The Lower Kinnaird Guay Pool
By Jock Monteith 22nd March 2021
Having spent several years working on the Upper Kinnaird & Lower Kinnaird beats of the Tay I learned much about many of the salmon pools. None more so than what I personally regard as the finest high, medium & low water pool on the entire middle Tay.
The Late Bob Grant & Kinnaird Head Ghillie
My late friend Bob Grant who served for decades as Head Ghillie on Kinnaird was the first man to advise me of the salmon fishing brilliance of this particular Kinnaird pool. I was booked on a guided job on the River Spey and Bob volunteered to give me a hand and to see his salmon fishing roots once again at Tulchan. That was one of the most fascinating car journeys from Logierait to Castle Grant from a 'pure knowledge' professional salmon man point of view and I truly wish we'd been fishing the River Thurso! The Kinnaird Beat Head Ghillie these days Martin Edgar is clearly following in Bob's footsteps and already has 15+ seasons under his belt assuring all guests the most intimate of fishing information on how best to approach each and everyone of the many Kinnaird beat hot spots.
The Lower Kinnaird Guay Pool Neck
The Guay Pool neck which fishes from either the left or the right hand bank in low water conditions is the finest of salmon fishing lies for stopping & holding salmon. The majority of Guay Pool salmon fishers will choose the 'easier to wade' gravelled right hand bank but my preference has always been the left bank of the Guay Pool as the fly 'hangs' better in low water as it swings over the numerous salmon lies in the neck of this sub surface 'boulder strewn' pool neck. Salmon also don't see much of a northward swinging fly which I think gets their attention better! The deep water in off the left hand bank also means that salmon will often tail your fly and nip it just as you're 'carefully' hand lining in prior to the re-cast.
The Lower Kinnaird Guay Pool Mid Section
The middle section of the pool on low to medium water levels is another serious 'hot spot' and although wading is easy from the right hand bank I'd be no deeper than shin depth with a careful slow wade from high above as salmon when 'undisturbed' and are more 'easily' caught will often hold close to the right bank. The visual markers to pay particular attention to are from the metal gate on the left bank down to the first single tree 40 yards below it. This is a serious Guay Pool taking zone and fishes well from the right hand bank too however you must be able to control your fly in the fast stream at range to optimally cover this middle section of this prolific River Tay salmon pool so brush up on your ability to control your fly at range as that first third of the fly swing (if fishing from the right hand bank) is crucial here.
The Lower Kinnaird Guay Pool Tail Section
When the big man upstairs has left the bath taps running and the Tay has risen a few feet or more the right hand bank 'tail' of the Guay Pool is the same for salmon as what a sheep dog would 'naturally' do to the shepherds flock! The tail of this pool is an absolute 'dead cert' for holding salmon in high water conditions when all the other salmon lies are too turbulent for salmon to be comfortable holding in. I recall many fine fish from this 100 yard high water right hand bank 'hot spot' and I recall one occasion in particular when a 'tiny' lady guest hooked and landed her very first salmon of 17 lbs in here on a high water Summer day on her very first days salmon fishing with her 'amazed' onlooking husband! I have significant personal experience of all of the Kinnaird water on Upper Kinnaird & Lower Kinnaird beats and they are indeed 'choice cuts' when it comes to middle Tay salmon fishing excellence at any time of year.