Within 20 minutes of the Teviot, 30 minutes of the Upper Ettrick and 45 minutes of both the Border Esk and many of the most famous beats on the Tweed, Colislinn is perfectly positioned for some of the best salmon and seat trout fishing to be found anywhere. Note, the salmon fishing closer to Colislinn is all late season, so if you’re looking to catch a ‘springer’ or anything before the Autumn you’d be best off heading further downstream towards Kelso.
The most useful source of information about fishing is Fishpal, http://www.fishpal.com/Scotland/. As well as giving details of historical and recent catches (updated daily in high season), fishing can also be booked through the website.
One of the most respected casting teachers around, Eoin Fairgreave (also a terrific guy with a great store of fishing anecdotes) runs a spey casting school in the grounds of the classy Roxburgh Hotel for beginners, or for more experienced fisherfolk looking to tighten up their spey loops http://www.eoinfairgrieve.co.uk/. Eoin gets very booked up during peak season so if you’re looking for a lesson any time in the Autumn best to book ahead.
The Roxburgh also has a championship standard golf course and clay pigeon shooting – though for clays we tend to go to the excellent Braidwood, about 25 minutes away (beginners welcome, guns and tuition provided if needed, a huge range of traps to choose from, and a great way to entertain teenage lads for a few hours) http://www.braidwoodsc.co.uk/
There are many lochs in the area with brown and/or rainbow trout. Most of the publicly accessible ones are run by the Hawick Angling Club. Within 15 minutes of Colislinn are both Acreknowe and Barnes lochs. The latter is in a spectacular location up in the hills near the site of the old Stobs Army Camp – best not to drive too close unless you’re in a 4×4, and best not to bring dogs during lambing season. Permits can usually be obtained either through the Club, which is located in the Sandbed area of Hawick (this side of town for Colislinn), or in Libby’s Pet Shop in the High Street, which also stocks a small range of fishing tackle. Other contact details for the Hawick Angling Club: 01450 378907, or 07988 900602, or firstname.lastname@example.org. The Club also owns some association water on the Teviot.
Sadly, because of the acidity of the water and the huge spates, both caused by the Wauchope commercial forest that was planted several decades ago, the Slitrig Water (a tributary of the Teviot, itself the major tributary of the Tweed) that runs through Colislinn now holds very few fish. We do see an occasional brownie and in late autumn some very tired salmon come up to spawn, which tend to shoal near the bridge. We’d ask you, please, to leave both alone. However a lot of fun – under adult supervision – can be had by youngsters with nets and jars collecting various forms of fry and bugs. And if they catch something bigger … we’ll have been pleased to have played a part in introducing them to one of the greatest sports in the world!
Finally, if you find yourself short of fishing tackle the best shops in the area to buy kit are in charming Kelso. The brilliant John Norris in Penrith, http://www.johnnorris.co.uk/, are also old hands at mailing stuff out speedily to anxious fishermen short of a rod tip or with a leak in their waders.