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Peebles and Selkirk

For salmon, grilse or sea-trout few rivers can surpass the Tweed. Though not free from impurities near the manufacturing centres, it may on the whole be designated a clear, clean river. It is fairly free from rocks and overhanging woods, while its gravelly bottom with loose stones of moderate size, is suitable for spawning, and furnishes abundant and suitable feeding for the fish. The river, neither swift nor sullen, but with complete and uninterrupted charm for the angler, ripples in silvery streams from pool to pool.

Trout fishing, except near the towns, where it is overdone, is good; and salmon fishing in its season, from Peebles to Berwick, is excellent. Par and smolts are illegal capture till the first of June, and the close season lasts from October to January inclusive. Neither trout nor salmon fishing is quite so good as formerly—due no doubt to extensive drainage, causing the flood waters now to run off in days instead of in weeks; to poaching; and to fishing out of season. An Angling Improvement Association has been formed at Peebles to check the two latter evils; and certain proprietors in the district who proposed to close their waters have now leased them to the Association, which controls a stretch of water from Manor Bridge to the march at Elibank, between Peebles and Selkirk. Throughout its 100 miles Tweed has 316 named Salmon casts; 55 casts from "Inch" three miles above Peebles to "Kameknowehead" near Elibank. The remaining 261 casts from "Kameknowehead" to "Low Bells" near Berwick are either let, or in the hands of the proprietors.

The principal tributaries and sub-tributaries—most of them interesting and picturesque—in which good angling may be had, are Cor, Fruid, Gameshope, Hearthstone, Holms, Kingledoors, Menzion, Polmood, Stanhope, Talla, Lyne, Tarth, Manor, Quair. The Peebleshire Lochs are not of much account; but mention may be made of Portmore (pike, perch, trout), Gameshope, Slipperfield (pike and perch but no trout), Talla Reservoir, and North Esk Reservoir.

Yarrow, surpassing Tweed in poetical and romantic lore, approaches it in fishing fame. Beyond the rocks and trees, there are some fine casts; as Levinshope Burn to Deuchar Mill; from Sundhope for a mile up (the best angling part of Yarrow); Eldinhope Burn and the Douglas Burn, tributaries on the left. St Mary’s Loch, an expansion of Yarrow, can be fished all round the shore. In this loch the trout are in the majority, but pike and perch are on the increase. In the Loch o’ the Lowes there were no trout twenty years ago, but now there are a few, mainly on the south shore and superior in quality to those of St Mary’s, while the pike as edible fish are superior to those taken elsewhere and often attain a great size. Kirkstead, Glengaber and Winterhope Burns are good trouting streams. The Ettrick is a salmon stream. But trout are hard to catch. The best angling part is from Tushielaw Inn to the foot of Tima, a distance of three miles, while its tributaries, particularly the Bailie Burn, the Rankleburn, the Tima, with Glenkerry, all give good sport. Of the Lochs other than St Mary’s and the Loch o’ the Lowes, the best are the Haining, Headshaw, five miles from Selkirk, Essenside, Alemuir, Hellmuir, the Shaws Lochs and Acremoor.

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