Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Little Blackhall & Inchmarlo - River Dee

I had a days fishing on the River Dee at Little Blackhall and Inchmarlo yesterday thanks to ghillie, Martin Robson. The river is currently quite low at the moment and was it sitting around 9" on the gauge. It did however, rise a few inches throughout the day and also took on a bit of colour too. Due to the low water, tactics for the day consisted of mainly small flies and Sunray Shadows. My set up for the day was my 13ft a Hardy Uniqua, a floating AFS shooting head with a 6ft Rio 1.5ips tip.
One of my favourite views on Deeside. Looking towards the Inchmarlo hut from the Roe Pot.
Looking downstream from outside the hut.
I arrived at the beat and was greeted by the beat's new ghillie, Martin Robson. This was the first time I had met Martin so it was good to get acquainted over a cup of coffee before fishing. Fellow rod Ken Rothwell arrived soon after and as we were the only two rods fishing we each had half the beat to fish. I was to start in the Roe Pot and Ken headed off upstream to fish the Mill and the Fawn pools. 

Fishing down the top of the Roe Pot. As you can see the sun was splitting the stones!

Further down the Roe Pot. I had two small brown trout in here which took a Sunray Shadow.
I always enjoy fishing the Roe Pot and because of the low water conditions we were experiencing Martin suggested concentrating our efforts on the upper part of the pool. Fishing it down with a conventional fly the again stripping a Sunray Shadow. This is just what I did and after a fruitless run down with a small Crathie fly and changed over to a Sunray. I had a two trout using the Sunray and both were around the 1lb mark but I couldn't temp any salmon so Martin suggested I head upstream to have a go in the Fawn before lunch.

Fishing down the Inchmarlo side of the river just before lunch.
Looking downstream from Sandy Bay and Otter Stone.
Looking upstream from the Fawn. A lovely stretch of river.
After an extended lunch in which Martin, Ken and I exchanged stories of fishing outing past and future it was back fishing the beat we were on today. By now the air temperature was around 20C and really balmy. Not ideal for salmon fishing in low water conditions but we gave it a good go regardless.

Not the ideal air temperature for low water salmon fishing during the afternoon.
Looking upstream from the Fawn before fishing Seatie's and Laird's
Looking upstream into the Fawn.
Fishing down Seaties. I did see a nice fish show in here as I worked my way down the pool but I couldn't tempt it.
The afternoon was wearing on and Martin returned to say that Ken managed to winkle out a nice 3lb sea trout from the Roe Pot. He suggested that I move down stream to have a cast in Laird's as there is often fish rest in there after pushing up through the fast water below. Again, it was fish it through with a small fly first and then back down with the Sunray. I gave it a good half hour in here covering the most likely lie in the pool but there was nothing doing.

Fishing down Laird's with a small Silver Stoat.
Away to have my second run down the pool with a Sunray Shadow this time.
Although conditions on the day were far from ideal, it was good to meet Martin for the first time. He is a very knowledgeable ghillie and tried his best to put us in the most likely spots to try and get a fish. Inchmarlo is a beat that has always been pretty kind to me in terms of catching salmon but it wasn't to be this time around.  Still, it was a pleasure to fish this fantastic beat again and I will look forward to my next visit whenever that may be.

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