Tuesday, 1 October 2019

Catch update September

Fishing effort has been low, however we have had 4 salmon in September and 2 sea trout caught in August. Iain Bain had a 4lb salmon on 23 September and Stuart Robb caught 3 salmon yesterday - 5lb, 6lb and 18lb taken from the Nutwood, Lower Nutwood and Dirtpot respectively. Water levels are currently perfect, at 1' 2" with excellent clarity, so prospects should be good for the remainder of this week.

Guide to fishing

This guide should be read in conjunction with the beat map for Cardrona fishings. The river height readings refer to the SEPA levels as notified on the Peebles gauging station which can be viewed on the 'Fishtweed: river levels' web page.

Getting here & parking points
The most convenient and central place to park when fishing Cardrona is at the car park just off the A72. If you are approaching from Peebles or Innerleithen on the A72, look out for the signs to Cardrona near to the hotel and golf course, take this junction and the car park is about 50 yards on your left. Our fishing is on the opposite bank (true right bank both above and below the road bridge). Cross the old railway bridge to access our fishing. The village shop sells a wide range of provisions and includes a small cafe thus making a useful and welcome rest point for fishers needing hot food and shelter on a cold November day!
Further parking is available on the beat, and is marked on the beat map. The lowest parking point on the beat can be accessed via Leeburn Way in the new Cardrona Village. This is useful for accessing the Craig Stream, Nutwood and Lower Nutwood pools.

Tackle and tactics
In general, a 13’ double hander will cover all eventualities on the beat, most of the regulars use rods between 12-14’ coupled with a #10 spey line, with sinking tips dictated by the water conditions.  A few of the regular rods have started using shorter rods matched with shooting heads and skagit lines, the latter set-up is particularly useful for presenting bigger flies deeply, which can be essential in a big, cold water which can often be encountered in late October and November. Conversely, in periods of low water, in late summer or early autumn, a single hander in an #8 can be very useful addition to the armoury.
Fly choice is dictated by many factors and is very much a personal choice. Most of the regulars eschew traditional big heavy tubes in favour of lighter flies and relying on the line density to achieve depth. The general adage of the bigger and more coloured the water, the bigger and brighter the fly, is usually a failsafe position.
As for patterns, consider the following in sizes 10 to 6 for standard autumn fishing:
Willie Gunn
Silver Stoat
Junction Shrimp
General Practitioner
Ally’s Shrimp

The Pools

1. Maggy's Tail.
Access: cross the river via the old railway bridge, follow the old railway line until you reach the golfer's footbridge. Cross the bridge and Maggy's Tail is the run which extends for around 60 yards from above the footbridge.
This is at the upstream limit of the beat and is not really a formed pool as such, it is a uniform run which does hold fish, particularly towards to the right bank and down towards the golfers footbridge (fish tend to lie in the deeper channel down the right bank to just below the footbridge, where it begins to shallow out. It is worth a casual cast but not one to spend too much time working out.

2. The Castlehaugh Cheek
Access: cross the river via the old railway bridge, follow the old railway line until you reach the golfer's footbridge. Cross the bridge and the Castlehaugh Cheek begins where the river turns right.
This is a classic fly fishing pool with a fast head, which begins to even out where the bushes begin on the opposite bank. Get in the water a little way below the footbridge and work your way down into this pool - it can be waded all the way down to the Kirkburn pool (the large slow pool where the river turns left). Be aware that there are power lines behind you on our bank although these should present no problems for the spey caster.
Fishes well with around 1'4" - 1'10" on the gauge. Fish hold just to the right of the main stream in the upper part, and can lie just about anywhere as you progress to the more sedate water further down. Try a square cast with a mend to ensure your fly fishes at a good depth in the top third of the pool. Fish like to lie in against the bushes/willows at the lower part before it fans out into the Kirkburn Pool. If there is a lot of water pushing through (2' - 4' on the gauge) fish will run and rest very close into the right bank.

3. The Kirkburn Pool
Access: cross the river via the old railway bridge, follow the old railway line until you reach the golfer's footbridge. Cross the bridge and the Kirkburn Pool begins below the Castlehaugh Cheek and where the Kirk Burn enters on our bank in the corner.
Access to the Kirkburn from the right bank is limited by riparian trees but the top end can be fished by a reasonably competent spey caster. Wading is not advised due to the bedrock and deep nature of this pool on our bank. It is a deep, slower pool and fish do lie here in good numbers, in the deeper water on the right bank. The pool, due its pace, can be fished in higher water and rods have had success with water up to 4' on the guage and even higher.

4. The Rumbler
There are some fishable spots between the tail of the Kirkburn and the Rumbler but the presence of the two bridges and some bushes make it difficult to spend a lot of time here. Fish do lie in the nice deep pool above, under and below the roadbridge and it is always worth a cast, again with fish lying towards the right bank. Wading not advised due to rocks and depth.
Access: walk under the road bridge and the Rumbler Pool begins about 30-40 yards downstream.
The Rumbler is a classic holding pool, (apparently named after the "rumbling spout" which you can see coming out of the boulders on the opposite bank halfway down the pool). This pool can be divided into three, the top section being a fast bouldery run before it begins to turn right and even out before straightening out for a considerable length. Fish this long pool all the way down to the island, fish can lie just about anywhere, depending on levels. It can fish well in a variety of heights, ranging from 1' right up to 3-4'. Square casts in the head will help fish the fly properly and at the correct depth. The top can be a bit tricky to wade but is easily fished from the bank. This fast water runs into a 'pot' where fish can often be seen to show. A cast close to (or under) the trees on the opposite bank will often cover fish.  Fish can lie close to the right bank in higher water, which is really anything over 1' 10". Fish the fly under the last tree before the rock reinforcement begins, then just fish all the way down to the island, paying particular attention to the lies near the bushes on the opposite bank and also the undercut bank towards the tail. Wading is generally safe, though not really neccessary.

 5. Robbie's Pot
Access: as for the Rumbler, continue to below the island.
Access is difficult to Robbie's Pot from the right bank due to conifers but it is worth a casual cast below the island. It is also worth wading onto the island (if water levels permit) and having a cast in the deep run/pot between the island and the left bank. Fish do lie in here.

6. The Dirtpot
Access: from the Cardrona shop site, cross the golf course below the parking area and follow the line of conifers. Enter the wood and the Dirtpot is the pool sharp bend where the river turns right. This can also be accessed from the Leeburn Way parking area and will involve a 10-15 minute walk upstream.
 The Dirtpot has a nicely paced run which then slows and deepens into a very productive holding pool that fishes well with the fly. Wading is generally safe with a firm gravel bottom. Get in at the top where the trees end and work your way down and around the bend to the fallen willow. Speycasting, whilst not essential, is very useful. This pool fishes well in a variety of water heights, even up to 3'-4'. Fish tend to lie slightly towards the opposite bank.

7. The Craig Stream
Access: from the Cardrona shop site, cross the golf course below the parking area and follow the contour of the village. Veer right at the bottom of the golf course, cross the course near the pond and the pool is about 60 yards downstream.  This can also be accessed from the Leeburn Way parking area and will involve a 10 minute walk upstream.
The Craig Stream is a reasonably fast, even paced stream which holds good numbers of fish at most heights. There is no real need to wade, but if you do be aware of the bouldery nature of the bottom. Begin at the head and ensure your fly is well mended all the way down. It is worth covering just about all of the pool, fish do hold and run at just about anywhere. Fish can be observed running in from the fast water in the Nutwood and resting for a few moments in the tail, it is always worth paying particular attention to the tail on opposite sides of the pool, where fish tend to show.

8. The Nutwood
Access: from the Cardrona shop site, cross the golf course below the parking area and follow the contour of the village. Veer right at the bottom of the golf course, cross the course near the pond and the pool is about 150 yards downstream, where the river takes a gentle bend to the right.  This can also be accessed from the Leeburn Way parking area and will involve a 5 minute walk upstream.
The Nutwood Pool runs all the way down to the layby on the A72 on the opposite bank. It's a long pool and it's probably the favourite of most of the Syndicate owners, holding many fish from the head all the way down to the layby. The top of the Nutwood commences pretty much opposite where the paddock on the opposite bank ends and the road joins the river. The opposite bank is for the most part inaccessible and is tree-lined for most of the length of the pool. Most people get out at the tail where the pool shallows up a little way upstream of the layby. Fish lie all the way down this pool, pay attention to the opposite bank, particularly where the telegraph poles begin and fish this pool carefully and methodically. Again, this pool can fish well in a variety of heights up to and over 3'. At higher levels, ensure your fly fishes well on the dangle as many fish run up the right bank.

9. Lower Nutwood
Access: This is best accessed from the Leeburn Way parking area and will involve a 5 minute walk more or less directly across the golf course – the pool begins roughly where the upstream sign on the opposite bank is posted and there is a layby on the opposite bank.
This is a surprisingly productive pool and one where syndicate members have had some notable successes. Enter the pool at the head, wading is generally safe, indeed a tentative wade of a yard or two from the bank is recommended so that you can fish this pool well. Ensure you cover the opposite bank, fish often take just us the fly begins to fish. Fish down to the white sign on the opposite bank, this is the lower limit of the beat.

Beat map revision

Please see below beat map - revised due to loss of parking at the Cardrona village store.

Thursday, 22 November 2018

Summary so far

Fish continue to be caught, though not in the numbers we have been accustomed to catching in a Tweed autumn. Water levels have improved over the last fortnight, and this has replenished the pools with more fish. Successful anglers include co-owner Iain Bain, who has had 7 fish so far. Other successful anglers during November include Stuart Robb, another of our co-owners, with a 17 pounder from The Rumbler, and Mr Bissitt and Mr Pease who had a fish apiece. The Rumbler is the pool where most of the fish have been taken, but fish are in all parts of the beat, so if you are planning to fish, please do explore all the pools.

The latest video from Iain Bain with the two fish from The Rumbler on Monday past.

Friday, 26 October 2018

October 2018 - a few fish

It has been a late start to the season, with a prolonged and hot, dry summer. Whilst there have been sea trout and some salmon in the beat for the summer, they have been very difficult to catch. The second week in October saw a rise of over 4 feet which helped clean the riverbed and bring some fish up.

Successful anglers in the last few weeks have included co-owners Iain Bain and Stuart Robb with one fish and two fish respectively, Daniel Rickis with one fish and Stewart Inglis with two fish. best so far has been 15lb caught by Stuart Robb in the Rumbler.

Iain Bain has recorded several videos of fishing and fish caught on Cardrona (and further afield). You can view Iain's video channel on Youtube at Iain's videos

Two fish caught by Stewart Inglis last weekend

Friday, 3 November 2017

Brief update for 2017

Apologies for the lack of updates this year. Good water levels have meant sport has been consistent. Whilst numbers reported are down this year, so has effort. There are plenty of fish about, with some very good sized fish being seen and caught. We have had two fish at 22lb reported (one today - see bottom picture below), with a fair number of fish in the low- mid teens caught.

More reports to follow.

Monday, 24 October 2016

Big fish on Saturday

Here is an estimated 24lb fish taken by Iain Bain on Saturday from The Rumbler.