Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Salmon Fever- Thurso Beat 11

Day three finds me on Beat 11. The river mood has changed as overnight rain has lifted the level a few critical inches, especially for the upper beats. The highest pool is the Snatch, just below Strathmore Lodge, a commercial shooting enterprise belonging to the Sinclair family. I was lucky to get a 6lb grilse ten minutes after starting to fish. Today the flies were different, this fish was taken on a small rather old fashioned Waddington. The River then flows quickly for about a mile down a gradient that does not hold much fishing until we come to The Old Woman's Pool. I don't know why it is called that but it is very accessible from the road. I don't think The Old Woman refers to the dear departed Queen Mother. She was a keen angler and loved the solitude of the Thurso but probably fished on the Private beat below beat 11, reserved by the previous owner, Lord Thurso, for his family and guests. I did raise a fish on the very lip of the pool but it didn't touch the fly.
      The River then took me down through the Digger Pool and the Clay Brae Pool to the Stall Pool. On the way, the tops of the blades of the Causewaymire Windfarm waved over the horizon. In the Stall Pool  a nice pattern of large stones creates turbulence and suggests lies for grilse. Sure enough one of Hugo Ross' Pot Belly Pigs did the trick, just as a Kestrel flew past  being dive bombed by a pair of songbirds. The 6lb grilse was a fresh run cock. The last few pools yielded nothing but a fine display from a pair of dippers flitting about the shallows. On the walk back a pair of buzzards patrolled the section of moor that took me back to the car park. I was very pleased with my result. In fact it was the first time I had caught fish on Beat 11.
Tomorrow I have beat 9, one of my favourites.

The Stuart Agenda by Alan Calder  at and and

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