Thursday, 28 April 2016

Murthly 2 - River Tay

I was invited down by ghillie, Tony Black, to fish on the famous Murthly 2 stretch of the River Tay as part of a group of like minded anglers who call ourselves the Salmon Nutters. Conditions were as close to ideal as we good have asked and there were good numbers of fish caught in the lead up to our day. Murthly is blessed with some of the best fly water on the Tay so fly fishing was first choice tactics for most. I chose to fish the pools first with the fly then again with the spinner afterwards. This is a method I often use on the Tay as I like to maximise my chances of landing a fish.

Team photo at Murthly 2.
We arrived at the beat around 8.30am and we were all treated to a sausage roll for breakfast kindly bought by Philip. This was accompanied by a good dram for some but I was happy to wash mine down with a coffee as I was driving. This was the first time most of us had met in the flesh after years of chatting on various Forums etc so it was good to finally put faces to the names and enjoy a bit of craic with, what have turned out to be good pals. After the rolls and drams it was down to business and Tony allocated us to our pools for the morning. I was to fish the upper part of the top beat under the stewardship of Tony's brother Philip. Philip is a fine angler himself and he made sure we all knew exactly where we were likely to pick up a fish.
Discussing tactics for the day ahead with Stuart, Gavin Kenny and Paul.
The top pool on the beat we were to fish was called the Tronach. This was a lovely looking pool and ideal for fly fishing. Philip started Colin in at the top with Kenny half way down the pool and myself in near the tail. The tail of the pool fished brilliantly but I didn't connect with anything so Philip suggested I headed down for a cast in the Greenbank with the spinner.
Looking up the Tronach from the seat on the South bank.
Looking downstream half way down the Tronach.
Good craic just before heading off for lunch.
The Greenbank was another nice bit of water but due to the high bank on the south side it wasn't the easiest place to fish the fly so it was to be covered with a Vision 110 to begin with. On arrival to the pool there were one or two fish showing which looked as though they were running so Philip suggested changing to a copper Salmo. I tied on the Salmo and made my first cast. I had no sooner started to wind when the line went tight and I lifted into a strong fish. First cast with the Salmo. We couldn't believe it! The fish stayed deep and pulled hard and but I managed to keep it under some sort of control. Just as I was gaining a bit of line back from the fish it somehow dropped off! I really thought I had it well hooked and there was still a good bend in the rod as I was playing it. Sadly, this tends to happen when fishing with tobys and there was nothing I would do differently if I had the time again. That's just part in parcel of fishing sometimes. Not long after I lost my fish, Philip's phone rang and it Paul, who was fishing further down stream, and he told us that he'd also just lost a fish. He was probably playing it the same time I had my fish on. I fished on down the rest of the pool but couldn't temp another springer to take the Salmo so I made my way back up to the top of the Tronach to have another run down it before lunch but unfortunately that proved fruitless as well.

Looking upstream into the Tronach from Greenbank.
Looking down the Greenbank into the Burn.
Lunchtime in the well equipped top hut at Murthly was once again provided for the lads by Philip and we munched our way through loads of sandwiches, crisps and cakes etc. Not to mention a large volume of drams as well! Paul was lucky enough to land an fresh run 10lber on a Salmo just before lunch to everyone was delighted for him. We sat and laughed our way through the lunch hour and had great time chatting about the forums and various pages we all know each other from. The company really does add to a good day's fishing and this was no exception but it was time to head back out onto the water and try again to land a mighty Tay springer.
The hut on the Top Water at Murthly 2.
After lunch I was to fish the Girnal pool along with Kenny, again with Philip as our ghillie. This was another good pool for the fly and there were also fish showing in it and they seemed to by lying in the pool which was encouraging. By this time though, are strong wind had built up which made deep wading and long casts difficult so I opted to persevere with the Toby. Kenny had an offer on the fly not long after starting which sadly didn't stick but it was a good sign that the fish were still keen. I followed him down the pool with the Salmon but neither of us could temp another fish into taking our offerings.

Kenny fishes the fly in the Girnal.

Fishing down the Girnal with a Toby Salmo.

Daffies out on the banks of the Girnal.
Stuart Norris spinning the Girnal.
After fishing the Girnal I decided to head back upstream for a crack in the pool opposite the hut. this was where Paul caught his fish in the morning and it certainly looked a great bit of water. I had first run down with the Toby before finishing off the pool with a Sunray Shadow. Neither method fooled the salmon though and it was time to call it a day and head back to the hut for a blether with the lads before heading home.

Spring has sprung on the banks of the Tay at Murthly.
Ghillie, Tony Black and Gavin Hunter doing some harling in the afternoon.
I really enjoyed my day on the Tay at Murthly. It was great to meet new pals and enjoy the banter in person just like we do when we are on line. I have met some cracking lads through various forms of social media and forum and I can honestly say I have made some good friends because of this and our passion for all things salmon fishing. I will really look forward to the next meet where ever or when ever that may be.
 In the mean time, why not check out the Facebook page  "Salmon Nutter Flies" and say hello or post a few photos of your tying. Maybe see you there?


  1. Brill post Craig, good bunch of heeders there.

  2. Cheers Bucktail Bob. Aye, they're no a bad bunch.

  3. Feckin nutters. Great review of your day as always. Well done Paul BTW.

  4. Cheers Gav. Good to finally meet you at last. Paul kept the reputation going. He certainly knows how to catch them. Hope your hangover wasn't too bad the day after!

  5. Braw day and good company cheers