Despite the low water levels the River Tay has been picking away with the odd fish each day. More importantly though is that a few fish are now being caught on the middle beats so clearly the odd fish is sneaking through despite the cold weather and low water conditions. I was at the water for first light but as usual Andy had beaten me to it and the fire was going in the hut.
The morning was spent harling the lower beat and for two hours we fished our lures over likely looking water, but despite feeling very 'fishy' nothing was doing and we headed back upstream where there was some wood to be dealt with. Fishing and Firewood - could I be any happier? :D
Enough firewood to keep the bothy warm for a few months!
Having spent a few hours in the boat, I was keen to take a turn from the bank to warm up a bit. Despite the sun it was still only 1 degree... I headed to the top of the 'Cottar' and starting below the wires, with the water running at 1' 11" it took an easy 20 yard wade to get over the dead water to ensure I was fishing the known lies properly. Not far down the stream fishing my 18g Silver Toby I had a great draw from a fish, which immediately took off downstream. I followed the fish downstream, but staying out in the water. Fish don't like being played in slack water and I was glad to have the current to help tire the fish as I played it. Only when it tired, did I start to wade towards the bank, where I selected a nice grassy bay to beach the fish in. At this point Andy with perfect timing arrived from downstream and as the fish was drawn onto the bank he gave it a helping hand and the fish was ours!
A topper of a Tay springer - 12lbs and sea-liced!
A few photos and it swam away strongly. I was keen to get back in the water but there was nothing more doing and an hour or so later we decided to return to the lunch hut for a coffee and a bite to eat.
Andy was happy to get another fish in his book and feeling I had 'earned my keep' and done my bit, I brought out the trotting rod and wandered upstream to see if I could find any grayling. Unfortunately grayling permits aren't issued here but having paid for my salmon ticket Andy didn't mind if I had a go for a couple of hours.
The first fish came very quickly and it was a nice wee grayling of 10"
For the next two hours I had fish after fish on trotted maggot, including my largest grayling of the winter season at 2lbs, which I was over the moon with. I ended up with 8 grayling and 2 out-of-season brown trout of about 1.5lbs each, before I was called back downstream for 'proper' fishing as Andy called it!
Another hour or so, throwing lures about but if the truth had been told, I'd had such a fantastic day I was happy to sit on the bank and have a blether while Andy fished. One Sea-Liced Springer, Eight Grayling and Two Brownies isn't a bad day by any standards and I was absolutely delighted with the day. Back again next week, but I've promised I'll fish for salmon the whole day next time!