Saturday, 12 April 2014

3 Days On The Spey - Brae Water

Brae Water Beat 5

Charlie and I started our trip on the Spey at Brae Water Beat 5 with ghillie, Blair Banks. The water was sitting around 1ft 6in on the Boat o' Brig gauge. I tackle up with my Scott Mackenzie Float/Intermediate shooting head with a 6ft 3.9ips tip. My fly of choice was a small Monkey.

Charlie and I were drawn to fish the top part of the beat in the morning. I was to start in the Intake Pool and Charlie started in the Grilse Pool. The Intake pool was fishing really nicely and I was about half way down the pool, when I felt a fish grab at the fly and it was closely followed by another knock and then finally a thumping take! The fish immediately stripped yards of line off my reel and headed back towards Fochabers. After a cracking scrap lasting several minutes, I managed to beach a lovely sea trout about 2lb. After fishing through the remainder of the Intake without another touch, I headed down to fish the Grilse Pool.

Just not long after starting Blair and I noticed several fish heading and tailing up and down the length of the pool. This was a good run of fish making their way upstream but neither Charlie or I managed to connect with one.

The afternoon saw us fishing the Dipple Pool from the right bank. This looked a cracking pool, especially up at the neck. We fished it all afternoon without seeing a fish but I had a good pull at the tail about 4.30pm. Unfortunately, it didn't connect and it turned out to be the last action of the day for us. The Osprey fared a bit better when it caught a sea trout from the tail of the pool. Amazing to see it diving and coming up with a fish. There was however, 2 fish landed up in the Grilse Pool by anglers during the afternoon. A lovely 7lb salmon covered in long tail sea lice and another slightly older fish of the same weight.

Here are some pictures from our day on Beat 5.

Intake Pool looking downstream.
A Sea Trout from the Intake Pool taken on a small Monkey tube.
Grilse Pool. Nothing touched in here for me but 2 fish came off the pool in the afternoon.
Looking upstream in the Grilse Pool.
Charlie and I fishing the Dipple from the right bank in the afternoon.
The beat hut on the right and the ghillie's hut on the left.
Brae Water Beat 3

Friday saw us fishing beat 3 with ghillie Ian Tennant. The water was is good nick and sitting around 1ft  6in on the Boat o' Brig gauge. Ian suggested that a heavier set up would be better today so I went for my Scott Mackenzie Intermediate shooting head with a 10ft 5.6ips tip and a 2" Willie Gunn.

Charlie and I were to fish the Aultderg Pool in the morning. This is one of my favourite pools on any river that I have fished and we were keen to get going. We both fished down the pool twice each without a touch or seeing any fish move but every time the fly swung round, you were just waiting for the line to tighten.

After lunch we were to fish the Lower Ewe and Lord March Pools. Charlie headed of up to fish the Lower Ewe whilst I went in at the top of the Lord March. There was a massive hatch of March Browns coming off and the trout were rising everywhere you looked. I fished down the pool without a touch from a salmon so I put up the wee rod and had a go for the trout. I tied on a dry fly which was the closest resemblance to a March Brown that I had and I had about 8 offers and landed a couple of sea trout kelts. Since I realised that most of the fish were sea trout kelts, I put the rod away and went back after a salmon. Unfortunately, we both finished the day without a touch or without seeing a fish move. The pools were all in really good shape and were a pleasure to fish.

Here are a few pictures from Beat 3.

Aultderg. Fantastic fly water with scenery to match.
Looking upstream in Aultderg with the red cliffs in the background.
Looking downstream in Aultderg.
Lord March. Another lovely bit of water.
Lower Ewe looking upstream towards Beat 2.
Fishing down the Lower Ewe.
The fishing hut on Beat 3.
Brae Water Beat 4

Our final day on Speyside was to be spent fishing Beat 4 with ghillie, David Buley. The wind had really picked up and it made casting tricky at times. The water was dropping slowly and was sitting a 1ft 2in on the Boat o' Brig gauge.

It was back to the float/intermediate shooting head and a 6ft 3.9ips tip for today and I opted to give a Black & Yellow tube a good swim through the pools. Charlie and I were to start in the Cruive Pool. This was a cracking looking pool and David pointed out all the likely place we might encounter a fish. I started half way down the pool and Charlie started at the neck. We both fished down the pool twice, casting as well as we could between gusts of wind. Neither of us touched a fish and we headed back to the hut for lunch.

After lunch, David took Charlie and I over the river to fish the Pipe Pool. Here the Spey narrows considerably and is easily covered off the shingle bank. The wooded area opposite sheltered the pool and gave us a bit of respite from the wind. I changed fly to a heavier Franc N Snaelda just to get down a bit quicker in the fast stream. Just as I got to the tail of the pool whilst working the Snaelda back and forth, something pulled back. Not the salmon I was after but a greedy little brown about 3/4lb. That was the only action I had in the pool but like so many other pools on the Brae Water, you are just waiting for the line to tighten every cast.

Here are a few pictures from Beat 4.

Sign above the door of the ghillie's hut.
Fishing down the Cruive Pool.
A downstream view of the Cruive Pool from the bank.
Fishing the neck Cruive Pool.
The Pipe Pool. A lovely cast and a pleasure to fish. Cracking pool.
Looking upstream into the Pipe Pool.
Looking downstream from the bank at the tail of the Pipe Pool.
The fishing hut on Beat 4.
The quest for an elusive Spey Springer continues but we had a really enjoyable 3 days on the Brae Water. All the ghillies were first class. Friendly and very knowledgeable lads who went out their way to help and keep the enthusiasm going during some tough conditions. The other rods fishing with us for the 3 days were all good craic too which makes fishing a lot more enjoyable. We look forward to our next visit to the Brae Water beats in the near future.










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