Thursday, 12 April 2018

Cargill - River Tay

On the 30th March I had a day on the River Tay at the Cargill beat. Cargill is a famous beat on the lower Tay in is well known for some great catches later on in the season. It certain ticked all the boxes as I pondered over where to go. In the end, it was a fairly straight forward choice to pick Cargill over what else was available at the time. I was to fish the lower beat and as I hadn't fished any of the beat before I was really looking forward to it.

Looking upstream from the front of the hut on the Lower Beat at Cargill.
The water had risen at the beginning of the week but was dropping away nicely in time for my visit on the Friday. Unfortunately, there was a very strong Easterly wind blowing right upstream which was less than ideal and it was pretty relentless through out the entire day. This made casting even a heavy Toby a bit of a challenge due to the wind forming a large belly of slack line which needed reeled in quickly just to get in contact with the lure again.

The fishing hut on the Lower Beat which is shared with Ballathie.
Looking downstream from the front of the fishing hut.
 I arrived at the beat round 8.30am to be greeted by head ghille, David Godfrey. The river level was hovering around the 3ft mark on the Ballathie gauge which wasn't too bad given the water earlier in the week. After a quick discussion over a coffee about tactics for the day, I decided, given the conditions to spin although I did set up my fly rod too just in case the wind subsided. My lure of choice was the 30g Toby Salmo. I opted for the silver and gold combo. I set up my fly rod with a I/S1/S2 shooting head with a 7ips tip and a 1" Monkey.
Out in the boat fishing with head ghillie, David Godfrey.
Looking upstream from the bank of the Sands.
 I was to spend my morning out in the boat with David spinning over the likely lies on the pools on the top part of the beat. David tried his best to put us over the fish but they just weren't playing ball on the day. The wind, I'm fairly certain, making the fishing extra difficult as it was bringing a very cold breeze and lowering the river temperature as it blew up the valley.

Looking downstream from the bank of Grey Stones.
The afternoon was spent fishing the Sauch Bush pool from the bank. I covered the pool several time with various lures but again, the fish remained elusive and covering the water effectively due to the wind was proving to be a right nuisance.

Fishing the Sauch Bush from the bank in the afternoon. The new fishing hut on the Cargill under construction.
I headed home at 5pm feeling like the overhead conditions hadn't done the beat justice as neither of the 6 rods fishing on the day had any luck with springers or even kelts. It's not often I feel like the conditions got the better of me but sadly this was one of those days. On the positive side, I'll just have to make a point in returning again in the near future to see what the beat can really do in better conditions.

For more info about the fishing available on the Tay at Cargill follow this link to their website.
Tay Salmon Fishing - Cargill 

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