Lower Kinnaird is one of our favourite salmon fishing beats, it is double banked with many varied pools all giving good swing to the fly, good facilities and a very accommodating ghillie Martin Edgar. It does fish better on the low water side, there are some fantastic holding pools on the beat along with the productive Junction pool where the river Tummel enters the Tay.
We have run salmon courses and fished this beat many times over the years, after each flood there are huge gravel movements and it all to re-discover again.
Jim Curry joined Illtyd Griffiths and myself this time and was a great hand. There were two groups for the six days, each group joining us for three days, they were great company with many friends returning from previous years.
When we arrived on the beat Monday, we were greeted with the water level at three foot eight inches on the gauge after heavy rain, there was a strong westerly wind blowing, not the conditions we would have liked.
Some of the group had never Spey cast before and some were experienced and wanted to take it further, also to learn other salmon fishing skills and techniques. I have to say with the enthusiasm from the group eager to learn, everyone was putting a decent double Spey cast out and shooting line also by the afternoon!
What is always pleasing is to see absolute beginners cast off both shoulders equally well within a couple of days. This we saw with all the participants who had not fished with double handed rods previously and will give them all a great grounding in starting the journey to be competent salmon anglers.
The fishing was tough and although we did see a number of fish every day, they were difficult to tempt in the high water. We did catch a couple of nice fresh fish and did connect with a couple of others but the salmon seemed hell-bent to go into the upper Tay or Tummel as quickly as they could.
We have noticed that the week after our course in May has always been productive and this year has been no exception with fish of 28lb and 22lb featuring in the catches although the beat has not been fully rodded. We have therefore been fortunate to obtain exclusive use of Lower Kinnaird next year for the subsequent week i.e. 23rd – 28th May. This we believe will give the participants a better chance of catching some Tay specimens!
A very big thank you to all that attended from all of us, it was a great pleasure to have your company!
The residential salmon course at Lower Kinnaird next year will be 23rd – 28th May.