Monday, 30 April 2012

Deveron Festival Day 1 - Mountblairy

Had my first day of the Deveron Festival fishing the Mountblairy Beat. It was a lovely stretch of water and some good looking pools to fish the fly. There were 5 rods fishing the beat which was probably about 2.5 miles long. I was sharing my rod with fellow Aberdeen District Angling Association member Tony Wolk.

We arrived at the beat about 9.30am and we started in the Mausoleum Pool just above the island. The beat gauge was reading 1' 6" and the water was a nice colour. After only a few minutes after starting, Tony hooked into a fish. Turned out to be a greedy wee Brown Trout but nice start to the day.

Mid Morning, we headed up to the top of the beat. Here we had some beautiful streamy water and a couple of nice holding pools. We fished all the way down taking turns to fish each pool. We didn't see any fish showing but you just felt like the line would go tight at any second. Tony had a pull from a fish but apart from that, that was it for the mornings efforts. The top pools were called Points and Greenbanks.

After lunch we fished Boghead Pool. Half way down the pool Tony's fly got hammered by a livley Sea Trout. After a spirited scrap a fish around 1.5lbs came to hand. Not sea-liced but very fresh. By this time the water was on the rise and starting to colour up a tad. Never the less we carried on down the pool but didn't touch anything else.

The next pool we fished was Mest. A lovley long glide of a pool I was told "one of the best on the whole river." We didn't see or touch anything in here but well worth the effort. It fishes best at the back end of the season I was told by an estate worker who was working near by.

I didn't bother with the next pool as it was very deep and slow but Tony fished it down without a touch. I was busy taking photographs of the beat for this blog.

We finished our day below the Island Pool where we started the day but by this time the water was heavily coloured and still rising. The was a Salmon caught from the beat today in  the morning onn a Toby before it behgan to rise and colour. Hopefully it will be ok for day 2 tomorrow. Here are some pictures for today.
Thanks to Turriff Tackle owner Frank we found the beat easily but it is very secluded. Glad he gave good directions.
Looking down to the Island Pool. The is a good looking lie just in front of the big stones at the top of the island. That where the Brown Trout grabbed Tony's fly.
Looking downstream from the top of the beat. Points Pool and Greenbanks. Didn't see anything in these pools but look very "fishy".
Bogheads Pool. Just around the bend is where Tony hooked his sea trout. All the current is down the far bank but is easy to fish.
A nice Sea Trout from the Bogheads pool. The fish took a Cascade Alistair just as it came round on the dangle.
The beat hut on the Mest Pool. Nice looking pool. Didn't see anything in here but gave it a good going over.
Canada Pool I think and into Rat Tail Pool. The Dunlugus hut is just out of shot on the far bank to the left of the picture. I didn't fish this pool but looks ideal for spinning due to the slow river flow.

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Deveron Fishing Festival 2012 Open Day

I headed up to the Turriff Angling Association water to attend the Deveron Fishing Festival Open Day. There was a very good turn out to watch demonstrations from some of the best casters in the business. Stalls run by Turriff Tackle and Glasgow Angling Centre to buy any lines or tackle tried out on the day. Brands such as Hardy, Vision, G Loomis and Mackenzie were all on hand to offer casting of the latest rods and lines etc. I will be fishing the 3 free days starting tomorrow and with the water looking perfect there was a few confident ghillies saying there will be fish caught so here hoping. Here are some pictures from todays event.
The impressive line up of casting demonstrations for the day.
Guide Flyfishing's team. Willie Banks (left) and Jim Fearn (right). Two top blokes who are always willing to help out with casting instruction which I like to take full advantage of! As my main fishing rod is a 15ft Vision GT4 Catapult im always interested in what lines go best and if any new ones are worth getting so I had a wee go with the Vision ACE shooting head Float/Sink2 and a 5ips tip attached. I must say it was a dream to cast. You wouldn't even know it was a heavy sink tip on the end. Very easy work with.
Blair Banks of G Loomis is a River Spey ghillie on the Brae Water Beat 5. I had a short casting lesson from Blair with a 15ft G Loomis NRX matched up with a 55ft prototype G Loomis Spey line. After finding a wee fault in my action Blair corrected me and I was soon getting a nice line out with ease. Once I get used to the alteration in my casting it should pay dividends.
Scott Mackenzie with my fellow Aberdeen District Angling Association member Tony Wolk. Myself and Tony spent a good few hours milling around the rods trying them all out. We were both very impressed with the Mackenzie shooting head rods. Especially the 14ft version. What a casting tool! Scott was only too happy to share his knowledge of his rods and he gave us a few pointers on our casting too.
Andy Murray of G Loomis and River Tweed ghillie giving his demonstration this morning. I enjoyed watching him cast as he mad it look so effortless. As all the caster did.
The trade stand in the tent on the banks of the river. I took this picture about 4pm when I think most of the stalls had packed up! Should have taken one sooner. Never mind at least it shows where the stalls had been.
We missed Eion Fairgrieve's demonstration as we were playing about with Scott Mackenzie's stuff but we did get a cast with the new Hardy Zenith Sintrix rod. We used the 14' 6" 9 weight rod matched up with a Hardy Mach 55 spey line. What a combo! Out of all the rods we tried today this was up there. Way out of my price range but a dream to cast. Even into a strong wind. I would not say no to any of the rods we tried out today though. They were all pretty special but will have say the Vison Catapult will do me just fine.

Friday, 20 April 2012

Scottish Salmon And Sea Trout Catches 2011

I have posted below a link to the Scottish Government web site. They have today published the provisional figures for catches of Salmon and Sea Trout on Scottish waters.

There is a lot to read but it there is some interesting reading.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

River Spey At Wester Elchies 14-04-2012

I set off for the Spey at 7am yesterday morning full of anticipation. The water was a good height, the weather was looking favourable and the beat landed a fish on Friday. I couldn't get there quick enough!

While driving between Huntly and Dufftown, I was met by hills covered in snow and icy road conditions! Surely is was not to be like this over the hill on Speyside? Luckily enough for me it was just in the valley and once I had got through Dufftown the snow was all but gone.

I arrived at the hut and was met by the ghillie Sam Bremner. After introductions to the other rods I was allocated to fish the top half of the beat in the morning session and the bottom half after lunch. The water temp was hovering around the 42f mark so I tackled up with my Monteith line and the intermediate tip. Attached to that was a 10ft slow sink poly leader. On the business end was my recent tying of a Munro Killer Snaelda. I tied on the plastic tube version. It was to be my flies maiden swim. Sam showed me onto my pool for the first part of the morning which was to be Delagyle. It is a beautiful pool with a good flow down the opposite bank. I started at the top of the pool and began to cast over to the run on the far bank. On only my 4th cast FISH ON! It just about pulled the rod out my hand! I lifted into it and felt the weight of the fish. I held onto it as it pulled a good few yards of line off my reel and took off accross the pool. That was the last I felt of it. I'd lost the fish after only 10 seconds or so! I covered the area where the fish took my fly for a few more minutes but I had missed my chance. It was not for taking a second time. Gutted! I fished on down to the tail of the pool without another touch.

The second pool I was to fish was Brock. Another quality looking pool. The fast water flowing down the far bank creates a wee eddy on the Wester Elchies side which sometimes pulled the fly down. Although as soon as the fly touched the water it swung round nicely. I fished it all the way down without a touch but another rod Iain did see a fish move in here before I fished it.

Just before lunch I fished a cracking pool called Delene. A beautiful piece of water and with every cast I was expecting the line to go tight. It was not to be unfortunately but still a pleasure to fish all the same. There is a couple of big boulders in here which make good lies for the salmon and they create a good flow off them too. As it was lunch time I miseed out on fishing Pol Ma Cree which I was looking forward to but never mind, good excuse to go back again!

After lunch I was to fish the bottom half of the beat. I started my afternoon at the bottom part of a pool called the Rhynd. I started below a big beech tree half way down the pool. Another lovely cast but nothing seen or touched in here either. After fishing down the pool I swapped with Iain and I fished the top part of the pool. I started where there is a boat on the bank. I did see a few fish splashing mid stream in the faster water but they were not for taking my Munro Killer Snaelda. Not the easiest pool to wade in as some of the rocks are massive! Some were slippery due to alge growth in the low water conditions of the last few weeks. There is a couple of famous big boulders in this pool called "Big Pig" and "Little Pig". I can see where they get their names from!

Sam the ghillie, who is great craic and knows the beat like the back of his hand showed me down to my next pool which was to be the Boat Pool. Due to the height of the water this pool fished all the way down from the bank and it is another pool from say mid way down that just screams salmon! It's very deep in at the Wester Elchies side and again full of big boulders which, I'm sure would be good lies for running fish to stop after coming up through the fast streamy water below. The bottom of the pool is spanned by a suspension bridge over to the town of Aberlour. Ideal for Sam to nip over to the shop for his Sunday papers! I fished all the way down here wihout a touch but there was a few fish showed under the bridge at the tail of the pool.

After 5pm I headed round to fish Pol Shuan. Just another beauty of a pool. Wester Elchies seems to be blessed with stunning pools like this from top to bottom! I fished through here quite quickly without a touch but there was quite a few good looking Brown Trout sipping flies off the surface in the slacker water at the tail of the pool.

Just before 6pm, I headed back to the fish the Delagyle pool where I lost the fish in the morning. I concentrated on the neck of the pool and fished through it several times. I was out of luck today and didn't get a sniff this time through. I left the beat at 7pm with "what might have been" going through my head. Ah well can't win 'em all!

Here are some pictures from my day on one of the finest beats I've ever cast a line on.
The valley between Huntly and Dufftown. Glad I have a 4x4!

The view from the top of the hill before heading down the track to the beat. Not bad.
The water gauge first thing in the morning. Reading 1ft 6in.
One of two hut on the beat. Well equiped and a nice place to have lunch with good views of the hills over Aberlour.
Looking uostream on the Delagyle pool. It was at the neck of this pool a fish took a liking to my Munro Killer Snaelda. It didn't stick though which makes us fishermen keep going back for more! Beautiful pool. The huts are always on the best pools and this one is no differant.
Pol Brock. Looking downstream. Nice fast streamy water to fish a fly through.

Delene. Looking upstream. Beautiful pool which makes you feel the fly will be taken every cast.
Pol Ma Cree. This is a pool I would have loved to cast a fly but didn't have the time.

The Rhynd. "Big Pig" to the right of the picture. The Kinermony beat is opposite.
Pol Shuan. Some big brown trout sipping flies of the surface at the tail of this pool.

Boat Pool. Looking downstream towards the suspension bridge over to the town of Aberlour. The Kinermony rods discussin their next moves with the ghillie.
The bottom part of the Boat pool with the Ghillie's cottage on the right. What a place to have your house! Fantastic!

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Munro Killer Snaelda

I'm heading up to the Spey this weekend for a days fishing at Wester Elchies so thought I would tie up a classic Spey pattern.

Nothing new about this pattern but thought I would give it a modern twist Snaelda style!

I have tied them up on 1/2" copper and 3/4" plastic tubes with gold tungsten cone heads.

Hope they do the business this Saturday.

Friday, 6 April 2012

River Don At Kemnay

As the River Don was rising from top to bottom today, I headed up to the ADAA's Kemnay beat. I arrived about 9.30am to see the water was slightly coloured and carrying some weed. I walked up to the top of the beat and started in the Bridge Pool.

I was trying out my new 42g Floating Mackenzie GTX G2 shooting head. Very Impressed! It was easy to cast and turned over no problem.

There was a few fish splashing mid way down the Bridge pool but they looked like Kelts. They were not interested in anything a put past them anyway. As the river rose sharply, I changed lines to my trusty Monteith Multi Tip line. I put on the 10ft intermediate tip and a 10ft 3.9 inch per second poly leader. I tied on a size 8 Musker's Fancy No.2 and covered the lies where the kelts were showing. Still nothing but as I pulled in line to re-cast, the line was pulled back out my hand by a big, strong Brown Trout. After giving a good account for itself, I landed a beauty of maybe 3 lbs. Would have been a really good battle on a single handed rod.

I fished all the way down and finished up my morning in the School Pool. Apart from the odd trout rising, I didn't see anything the whole way down stream. When I left the water was way up from the earlier and colouring up fast. Don't think it will be fishable tomorrow due to the colour but you never know.

Here are some pictures from a very wet Aberdeenshire!

The Bridge Pool. This pool holds a lot of kelts early in the season. One or two showing today further downstream.

A greedy Brown Trout which hammered my size 8 Musker's Facy No 2. Looks like it's been feeding well.
The Dooker. Nice looking bit of fly water. Didn't see anything show in here but a lovely cast.
Island Stream. Another lovely looking piece of fly water. You would expect it to hold a fish or two but again , nothing showing in here either. Needs a wee bit more water I think.
The School Pool. Named because Kemnay Academy is beyond the hill to the right. Another pool which usually holds a fish or two but nothing showing. Maybe the colour of the water was keeping them down. The was also some weed and debris coming down river too which is not ideal. I fished through here and headed home. Always next time.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Turus a Bhradain

Here is a link to the Scottish TV show "Turus a Bhradain". It is now into it's third series and is aired on BBC ALBA channel 168 on Digital. The series is 6 episodes long and is onto episode 4 which starts tonight at 8.30pm. The link I have included below is for episode 2 and is about the Aberdeen District Angling Association and the River Dee. The show is in Gaelic but has subtitles for all none Gaelic speaking viewers. Enjoy.