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!

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