Saturday, 21 July 2012

River Don At Breda

After a good lift in water earlier on in the week, I booked a day on the Breda beat near Alford. The water height was 1' 1" this morning which is almost ideal for the beat. The water was a nice colour with just a wee hint of peat stain. Weather wise too, it was perfect. I couldn't have asked for better conditions today.

I arrived at the beat about 8.15am and tackled up with a floating Mackenzie DTX shooting head and a 6ft intermediate tip with a #11 Kinermony Killer.I started in a pool called Laird's Pot. A nice wee pool with the current all mostly down the far bank and a couple of good looking lies. I fished it right to the tail but didn't see or touch anything.
Laird's Pot. A lovely wee pool where the tail fishes best.

Next pool I fished was Smith's Brae. Again, another lovely looking pool but this time the flow is right down the centre. I started at the neck of the pool and within a couple of casts I lifted into a strong fish. The chrome bright grilse about 6 or 7lbs splashed on the surface and begun bombing upstream. I got the tension back in the rod and just as the fish was slightly below me "PING"!!! The fly came undone and the fish was off! I composed myself and took a few steps back upstream to cover it again but no joy. Although a fresh fish did show where I hooked the one I lost. Might have been the same fish, who knows? I fished on down the pool but only a couple of parr for my efforts.
Smith's Brae. I hooked the fish just off the fallen bank on the far side about 2/3rds over.
I was met by Martin Webster the River Don bailiff who is looking after the beat for the owner at the next pool which is called The Rock. Martin kindly stayed with me for most of the day showing me all the pools and where to fish. This info was much appreciated as it is alot of water to cover without knowing it. Martin said that the best taking spots in this pool is 20 yards either side of the sun house situated on the opposite bank. I fished all the way down without a touch but it was another nice pool for the fly.
Rock Pool. Below the sun house up on the far bank is a good taking lie for salmon.
On our way back up, Martin suggested having a cast in a little run below some willow trees. The old ghillie had said it was a good lie for taking salmon. It is only about half a dozen casts but on my second cast I had a thumping take! I lifted into the fish but nothing! Again, a #11 Kinermony Killer was the fly.
Ghillie's Run. The lie is about half way across the river opposite the willows.

After a bite to eat Martin showed me the to the top of the beat. The drive is a bit rough and only suitable for a 4x4. The top pool is called Flaskie and looking down from the high bank, you can see a couple of good lies dotted down the pool. I started fishing down the pool and about half way down I had a good pull of my fly. This time I was using a #13 Mhari's Shrimp. That was the only action I had in this pool but I really like it here. A cracking pool and it holds fish from April onwards.
Flaskie's Pool from the high bank. You can see the bits which are likely lies to hold salmon, especially the tail in higher water.
I fished on down through Whin Brae, Tree Hole and Brown's without a touch and head to the next pool Martin suggested which was the Tub Pool. Another nice deep, streamy pool ideal for fishing the fly. Martin called it a day and I thanked him for all his help which was much appreciated as I would have been fishing blind without him. I changed back to the #11 Kinermony Killer but didn't see or touch anything. The only action I saw in here was a mink swimming up the river with a huge rat in it's mouth. I got a cracking photo before it scurried over to the other side to eat its supper in peace.
The Tub Pool. Like the rest of the beat at this height of water, perfect for fly fishing.
A mink with a big rat in it's mouth looking for some peace and quiet to eat it's supper.
I carried on making my downstream through Ash Tree and Beech Avenue but no luck.
Middle Pond Ash. Looks like it might hold a fish or two in cold Spring conditons.
Lower Pond Ash. Nothing touched or seen in here but worth fish none-the-less.

I fished on until 7pm and apart from a pull at my fly at the tail of Laird's Pool that was it. All in all a good day out and finished up with 3 pulls and a lost fish so at least they were there. Not much showing so it was encouraging to at least get a reaction to the fly. I will look forward to heading back to Breda to give it a go very soon.

If interested in fishing this lovely beat, please click on the link and have a look.

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