Monday, 9 March 2015

Orton - River Spey

Last Saturday saw me back on the River Spey and this time I was accompanied by my good friend Charlie Robertson and ADAA Junior Sean Rennie. We were fishing on the Orton beat which is situated about 8 miles from the mouth of the river. The water had risen a good bit due to snow melt a few days prior to us arriving and the wind had really whipped up making casting a fly very tricky at times. The water temperature was still on the cold side at 36f. Due to the high, and slightly coloured water, my set up for the day was my 15ft Mackenzie rod, Hover/Intermediate shooting head with a 10ft super fast sinking tip and a 6ft 7ips tip on the end of that. Heavy flies were on order just to try and get down to the fish quicker due to the fast flowing river.

The lunch hut over looking the Cooperee Pool.
We arrived at the hut about 8.45am to see the river sitting at around 3ft 6in on the gauge. After a sausage roll and chat about tactics we were allocated our pools for the morning by the ghille, Andrew. I was to start my day in the bottom half of Upper Cairnty with Sean and Charlie starting down below in the Lower Cairnty.

The hut midway down the Cairnty Pool.
ADAA Junior member Sean Rennie fishing the Lower Cairnty opposite the hut.
By mid morning the gusty wind was really making things difficult. Trying to cast a fly into the teeth of a gale isn't the easiest thing to do but we battled on regardless. Sadly, it was to no avail as neither of us had a touch on our first run down the pool. Andrew suggested to Charlie to have a go in Willows so Sean and I had another run down the Lower Cairnty. Again, this proved fruitless but it was fishing really nice when you could get the fly out straight!

Cooperee Pool looking downstream.
Fishing down through the Willows Pool.
After lunch Sean and I headed up to give the Willows a go. Fishing this pool effectivly involved wading out 20ft or so to cover the water just that bit better. By this time though, the water clarity was worsening all the time and we could hardly see the river bed. We did however see a fish show near the tail of the pool and gave us a bit of encouragement but try as we might, neither of us had an offer so we made our way back down river to have another crack in the Lower Cairnty.

Charlie and his dog Bracken take a break from the howling wind on the Cairnty Pool.
Sean, Charlie and ghillie Andrew Hall watching the logs floating down the rising river in the afternoon.
By mid afternoon conditions were really against us and we didn't really fish that much. The water had risen about 8 inches since morning and had coloured up a good bit. The gusty winds had now turned into a constant wind so we decided to sit on the bank and have a good blether with Andrew instead. We called it a day around 4.30pm but probably could have left long before that with conditions the way they were but you don't catch salmon without having your fly in the water so we made the most of it.
Looking upstream into Cooperee from Upper Cairnty.
Sadly, nothing doing for any of the rods apart from Charlie landing a well conditioned trout about 1.5lbs in the Willows. I will be back in a few weeks time to give it another go and with a bit of luck the fishing conditions will have improved and I will have the chance of catching my elusive Spey springer.

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