The thrill of landing a catch at Milne Graden
August marks National Fishing Month throughout the UK. At Milne Graden we protect and manage a 1.4 mile stretch of water on the famous River Tweed, known as a beat, that also marks the boundary between Scotland and England. Guests travel from far and wide for the opportunity to fish for salmon and sea trout in this historic and beautiful location.
For those who have never donned a pair of waders and had the thrill of landing a catch, we endeavour to share the experience of this country pursuit and why it is so special. In conversation with one of our regular fisherwomen, Georgina Maud, one drizzly day in August I waded in to discover more about her hobby.
Georgina first stepped foot into a river in 2007, determined to try and land a catch. Since that moment, her passion and enthusiasm for the sport has continued to grow and so has her knowledge about salmon fishing.
“One of the most wonderful parts of learning how to fish is the stories you are told and knowledge that is passed down from older generations that have been fishing the River Tweed for years.”
“The ghillies at Milne Graden have such extensive experience, you know each time you leave the river you have learned something new or improved your technique. You also get to know other frequent guests, some of whom have been visiting every year since the 1970s. They have seen the river change over several decades and it is wonderful to discover how it has evolved during that time.”
After spending some time with Georgina and the ghillies in the cosy and quaint Littlehaugh Shiel (Scottish fishing hut), it was obvious that every fisherman has their own preferences and a unique approach to the fishing technique. Every person fishing the river that day had a particular fly that they preferred, the range included a Gledswood, Cascade, Willie Gunn and Red Frances. All of them ranging in size, colour, and shape to mimic different insects and river life that could lure in some salmon and so too “match the hatch”.
Georgina continued, “There is a wonderful sense of community when you are fishing. Even though everybody is competitive and would like to land a catch, they are always incredibly supportive and excited for the lucky person who lands a fish in the net.”
The Milne Graden beat on the Tweed has many favourable features including being a low water beat that offers double bank fishing with wading options. Of all the attributes that this beat has to offer for salmon fishing, it’s very best is the rural setting and outstandingly beautiful scenery.
The river is surrounded by magnificent trees that are centuries old and full of character – many of the woodlands planted when Milne Graden House was built by Admiral Milne in 1821. Located 13 miles away from the nearest town, our guests enjoy complete serenity and calm. The peaceful music of birdsong creates a true sense of escapism from day-to-day life. An abundance of wildlife can also be spotted including osprey, heron, peregrine falcon, and kingfishers to name a few.
The most popular times of year for fishing on the River Tweed is late Spring/early Summer and Autumn, so keep an eye out for fishermen when exploring the Milne Graden estate and perhaps pause to watch the masters at work or better still – give it a go, and maybe you will be lucky enough to experience the tremendous excitement of catching a salmon.