South Esk

Soundmixer

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Had a run down to Cortachy Castle last Saturday, probably knowing that there wasn't enough water to have any success but just happy to be out.
It was my first time on the beat so I was really curious to see what it looked like in low water so that I could fish it properly when the water came up.
I started at the bottom of the beat (those were the directions on the map!) and the good news is that my Alfa GT can make it down the track to the hut. Always amazes where that car can go!
The Meetings and Downie Stream are really lovely and hold water even at summer levels.

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From there I went up to the top of the beat, the Riverwalk section. Made it down the track with a few scrapes on the undertray and parked up. The water was very low upstream of the car park and I got a tantilising look at the Sawmill Dam pool. I walked back down to look at the foot bridge over the river but alas the bridge is no more.

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The pool that remains is deep and clear and the old parapet provides an excellent viewing platform. The same story unfolded downstream of that bridge. Wreakage and the remains of the other bridges on to the island section are scattered everywhere, as are some fallen trees.
I had a cast or two in likely spots, but nothing was happening. I continued all the way to Cortachy Bridge and everything pointed at needing more water. As I walked back to the car I put some thought in to how to get to the Sawmill Dam. Turns out you have to get back in the car, drive back over the Cortachy Bridge and climb out of Cortachy, turning right to follow the river upstream, but at a much higher level. Turn the car at the view point and return to the s-bend you just came through. As you exit the s-bend there is a gate on the left. Park there but don't block it. Walk through the gate and take the track on the right and not the one that drops down to the left. Follow that down to the open flood plain and head straight to the pool. It was at this point that I realised that my camera was still in the car but since there was nothing taking in the pool I guess it wasn't needed. It is a long walk in waders but with the right water it would be worth every drop of sweat.
Back to the car and off to the middle section. Parking by Black Bridge, this is what greets you.

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More bridge debris downstream but the Dairy Pool and the Laundry Pool could be very good.
Went home after that but I now have an eager eye on the river levels when it rains as Cortachy is only 30 minutes drive away from home. Definately worth the walk.

Euan
 

nevisben

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It's a bonnie place to spend a day. The floods on the Southie have left a fair old mess behind though.

Sawmill Dam is best accessed using a 4x4 off the Clova road.

Anything seen splashing about at all?
 

Soundmixer

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One fish below the gorge, just downstream of the really deep water. Not enough flow to get a fly past his nose and he scarpered pretty quick when the tube hit the water.
4x4 for sure and definately not an Italian sports car! :cool:

Euan
 

Andy R

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I used to drive over that bridge when we used to fish Downie Park and Cortachy Castle a few years back, it's a lovely piece of water, best for springers in early May, but there's fish in the beats directly below two week ago, so some will be there now.

The Sawmill dam is the best pool ( provided the dam is still there) as stated on another post, you access it through the deer gates and drop down the track, you can park right by the pool.....but in a 4x4, no chance in an Alfa....a few hundred yards walk down the hill otherwise. The fish can lie all the way down from the head, and even right up by the big rock above the head, the main lie is where the river hits the large rock face, my best springer came from there at 17lb....although fish it all the way out to the tail, even through the slow water, they'll come away from the rock face and chase, so keep a low profile if you can.

You need to look at the Aran pool and upper and lower benhoose pools, they are right by the hut, so suspect you may have found them.
 

Soundmixer

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Thanks Andy.
I did find the Aran pool and the Benhooses. I pretty much did the whole beat so I know what to expect when it rains. I was a bit disappointed with the emptiness of the Sawmill but I do know where I will be heading next time it rains :cool:
If i just carry all my gear and don't put on my waders until I reach the water I might not end up as a wet rag. Breathable waders just aren't :D
Can't wait for the rain!

Euan
 

mows

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Free invites guarantee rain :D

Aye, but do they know what they are wishing for?
There was a rumor that you had visited Noah, just before he built the Arc, and Bill last year just before the Dee and Don floods.

Cheers

Mows
 

GStrachan

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I've been working at Kinnaird Dyke all week on the new hydro turbine and I only saw 2 fish going up the pass the entire time I was there!
 

Wee Double

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Coming up to Scotland in a few weeks and fancied having a chuck on the Southy and was looking at Kinnaird. Seems to be unlet for a while is that anything to do with the work that's going on?

Would have liked a shot on the Northy too but seems nigh on impossible to get on any decent beats according to fishscotland!

Also thought there would be better returns as the nets are off but catches seem poor for the lift in water.

What to do :confused:
Cheers
WD
 

Long Shot

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The problem with the Kinnaird beats at this time of year is simply that fish (salmon and sea trout) tend to come in off the tide and shoot straight through due to the higher water temperature.
Early and late season is best down there.

Cortachy or Finavon Castle would be decent bets.
Good luck.
 

nevisben

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Nice wee bar of silver yesterday.

That's three fish for the first two days salmon fishing this season for me ;).
I wonder how long I'll keep that ratio up for....?
 
D

Don CurlyHorny

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Nice wee bar of silver yesterday.

That's three fish for the first two days salmon fishing this season for me ;).
I wonder how long I'll keep that ratio up for....?

Thats a great fish and well done on your catches, good going. Just looking at the fish, it looks undernurished. Im sure it was a spanker in real life and take nothing away from that, but if i had caught that in Feb to April id have thought kelt for a minute (just going by this pic)..and it even has that kelty gill plate spots on it...im sure this wasnt though....

Nice fish all the same

DCh
 

nevisben

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DCH - I can see what you mean but I think the picture isn't doing the fish justice. It certainly did seem overly thin at the time at about 5 - 6 pounds.
Definitely not a kelt!

Unfortunately there were a few diseased fish about.
 

shawcy

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bit iffy

Just got back from our annual visit to middle beat of southie, arrived on sunday and had a walk along the beat, first impressions were ok not to much damage from storm frank, odd tree in river and bits of bank washed away, river very low could see into most of pools and as usual for the last 10 years or so nothing in them, so sad to see as in 80s and 90s could always see fish in these great pools, we were hopeful with the ban on netting that things would improve overnight, obviously not, fished till wednesday one lost sea trout, river came up in a small dirty spate on wednesday after spectacular storm on tues night, had some proper rain wednesday afternoon and river came up to over a foot, we thought got to get some fish in now, wrong, after fishing thurs and fri still nothing not even seeing fish despite what we thought were perfect height and slight colour, last day saturday fished hard again and got a grilse and a sea trout also lost a grilse, such a shame this lovely river not producing yet again, keep telling my mate how it used to be stuffed with fish, even if you couldnt catch them, it was nice to think you were always covering fish.We live in hope.
 

shawcy

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Lage

P.S. to the above, many thanks to whoever it was that ruined my favourite pool on kintrocket, all the trees chopped down on the quary side, done with all sympathy of a wasp, left branches in the pool all the way down, people really piss me off
 

Big Ben

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Fished Friday and Saturday on the South Esk last week. Finavon Castle on the Indies beat.

Lovely lovely water just not enough of it. Saw plenty of fish mainly in the pool straight in front of the hut on the North side. Think its called Franks Stream? 4 of us rotated between below and above the hut switching at lunch to cover as much water as possible. Again we all saw fish but no takes.

Having never fished it before I was over gunned with my 15fter. More suited to a 12 ft or 11ft switch rod.

Had lunch both days at the Finavon Castle Hotel where the food was excellent and the staff were lovely. Breakfast Saturday morning at Peggy Scotts next door.

I would go back no problem with water in the river. Just unlucky this time round as it was low on the Friday and dropped a further foot by the time we left Saturday.
 

stevencreasey

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hi big ben.
just read your article,as I too am having the last day of my week on the esks at finnavon and on the indies beat.
I have 4 days on pert fisheries north esk starting 17th of this month and the the Friday on indies.
never fished there as its only my 3rd ever trip and only started salmon fishing last year.
glad you mentioned about the 15ft being a bit hefty, I have a 15ft shimano
so I think I will take your advice and use my shakespear oracle as its a smaller lighter rod.
breakfast sounds good as well !!!
steve
 

Big Ben

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hi big ben.
just read your article,as I too am having the last day of my week on the esks at finnavon and on the indies beat.
I have 4 days on pert fisheries north esk starting 17th of this month and the the Friday on indies.
never fished there as its only my 3rd ever trip and only started salmon fishing last year.
glad you mentioned about the 15ft being a bit hefty, I have a 15ft shimano
so I think I will take your advice and use my shakespear oracle as its a smaller lighter rod.
breakfast sounds good as well !!!
steve

My pleasure Steve. You will enjoy it as its a lovely little river. Very pretty in places. You will need to meet up with the ghillie first thing in the morning as actually getting to the hut is tricky unless you know where you are going. Its not far but the road is very very busy and you need to have your wits about you.

If the rivers up a bit I think you have a great chance of a fish. Definitely over gunned with the 15fter so go with the 13.

Let me know your experiences on your return and tight lines.

Ben
 

Big Ben

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hi big ben.
just read your article,as I too am having the last day of my week on the esks at finnavon and on the indies beat.
I have 4 days on pert fisheries north esk starting 17th of this month and the the Friday on indies.
never fished there as its only my 3rd ever trip and only started salmon fishing last year.
glad you mentioned about the 15ft being a bit hefty, I have a 15ft shimano
so I think I will take your advice and use my shakespear oracle as its a smaller lighter rod.
breakfast sounds good as well !!!
steve

Any FASH!!! ? :)
 

stevencreasey

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Hi ben,
Had a call today from my good friend and gillie morris meikel who informed me that a good drop of rain has fallen in the last couple of days
and plenty of fish coming into the north esk in particular,prospects for next week are very good !
Will keep SFF informed .
steve
 
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