Thursday, March 12, 2009

Salmon Fishing Scotland Spring Fishing at Catholes, Stanley, Perthshire, Scotland 2009.

Salmon Fishing Scotland Spring Fishing at Catholes, Stanley, Perthshire, Scotland 2009.

This was Nigel Passmores take on his day with us on Monday.

Now we are in to March and close to the mid month spring tides, East Coast Scottish spring salmon fishing becomes less of a triumph of hope over expectation. Up until this week I'd had two outings to mid Dee and Lower Canal which yielded kelts and no springers; enjoyable, but statistically probable. So 2 of the big 4 down an don to the weakest of them for springers; back to hope over expectation.

I have fished much of the Lower Tay, but not the bit around Stanley. I was due to be fishing three days on a private beat of another East Coast river for three days, but let my Monday rod to some who wanted to fish it. So looking for somewhere else, March is the time for Stanley Beats and it was en route - the rest is history.

Catholes was, historically, one of the premium spring Tay Beats because of the weir which acted as a temperature barrier. The weir was blown in three parts in the early 80s and the beat has never been quite the force since. Now for those who fish "burns" that would not be out of place in Lilliput, this is a salmon river.

So where do you start? Well lets start with a Tay Legend. The longest serving boatman on the river; Lord Geordie of Stewart.

They say behind every great man is a great woman. Other than turning his back on me when I'm talking, I couldn't see any obvious signs of the female form or intuition but here is Bob...or should that be Bobetta?

On Monday only one other rod, Robert from Paris, was out so we each had a boat both sessions. That led to a first for me, a whole day fly fishing on the Lower Tay in March.

The morning, out with Bob, on the bottom of the beat at the Dam where the river starts to narrow before going in to the Stanley Gorge had a challenging swirling wind (the one where it can blow in 4 different directions during the course of one cast). This produced the good the bad and the downright ugly in my snakey jakey roll. We saw the odd fuish and a kelt or twa but no obvious activity.

After a Parisian style lunch I went in the boat with Geordie at the Weir. To cut a short story long, we ended anchored up in the middle of the river in front of the weir. Out there the water is only 4 - 5 feet deep. After only four casts with an intermediate compensator, a type 3 tip and a big golden WG waddington the rod was pulled forward, the reel screamed and a big spade like tail smashed the surface - sometimes you are in no doubt you've hooked a springer. Look at the size of the river above, all that current at 4' 11" above summer level, and I don't think I need to tell you what the fight was like; it is one of the reasons that makes the Tay almost unique in the UK. After ten minutes of angler and fish slugging it out Geordie did the honours with the net.

14lbs, covered in sea lice and swam off strongly. This is why we go spring salmon fishing.

Thanks Nigel, Haste ye back.

Fishing Salmon River, Salmon River, Fishing for Salmon, salmon Fishing Alaska, Fishing Alaska, Fly Fishing Salmon, Fly Fishing, Salmon Fishing Report, Trout Fishing, King Salmon Fishing, Salmon Fishing Forum.


James Mckay said...

Good stuff. Well done!

Anonymous said...

That was such a good story and really well written, can you come back and do it again please? Thoroughly enjoyed reading it and good photos, it would have been nice to have seen Bobetta's face too!

Anonymous said...

This guy should write a book.

p.s. Does Bobetta sit down to pee?

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