Sunday, 17 March 2013

Orton - River Spey

Charlie and I were lucky enough to be back on Speyside yesterday, this time fishing the famous Orton beat. We arrived slightly late due to getting lost trying to find the beat but it turned out we were just a few hundreds yards away. A helpful police man and local resident pointed us in the right direction.

After the usual meet and greets, the ghillies Kevin and Andrew showed us to the pools. Andrew took Charlie and I down to start in the Lower Cairnty. It is a big, long pool and holds fish the whole length and in most water heights. The water height was 7" on the gauge and the river temperature was a quite cold 35f. Not long after starting I landed a small kelt and on closer inspection we noticed the underside of the fish was golden, almost like a brown trout. The fish was certainly a salmon kelt but the colouring puzzled both myself and the ghillie. Charlie headed off to fish the Arns and I carried on fishing to the tail of the Cairnty. I lost a kelt and had a couple more pulls but nothing landed, Charlie likewise.

Once Charlie had fished the Arns he headed off to the Willows and I went into the Arns. Just as I got to the tail of the pool my fly was grabbed by a fish but it took it as I was mending the line and the hook hold was not great. It was off seconds later. I backed up the pool to cover the same lie again as the ghillies told us that it is not really a kelty pool so I was eager to see what took my Monkey as it swung round the lie. Several casts later my fly was taken again from the same lie and after a dogged scrap Andrew arrived just in time to net a big kelt. Probably the same fish that took the fly first time past but who knows?

Andrew suggested to go and try the Willows before lunch and as we were walking up to the pool I received a phone call from Charlie informing me that he had just lost a springer. The fish took one of his deadly SS Assassin sunrays. This fly landed Charlie many fish last year and on it first out this year took another but unfortunately it didn't stick. Never nice to lose a fish especially in the Spring but I'm sure there will be plenty landed soon enough. I fished down the Willows without a touch and we headed back to the hut for lunch at 1pm. 

After lunch, Charlie and I were to fish the Upper Cairnty. I stared right at the top opposite the wee pine tree on the bank and Charlie started just off the single slightly further down. Andrew had informed us that 3 fish were taken here last weekend and it was a good bet to be hold fresh fish. Not long after starting, Charlie landed a big sea-trout kelt which was very well mended. It would have probably been about 6lb fresh which would have been a beauty. The afternoon was slighly colder and the wind picked up which seemed to bring the fish on the take. I landed 6 kelts between the two boats and Charlie landed a kelt from the same part of the pool. We just couldn't temp a springer that might have been resting in amongst, which must have been hundreds of kelts.

The elusive Springer still eludes us but we will keep trying that's for sure. The first springer of the season was landed at Manar on the Don yesterday so they are creeping up the Don which is a good sign.

Here are some pictures from our day on the Spey yesterday.

Lower Cairnty. Looking downstream. Looks slow and featureless but it was fishing the fly quite nicely
Arns. A cracking wee pool were I landed a kelt just at the tail. The ghillie said it was not really a kelt holding pool so it got the blood pumping until I seen the flanks and realised it was another kelt.
Willows. Charlie fishing the tail of the beautiful Willows pool shortly after losing a springer. Cracking piece of fly water.
Cooperee. We din't fish this pool as it is a low water summer pool. Looks like another nice bit of water though.

Upper Cairnty. A good holding pool for Springers but all it produced for Charlie and I was kelts today. Again, another lovely pool to cast a fly on.
Yours truly fishing the Upper Cairnty in the wind and rain after lunch.

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