Thanks to a kind invitation from Tony and Philip Black I found myself fishing on the fantastic Murthly 2 beat of the River Tay on it's opening day which is January 16th. The river was sitting at 4ft 6in on the beat gauge but was running clear considering the rise the night before. Regardless of the river height it was just good to be out on the river banks again after the long winter months.
The evening before the trip was spent sorting out all my fishing gear in anticipation of fishing the Tay on Opening Day. I had never fished the River Tay on Opening Day before and couldn't wait to get there. I set off at 6.30am to get through the Aberdeen traffic and I arrived at the gates to Murthly Castle at 8.30am where I was greeted by Philip Black and fellow Aberdonian, John Fife. I followed on behind John and Philip along the castle road down to the hut where toasted in the new season with a wee dram of whisky. After a good chat about how excited we were for the new season and how we fared in 2016 it was time to set the rods up and get out on the water.
Philip showed us the pools on the beat and where to concentrate our efforts and I was to start of in the Meetings Pool. This was a lovely bit of water even though the levels were on the high side. The water an along the side of the an island where it met the flow coming down the far side of it. This created a lovely seam through the centre of the river and it was in this area where Philip pointed out as a good spot to pick up a fish. I firstly fished through the pool with a 30g Toby Salmo but I didn't temp anything. I had another quick run down the pool with my fly rod and a 2" Willie Gunn but again to no avail.
The next pool down was Willie's. This was another nice looking stretch of water and I opted to begin in here with the fly. John was fishing the tail just in front of me and landed a wee kelt just as I was starting. About half way down the pool a kelt had a go at my fly but it didn't take properly. It was good to know the fly was fishing attractively though. By the time I fished out the pool it was lunch time so it was off back to the hut or a bite to eat.
After lunch we didn't do much fishing to be honest as we spent most of time chatting and catching up after the winter. Having said that, I did have a run through the pools again and despite my best efforts with the fly rod and Salmo I couldn't temp anything. At this time of year though, fish are few and far between but it was great to be out on the water again.
I find myself heading back down to Tayside this weekend for another go so we shall see what happens there, but again, it's more of a social gathering than a proper fishing trip. Any fish caught will be a bonus.
|John Fyfe fishing down through Willie's.|
|The entrance to the long driveway which leads up to the fishing.|
|My first cast of 2017.|
|Looking out to the Meeting's pool. Can be a very productive pool.|
|Fishing the fly on the Tay. I had a good offer from a fish just of the point of the corner, It didn't stick unfortunately.|
|One of the well equipped fishing huts at Murthly 2.|
|Fishing a Salmo down through the Meetings Pool.|