Salmon Fishing On The River Findhorn
We have some first-class salmon fishing opportunities on offer.
The River Findhorn rises in the Monadhliath mountains and flows some sixty-five miles to the sea at Findhorn Bay. During its course, it traverses some of Scotland’s most varied and magnificent scenery.
As Thomas Henderson describes in his marvellous book, The Findhorn: “The innumerable ridges of Am Monadh Liath stretch mile on mile eastward until, by almost imperceptible degrees, they sink through pleasant wooded foothills into the coastal plain of the Moray Firth, from this great block of high land flow many streams, in general north-eastward, to the sea. The southern flank is drained by affluents of the Spey, the largest of those being the Dulnan (or Dulnain). The Nairn flows along the northern face. The interior mass of the plateau is the region of the Findhorn. Between the Findhorn and the Nairn, the Muckle Burn has carved out a little valley of its own, a companion as it were, to the valley of the Lossie between the right bank of the lower Findhorn and the Spey. For the greater part of their courses, all the valleys are narrow, deeply incised, and difficult to access. The Findhorn has graven its bed most deeply of all into the glacial drift of the upper region of the plateau, the granite and gneiss of the middle section, and the old red sandstone of the seaward escarpment. Its narrow valley is cut deep into the soil of three of the fairest counties in Scotland – Inverness, Nairn and Moray – all once part of the great Province of Moray”.
The main headwaters of the river are the Eskin and the Abhain Cro Clach. The Eskin rises far to the West as an impenetrable tangle of hills and gullies. It often gathers water from storm fronts marauding onto the West Coast. The river, therefore, is subject to sudden rises and falls. River Findhorn – CoignafearnDown by the bay, the sun may be shining, but a sudden downpour at a higher altitude may send a torrent of peaty brown water through the gorges of the middle river without the slightest warning of a summer storm. Even away from this extreme, the Findhorn is still a spate river and drops back to low water within days after all but the most significant rises. In Spring, however, the steady snowmelt from the corries of the Monadhliaths generally keeps the river at a good fishing level well into May.
In its upper reaches at Coignafearn Forest, the runs, riffles, and some deceptively big pools provide excellent spawning territory. This is the home of Red Deer, Peregrine and Golden Eagle and is a truly wild place. The river descends through the delightful wooded glades of Strathdearn via Dalmigavie and Glen Mazeran on its route to Tomatin. Fish will generally appear here in early May when the water has warmed sufficiently (42° F) to allow them through the thermal barrier of the Poolie Falls at Sluice. An excellent variety of fishing beats are available around Tomatin. The swift streams provide perfect fly water when the river runs at a good height. Below Tomatin, the river descends again into the largely inaccessible terrain around Moy and Cawdor Estates. Here on Cawdor Estate, we enter the Drynachan fishings in a secluded six-mile stretch of the River Findhorn surrounded by 25,000 acres of Cawdor Estate moorland bordering the Moray Firth. The Drynachan Valley, known traditionally as the “Streens”, refers to the many wooded springs and burns that join the River Findhorn at this point. The moor is reached by four-wheel drive on sixty miles of private roads supplying small bothies and lunching huts.
River Findhorn Fishing Beats
The Estate has three beats, all double bank fishing for up to three rods per beat. These beats are left from April through September. Some fine fishing pools are to be found here; not surprisingly, much of the fishing is taken by tenants returning year after year. 2008 proved to be a record year for Drynachan, with some 661 salmon/grilse caught through the season.
Below Drynachan, the river descends into the Banchor fishings before flowing into the upper gorge at Dulsie Bridge onto the Lethen and Glenferness Estates. This spectacular water shows a series of runs, pots and substantial holding pools nestling below the high cliffs and granite outcrops supporting Scots Pine, Alder and Birch.
Spey Casting On The River Findhorn
The angler must be able to Speycast to make the best of this fishing. There are pools for every water height and every part of the season. The beats on Glenferness include Altnahara, Mini-Daltra, Daltra, Levrattich, and Church. These two-rod beats are very generous in length, offering fantastic high-water pools and fabulous low-water pools and streams for classic summer grilse fishing.
From here at Logie Bridge, the river descends further into Coulmony, Dunphail and Logie Estate Beats before tumbling through the Poolie Falls at Sluie and into the lower gorge at Darnaway. The Spring fishing can be excellent here, as the early fish in March to April can be held back by the torrents of snow melt water from upstream. Below Sluie is Altyre Estate, with over two and a half miles of stunningly picturesque salmon fishing meandering through high sandstone cliffs. Below are four miles of excellent double bank Association day and season ticket water at Forres, taking us to the brackish waters of the Sea Pool and the estuary into Findhorn Bay.
Fish On, Soldiers Hole on Altyre Estate
Roehillock Pool on Altyre Estate
Sea liced grilse, Altyre Estate
Palamore Island pool on Altyre Estate
Glenferness Estate, looking towards the Lady’s pool
Perfect water conditons on the Soldier’s Hole pool
Carnoch Stream on Drynachan, Cawdor Estate
Lady’s pool on Glenferness
Palamore Island pool on Darnaway
Bridge pool on Drynachan, Cawdor Estate
St. John’s pool on Altyre Estate
The Chain pool on Glenferness Estate
The Roan pool on Altyre Estate
Dalbuie beat on Drynachan, Cawdor Estate
The tail of Roehillock pool on Altyre Estate
Daless pool on Drynachan, Cawdor Estate
Lang Tail, Levrattich on Glenferness
Roan pool on Altyre Estate.
High in the hills on Drynachan, Cawdor Estate
The Soldier’s Hole pool on Altyre Estate
Palamore pool on Altyre Estate
Upper Streenoch pool on Glenferness
Good high water conditions for Palamore Island pool
The tail of Upper Sawpit pool on Glenferness Estate
Garden pool on Glenferness
New pool on Darnaway
Tail of Meads, St Johns on Darnaway