When Stars Align

Salmon fishers are renowned for watching weather patterns before an upcoming trip. To the point of obsession. I am no different as weather can make or break the fishing, particularly rainfall and/or snowmelt. We sometimes pray for rain, our prayers are answered  and then find ourselves flooded off or fishing in less than ideal conditions.  Not always helpful in a 3 day trip but if you are fishing for a week and the rise comes on the Sunday or the Monday with a settling river thereafter then it can be the making of good sport later in the week. The other end of the spectrum, low water and icy conditions can be the death knell of sport in all but the lowest beats nearer the sea. …Continue reading

Have confidence in your fly

I think that there is little doubt that confidence plays an  important part in successful salmon fishing. Confidence in your set-up, confidence in your casting and very importantly, confidence in your fly. Over the years I have found that when a fly catches a fish, that actual fly becomes almost like a good luck charm. With each succeeding fish that it catches, it takes on what I call the “talisman” effect. These flies have a special place in my box and when they are inevitably lost(unless they are retired) or are disintegrated by fish teeth, it is like the loss of a friend. …Continue reading

River Tay, Glendelvine Beat

It must be 20 years since I last fished Glendelvine Beat on the middle River Tay when the late, great Davie Brown was the ghillie. Anyway, a chance invitation found me back there yesterday on Monday 23rd March. Conditions looked good enough with 1ft 9″ on the Caputh guage and a blink of sun although very few fish in the book. First thing in the morning I was sent round to fish the Boat Pool from the Murthly side. This is the pool where Georgina Ballantyne caught the British record salmon and to me, will always be a significant place. As a mark of respect and for luck, I waded out to touch the Wee Bargie Stone just below where she hooked her momentous fish. It seemed to do the trick. Within half an hour I had landed two springers and lost another just below the Stone. Good old Park Shrimp Conehead accounted for the fish fished off a sinking tip. …Continue reading

Opening Day Springer from the Dee

As luck would have it, my three February days on Ballogie this year included opening day. There was great anticipation as Monday 2nd February 2015 approached. Opening day is always special and carries a unique  kind of frisson of excitement.  Hope springs eternal in the breast of the salmon fisher and here’s hoping that 2015 will see better runs of returning Atlantic salmon to the rivers of Europe. …Continue reading