News, Events and Information - December

2022 Season Review.

54 Salmon and 22 Sea-Trout.

Unsettled Waters...

Although our season doesn't start until September, our first fish of the season was landed on the 4th July, by local angler Scott H. Steve and Tammy W also added to the tally of 4 Salmon and a Sea-Trout for July.

Our first fish of the season.

Then came the drought that broke temperature records and saw the introduction of hose pipe bans up and down the country.


We still had no rain as our first team of anglers arrived on the 19th September, a day we shall all remember as the nation paid their respects to HM Queen Elizabeth II.

Like the nation the river was low, at 6" on the gauge. We did have some rain later in the month, but not what needed and river fluctuated between 4" - 7" on the gauge. Despite the conditions, we did manage to winkle out 3 Salmon, the largest being 14lbs on the last day of the month and it had finally started raining.


At last, we had some water with a big rise to 4' 6" which dropped to 2' for our anglers. Fish were starting to arrive and we were picking up fish as the river fluctuated between 9" and 2' 6" in the early part of the month.

On Monday the 10th October, we started with the river at 2' 6" on the gauge, which then dropped and held steady around the 1' mark for the week. This resulted in our anglers having a great week landing 22 Salmon and 6 Sea-Trout. One of the highlights of that week was Arthur M landing 3 fish in quick succession weighing 18lbs, 17lbs and 12lbs.

The following week, onwards the river became very unsettled. It didn't stop Juan S, Herbert H and Kent landing fish on their first visit to Caberston.

Herbert H with his fish.

We continued to pick the odd fish but with the higher water levels, fish were running straight through the beat.

October gave us 36 Salmon and 15 Sea-Trout.


The river levels continued to fluctuate with the poor weather conditions and fish running hard. It didn't stop Derek S landing our heaviest weighed fish of the season, a 28lber from the Clure Hole. The following day, Cecil D landed our heaviest estimated fish, measuring 44" in length and a 21" girth, Cecil's fish was given an estimated weight of 33lbs.

We suffered with the high water levels and although we did put more fish in the catch book. All we could do was enjoy the numbers of fish running through and seeing pods of 20 - 30 fish crossing the Cauld is something we have not seen in a good few years.

We ended our season on the 19th with the river running at 4' 2" on the gauge and our last fish of the season was landed by Gary K, a 12lber in the Bridge Pool.

As always, a memorable season, somewhat spoiled by an unsettled river.

To put it into to context, the week of the 10th -15th October, when the river remained settled, we landed 37% of our total catch in those 5 days.

Although frustrating for everyone, it was great to see so many fish this season and Steve has reported that the beat has been carpeted with redds from top to bottom.

As we end another chapter, I once again give my thanks to all of you who have supported us at Upper Caberston. Thank you to Steve for his unwavering loyalty and commitment to everything Caberston and to Mags for doing our packed lunches which gave us warmth and tighter belts.

I leave you with a feel good story.

On the 28th October, Iain M took a tumble in the Cauld Hole and lost his rod and reel. Iain was understandably devastated as the reel, a Hardy Perfect, was his late fathers reel and had huge sentimental value. Both Steve and I sent word to the downstream beats to keep watch. In early November we got word that the top 3 sections of the rod had been found downstream at Juniper Bank. On the 4th December, local angler Scott H spotted something snagged around Walkerburn bridge, it was the butt section of the rod and the Iain's fathers reel.

All that remains is that the fat bloke with a beard, wishes you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


2021, A Season to Forget...

36 Salmon and 16 Sea-Trout.

A poor season in terms of catches, blighted by drought from mid May onwards, followed by high, dirty and and in some instances, long running spates.

Our first fish was landed by local angler, Tammy W on the 15th May. After a nice rise of water a couple of days earlier, Tammy landed a 9lber from the Bridge Pool.

Little did we know, that was the last water the river received until the 9th August. During that time, the river was blighted with high water temperatures and many beats recording their lowest river levels and along with it, poor catches.

After the August rise and the river falling, local angler Scott H had a cast on the evening of the 10th and landed 3 Sea-Trout in 10 casts..


The trend of very low water continued as our season got underway on the 20th. The river was well below summer level. Against the odds, Arnie S managed to winkle out a 5lbs grilse from the Bridge Pool.

We managed to drop 3 fish and saw a few very dark springers before we got a much needed rise of 3' on the 27th. The river ran very dirty and then dropped rapidly. We managed a 4lbs Sea-Trout on the last day of September.


After a small rise at the beginning of the month, we thought we had turned the corner. Our most productive days of the season being the 4th and 5th October, landing 3 Salmon and 2 Sea-Trout including a 29lber for Dom F, and on the 5th, we landed 4 Salmon and 4 Sea-Trout.

Sadly, after the first week, catches became very sporadic and the fish just seemed to be behaving differently, was it from the prolonged drought from earlier in the year or just the lack of returning adult fish.

We continued to pick away with one's and two's and Dudley H landing a 25lber.

We lost the last 3 days of October with a large and unusual for the upper river, long running flood which peaked at just below the 9' mark.

If this flood had been prior 2014, we would have been expecting a lot of fish coming on the back of that water. Times have changed.


Given the trend since 2014, both Steve and I felt that after the flood, it would be thin pickings until the end of our season. Sadly as a result of the flood, we saw numbers of dead fish on the riverbank, these were put back in the river as nature doesn't waste anything.

We continued picking away with the very odd one's and two's, a memorable fish for Steve C landing his first ever fly caught Salmon on his first ever visit to Caberston, a 12lber from the Clure. Graham M also landed a memorable fish, estimated between 25lb - 30lbs.

Our last day of the season on the 17th saw Gary K landing our last fish, a 5lber from the upper Runners.

Redds were starting to appear on the beat, so we were happy to be hanging up our rods. A silver lining to the season, Steve has reported lots of redds on the beat, including on parts of the beat where they haven't been seen previously.

Farewell 2021...

As many of you who fish with us and follow our news reports, 2021 has been a very difficult year, both on the fishing front, but also on a personal level for both Steve and I.

Come New Years Eve, both Steve and I will not only be raising a glass, but also 2 fingers, to what has been a very differ cult year.

All that remains is for me to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a healthy, Omicron free New Year.




2020, ON THE UP...

81 Salmon and 10 Sea-Trout.

Another good season helped by regular rises of water throughout the Summer and Autumn.

Our first fish of the season was landed on the 29th June by Tammy W, a 9lber from the top of the Weaver, the following day Steve had a 11ber from the Weaver and Scott H landed a cracking Sea-Trout of 5lbs from Shaws.

In July, Steve added another 7lbs Grilse and a 4lbs Sea-Trout to the catch book, and saw fish running on the back of a rise of water.

After another good rise of water in early August, Steve landed a 10lber in the Weaver.


September had us working on a lot of "behind the scenes" jobs to make the beat as Covid secure as physically possible. We purchased a disinfectant fogging machine along with plenty of hand sanitiser, folding tables so we could still have a socially distanced lunch and erected a gazebo outside to give us more space to to put our waders on etc. We installed screens inside the Bothy and the Mule and took daily temperature checks.

On the fishing front, this September proved to be the most successful on record for us with 26 Salmon and 2 Sea-Trout, the bulk of which was landed in the last 9 days of the month. Both Steve and I are under no illusion that this total could have been a lot higher as we had very few anglers until the end of the month.

September should now be given serious consideration.


October, like September, was our most successful on record with 48 Salmon and 4 Sea-Trout. Our previous best October was in Tweed's record breaking run of 2010 with 44 Salmon and 7 Sea-Trout.

Storm Alex arrived and gave us a big rise on the 4th October and it took a few days for the river to settle again.

Once the river settled our catches improved and notable days were the 10th when we landed 6 fish, included our heaviest of the season, caught by John G weighed in at 35lbs.

On the 17th we landed 9 Salmon including an estimated 25lber for Scott H along with a couple of Sea-Trout.

On the 23rd we landed 10 Salmon and on the 26th, Patrick W landed and weighed a 26lber.

The best "one that got away" went to Jim W on the 22nd. Jim's fish swam up and down on multiple occasions from the Bishops to the Clure before getting off! Jim's words "I thought I'd hooked a seal"!!!

As we went through October the threat of a second lock down became a reality on the 31st.


It will always be highly unlikely that we beat the November record catch of 99 Salmon and 14 Sea-Trout set in 2010, given that we have closed around 2 weeks earlier than the 30th November with earlier spawning.

We did manage to land 3 Salmon and 2 Sea-Trout before taking the difficult decision to close on the 7th November as the lock down rules, both North and South of the border , meant our remaining anglers couldn't fish.

So there we have it for 2020, 81 Salmon and 10 Sea-Trout.

Going from the improving number of fish seen in 2019 and a very good season this year in not just numbers, but the size of the fish along with Steve's reports a great number of redds again on the beat, we are already looking forward to dare I say it, a more normal 2021.

Can I once again give my thanks to all of the anglers who have fished with us this season, I hope that during you time with us, you not only felt safe from the risk of Covid-19, but your time on the river gave you a welcome release from what has been the most challenging year.

Thank you to all the anglers who chose to rollover their fishing to next year. Also, as I stated in September, those who were unable to rollover their fishing to next year, were given a full refund.

A special Thank you to all the local Hoteliers and B&B's who have had the constant threat of closure hanging over them all year and it is with the best wishes that they are all still trading in 2021.

My greatest and most special of Thank You's to Steve and Sandra. Steve has had to contend and put into practice a great deal of work to keep all of us safe from the pandemic and without him we would not have been able to operate without any degree of normality this season. Sandra has once again managed to make our trousers that little bit tighter with her packed lunches along with supporting Steve during this challenging year. Once again my Thank You to you both.

As I sign off the 2020 season, can I take this opportunity to wish you all a very, Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year.




47 Salmon and 14 Sea-Trout.

The weather this year was a complete turnaround from last year.

We were never blighted with low water, in fact there were times when we wanted a bit less. Never happy us Salmon fishers.

Our first fish were landed on the 10th June by Steve, a 7lbs Grilse and a 3lbs Sea-Trout.

Steve landed another in July, a 9lber from the Weaver.


August saw good water levels and after a big rise, we added 4 Grilse and 1 Sea-Trout to Steve's catch book.


The good water levels continued in September and earlier in the month, we had the dilemma of fish running the beat and no anglers fishing for them!!!

Our first anglers arrived on the 23rd of the month and by the end of September we had landed 7 Salmon, the biggest being 14lbs for Alan H.and 4 Sea-Trout.

We saw a lot of Grilse running in September, something that has been missing for a good few years.


The Grilse run continued with Alan H landing a cracker, larger Salmon were also starting to appear.

On the 15th October Hamish E landed our biggest fish of the season, a 29lber from the Weaver.

Even though we landed 26 Salmon/Grilse and 4 Sea-Trout in October, this total didn't reflect the number of fish we had in the beat on a regular basis. It was days of frustration seeing fish sploshing in the pools, but we couldn't get them to take.


We started November with a rising river and given that we have had good levels all season, for once this wasn't a good thing. Steve was starting to worry that the fish had ran through and we would be fishing for the stragglers.

Steve was right and after the first week of landing 5 Salmon and 2 Sea-Trout, we limped to the end of our season on the 20th November with a total of 8 Salmon and 4 Sea-Trout.


So we finish on 47 Salmon/Grilse and 14 Sea-Trout.

Not what you would call a "vintage" year by our standards but both Steve and I were very much more upbeat. The catch totals don't reflect the number of fish we have seen this season, so much so it was like night and day compared to last season.

Given that the water levels have been good we are hopeful of very successful spawning season.


As always, I give my thanks to Steve for all his hard work, much of which our anglers don't see during to "off season."

Many thanks to Sandra for keeping our waistlines tight with her packed lunches and keeping Steve going.

Thank you to all the local hoteliers and B&B's.

A very special Thank You to all our anglers, many of which who have been with us through the good seasons and the bad ones. Without you not of this would be possible.


As the time for the jolly fat man with a beard (not me) draws closer, may I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


All the very best.





31 Salmon and 9 Sea-Trout.

A year of weather extremes and a total lack of fish.

We suffered with a long drawn out winter that gave us "the beast from the East" and a White Easter. The hut suffered burst pipes, even after being drained down in December, it was so cold even the smallest amounts of water still left in the lower parts of the pipe work still expanded enough to burst them.

When the thaw finally came the river burst its banks but caused no significant damage as in previous years.

We stepped out of the freezer and into the Fire with one of the hottest summers on record which turned the normal, luscious green Tweed valley into a parched one.

The one plus of the good weather was that work could get underway with the second phase of the new road up to the Gooselandale. This saw the large mounds of gravel from the 2015/2016 floods removed and a nice tarmac road and additional car-park installed.


As touched on in last years report, we welcomed our first anglers on the 17th September which resulted in our first angler caught fish of the season, a 8lber in the Weaver landed by Graham B.

After being blighted with very strong winds, fluctuating river levels and bright sun coupled with gin clear water, we managed to winkle out another 3 Salmon and a Sea-Trout. The fish had not arrived in good numbers.


October continued where September left off and we were once again blighted with gale force winds and a shrinking river, we thought we had turned the corner with Alan H landing 2 fish on the 1st of the month but this heralded the start of a very lean spell and it wasn't until the 11th that we finally landed another.

It was with great sadness, that earlier in the year we learnt of the passing of one of our long term anglers Chris E, who was nicknamed "Bear Grilse" due to his uncanny ability to catch only grilse.

Chris's dry sense of humour and love of Jamesons whiskey is a great miss and it was a fitting tribute to Chris, when on the eve of his normal 3 days with us, his family and fellow anglers scattered some of Chris's ashes into the river.

From your Brothers of the Dangle and Fellow Fluff Chuckers, Rest in Peace Chris.

We continued to winkle away picking up the odd fish here and there and it was on the 17th of October that our heaviest fish of the season, a 20lber was landed by Dominic F in the Bridge Pool.

It was becoming very apparent that there was a very distinct lack of fish and this resulted in anglers leaving for home early.

We finished the month with 15 Salmon and 3 Sea-Trout.


After the 2 previous years of early spawning I decided this year that we would close the beat 2 weeks earlier as in my opinion, it is unjustifiable to be catching fish when they are creating redds and spawning, like wise it is wrong to tell a paying angler that certain sections of the river can't be fished due to spawning redds.

We managed to put another 11 Salmon and 4 Sea-Trout into the catch book giving us a final total of 31 Salmon and 9 Sea-Trout.

In my opinion, our worst season. Yes we have caught less before, but on those occasions we could see a lot more fish in the river, they were just not prepared to take our offerings. One of the most important lessons I have been taught is that to be successful at Salmon angling, you first must have a captive audience and this year we simply didn't have that. Throughout the season we would normally see fish showing on the known lies throughout the beat as other fish moved in, not this season. As I touched on earlier, in the 2 previous seasons by the second half of November the entire beat was covered in spawning Redds. As we closed our doors on the 17th, we still didn't have any resident fish and we could just see a very small Redd being formed in the Upper Runners.

More Redds were spotted by Steve later in the month but these became difficult to see in the higher water and fish were seen still running in December so fingers crossed that the spawning is successful.

I will write more on the January news page on what the theories are on what has happened to the run this season and what plans the RTC is undertaking to better understand what can be done.

I would like to give my thanks to both Steve and his wife Sandra, more so this year as they have both faced significant challenges and still been able to keep the Caberston wheels turning.

Thank you to all the local hoteliers and B&B's, Especially Linda and all the staff at the George Hotel in Walkerburn who kept the majority of us fed and watered.

Most importantly, Thank You to all of our anglers for your custom, without you, non of this would be possible.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Healthy, Happy and Prosperous New Year.

Tight Lines for 2019.

May your nets be filled with Spring Silver and Autumn Gold.

All the Best




60 Salmon and 13 Sea-Trout.

Although we caught less Salmon than 2016, (due to water heights in my opinion) a much improved picture, albeit a changing one.


With rain and welcome rises of water since June we once again landed a couple of Salmon and a Sea-Trout early in the season.


The good rises of water continued and Steve wanted to try one of our new lines and landed a fish from the Cauld Hole.


We continued to have the good rises of water which saw us land 15 Salmon and 2 Sea-Trout, the best being 10lbs and a good number of them caught on a single handed rod.


The start of October saw us with 2' on the gauge and blowing a gale, not a great welcome for the first of our rods but we scored well with 2 rods landing 8 Salmon to 16lbs and 1 Sea-Trout for their 3 days. The river continued to rise to the 5' mark, but that didn't stop our lone rod David P landing 3 Salmon for his 3 days, the best being 18lbs.

The river then held steady at around the 1' 6" mark, not the best height for us and for a few days and we went through a bad spell of losing fish, it got so bad Sandra started putting Breakaway biscuits in the packed lunches!

We then suffered regular rises of water pushing the river heights to the 2' 6" mark and over, these are historically bad heights for us and give the fish free passage through the beat. We saw plenty of running fish and it was only when the river pushed up to 3' 6" mark that the flow of water slowed the fish up and we managed to pick up a couple more fish for the book.

It was the middle of October that saw John R land our largest Salmon of the season, a weighed 33lber from the Weavers.

After the euphoria of John's big fish we then went through a very lean spell of nearly 10 days without landing a fish, more frustrating was that there was no shortage of fish, in fact we were seeing a lot more fish than we had seen for a good few seasons but they had their jaws clamped shut and were happy running through us with the high and warm waters.

We were now starting to scratch our heads as the reports for most of the season, from the lower beats showed poor catches yet where had all these fish came from that we were seeing move upstream.

It wasn't until the end of October that with some frosts and lower heights that we started catching again.


With better heights and temperatures, we started to plug away picking up 2 - 3 fish per day, the best being 15lbs. Then at the end of the first week when we got another sharp rise of water which marked the beginning of another lean spell.

Once again there was plenty of fish on the move and we lost a lot of fish, normally the case when hooking running fish.

We continued to pick up the odd fish and as we approached the final week of November the river height started to settle and we landed 4 Salmon and 1 Sea-Trout, but once again, up the river came and the fish became very thin on the ground.

That didn't stop us enjoying our end of season party at The George Hotel where the staff made sure we were well and truly fed and watered.

They even looked after Eddie al a Carte.

We ended our season on 60 Salmon and 13 Sea-Trout which for the second year running gave us the highest catch total for the Upper Tweed.

Whilst our catch total was lower than the 2016 total, the fish were of a much better condition and there was also a lot more fish than in previous years, but with high water conditions similar to 2012, the odds were in the favour of the fish and not the angler.

As I stated at the beginning of my report we are looking at a changing picture in Salmon fishing, not just on the Tweed, but nationally.

For the second consecutive year we had spawning occurring in early November, as I mentioned in the 2016 report, historically this is very unusual. We are also starting to see fish arriving earlier in the season, so why is this happening?

This question has been asked over the past few seasons and Dr. Ronald Campbell, senior Biologist with The Tweed Foundation, has produced a fascinating insight in to why our fishing on the river may be changing, it is not only the fish that are altering their behavior on the river, anglers may have to adapt too.

Here are a couple of links to Dr. Campbell's work.

The History of Tweed Salmon and its Lessons for Today

Changes in Salmon Catches

So what does this mean for Upper Caberston, if Dr. Campbell's theories are correct and as we move forward, more evidence including early spawning adds weight to his theory, we will see our fish arriving earlier in the season, with this in mind in 2018 we will be offering fishing as daily lets in all of September.

All that remains is that I once again thank Steve for all of his hard work throughout the season and his ability to adapt to changing conditions. Thank you to Sandra for her packed lunches and Thank you to the hoteliers, B&B's and in particular The George Hotel in Walkerburn who have accommodated so many of us this season.

Thank you all for your custom in 2017 and both Steve and I hope you can join us in 2018.

May I take this opportunity to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Tight Lines for 2018,

All the Best




2016, A STRANGE ONE...

71 Salmon and 12 Sea-Trout.

A great improvement in terms of number of fish caught, however this was not the full picture.


After a good thunderstorm and a rise of water we decided to give it a shot and we were rewarded with 2 Salmon and a Sea-Trout, the last time we entered fish into the catch book at this time of year was 2004 and after last season they were most welcome.


Whilst the repairs to the Bridge Pool were underway Steve had saw fish "cogging" and seemed to be unaffected by a huge excavator bucket going in and out of the river. A few casts later and another Salmon on the bank.


September had us fully focused on the repairs after the winter floods, but when we had a good rise of water, Steve took little encouragement to organise a small group to have a cast. They managed to put another 4 Salmon and 1 Sea-Trout in the catch book, so by by early September we had already caught more than the previous seasons catch total! By the end of September we added another 2 Salmon and 1 Sea-Trout to the book giving us 6 Salmon and 2 Sea-Trout for September.

Unfortunately this September we didn't have Michael Evans and his Speycasting courses due to a lack of interest.


Thankfully unlike 2015, we had much more favorable water levels and with it, fish in the beat which gave us 26 Salmon and 3 Sea-Trout including our largest Salmon of the season, an estimated 35lber for Janice H from the Weaver.

It was good to see Salmon of 20lbs+ being caught or splashing about, these included a 23lber and a 26lber for Steve from the Clure and the Weavers, a 25lber from the Weavers for Jamie E and a 20lber for Ken P, also from the Weavers.

The one downside we noticed was that the majority of the fish being caught or seen were very stale which tied in with us seeing fish but refusing to get a take and also anglers getting plucks and bangs at their flies.


The first couple of weeks of November gave us low,clear water with bright sunshine which is never any good in salmon fishing but that didn't stop Eric le R landing 2 fish on his first visit to Upper Caberston. John E also landed our largest Sea-Trout of the season, a estimated 12lber from the Bishop's.

What a difference a bit of cloud cover can make,when it happened it resulted in us landing 7 including and estimated 32lber and 26lber for Eddie M from the Bishop's and Island Pool. We then struggled with blank days and lost fish until a rise in water saw fish on the move including a few fresh ones.

We did have the odd day where we had respectable catches including the days when we had high water heights but it was normally and odd fish here and there until near the end of November when we got a drop to more normal temperatures which saw us put 7 Salmon and 1 Sea-trout in the book. These included a 26lber for Jimmy M, and a 22lber and a 20lber for Scott H.

Just when we thought the going was good we got another rise in water which spoiled the fishing for a couple of days until the river settled again. Into the final few days we landed another good number of 20lbs+ Salmon. We saw Roger C landing a 30lber in the Weavers, Eddie M landing a 21lber in the Cauld Hole. Gerald G landed a 28lber in the Cauld Hole and Steve landed a 25lber, also in the Cauld Hole.

So we ended the season on 71 Salmon and 12 Sea-Trout, which going from the catch numbers posted on FishTweed made us top beat on the upper river.

However as I stated at the the beginning of our end of season report, the numbers do not give the full picture.

The vast majority of the fish caught and seen during the season were very stale and coloured, with very few fresh autumn run fish amongst them. This matches reports from the lower beats that all of the fish came in during the summer.

Also of concern was that we had very early spawning activity in the first week of November, something that has never happened before during my ownership, I then took the unprecedented step of informing anglers still to fish that spawning was underway, I removed all of the available rods from the website and closed off sections of the river.

We would normally see spawning redds being formed from the second week of December onwards. This was further backed up from Steve and other local anglers who have been involved with the river for over 30 years and have never seen spawning happen so early.

A strange one and something I will be very much keeping an eye on along with once again a very poor autumn run.


Another season over and one in which I very much give my thanks to Steve for all of his hard work this year, not just during the season but also throughout the year after the destructive floods. Thank you once again to Sandra for all her packed lunches.

Lastly and by no means least, Thank you to all of you for your custom.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.



13 Salmon and 5 Sea-Trout.

Apologies for the late report, as if the season was not bad enough, we suffered a "low blow" from Storm Desmond on the 5th/6th December which has taken up a great deal of my attention. More of the effects of Storm Desmond, Eva and currently Frank later.

During June and July we had an almost continual pattern of a couple of days of rain followed by a couple of days of warmth. This had the river running at just over the 1' mark for most of the summer. Steve and I both said if we could have these levels during the Autumn it would be perfect and with the Junction booking in exceptional catches, everything was looking rosy.

Oh if we could have only known what was to come, or in the case of the first half of the season, what didn't come!!!


The last rise of water occurred in early August which left us with a very shrunken river for our first team of anglers who were with Michael Evans for his speycasting courses in the last week of September.

The river remained around the 2" mark all week for Michael's team of beginners and improvers.

One of Michael's team did manage some success, Lewis T landed a 6lbs grilse in The Clure on the 24th September.

Although Lewis fish was most welcome it had obviously came up in during the summer and was very coloured and tired looking after being trapped in the low, warm water.

Our rods fishing the last few days of September cancelled due to the low water.

On the 28th another 4lb grilse was landed by Fraser P, who was trout fishing in the Gooselandale and it took a size 16 Green Olive!!!

Steve trying to top the river up!!!


The river remained stubbornly at the 1" - 2" mark until the 24th October and it wasn't until the 15th October that we landed our 3rd fish of the season, a 7lber for Pete R in The Clure and our 4th, a 5lber in the Bishops for Andy R. On the 19th Graham H landed our 5th, a 6lber in The Clure.

On the 22nd October Simon N landed our first Sea-Trout of the season, a 9lber in The Weaver and it is worth mentioning in pretty horrendous conditions, a howling gale and the river like leaf soup!!!

We finally got a rise of water on the 24th October and it peaked on the 25th October (Sat) at 1'6". By the 26th October (Mon) the river had shrunk back to 3" on the gauge.

The rise had brought us fish into the beat, however these had been trapped lower down the river and were very coloured and not one bit interested in taking a fly.

This didn't stop Brian E landing a big plump 13lb Sea-Trout in The Weaver, followed by his son Jamie landing a 2lb Sea-Trout also in The Weaver.

Brian's Sea-Trout.

On the 28th October, Steve had a cast after our rods had left and landed a 9lber in The Bishops.

On the 29th October we once again got some much needed water and lost 4 fish. We landed our 7th and 8th fish on the 30th October, a 14lber in The Clure and a 3lber in The Bridge Pool, both to John E rod. We also lost another 5!!!


The river had dropped back away to 4" on the gauge and we had daytime temperatures reaching 18C!!!.

Andrew B landed our 9th fish on the 3rd November, a 3lber in The Weaver and our 10th on the 4th November, a 9lber, again in The Weaver.

Ken F landed our 4th Sea-Trout on the 5th November, a 6lber in The Bridge Pool. Jimmy M landed our 5th and final Sea-Trout of the season on the 7th November, a 6lber in The Bridge Pool.

We finally got another rise of water and on the 8th November the river was 4'6" on the gauge and blowing a gale.

It wasn't until the 21st November that we landed our 11 fish, during that 2 week period we had water levels that allow fish to run straight through us and we saw fish of all shapes, sizes and colours during that time. We did have a lot of "hook ups" but running fish are normally lip hooked and get off.

Andy R landed our 11th fish of the season on the 21st November, a 6lber in The Bridge Pool.

Our final 2 fish of the season were landed on the 23rd November by Ed (The Dig) M. A 15lber in The Clure and a 20lber in The Bridge Pool.

So there you have it, 13 Salmon and 5 Sea-Trout. They say a picture can speak a thousand words and I think this one of Steve sums the 2015 season perfectly.

So what went wrong???

I wish I had an answer and others with a lot more experience and knowledge don't know either, at a December meeting of the Tweed Commission we asked the same question to Dr Campbell, the Tweed Foundation biologist, many theories were raised and Dr Campbell had requested the preliminary catch results from the Environment Agency from the Northumberland netsman as there is a correlation between their catches and the Tweed catches, normally if the nets are catching so is the Tweed, but if neither are catching the assumption is that they have stayed out at sea. We are still waiting on the results.

I do think the weather has had a huge impact on our season, we were blighted with very low and warm water conditions from early August until the second week of November, when the water came it held at levels that does not suit Caberston and allowed the fish to run and with having been trapped by the low water for so long, when it finally came they ran as hard as they could.

A lot of this unusual weather has been attributed to El Nino which has given us the warmest year on record and the North West Atlantic recording its lowest temperature on record due to ice melt off Greenland. This has got to have an effect.

I do however recognise that the numbers of fish we expect were simply not there and I have asked the Tweed Commission and the Tweed Foundation to look into this and they are going to conduct electro fishing studies at Caberston and other parts of the upper river.

If there is one river in Scotland that can do everything to bounce back, it is the Tweed.

The Tweed is regarded as the most successful salmon fishery in Europe and I and many, many others will not want that to change.


Whilst both Steve and I were still in a state of shell-shock from the poor season along comes a series of low blows from Mother Nature.

On the 5th/6th December Storm Desmond dumped huge amounts of rain high up in the Upper Tweed catchment which resulted in a very big flood in the Tweed valley.

The river was high enough to get into the Bothy but the river was not the highest it has ever been but it was the speed in which the rise came and the sheer velocity of the water that has caused a great deal of damage.

As you will see from the series of photographs, the river scoured and entire field full of swede from a farm further upstream and left tons and tons of debris everywhere. We have also experienced some major gravel shift.

The evening of the rise...

The road also suffered once again.

There has been major erosion in the Bridge Pool.

And also major gravel shift, to give an idea of scale, I took these pictures when the river was 4' on the gauge.

Here is a link to some aerial video footage which will give you a good idea of the flood.

Storm Eva caused the river to burst it banks again however the damage was minimal.

I wish I could say the same about Storm Frank, You will have no doubt heard about Frank on the various news channels. 2 red flood level alerts were issued in Scotland, one of which was for the Tweed at Peebles. I will be heading up to the beat in the New Year to assess the damage, from the numerous calls with Steve this is the highest the Tweed has been, the previous highest level at Peebles was just under 3.4m set in 1994,yesterday it was over 3.6m.

To give you an idea the river was above the level of the Mill Lade road that takes you to the Bothy.

A very busy New year is on the cards for me and Steve, we will be both pouring a good few serious large one's this evening and will be pleased to see the back of 2015.

A big thank you to Steve for all his hard work and to Sandra for keeping us well fed and watered throughout the season. A big thank you to all of you for your custom in 2015 and I hope you can join us again in 2016.

I wish you all a Healthy, Happy and Settled New Year.

All the very best for 2016







30 Salmon and 18 Sea-Trout.

If there is one thing that can raise or crush your expectations, it's salmon fishing.

We finished the 2013 record breaking season on a high but mother nature wasn't playing nice.

On December 30th 2013 we had a big flood, the highest so far in my time at Caberston, we had the bridge outside the Bothy, washed away, sections of our access road scoured out and debris by the skip load, scattered across the beat.

Not a great way to start the forthcoming 2014 season.

The weather in Spring and Summer was much kinder, allowing Steve to get underway building a new bridge, repairing the road and getting Upper Caberston in great condition for the Autumn.

Steve's new bridge.

One thing we were keeping an eye on was that we hadn't had any significant rises of water in the run up to Autumn, we normally do have a few rises which give us a number of fish in the beat ready for our first groups of anglers in the end of September, led by Michael Evans on his speycasting courses.


We welcomed Michael and his team on the 22nd September and we had a few fish in the beat and Jonathan G landed our first fish of the season on the 24th September, a Sea-Trout of 1 1/2lbs, however most of the fish were not on the take, at the time we thought this was due to the low and warm water conditions, however this was a pattern that was to continue throughout the season.

The Beginners

The Improvers

The air and water temperatures continued to rise and on the last day of September it was 21C (70F) and the water temperature was 17C (63F). This time last year it was 12C (54F) and the water 9C (49F).

On the catch count we had 1 Sea-Trout as opposed to 11 Salmon and 4 Sea-Trout for 2013.


We had our first frost on the 2nd October and we hoped this heralded a change not just in the weather but to put the fish on the take. We finally got our much needed rise of water on the 4th October, taking the river from 1" (2.5cm) to over 5'6" (1.68m).

Just the flush out we needed, we thought, what we ended up with was a lot of coloured and lethargic fish that had been trapped downstream in the low,warm water.

Duncan R landed our first Salmon of the season on the 6th October, a 6lber from The Bridge Pool.

The trend of us seeing fish, but unable to tempt them continued and a new trend started, we were losing more fish than we were landing and when getting the evening reports from Steve, it was so and so had a fish on......and the bugger got off!!!

And the...

On the 30th October I had a much needed knee op to repair cartilage damage and give it a good flush out, the downside was that it sidelined me from doing my twice weekly visit to the beat.

The water and air temperatures remained unusually mild for October and on the 31st October the air temperature was 22C (72F)!!! Double what it was on the same day in 2013.

Highlights for October were a first ever Salmon for Torquil C, landing a 10lber in The Bishops, a 22lber for Craig P in The Bridge Pool and Steve landing a 10lbs Sea-Trout, again in The Bridge Pool.

Our total for October was 11 Salmon and 12 Sea-Trout as opposed to 46 Salmon and 20 Sea-Trout in 2013.


November started were October left off, the river was running at an awkward height for us and the bugger got off trend continued.

Bob L fishing The Clure

As the river remained at an awkward height for us, this was allowing the fish to run straight through and we regularly saw everything from silver fish to full tartan tourists and everything in between. This did keep our rods motivated but we just couldn't tempt them to take our offerings, even more soul destroying was that when we finally hooked one.....the bugger got off!!!

Steve pointing out the taking spots

The river didn't drop under the 1' (30cm) until the last 3 days of the season, this was now holding the fish up and they were showing on the various lyes throughout the beat. This would give us a much better crack at them we thought but once again they were not on the take.

Cecil D in The Runners

We also noted small groups of fish moving upstream, but not the normal 'head and tailing', just a slow upstream pace in the top foot of the water, had the fish been doing this all season?

We enjoyed our annual party which allows me to pay tribute and thank Steve for all his hard work throughout the year, more so this year with it being a very poor season on the catch front. Steve's ability to keep the rods enthused even when he knew things were very difficult and also making sure that everything we had control over, ran as well as it could is testament to his first class ability as our Ghillie.

Steve's new hat...

And so onto the last day of the season and our team raised the final dram before heading out to hopefully finish on a high.


The river was 11" (28cm) on the gauge, air temp 9C (48F) and water temp was 8C (46F), this time last year, the river was 4" (10cm) on the gauge, air temp 1C (34F) and water temp was 3C (38F)

Cecil D saved us from a blank, landing a 10lber in The Bridge Pool.

As we were treated to a last day sunset after a week of murky and overcast weather, I would like to again gives thanks to Steve who can hopefully restore his sanity over the winter.

To Sandra for her belt busting packed lunches.

To James "Old Jimmy" Morton for his help and humour.

To Dave Rodgers and his staff at the Traquair Arms for keeping us fed and watered along with the other hoteliers and B&Bs.

To the good people of Walkerburn.

Last but by no means least, all of the anglers who have made Upper Caberston such a pleasure to own and run. I look forward to hopefully meeting you all again in 2015.

Finally may I take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

John Miller


151 SALMON and 34 SEA-TROUT...

2013 was certainly not an unlucky year for Upper Caberston as we recorded our best ever season on record.

The 2013 season was in stark contrast to the washout that was the 2012 season. Once the winter finally released it's grip we were treated to a pleasant Spring and a glorious Summer.

Our first fish of the season was landed on the 1st August by Steve the Ghillie after our first welcome rise of water. a 9lber from The Clure.

And so in to September, whilst making the finishing touches to the beat in preparation for the arrival of our first rods, Steve and Jimmy Morton landed 3 Salmon and 2 Sea-Trout.

Our first rods arrived on the 23rd September, to take part in Michael Evan's 3 day Basic Spey Casting course, followed by Michael's 3 Day Improvers Course. They arrived to the river sitting stubbornly on 2" and a very clammy air temperature of 18C, certainly not what we would call ideal conditions at Caberston.

However, by the end of the week we had landed 7 Salmon, the largest weighing 20lbs, 2 Sea-Trout, the largest weighing 10lbs and numerous others lost, all landed in low water conditions by beginners and improvers was a fantastic result.

Michael Evans with Colin Fagrass and his 10lbs Sea-Trout.

Our total for September was 11 Salmon and 4 Sea-Trout.

October continued where September left off, the river remained at summer level until the 16th October. The low water level was bad enough but on more than one occasion we were also blighted with gale force winds which resulted in the river being filled with leaves and resembling the North Sea!

Some of the highlights in October was Jim Weardon landing his first ever Salmon, I have fished with Jim on a couple of occasions and you couldn't meet a nicer man. Jim has fished with a group of experienced anglers for over 3 years and has endured a good amount of ribbing not just from his fishing buddies but also from his good lady!

Jim with his 11lb "Baby"

Other notable October fish were Patrick Walkers 30lber from The Weaver and a 22lber for Andrew Hartley from The Bishop's.

Our total for October was 46 Salmon and 20 Sea-Trout.

November started with a much more normal river height of 1'4" and reached it's highest of 1'10" on the 4th November, however from that point on, the river continued to drop right through to the end of the season.

We got off to a flying start with a first ever Salmon for Sasha Evans at the ripe old age of 12 years old, a 13lber from The Weaver. Dr. Patrick Wheeler landed a stunning 13lber in The Gooselandale.

13lbs of pure beauty.

After trying for 8 years, Dr. Phillip Vickers landed his first Caberston Salmon, a 9lber from The Weavers. Just what the doctor ordered!!!

On the 6th of November we had a bonanza landing 14 Salmon including a new beat record of a Salmon measuring 49" long and an estimated 40lbs in weight for Michael Reay.

We certainly had some more big fish in November, a 30lber, a 25lber and 7, 20lbers!!!

It wasn't until the 21st November that we got our first cold snap with a light covering of snow on the surrounding hills and on the 25th November we started the day at -4C

A brisk morning at The Island Pool.

As the end of the season approached we were all wondering "can we beat the record catch of 148 Salmon in 2010". On the 28th November we equalled it!

On the 29th November Steve the Ghillie beat the record with a 10lber from The Bishop's.

On the last day of the season Steve landed 2 Salmon to set a new record of 151 Salmon.

Steve with our 150th Salmon

Our total for November was 93 Salmon and 10 Sea-Trout.

A fantastic season resulting in 151 Salmon and 34 Sea-Trout in what can be easily described as a low water year and also bearing in mind we also had a good number of empty spaces this season.

Out of the 151 Salmon landed, 133 were returned and and out of the 34 Sea-Trout landed, 31 were returned, a fantastic statistic.

A very big "Thank You" to Steve Dickson for all of his hard work and his ability to put our rods in the right place at the right time and his relentless enthusiasm.

Thank you to Sandra for her wonderful packed lunches.

Also to Dave Rodgers, Kristian and Graham at The Traquair Arms for keeping us well fed and watered.

Last but by no means least, all of the anglers who have made Upper Caberston such a pleasure, without you, it would just be a river and I look forward to hopefully meeting you all again in 2014.

Finally may I take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

John Miller



I could quite easily sum up not just our 2012 season, but also the year in one word.


We had so much water that we never achieved 'summer level' in 2012, the closest we got was 6" on the gauge and that was the end of March, early April.

In fact we have had a puddle that formed in the last days of the 2011 season in the field just up from The Bothy when we were washed off and it is still with us, the ground never dried up.

The puddle that never left, frozen on the last day of the season

So onto September, our first fish for the book, landed on the 10th by Steve when he spotted fish moving as he was making final preparations before the first of our rods arrived. What made his fish even more pleasurable for him, was the fact he landed them using my new, unchristened rod, which was set up in The Bothy!

Our first rods arrived on the 17th, taking part in a beginners Speycasting course, hosted by Michael Evans, during their 3 days they landed a 9 lber and lost 3 more.

Then the rain came and so did the fish, when clearing the debris from the flood, Steve and Jimmy Morton decided to have a cast and in a frantic season landed 3 Salmon, 5 Sea-Trout, 2 Brown Trout and a Grayling.

At the time we though this high water was a good thing, allowing the fish access to Upper Tweed.

October saw the arrival of our first anglers, two of which were fishing Upper Caberston for the first time and got off to a good start, landing 2 fish and losing a couple more.

We were seeing fresh Grilse running the beat and the river levels were beginning to settle at a favorable height for us, the rain had stopped only to be replaced with blazing sunshine and clear water giving us a blank few days.

Then the rain returned, up came the river and we were washed off!

Steve the Ghillie "Armchair Fishing" in the high water!

We continued to have a few more blanks due the high and unsettled water levels and it was until mid October before we caught fish including this beautiful Sea-Trout.

5 lbs of Beauty

The high and coloured levels continued and it was until the last week of October until we scored again, once the levels had settled. Keith Bentley was rewarded with an absolutely stunning Salmon on the 25th October.

7 lbs of Tweed 'Silver'

On the 26th we had our first snowfall of the season and we were back to clear water and blazing sunshine.

After a slight rise of water we got back into action on the 29th and we managed to lose 6 fish! The following we managed to land 4 fish, including a 28 lber for John Evans.

Then again, down came the rain and up came the river.

So into November and the river had dropped back to 3' after rising to 6' on the last day of October and we thought we had turned a corner, landing 12 Salmon and a Sea-Trout in the first week only to be hit with another flood mid November and from that point until the end of the season we only landed 3 Salmon, 3 Sea-Trout and a Grayling.

Matthew Gale and Terry Barrett fishing The Cauld Hole on the last day of the season in Sub-Zero conditions.

A disappointing season for the angler, but for those fortunate enough to land a fish, it makes their fish, that little bit more special.

I have it on very good authority, from our Tweed Commission Bailiff, that it seems it has been a good season for the Salmon, he tells me that the upper reaches and tributaries have lots of salmon on the spawning areas and nature permitting the future is a bright one.

In fact I think the future looks very bright for the Upper Caberston, in 2010 we had a record breaking catch, in 2011 we continued to raise our catch average and the 2012 season has had conditions very much in favour of the Salmon.

I would like to say a very big 'Thank You' to Steve, our Ghillie, for the great deal of hard work he has put into and continues to do at Upper Caberston.

Also to Sandra for her 'epic' packed lunches which have made us that bit 'rounder'.

To Dave Rodgers and his Staff at The Traquair Arms for keeping us very well fed and watered.

And last but by no means least, all our anglers who have made Upper Caberston what it is, without your custom and support I would not be able to push the boundaries in terms of hospitality and facilities that we have today at Upper Caberston.

Finally may I take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

John Miller



What Steve and I thought was a very frustrating season, turned out to be our 2nd best season on record.

Also taking the catch returns from Fish Tweed we were the most successful beat on the Upper Tweed in terms of the number of fish caught.

A feather that I am most happy to display in my cap.

The season started in the first week of September, the fish being able to reach us after having a very wet summer in the Upper Tweed valley.

When we welcomed our first group of rods at the end of September and the beat was stuffed with fish. One of our rods said that the river was like "Fish Soup" though takes were few and far between.

Unknowingly at that time, this was to set the trend for the rest of the season.

October continued where September left off. The beat stuffed with fish yet not readily taking the fly. However we did continue to catch fish and Caberston claimed 5 Salmon virgins. October was very mild and we had plenty of water, the average river level for October was 2'2".

November followed the same trend as October. We had warm air and water temperatures. This was having an effect on the fish, we were starting to see increasing numbers of fish with fungal infections and some of these fish were lying dead in the margins.

There was rumblings from ghillies and anglers from the lower beats that the season was over, believing that all the Salmon had arrived early and ran the river.

We had fireworks on the 5th November proving this not to be the case, we caught 13 fish that day!

With the water temperatures being unusually high for the time of year, we found the fish preferring to run and also rest in the faster water.

We claimed another Salmon virgin and one of our regular rods, Cecil Duguid having a red letter on the 25th November, catching 3 Salmon weighing 55lbs in total!

The final week of the season saw us battling near storm force winds and torrential rain which resulted in us being washed off for the last day of the season.

A very challenging and rewarding season.

As the sun sets over the Island Pool, I would like to thank Steve for all his hard work, Sandra (Steve's wife) for her epic pack lunches that have put us all on diets.

Thank you to Dave,Jane and all their staff at The Traquair Arms for keeping the majority of us fed and watered.

And finally may I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.