prolonged lack of water over a number of years could well be part of the problem.

Oscar.
 

charlieH

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Seems to me there is a lack of fish, but nobody knows why. Michael's thoughts (I think) are that the continuous and prolonged lack of water over a number of years could well be part of the problem.

Oscar, I agree that Michael's thesis is that the lack of fish is due to a lack of water. However, whether or not you agree with this (and I don't) I don't recall that he has suggested that it is due to a lack of water over a number of years.

I'm quite sure you don't need reminding of the life cycle of the salmon, but I think that essentially the only way that a lack of water in previous years could impact on this year's results would be if it prevented a previous generation of fish from reaching their spawning beds, thereby possibly reducing the number of juveniles. On the basis that most Tweed smolts are 2RW, this year's grilse would have been spawned in the winter of 2012, and the 2SW fish in 2011.

I can't remember what those years' autumns were like, but looking at back catches for the upper Tweed beats their numbers appear respectable. In both those years, Traquair and Glenormiston (to take a couple of examples) started to catch fish in September - Traquair in August, in fact - which suggests to me that the fish managed to get upriver quite early.

So I very much doubt that this year's lack of fish could be a legacy of previous dry years. Michael can speak for himself, but as I say, I'm not sure he has suggested that.
 
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Rennie

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The question you have to ask is, if its purely down to low water, the fish will still be some where, still out at sea,in the historical low water beats, or trapped part way in their journey.Then when the water arrives, its fish soup as they bolt for the spawning beds.Dont think thats been the case over the past few few seasons! and if they don't run the rivers-where do they go?,they'll have to go somewhere, they won't turn round and come back next year.Certainly not seen evidence of that at all-imagine the size of them if they did!.
They're not coming because they're not there to come, simple as.I for one have a guess or so as to why, but to be honest I don't exactly know the true reason.
Sad indeed, but there you go,Pedro.
 

fishpond

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Exactly - it's not down to the lack of a flush/the taste of decaying leaves its because there aren't any fish and for those that say there's loads of fish in beats a&f in the upper tweed reaches that's like looking at an apple tree through a telescope seeing apples on one branch near the top then assuming/extrapolating that applies to the rest of the tree - it's horrible to write this and leaves me with a hollow feeling in my stomach but the truth is something has happened over the last decade to the Tweed run and I hope it comes back in some form or another be it spring or Autumn

Tight lines

Richard
 

dave_n

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The question you have to ask is, if its purely down to low water, the fish will still be some where, still out at sea,in the historical low water beats, or trapped part way in their journey.Then when the water arrives, its fish soup as they bolt for the spawning beds.Dont think thats been the case over the past few few seasons! and if they don't run the rivers-where do they go?,they'll have to go somewhere, they won't turn round and come back next year.Certainly not seen evidence of that at all-imagine the size of them if they did!.
They're not coming because they're not there to come, simple as.I for one have a guess or so as to why, but to be honest I don't exactly know the true reason.
Sad indeed, but there you go,Pedro.

I think they go to other rivers.Not all of them but some of them.
 
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