We met in the breakfast room of the hotel at 8.15 am and ordered a hearty breakfast to stoke up the energy levels for the day ahead. After breakfast we left the hotel and called in at the Spa garage for supplies for lunchtime and then drove the short distance to the Lower Tummel beat. After negotiating the level crossing and the track leading to the beat hut we began tackling up our chosen rods for the day ahead. I set up my Vision GT4 Catapult 14ft 9/10# rod with a Danielsson H5D reel loaded with a Rio Short head Spa line of 50 ft and a 9ft tapered leader and 6 ft of 15lb tippet material. I have started using Seaguar for its strength in a lower diameter of line and it has been excellent in use.
The beat has changed dramatically after the recent floods and many of the pools have a totally different look to last year with large amounts of stone and gravel in areas that it has not been before. The water level was very low at 2″ on the Pitlochry gauge and the water temperature was 10 deg c and running very clear. The weather in the morning was overcast will outbreaks of sunshine and a moderate to strong easterly wind making it feel cold. The wind was blowing upstream and across for most of the day and made casting a bit of a chore but manageable. The morning session highlights was a pull for Geoff on the top pool and the sighting of a number of fish which built up our hopes for the afternoon.
We retired to the small hut for lunch and to rethink tactics for the afternoon. Ian and I had spotted a couple of fish in the pool by the hut in the morning and so Phil decided to have a go after lunch. More fish where spotted lower down the beat and almost immediately Phil had a fish on but after a short fight it came off. Later in the afternoon Ian made contact with a fish lower down Green Bank pool and I made my way to help land the fish but again this one came off. Later in the afternoon the wind became stronger and the air temperature dropped and by 6.30 pm we decided to call it a day and left the beat by 7.00 pm. We called in to a restaurant on the way back to the hotel for a meal and then had a couple of nightcaps in the hotel bar. A few pluses on the fishing front and a plan hatched for the next day.
Low water on the Tummel.