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Ghillie River Tay

Head Ghille, Garry will...

- help you to understand the beat

- help you with your fishing skills

- help you catch a fish

Ballathie is one of the best known and one of the most productive beats on the Tay.

Ballathie is subdivided into two double-bank beats, Upper and Lower which Ballathie anglers fish on alternate days. Ballathie alternates with Cargill. There are two boats and a fishing hut on each beat.

In terms of character at the top end Ballathie starts with the Bridge Stream, a long stream which is ideal for flyfishing which can be fished in almost all heights of water. As there is deep water close in this stretch is easy to fish. Thereafter the water flattens out and it flows over what might best be described as a shelf of sandstone rock which carries on for nearly half a mile. This is highly deceptive water though because under the apparently placid surface strong tongues of flow have worn deep holes into the ledges of rock producing some of the most attractive lies for salmon on the Tay. Especially in lower water conditions salmon pack into this water and can be quite easily fished for by spinner or fly. Pools with such evocative names as the Pot Shot, Rumbling Stone, Clocksden and the Cradle have produced some of the greatest catches on the Tay.

“The best catches are normally made in the autumn but if the water is low good catches can be made at all times of the year”

- Garry McErlain, Head Ghillie