Wednesday, 24 January 2018

First Outing Of 2018 - River Tay

The first Saturday of the River Tay salmon fishing season is always the first outing of my own season. My day is spent in the company of good friends from around Scotland as we meet up to dust of the cobwebs after the winter close season. It's great to catch up with the guys again and to enjoy a bit of fishing in the process.
Charlie patiently waits with the net as Bill plays his kelt in the Guay Pool. 
The first trip of the year is always filled with anticipation after spending the winter months on various forms of social media and forums planning the day. This year was slightly different from previous years as we were treated to large snow falls around the central belt and up into Perthshire which made the road over for many , a treacherous one. Having said that, we all arrived in one piece albeit a bit later than usual but we were there and raring to go.
The well equipped hut at Upper Kinnaird which we used on the day.
Temperatures never really rose above -6 for much of the day with a low of -9 as we arrived at the beat in the morning. This made for some tricky fishing conditions as the rod rings and reels were constantly icing up which made casting very difficult at times. However, we plugged away and Bill Cook, as ever, was the only rod who had any action when he landed a kelt from the Guay Pool in the morning.
Looking over to the snow covered hills at Glen Tilt from the Guay Pool. 
A cracking photo of Bill into his fish as the frozen mist comes off the river. 
Charlie checks the fish in the net as Bill looks on in anticipation. Unfortunately, it was just a kelt.
As like last year, Kenny had agreed to make a pot of soup for our lunch. This was accompanied by a Glasgow roll and butter which was just the ticket after spending the morning session freezing to the bone on the banks of the river. The usual fishing hut conversations were in full flow and before we knew it, it was time to get back out there again for another go. By this time the sun was high and the temperature had warmed up to a balmy -4c!
From L/R: Craig, Bill, Alan, Me, Charlie and Kenny.
Looking downstream from the neck of the Ash Tree pool.
The afternoon session was a bit more pleasant in terms of air temperature but casting was still difficult due to the frozen rod rings or the reel being frozen solid. We did however, cover the pools as best we could but there was nothing there which was willing to take our offering from fly or spinner.
Not much movement in this fly! A 2" Tosh is frozen solid!
The sun wasn't out for long and it was soon down behind the hills which shelter the Kinnard beats. This brought the temperature down as you'd expect and then things really did start to become a bit of a chore. The ice had to be removed from the rod rings every cast or the reel had to be dipped into the river to free it from the ice. This was just a short term solution as the water soon froze again and it was back to square one.
Bill covering the likely lies in the Ash Tree.
We decided to call it a day around 4pm and made our way back to the hut to sit by the fire with a nice, warm cup of coffee before we all went our separate ways. This annual trip is always a good one and it really is a pleasure to be out on the river with friends even in temperatures of -9c! The craic is always first class and Kenny's soup is equally as good! Here's to the next meet.

My next trip is on opening day of the River Dee season and I cannot wait!!!

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