Monster Salmon

Mrs Flashbang has a bash

Mrs Flashbang has a bash

I am intrigued by a snippet in the editorial of the June edition of Trout & Salmon which alludes to a monster fish caught on the North Esk earlier this spring. The writer suggests the fish was 51 1/2in long and weighed between 50 and 60lbs. That is an enormous salmon. He then writes that the fisherman wanted no fuss or publicity and therefore there are no pictures. 


We would all respect his right to privacy but that wouldn't be my path. If I was lucky enough to catch the fish of a generation I'd be doing cartwheels naked up and down the High Street singing Painting The Clouds With Sunshine as I flip flopped over the cobblestones.

So why might the fisherman have kept his head down? Perhaps because he caught it spinning with a Devon minnow rather than on the fly? Or just the satisfaction of quietly catching, landing and releasing is enough for him, or her.

It deserves some fuss though. For therein lies inspiration for every rod who has stood in a cold river without a sniff of a fish all day, or even all week. We all like to think the 'big one,' could be on the end of the next cast. It never is so a deep reservoir of optimism is a prerequisite for salmon fisherman, even at the best of times. 

So good luck to the fellow. Inspiration for the rest of us, especially as that fish is still out there.

The Twirl; Probably the best fishing knot in the world

We're nothing if not esoteric on this blog. There you go, Crumble's contribution to the sum of fishing knowledge; The Twirl. Invented by Darrel Martin of Fly, Rod and Reel magazine and shown to me by Ron Wilton, down at East Lodge on the Itchen.

It's A Fickle World


This time yesterday I was standing waist deep in the Tweed on a very nice private beat.  There were tons of salmon around but for reasons best known to their fickle selves were just not on the “take,” and remained difficult to catch all day.

Sometimes, it feels the same way about life these days.

 Fortunately, dinner and a few drams in The Townhouse in Melrose helped drive the fishing demons away. Shame it's not as portable as the fishing rods........... 

Salmon Fishing For Sale; River Tweed



I note that the Telegraph today has an article about a weeks fishing for sale on the Tweed at Tillmouth with six rods offered for £825,000. Evan Harris of the agents Sale & Partner describes it as the best week on the best beat on the best river in Europe. Well, Evan would wouldn't he. It's undoubtedly a prolific beat but can get a bit on the crowded side with 9 rods fishing at this time of year on a single bank and of course, it's open to question and debate which is the best beat on the river. Most Tweed fishermen would not automatically think of Tillmouth, especially given some beats don't even report their catches.

So, if you're a keen fisherman who can't quite cobble together £825,000 or, you don't have five friends, but would like some fishing on the Tweed in perpetuity then worry not, for I'm here to help.

I have a late September week at Lower Pavilion on the Middle Tweed beside Melrose. I've fished there for ten years and it's time to move on. With it comes a week in February, a week in July, one of the best huts on the Tweed and one and a half miles of double bank fishing overseen by Scott Povey who is just a terrific ghillie. Annual 5 year average for the beat is 235 salmon.

Pricing indication is low £20k's. Ping me at if you would like more detail.



Highway Robbery



The other day I drove down from Scotland having taken the youngest Crumble Kid for his first salmon fishing trip on the Lower Pavilion beat on the Tweed. In keeping with the highest Crumble salmon fishing tradition we had a fantastic trip to Melrose and enjoyed the usual hospitality of The Town House and Burts Hotel, but returned with an empty bag and an eye watering bar bill, (it's neither the place nor the time to bump into old friends on a mission). 

So, having inculcated in my youngster that "what goes on tour stays on tour," we headed down the M6 on the 7 hour journey home.

Now, I don't usually go out of my way to find even more eye watering bills but I walked straight into another. I filled up at the BP service station on the M6 toll road. Clearly, the latter day highwaymen there think if drivers can afford the £5.30 toll they can pay whatever they dream up for fuel.......... 153.9p a litre of diesel in this case. Robbing bastards. I don't usually check the price before I drive onto a forecourt but I've just started for that is so far beyond any reasonable cost it's outrageous.

 The economy will remain moribund until we get on top of absolute basics; this is one of them.

A bad day fishing is better than a good day in the office.....


Cobble Pot, Arndilly, River Spey

My biggest worry is that my wife (when I'm dead) will sell my fishing gear for what I said I paid for it.  ~Koos Brandt

Being a diligent and circumspect lot, all five of my avid and loyal readers out there in Blogland will have noticed that posts have been somewhat infrequent over the past week.... in fact, there haven't been any. 

I decided to repair to my spiritual homeland to feed the soul and dust off the winter cobwebs by standing waist deep in freezing water for a few days, waving a long pointy thing around.

The Spey is a majestic river and somewhat moody and atmospheric at this time of year. Arndilly though, is a heavenly beat and it was a privilege and a lot of fun to fish there. The water there wasn't cold, it was bloody freezing. We had it all, wind, rain snow...... just the thing for the weary commuter who spends too much time in the office.

Back now though, and normal service is resumed and this; this is what it's all about; an 8lb springer caught by my companion.

8lb springer caught in Jock's Tail, Arndilly




I thought sciatica was something pregnant women got; it's not and it bloody hurts - I can only liken it to being given a swift kick up the arse by a grumpy coal miner in tackety boots every ten minutes, swiftly followed by a dead leg from a prop forward in a really bad mood. Not really whats recommended the week before salmon fishing.

Of course, the very worst thing you can do when afflicted by some catastrophic breakdown in the body's engineering is to Google the problem. You're never going to get a good answer. Sciatica throws up a whole list of discouraging words like nerves, discs, vertebrae, trauma and best of all, spinal tumour. I'm going to do the grow up and mature thing that men do best and stop googling and hope it goes away.