I recently spent a day fishing on a delightful stretch of the River Tay at Murthly 1 thanks to Philip Black who invited me down. There were a good number of fish in the area prior to my arrival and I was looking forward to fishing some of the best fly water pools on the river with some good pals. I had high hopes of kick starting my season after a long run of very little to show for my time and effort.
|My first pool of the day - The Bargie. A very famous pool where Miss Georgina Ballantine hooked her record 64lb salmon all those years ago.|
I set off early and arrived at the beat around 8am where I was greeted by the ghille, Donald. We spoke of the good recent catches and he was telling me that there were plenty fishing in the pools the previous day but they were proving difficult to temp. Donald advised me that small flies and light sinking tips were were the order of the day so my set up consisted of my 14ft Hardy Demon, a 9/10 floating shooting head and a 10ft intermediate polyleader. Initially, my fly of choice was a #10 Kitchen Sink dressed on a Esmond Drury treble but this would change numerous time through out the day as it usually does!
|A fly that does well on the Tay - the Ghillie. Designed by Tay ghillie, Tony Black from the neighboring Murthly 2 beat, this deadly pattern accounts for numerous fish where ever salmon swim.|
The first pool I was to fish was the famous Bargie Pool. This the pool where the largest salmon ever caught on British water was hooked, albeit from the opposite bank on Glendelvine but it was still a thrill to fish a fly through such hallowed water. Donald suggested I start up the top of the pool in the fast water as they had seen a few fish in there the day before so this is exactly what I did. I fished down the pool as instructed and covered as much of the water as possible but I could only manage a half hearted offer which I think was probably a trout anyway. Philip Black followed me down from the opposite bank but there was nothing doing for him either although he had lost a nice fish on only his third cast of the morning up in the Garth pool which I will come to later. Philip suggested having a go through a wee run just above the Bargie so we headed off upstream to do just that.
|Looking upstream towards the Bargie Stone, in which the pool takes its name from.|
|Looking across to Miss Georgina Ballantine's house which over looks the pool in which she made famous.|
|Another view of the Murthly 1 hut.|
|The comfy interior of the hut at Murthly 1.|
|Paul fishing down the Garth in the afternoon. Cracking pool for fishing the fly.|
|Looking down stream in the Garth.|
|Fishing down through Minister's Pool. A big, long pool which fishes the fly well from top to bottom.|
|Looking across to the Murthly 1 hut from Minister's.|
|Fishing down under the wires in Minister's. Loads of trout rising in this part of the pool.|
I really enjoyed my day at Murthly 1 and I was grateful to Philip and Donald for asking me down to fish it. It really is good to say that I have fished the pools where Georgina Ballantine caught her famous 64lb salmon all those years ago and it certainly gets the mind wandering back to the old days, especially when you look across to see her old house which over looks the mighty Tay and the pool where she hooked her fish. The only thing missing for me was a fish on the bank but you can't have it all and sometimes that's just how fishing goes. I'll certainly be back again one day to have another go!