Thursday, 31 January 2019

Annual January Visit To Tayside

The salmon fishing season on the River Tay starts on the 15th January and every year, a group of us get together from all corners of Scotland to have a cast on the first Saturday of the new season. As in previous years, this year we were on the Lower Kinnaird beat which is situated just down stream of where the River Tummel and Tay meet. The river was sitting at around 2ft on our arrival and the conditions were in good order.
Getting ready to tackle up in the freezing conditions at Lower Kinnaird.
Lower Kinnaird is a nice stretch of water for fly fishing as it boasts some lovely pools and runs which are ideal for swinging a fly through. Our January day is, as expected, usually met with freezing conditions but the Tay doesn't seem to be effected by grue like many other rivers so we have always had an opportunity to have a cast.
Charlie and I discussing tactics for the morning ahead.
We met at the upper hut just after 8am and it was great to see the lads again after a long winter. After a nice cup of coffee and a good catch up, it was down to business. We were split into tow groups of three and I have to be fishing with Charlie And Bill. Sean, Craig and Kenny were in the other group. Our group were draw to fish the Ash Tree pool first of all with the other lads in Guay.

Fishing down the Ash Tree.
The Ash Tree is a nice cast and at the water height we had on the day, it was ideally suited for fishing the fly. I started up round the corner and worked my way down trough the pool. It was great to finally get a cast with my new 14ft Loop SX rod. There's nothing better than starting a new season with some new toys to play with!
Bill Cook throwing a nice line across the Guay Pool.
We all covered the pool as best we could whilst enduring the ice cold water as waded. Despite our best efforts, none of us managed to connect with anything. In fact, the water was very quiet and you just had that feeling like there was not much sitting in the pools as kelts are quite easy to catch if they are holed up in a pool but no action was to be had here.
A Silver Birch tree decimated by Beevers.
After a morning of freezing conditions, it was great to be heading back to the hut for a warm up and some of Kenny's famous soup and Glasgow rolls. The fire in the hut was roaring away nicely as we all sat down to recieve table service from Andy Pelc and Martin who were looking after us superbly as usual. We discussed our morning on the water and it was apparent that all the other lads had the same result we had. Nothing doing. Still, it was great to be out on the river again regardless.
A fine winter warmer on a Baltic day by the river.
Lunch time in the hut as we are tucking into Sean's homemade cheese cake!
After lunch, were to fish the Guay Pool. This is another nice bit of water and we all set off eager to get back out on the river again. I changed fly and Charlie did the same as we tried to do something to try and see if we could get a result. Unfortunately, it wasn't to be but we certainly gave it a good go. The close season spent on the vice tying flies was now a distant memory and hopefully it won't be too long until our new creations are proving irresistible to some fresh run springers.
Looking upstream in the Guay Pool in the afternoon.
The same pool but looking downstream.
Craig Wilson and Sean McGarry smile for the camera.
Our January meet on the Tay is always a great day out. It is good craic meeting up with fishing pals again and we always have an enjoyable day whether we catch fish or not. Kenny's soup and Sean's cheese cakes were worth the long drive and early start alone! It's still early days for the season but I am looking forward to y next outing which will be on the River Dee for Opening Day on the famous Park beat. Fingers crossed it has warmed up a bit since then and there are plenty springers on the go. I'll look forward to reporting back on any action that may be forth coming on that trip to Deeside. Tight Lines!

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