Upper Hendersyde 6 October - Scratching an Itch

Nigel Passmore

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When I started autumn salmon fishing on the Tweed in 1980, Arthur Ogelsby was one of, if not the best known, UK active salmon fishing 'personalities'. Our school library had the second edition of his book 'Salmon'. I read it avidly. It was relevant as much of his writing on sunk line fishing was based on his substantial experience of fishing the Tweed in autumn. More specifically, before he moved to Upper Floors, he was a tenant for many years on Upper Hendersyde in both spring and autumn.

My exposure to UH was limited to trout fishing in the 80s. While I've fished many Tweed Beats I've never had an opportunity to even book UH far less fish it for salmon, that is, until this year. I was due North in the first week of October to visit my mother in Auld Reekie. So I combined it with a little fishing. I noticed UH available on a day rod basis that week. Regardless of the trevails of the Tweed I decided to scratch a forty year itch and fish it.

Upper Hendersyde is on Lower Tweed sandwiched between the Tweed Royalty of Junction above and Sprouston/Hendersyde below. At its top end it flows between two Islands which I think are called Winter Cast. Below that are two large flats Mill Stream and the Ferry. There was another rod fishing so we swapped the services of the very amiable boatman Robert Jewels at lunchtime.

The river was at 2' 11" which Robert said was the upper limit for fishing. It was carrying quite a bit of colour but visibility was about 2' so good enough. In the morning I was fishing from the left bank, on the bank. Opposite me was a large croy which I think marks the end of the Mill Stream and start of the Ferry. I was instructed to start about 200 yards above the croy and fish down to the moored boat. Then to walk about 100 yards down stream of the Croy to fish down to the SEPA wires at the tail of the pool.

The wind was blowing down and across in to me which isn't the most helpful for a right hander from the left bank. So I started with a 700grn skagit and 15' T17 with a 2" Junction Shrimp. As for casts, in the prevailing wind off the bank a Snap T was the only safe option. I am not much of a fan of the Snap T. It is very splashy particularly with 15' T17 (well at least for me it is). However, needs must. I also had another rod set up with a TD I/2/4 and another Junction Shrimp. Anyway, I started fishing at 9 and fished almost non-stop until 1. For that I had two brief jagging takes on the dangle down near the Boat where there was some shelter from the main current. This wasn't surprising as the few salmon I did see were showing like classic running pods. I had nothing down below in the Ferry.

Looking Upstream to Mill Stream and the Islands at Winter Cast


Looking Downstream to the Tail of Mill Stream and the Ferry Below (Note the Boat on left and Croy on the Right)


After lunch I was in the Boat at the top of Mill Stream. Robert roped me down the pool. I fished non-stop for 2 hours (I had to leave at four). I am not a great fan of sitting on the mushroom in Tweed Boats. I much prefer fishing the flee from the boats on the Tay. Eventually I got the left hand Snake Roll working with the Tripple D Head. The afternoon was quiet and we only saw the odd fish and I touched nothing. That was the same result as the boat in the morning.

Robert Hauling Up The Galleon


View From the Mushroom


So nowt for me. I think that evening a mighty 10 fish were posted on Fish Tweed. So we didn't miss out on a Red Letter Day. At that height there is prescious little definition. A couple of times I randomly hooked the bottom and in pictures of the river at lower levels there is a lot more to see, and a rather more focused fishing opportunity. Nonetheless, it was great to scratch the itch!


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Deleted member 945

Nice report. Thanks for taking the time to post.
Your first photo looks remarkably like a photo in Falkus’s salmon fishing book where he talks about taking strips at different heights. Obviously he fished a lot with AO so I wonder if it is the same place. I’ll dig it out and report back if so. May just be a similar looking pool of course!


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Thanks for that. I haven't fished there for years. Bob Jewels was still at South Wark and the gillie was Ronnie McElrath, now retired. It struck me then as slightly featureless but promising and it delivered on its promise though we were there for a week not a day so you would hope that it would.

Some beats have replaced the mushroom with a chair, huge improvement.