Sunday, 6 May 2012

River Spey At Brae Water Beat 3

Earlier this year, my friend Charlie Robertson and I booked a days fishing on the Brae Water Beat 3. That day was yesterday. The river was in very good condition after last weeks spates and was running crystal clear. Weather forecasts for our day suggested it would be cold and sometimes wet. Well it was spot on. We experienced all four seasons yesterday! The temperature hovered around 4C all day and we endured some torrential rain at times. Coupled with some sleety showers it was bitterly cold.

We arrived at the Gordon Arms Hotel in Fochabers to meet the Ghillies. We introduced ourselves to our Ghillie Ian Tennant. Ian is a great laugh and we had some good craic whilst we waited for the other rods to arrive. We were told some of the catches made by the weeks fishers and our appetite was well and truly whetted! There has been some fantastic catches lately and we were full of anticipation.

We set off down to the hut and began tackling up for the morning session. Ian suggested that a floating line and slow sink tip would be ideal. My set up was my Monteith line with the intermediate tip and a slow sink polyleader attached. I tied on a #7 Cascade and Charlie opted for a 1" Monkey tube fly.

Ian showed us to the Lord March pool. He reminisced on how this used to be an amazing pool and the bumper catches it produced every year until a spate completely changed it during the 90s. It still looked very fishy to us and we couldn't wait to get going. I started at the top of the pool above the boat and Charlie started a few yards above the seat on the bank half way down the pool. We did see a few fish showing early on in here but most of the them were on the far bank out of our casting reach. Ian told us the fish come up through the fast water and rest nearer our bank and we should concentrate on this area. He also received a phone call from one of his ghillies downstream and a rod just landed a spanking 22.5lb fish! He also had an 8lber minutes later. We both flogged away on Lord March until lunch time in hope that we would encounter some of the fish coming in but without any success. This is a beautiful pool to fish and the surroundings are just stunning. For me, the Spey is nothing but a pleasure to cast a fly on. Outstanding fly fishing.

After having lunch in the very cosy hut we set off down stream to a pool called Altdearg. This was another quality looking pool. The very picturesque red cliffs on the far bank just add to the magic of the place. Once again, Ian's 32 years experience of his beat showed as he pointed out every possible taking lie where we would most likely encounter a fish. This time Charlie started at the top of the pool and I went in half way down opposite the cliff armed with a Sunray Shadow. Just opposite the diamond shaped stone on the far bank there was a thump! Something grabbed my Sunray but it didn't hook and unfortunately that was that. I covered it a few more times but nothing moved. We both fished down the pool without an offer but we did see an Ospray flying above us which was a nice sight. Ian told us there is 3 pairs in the area between Fochabers and Spey Bay.

During the afternoon some torrential rain seen us back in the motor to sit it out. The rain didn't last long so we were soon out the car and back in the river. We fished on to about 5pm and we said our fairwells to Ian who was a great help for the whole day. He suggested one of us nip up and fish the tail of the Otter's Cave pool so I followed him up and he showed me the hotspots and where to cast my fly to have it fishing perfectly. I headed down to the pool and Ian headed home. I fished through the pool twice without a touch but I did see a good fish show opposite the beat hut on the far bank. After I'd finished I made my way back down to Altdearg. I fished down through the pool a few more times as did Charlie but it just was not to be. We left the beat at 8pm shattered. We are already planning returning in the near future. No fish again but our luck must change one day. Soon hopefully! Here are some pictures from our day.
My good friend Charlie Robertson and I posing for a photo on the Brae Water Beat 3.

Looking upstream towards the red cliffs on the Lord March pool. The Lower Ewe pool is above here. Charlie fished it but I didn't get round to it. Pity as Ian told us it had been fishing very well.

Looking upstream as Charlie fishes the Lord March pool.
Looking downstream to the Otter's Cave pool from the tail of Lord March pool.
Looking upstream from Beat 3 hut. This is the Otter's Cave pool. Ian takes rods over to the other bank by boat. Looks a cracking pool but we never fished it from the other bank. I did fish it just before we left from outside the hut.
Looking downstream from the hut to the tail of Otter's Cave and neck of Altdearg.
Altdearg Pool from the seat half way down the pool. This pool is a joy to fish. An Osprey was seen flying overhead in this pool. Magical sight. Hope he had better luck than we did.
An upstream view of the Altdearg pool. This is where some of the Turus a' Bhradian was filmed for the second series with well known Spey Ghillie Ian Gordon.

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