Sunday, 16 March 2014

River Dee At Little Blackhall And Inchmarlo

When I was kindly invited by Ken Reid to come over for a cast on the Dee at Little Blackhall and Inchmarlo, I didn't need to think about it for long before accepting his offer. The beat had caught a few fish recently which is always good to hear and this added to the anticipation of getting out onto the Dee again in pursuit of Salmo Salar.

I met Ken and Terry Paton, the Inchmarlo ghillie, at the hut just before 9am. The water had risen quite sharply the night before but we were pleased to see it was dropping nicely for us when we arrived. The gauge was reading about 4ft and the water was carrying a nice peaty colour to it. We sat in the hut for an hour or so having a good discussion on all things fishing related before deciding to give the upper pools of the beat a run through. Fishing deep was to be the order of the day so I tackled up with my H/I/S3 Guideline 3D shooting head and a 10ft 5.6 inch per second tip on the end of that. My fly of choice was an 1 1/2" Swallow tied on a copper tube. I chose this fly because of the nice, bright orange and yellow fox wing which is a good combo for the peaty water.

I  was to start at the upper most pool on the beat called the Ice House and fish my way down from there. I fished the Ice House and Holly Bush pools without a touch and made my way into the Nellie Hogg pool. Terry had came up to see how I was doing and told me there was a good spot just off where the bank stuck out further than the rest. Sure enough, just as my fly came round, it was taken by a fish. At first, I thought it was a Brown Trout as it didn't really do that much apart for some little head shakes. Soon enough though, we realised it was a salmon as it took off upstream and kept on boring down into the deeper parts of the pool. The fish put up a cracking scrap for it's size and after several minutes, Terry slid the net under a sparkling fresh fish which on closer inspection it was still carrying some sea lice on it. Terry weighed the fish in the net and it was 6lbs. Ken arrived just as we were returning the fish and he suggested we head off for a dram to celebrate. Ken and I fished the rest of the morning without seeing or touching any other fish so we retired to the hut lunch.

After lunch, I was to fish the famous Roe Pot pool but the wind was now blowing strongly down stream and this made casting very difficult at times. However, I fished on through the pool without a touch so Terry suggested heading back up to the top of the beat for another crack at it. Again, I was to start at the top of the beat and work my way down. As the water had dropped and cleared a good bit, I changed flies to a Monkey. I fished on through the Ice House, Holly Bush, and Nellie Hogg pools without a touch but almost every cast you were just waiting for the line to tighten. As the afternoon wore on, the wind was nearing gale force so I decided to call it a day about 4.30pm.

It's always a pleasure fishing the Dee and big thanks to Terry and Ken for inviting me along. It was good getting a fish when I was invited onto the beat and when that fish was a cracking wee springer, it's all the sweeter!

Here are a few pictures from my day.

The fishing hut at Inchmarlo.
The Ice House Pool at the top of the beat.
Fishing out of Ice House and into the Holly Bush pool.
Nellie Hogg Pool. Lovely for fishing the fly.
My 6lb Springer for the Nellie Hogg Pool. It was still carrying some sea lice.
The Swallow. The fly that done the damage. I copied the pattern from Ian Gordon's website

Terry and I have a wee dram to toast getting a fish.

Floating Bank. At this height fishing the fly hard into the bank was required.
Looking upstream from the lower part of the Roe Pot.
The Roe Pot. Looking downstream on one of the most famous pools on the River Dee.
Looking down stream into the Roe Pot from outside the fishing hut.

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