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Upper Kinnaird Hot Spots

By 24th September 2019

Here's an booking confirmation email addition I sent to a spin fishing client who booked a day during early September on the Tay's Upper Kinnaird beat. I was informed by the Head Ghillie that he landed 2 salmon!


If you study this map thoroughly so you’ve a good idea of these exact salmon lies on Upper Kinnaird you’ll be in with a very good chance of a fish or two on Saturday;

Main Taking Areas circled in red;

1 Daffodil Lie; There's a prominent pile of sub surface stones (which create surface disturbance) approx 20 yards off the bank you’ll be fishing from. Salmon lie slightly above the stones but watch you don’t snag your lure on this pile of stones. Daffodil Lie should be briefly targeted 3 times a day (10 minutes each shot) when you're back at the fishing hut i.e. morning, lunchtime & 5pm as running fish always nose in here and stop due to the channeling sub surface riverbed terrain.

2 The Channel; Three quarters of the way down (just past the steeper bank) if you look closely you’ll see some boils appearing on the surface of the river every 20 seconds or so about 20 yards off the riverbank. This is a great bit for a resting salmon although fish can be hooked all the way down this long deep holding pool.

3 The Green Bank; the best taking spot is approx 20 yards downstream from the mouth of the little stream that trickles over the stones into the pool off the rocky point. This main salmon lie is approx three quarters of the way across the river and is in fairly shallow water so a long cast with immediate 'pick up' is required. Occasionally salmon are hooked slightly upstream of the little burn at the rocky point (or directly off the stones close in on the edge of the current). Start fishing from the grassy bay 30 yards above the main rocky point and fish the pool all the way down to the end of the grassy bank. Sometimes a long range cast near the tail of the pool can be effective too.

4 The Rock Pool; there’s a little run worth fishing down to the rock point and a short cast is all you need as you’ll see shallow water in the middle of the river here. A slightly diagonal upstream cast from the big flat rock point ledge (keep back) is worthwhile too however the most productive cast by far is from behind the rock point where there’s a large single tall standing stone on the riverbank. Fanning out casts from a static riverbank position from this tall stone right across the river (diagonally upstream & downstream) and as far down as the bottom end of the sand bank (diagonally downstream) is a great area for a fish. There's a truly great salmon lie approx 20 yards off the tail end of the sand bank on the other side of the river but a long cast from the standing stone is required to cover it properly.

5 The March Pool; Where the Tummel flows in to the Tay you’ll see a calm edge seam to the main Tummel current. There’s a deep riverbed trough in there (8ft depth) and it’s a great salmon lie. Watch however for your lure coming out of the deeper faster water as it shallows very sharply on the inside edge of this deep trough. Too many anglers in lower water conditions wade too far out here and spook resident salmon. In all cases if this area is wadable (1ft on the fishing hut gauge or under) anglers should be an absolute minimum of 2 fly rod lengths back (or 3 spinning rod lengths).

You could pick a fish up anywhere but these are the main taking 'hotspots' so study their location carefully before you go. Plenty nylon (best with braid) on your spinning reel spool is needed to belt your toby right across to the other side of the river for the best water coverage. A slightly upstream cast and a not too fast (steady) retrieve works best but make sure you know where your lure is as it fishes back across to you so it doesn’t bottom our near the riverbank you're fishing from so speed it up a little at the end (last 5 to 10 yards) of each retrieve.

A silver one side & copper the other side 30 grm Toby Salmo and the black/red/gold and copper equivalent are the only lures you need (see below). Fish one of these lures all the way down from Daffodil lie to the March Pool then change over and fish the other one all the way back up from the March Pool bench (if Head Ghillie agrees assuming no other anglers present to consider). Tactically this is 'psychologically disturbing' for salmon as they’ll not see the upstream different colour version coming especially if you’ve wound them up a bit on the way downstream.

Separate each cast by one rods length (10ft) downstream and up and make sure your clutch is tight enough to set the big Toby hook at range. Most salmon fishers fish with their clutches far too slack and they miss most of their hard earned hooking opportunities or blame the Toby for being a bad hooker! Once you've hooked a fish then loosen the clutch off a little bit to play the fish. You’ve got at least 10 to 15 seconds into contact to do this as at that point the salmon does not know it’s in danger of an alien abduction!

If you’re fishing with a colleague space out approx 50 yards apart and follow that strict 10ft riverbank spacing movement between each cast. This way your water coverage will be immense and you won’t be showing the salmon that will be lying in the beat too much therefore more chance of getting the desired reaction from a fish.

Your booking confirmation email has a travel map on it to the Upper Kinnaird fishing hut meeting place and Martin Edgar’s (Head Ghillie) telephone number is on your booking confirmation email. Best to call Martin tomorrow and confirm you’re coming.

There’s a better Google beat map on this Upper Kinnaird presentation page;

Good luck on Saturday and thank you for your booking.