Tay report-albeit just a bit late!
River Tay,Scotland,Perthshire,just below the hallowed water of Almond Mouth.Stormont Angling club water,1st and 2nd weeks of September 2018.
Self and a week later my pal Tyke arrived for our annual jaunt here, for me its been over 30 years visiting this bit of water.It's a big powerful river down here at the head of the tide and can be influenced by heavy tidal back up!.A bit of water that rewards the deep confident wader and long caster.
1stly I must apologise,the invention of cameras on sophisticated smart phones have alleviated the need for carrying a camera, however photo's aren't too good from a water proof pouch about ones neck.
Any way 1st morning,stode purposefully down onto the Grainhead,a pool of not insubstantial size and great personal favourite.Low-ish water of barely 5" on the gauge and my first approach was with an 11 weight intermediate head, 5ft brown poly to a 1'Plaggy Black n Orage tube flee to an 8 terrible and 23lb Seaguar off my trusty 16ft Mackenzie DTX.
Now the trick here is to match the head to the height and strength of currents it's flee only here and it will fish up to 12ft+ plus with a little thought and tactical organisation.
As I waded slowly out into the "Grain"and slowly lengthened my line,I marvelled how I was the only one here,1st week of Sept.,there should be several anglers and a que for the best water and 1st in!.Any way the odd fish were showing, mainly small Grilse,not many residents at all and certainly nothing of the size one could expect here!.Any way ,fished all the way down the pool and at the bottom where the speed picks up and the wading becomes interesting over tennis ball sized stones and you're a long way out and buttock deep scrabbling for grip, your best long overhead cast to a broken croy on the far side and as I was shouting to an old pal opposite me the first pull of my year came.And pull they do here, usually chrome bright fish, fresh off the tide from the sea and often smiley faced big enough!,well the pull came, the reel clattered ,up went the rod bounce bounce bounce, words of encouragement from my pal slowly screeching Marquis 3 - - - and it dropped off.Now I can tell you I can swear with the best of them,I give lessons! and being a Tyke we are renown for our forthright thinking and speaking, so I spoke-loudly and forth rightly-did make me feel better!.
My second run through the pool was no better, same spot ,same rig this time a very good double pull - - and that was it for my 1st 3 days fishing.Frustrating.
Friday did the long walk to the Bunkers stream.Now I'd been struggling with the inty head as at 20yds long(cut from a Wet Cell 1 for my old Hardy Favourite 18fter) it was a bit of a handful,so sat at the bunkers I trimmed it back to 18yds.The wade here is much longer to reach the strong stream slightly past mid river, but a 40yd +cast and its reachable, was right up at the plimplsole line mindst you!
The pull when it came was right in the spot I'd been told to expect, my Hardy Ultralight Large Arbour was under a foot of water and purred and bubbled as line was ripped off and a fish showed a good 50yds out and kept on going.NOW its a difficult place, wade aside to get back to the bank I had to steer Salar past two impressive big snags-a big pile of stones and an old tree stump both sub surface whilst remaining up right and dry!.
However managed and my seasons 1st fish a coloured 15lber came in and was returned.Tide hit then so I waited over an hour while it sorted itself and started to run off and went back in at the head again, right down the bottom exactly same place another big pull and slightly less excitingly a 8lb bar of silver,2 in the same day-deep joy!.
Next day Saturday and potential to be very busy as the local rods would be out for a cast despite no fish !,any way first in and right on x marks the spot again a 13lb hen fish, excellent scrap in the heavy stream again.
Another rod followed me down but it was just us two so I went back in again and took a second off the same lay,2 fish 2 days running, and all good fun in unforgettable conditions!.
Monday and Tyke was with me, we ran to the Bunkers,put him in first but he had to find his muscle memory again and was struggling with the long cast technique.I managed a Sea Trout for the day, another rod had 2 on the spinner ,thats yer lot.
Tues. and back again, both fished hard all day for 1 unmissable pull each-which we both missed,Tyke was gagging now!.
Weds,Tactical change, me back on the Grain and Tyke below me on The Back of the Island,me on my new Mackenzie G3 floater and green poly tip, he with the inty/2/4 in the faster deeper water.I'd 2 out by late morning one 11lb coloured and the other 8lb fresh as paint, lost another and missed a pull, he had a bent rod loudly speaking reel - - -then nowt!
Next day agin the same post,me in right away on the floater again 7lb fresh,Tyke had to wait while longer and copped for a scrap and a half in the faster deeper water down the Island and an 11lb cracker.
Friday we both had put on inty/2/4 sinkers, me on the 17ft LPXe rocket launcher, that came to nowt and on last run through both put up the 1/3/5,Tyke's rod soon bounced about, but it fell off.Same spot away went mine and rod up well bent, reel speaking nicely and that fell off too.The the ignominy of foul hooking a fish which went straight back followed.
That was our lot!.
I was gob smacked did, way better than I thought,Tyke faired well on an intimidating bit of water with new tactics to cope with for his fish and we were both happy.Roll on next year.
P.S. THIS IS CLUB FISHING,OPEN TO ALL WHO JOIN!
Tight lines all,Yorkie.