The River Avon (pronounced A’an)
The River Avon is possibly the most beautiful river in Britain. It rises at Loch Avon, a wild and beautiful place, home to Golden Eagles and Ptarmigan, nestling behind Cairngorm mountain.
The River Avon starts as a rush over gravel, turning south at Inchrory and descending past Tomintoul into the delightful valley below. It is a swift river that cascades through streams, runs and pools down to Ballindalloch, where it joins the River Spey.
The water of River Avon is as clear as Tanquerey. Every pebble appears visible, but he who treads clumsily will never see its fish. Believe me, and the fish are there from April onward; you should always imagine there is a fish under your rod tip and they are easily disturbed. Often they are gone before you have your fly in the water. Men are said to have gone into it’s water thinking it was shallow and been drowned.
The source of the River Avon (pronounced locally as A’an) is not on Ben Avon but some 10 miles further west on the slopes of Ben MacDui, (Gaelic: Beinn MacDhuibh). From Ben MacDui, the headwaters flow down to Loch Avon. The river then continues east down Glen Avon for another 10 miles before turning north towards the village of Tomintoul and Strath Avon.
The River Avon, being the major tributary of the River Spey, attracts about one third of all fish entering the River Spey system. It’s water tends to be colder than that of the River Spey and hence the fish tend to run a little later (April as compared to February).
Once they enter, fish can run fast and be scattered throughout the system, up to Tomintoul, from May onward. Go and give it a try; the River Avon fish are long and lean and give a great account of themselves after turning on your fly. Admire your prize, take a picture and return her to its wild waters.
“The water o A’an, it rins sae clear
Twad beguile a man o a hundred year”
Blaeu’s Atlas, 1654