Last Saturday saw me fishing on the River Spey with good friends on the majestic Tulchan estate. This is a day we take annually and it's one we look forward to. There is some special about fishing on such a prestigious stretch of water and we have did fairly well here over the years with some lovely fish landed. None more so that a couple of 17lbers caught by Philip Black last year.
The run up up this trip is always filled with excitement and this year was no different. The forum pages and messenger group chats were red hot at times as the trip grew closer and the excitement built. It's always good to catch up with the lads and enjoy the banter that coincides with the fishing.
My good pal Charlie and I travelled up together and we arrived at the beat to be greeted by ghillie, Lawrence De Rosa as well as Some of the other lads who had arrived before us.Talk quickly turned to the fishing as the river had been rising over night due to snow melt and we were all eager to check the gauge and see what was happening. Lawrence was confident we would be fine in terms of the river conditions. The gauge was reading 9" on arrival but would end up at 1ft 5in by the end of the day.
After a good catch up in the car park it was time to get fishing. I set up with my old favourite 15ft Vision GT4 Catapult and my line of choice was my I/S1/S2 with a 4ips tip on the end. My fly of choice was my new favourite - a 1" Chartreuse Monkey.
I was allocated the Bridge Pool and the Upper Tulchan Pool for the first part of the morning and then I was to swap with Charlie and fish the Tulchan Pool itself. The Bridge Pool is right up there with one of my favourite pools as it is where I landed my first ever River Spey salmon which was a belter of around 16lb which devoured one of my Kitchen Sink Shrimp flies. Despite the Bridge Pool fishing very well I didn't get an touch so it was off to fish the Upper Tulchan pool on the opposite side of the river.
The Upper Tulchan pool is another lovely cast. It's another pool I've had success in in the past but this time, it was not to be and my run through the pool proved fruitless. I felt my set up was fishing pretty well and it was just a case of persevering and trying to find a fish resting up in one of Tulchan C's lovely pools.
Next up for me me was Tulchan Pool. It is a cracking stretch of water and the run below were the Tulchan Burn enters the Spey is a joy to fish. Charlie was 50 or 60 yards below me and he managed to get hold of a fish on the Sunray Shadow. Unfortunately, it spat the hook not long after taking his fly but at eat he was doing something right and there were fish there to be caught. I eager fished down the pool with an extra bit of confidence but to no avail. I felt like I had at least been covering fish and just needed a bit of luck and something to take my offerings.
Like most lunchtimes on the river, we spent ours putting the salmon fishing world to rights and enjoying hearing stories past and present about salmon caught or lost. Drams were off the cards as there were plenty sunk the night before by one or two and they were felling a little worse for ware!
After lunch Charlie and I were to fish the Speenoch. This is another cracking pool on C beat and one that Charlie has fond memories of. This was where he landed a fresh fish a couple of years ago and we were looking forward to giving it another go. Unfortunately, despite our best efforts the fish were playing hard to get. Charlie did have an offer in the tail of the pool whilst fishing from the left bank but it didn't connect. It was just one of those days when you felt everything was good and you were just waiting for the line to tighten but when the fish have other ideas then there is absolutely nothing you can do about it but keep at it.
Although we blanked this time round, it was still a pleasure to be fishing at Tulchan again. There are worse places to spend a day and we will all be eager to return again next year. Sdaly, fishing there any other time of the year is out of my price range so I'll have to be content with a day in April again in 2019.
|Good fishing to be had which ever direction you travel on Speyside.|
|Philip, Myself and Charlie outside at the "hut" on Tulchan C.|
|Advie Bridge across the River Spey.|
|The Bridge Pool looking in fine fettle.|
|Looking upstream towards the Bridge Pool from Upper Tulchan|
|Looking downstream from the Upper Tulchan pool.|
|Looking upstream from the tail of the Tulchan Pool.|
|The fishing "hut" at Tulchan C.|
|Fishing down the Speenoch.|
|Charlie and I fishing the left bank of the Speenoch.|