Monday 31 December 2007

The Cottar Pool Newtyle Beat River Tay

Here's the Cottar Pool today with just over 3 ft of water showing on the gauge. This is now the perfect water height for fishing off the green bank on the opposite side of the pool. When the water is half way up the jetty virtually the entire 2 mile beat fishes with the exception of 2 pools.
When we get good water like this (with mildish weather) in February or March you can't keep my fly out of this pool as there's always a really good chance of a 'springer'. These were the same water conditions we had last February when we were fortunate to land 7 springers to 16 lbs on Newtyle.
For more information on the Newtyle Beat Click here.

Jock Monteith

Salmon Kelt

Here's a video of a cock fish kelt at the Newtyle beat's jetty today. Very sad to see a fine salmon dying like this after the rigours of spawning but it's just natures way of doing things. Dead salmon in the winter months re-introduce crucial nitrates into the river system which in turn provide food for many creatures (and juvenile salmon) to feed on at a time of year when food is scarce.
This salmon completed its objective of surving in the river as a juvenile for 2/3 years and the dangers in the sea for a year or so to return and reproduce in the river having also avoided the anglers and many other hazards. My hat is off to this fish.

Jock Monteith

Sunday 30 December 2007

Newtyle Beat Map

Here's a map of the Newtyle Beat (click to enlarge) showing all the named pools.

For more information on the Newtyle Beat Click here.

Jock Monteith

Newtyle Beat Fishing Hut

Here a video taken of the 'Tail of The Cottar' pool from the left bank opposite our fishing hut in high water conditions. As you can see from the video the hut commands quite an idyllic setting on the banks of the Tay.

Jock Monteith

Saturday 29 December 2007

Newtyle Beat The Alders Pool (top end of pool)

This photograph (click to enlarge) is of the upstream end of 'The Alders Pool'. Where the treeline starts is the actual starting point for fishing from. The riverbed here is made up from small stones and gravel and is easy to wade. 20 yards out from this grassy riverbank is a deep channel of approx 6 ft in depth. In this deep water are a number of very large boulders which are present all the way down to the tail of the pool a 100 yards below. Salmon love to sit in and around this deep water channel and are caught in this pool at all water heights throughout the season. This is another lovely fly pool on the Newtyle beat.

For more information on the Newtyle Beat Click here.

Jock Monteith

Newtyle Beat River Tay The Alders Pool

Here is a short video of the perfect fly stream that appears in higher water at our Alders Pool. The broken flow comes off a croy (underwater) which is located half way down the pool. Salmon lie in here when the water is high like today especially fish that have come up through the heavy water of our 'Island' and 'Ash Tree' pools immediately downstream. Wading here is easy in low or high water the only difference being that your in tighter to the bank in high water and out as far as 30 ft when its really low. This is a great pool to fish all season and often produces a few early springers.

For more information on fishing the Newtyle beat Click here.

Jock Monteith

Newtyle Beat River Tay Cottar Pool

This is the near perfect water height for the middle of the Cottar pool. You can see in the video the beautiful fly stream visible in front of the camera. Most of the salmon featured earlier in December on this blog (River Tay Salmon) including the 42 inch cock fish were caught in this stream at a very similar water height.
This is the area of the Cottar pool where a 72 lbs salmon was eventually landed by one of the members of the Atholl family (Duke of Atholl) after being hooked 4 miles upstream and played for several hours and followed downstream by boat in the early 1800's (as featured in the superb new book written by Fred Buller 'The Doomsday Book Of Giant Salmon'). To order this book Click here.
In the Spring during high water this is one of the best taking spots on Newtyle.

For more information on the Newtyle beat Click here.

Jock Monteith

Friday 28 December 2007

Newtyle Beat River Tay The Dean's Burn

Here's a shot of The Dean's Burn pool (click to enlarge) on Newtyle taken early Spring 2007. The far bank is the better side to fish in average to high water and is an amazing bank to be on. The natural woodlands and wildlife are outstanding. This pool is fly fishable at medium to low water. A single Spey cast is all that's required when wading down the far bank which is where the bulk of fish travel up through and lie in this pool. It's another great example of a beautiful and productive fly pool on the Newtyle beat. This pool can be outstanding in the Spring as it offers Spring salmon a steady low pressure flow with good depth to hold up in while resting.
For more information on the Newtyle beat Click here.

Jock Monteith

Newtyle Beat River Tay The Ferry Pool

This photo (click to enlarge) is of Newtyle's Ferry pool. This pool accounts for many early salmon on Newtyle in both high & low water conditions. I remember in the spring of 2006 starting here at 9.30 am one morning and landing 5 fine springers within 2 hours. These moments occur on this pool however it does not get fished as often as it should as it our furthest away pool on the beat. This pool fly fishes well in low water where wading is possible at the neck & tail of the pool. In high water a spinner covers the taking areas better which are within 20 yds of the right bank. Many fish stack up in this pool in late spring and running fish love to stop at the tail of the pool after swimming up through 'St Mary's Stream' below.
For more information on the Newtyle beat Click here.

Jock Monteith

Newtyle Beat River Tay The Rock Pool

Here's a video of the 'Rock Pool' (first) and 'The Boil' (second) in big Winter water conditions. The water level on the Newtyle gauge today was approx 4 ft when this video was taken. You can just make out the huge back eddy created by the Boil stone out in the middle of the river. Today in the bigger water is where you would expect a fish or two to be holding in the Rock Pool which is the water shown in the video (on the same bank as the camera) at the start of this clip. Often salmon lie in here close to the bank when the water is high like it is today. In lower water conditions you would'nt think you were looking at the same pools. They both transform into gentle classic fly streams.
For more information on the fishing the Newtyle beat Click here.

Jock Monteith

Thursday 27 December 2007

Van Staal Salmon reel

This reel in in my honest opinion represents the last of the 'one purchase once for life' fly reels. I've used the Van Staal C-Vex for 2 years as a full time ghillie on the Tay and find the reel to be unmatched in design, performance & build quality.
For more information on this fly reel Click here.

Jock Monteith

Salmon Spey Rod

This Spey rod has been carefully developed over the last 4 years. I believe 100% that it cannot be beaten for its action, quality of fittings or build quality.
For more information on this rod Click here.

Jock Monteith

Salmon Speyline

This Speyline is a great line to cast with and will also deal with turning over polyleaders if added. For more information on this superb product Click here.

Jock Monteith

Multi Tip Speyline

This Speyline I've designed is an absolute dream to fish with. It's unique design enables it to be fished at 3 different head lengths with the choice of 4 different sink tip at all 3 head lengths. The lines versatility is totally unmatched and it performs far better than any multi tip design to date.
For more information on this superb Speyline product Click here.

Jock Monteith

Newtyle Beat River Tay Neck of Cottar

This is a video taken high up in the neck of the Cottar pool. The dark water close to the opposite bank at the start of the video is The Trap. This lovely glide that runs into the Cottar from the centre of the picture to the camera is a lovely low water fly stream. There is a salmon lie just in front of the camera where the water deepens from approx 3 ft to 7 ft. Although not visible when this video was taken there is an island that appears 1/3rd of the way across from the far bank. When the top stones or more are showing on the island then that's the time to fly fish this lovely stream.
For more information on fishing the Newtyle Beat Click here.

Jock Monteith

Wednesday 26 December 2007

Newtyle Beat River Tay The Cottar Pool

Here's a video of the neck and middle section of the Newtyle beat's Cottar pool. This pool is approx 350 yds in length and produces many salmon in many areas of the pool (depending on the water height). The 6 salmon I photographed earlier in December for this blog (River Tay Salmon) were all caught in the area directly across from the camera down (left bank) to 100yds below the green roofed boathouse. This area is superb if you have 3ft of water or more on the gauge. In low water the tail and neck fish well off the far bank (left bank) but the best of all in low water is from the right bank where a rocky bank appears (below the camera) with a classic salmon fly pool flow for some 200 yds. Only a short 25 yd cast is required here in low water as the salmon love to sit just on the outside edge of the main current which runs down the side this video was shot from. I'll take videos of this pool in various water heights throughout this coming 2008 season. Today there was 2 ft of water showing on the gauge.
For more information on fishing the Newtyle Beat Click here.

Jock Monteith

Tuesday 25 December 2007

Newtyle Beat River Tay The Dean's Burn

This video was taken in front of the croy at the tail of the 'Dean's Burn' pool. This pool comes into a class of its own from March onwards when it starts to hold salmon. My late friend's (Willie 'the Gillie' Laird) father who was also a gillie on Newtyle before Willie maintained that the 'Deansie' was the best pool on the whole of Newtyle (or the Birnam beat as it was then known).
The 'Dean's Burn' can be fished from this left bank in low or high water and the right bank has easy wading when the water is low. The deep water runs up the left bank where it hits shallow water 150 yds above the croy in the video. Salmon swim up through the deep water and stop when they reach the shallow water at the top of the pool. There are certain times in the 'Dean's Burn' pool where you just can't miss !!! The pool in low to medium water is best fished with a fast sinking tip of around 15ft (click here for info. on my own unique sinking tip line system) from the left bank to get the fly down into the deeper water. There is enough room to get in for a single Spey cast in low to medium water heights. The riverbank on the 'Dean's Burn' pool is totally natural and undisturbed and many deer are present and will often pay a visit while your fishing. It's a very tranquil riverbank to be on and many of our guests love fishing this pool.
For more information on fishing the Newtyle beat click here.

Jock Monteith

River Tay Newtyle Beat The Fiddlers

This is 'The Fiddlers' pool on the Newtyle beat (click to enlarge photograph). If you look at the far bank closely you'll just be able to see a grassy bank between the tree line. In the early 1900's this was a beautifully manicured grass lawn which the local fiddlers used to use for their practice sessions. It would have been superb to fish the pool then with some quality background music !!!
There's a croy at both the neck and tail of this pool. Salmon in low water seem to prefer these 2 areas which they are often hooked. The bottom croy is only yards above 'The Trap' which can sit stacked with salmon at certain times of the year. Many of these fish will nose up to the tail of 'The Fiddlers' as part of their daily exercise where they can be easily covered fishing off the bottom croy. In high water the taking strip is in the broken water between the top and bottom croys where salmon tend to snoop up through. When water is high only a very short controlled cast is necessary to cover this pool.
To book a days fishing on Newtyle Click here.

Jock Monteith

River Tay Newtyle Beat St Mary's Stream

Here's a video of 'St Mary's Stream' which is an absolutely beautiful 300 yd stretch of fly water up near the top end of the Newtyle beat. The wading on this pool is dream material and if you look closely at the video you'll notice some white water in off the opposite bank where a submerged croy is located. The best taking area is from this croy down to the tail of the pool. I can't think of a nicer pool anywhere to fly fish late spring through the summer months. In the lower summer water conditions an extra fast sink tip of 10-15 ft is perfect for putting your fly down through the current and near to the salmon to help induce a take. One of the last anglers to fish this lovely pool in 2007 straight away hook a salmon off the nose of the croy. It immediately ran him 300 yds downstream to the tail of the pool where he eventually landed a cracking 14 pound hen fish which he carefully returned.
In high water salmon can be hooked fairly close in on the left bank lying in the thinner water in out of the heavy current.
To book salmon fishing on the Newtyle beat contact me on 07968 145033 or click here.

Jock Monteith

Newtyle Beat River Tay The Steps

Here's a photograph of 'The Steps' pool (click to enlarge). This pool has a beautiful gravel and sand riverbed on this left bank which is easily waded. What you have here is a shallow wadable river bed of around 100 yards which has a 10 ft deep channel running down the centre of the river. Across this deep channel lie a number of huge boulders (resembling a series of steps) which create all sorts of different lies for salmon. In low to medium water the deep channel always holds fish and in high water salmon can be caught within yards from this bank. There is a right hand bend in the river above this pool at 'The Boil' so the inside edge of 'The Steps becomes a sheltered area when the river is big. This is a great pool for the fly in low to medium water.

For more information on fishing Newtyle Click here.

Jock Monteith

Monday 24 December 2007

Newtyle Beat River Tay The Hole In The Meadow

Here's a photograph of 'The Hole In The Meadow' pool (click photograph to enlarge) at the bottom of the right hand bank on Newtyle. In medium to high water the majority of running salmon navigate the right hand channel of the island below which steers them into this pool. This pool favours the spinner with a slow moving black & gold devon in the cold spring water being my favourite choice of lures. Opposite the stump that you can see in the bay is a hole of about 8 ft deep. Salmon love to sneak in here having come up through the faster island stream below. In big water many salmon are hooked within 20 ft of the bank so it pays to stand well back with only the tip of your spinning rod over the river.
For more information on booking a days fishing on Newtyle with me click here

Jock Monteith

Sunday 23 December 2007

Newtyle Beat River Tay Wee Birdie

It's not often something like this happens to you when your fishing. This sand martin (click photograph to enlarge) landed on my rod and despite several attempts to shake it off it wouldn't move. Eventually I dipped it's tail feathers in the river and it flew off to re-land 30 seconds later 2 feet up the rod above the cork handle !!!!!! I was sure that someone was in the bushes with a remote control !!!

Jock Monteith

Newtyle Beat River Tay Fishing Hut

This is the Newtyle beat fishing hut (click to enlarge photograph). This hut is over 100 years old and has seen thousands of salmon fishers through its doors. Ocassionally is gets a good wash out from the big winter floods like December 2006 when the water level was shoulder high inside the hut !!!!!!! As you can see the Newtyle hut has plenty character and hopefully will enjoy another 100 years of service to the Newtyle salmon fishers.

Jock Monteith

Newtyle Beat River Tay The Boil

Here's a photograph of 'The Boil' (click photo to enlarge it) which is another very good taking spot on the Newtyle beat. It has a huge stone the size of a small car slap bang in the middle of the river and its back eddy gives the pool its name. When your positioned 10 yds above to 10 yds below the rocky point in the photo this is the most productive area especially in low water. This pool is around 10 ft deep and also on a bend in the river with lovely shallow streamy water flowing into it.
Click here for more information on booking fishing on Newtyle

Jock Monteith

Newtyle Beat River Tay The Alders Pool

Here's a photograph of the'Tail of the Alders' pool (click to enlarge). Many salmon having swum up through the heavy Island stream below take a breather in this pool. Wading from the bank here is easy with light gravel underfoot. Even in the early part of the season the low Winter sun lights up this bank making it a lovely place to be. Another classic fly fishing pool on the Newtyle beat.
Click here for more information on the Newtyle beat

Jock Monteith

Newtyle Beat River Tay The Ash Tree Pool

Here's a good shot of the 'Ash Tree' pool (click to enlarge) at the bottom of the Newtyle beat. The Island pool in the background being the last pool on the beat. In front of the tree that looks like a tuning fork there's a deep hole (approx 8ft deep) where salmon love to lie on the edge of the heavy flow in low warm Summer water conditions. A dozen stealthy Spey casts are all it takes from the high bank to see if there's a taker at home !!!. For such a small pool it accounts for quite a few salmon each season.
Click here to book a days salmon fishing on the Newtyle beat.

Jock Monteith

Saturday 22 December 2007

Telford Bridge Dunkeld Perthshire in December 2007

Here's a short video of the Telford Bridge at Dunkeld and the River Tay on a bright December morning. This is probably one of the best known bridges in Scotland and certainly one of the most picturesque. The bridge was built by Thomas Telford and John 4th Duke of Atholl for the sum of £30,000 and was opened on the 7th of November 1808.
For great information on all other famous Scottish landmarks and Scottish tours Click here.

Jock Monteith

Friday 21 December 2007

Tay Western Catchments Project

In summer 2007 Scottish Native Woods launched the Tay Western Catchments Project, starting on the river Lochay at Killin. Televison radio and press articles have helped publicise this exciting project and further coverage will be ongoing throughout 2008.

This will be Scotland's largest and most comprehensive river survey and aims to stimulate the enhancement of over 1,000 miles of riverside and burnside habitat in the headwaters of the Tay river system.

Scottish Native Woods are working in partnership with, among others, the local angling community, local landowners and the Tay Gillies Association.

Scottish Native Woods have now secured just over £45,000, more than 60% of the total required for this 1000-mile project. With your help we hope to have the full £72,000 in place by April 2008 allowing us to complete on target.

Please support this project by making a donation now Donate to Scottish Native Woods via or by postal donation WCP donation form.doc

To discuss the project please contact Victor Clements on 01887 829220 or email or Jock Monteith on 07968 145033 or email

Click here for survey results released 21 December 2007 from Glen Lochay.

Jock Monteith

Newtyle Beat River Tay Cottar Pool

From the furthest upstream point in the video below to the furthest downstream point shows the area that was swum by my late friend Willie 'the ghillie' Laird (Newtyle Ghillie 1930 -1984) in freezing high water conditions one January in the early 60's following a heavy day & nights drinking with the Tay opening day fishing party. Willie told me that he wanted to show his labrador dogs (who loved to swim the river) just how the Tay is swum (alcohol induced) so he stipped naked in the snow and ice and dived in !!!
Next thing he told me was that he was instantly sober and fighting for his life going down through 'The Boil' like a powered boat in the big January water. He eventually hauled himself out a 1/4 mile below 'The Boil' in shock and already suffereing from hypothermia and realising he was not able to attempt a re-crossing !!!! So he covered himself with an old sack and ran a mile and 1/2 upstream to Dunkeld Bridge in the snow to get back on to the other side where his clothes (and his dogs) were waiting !!!!!!!

Here's a picture of the man himself. This label (in minature size) I use as a lucky charm on the Speycasting rods I've designed Click here. They also work very well but thats another story for another day !!!!

Here is the 'Tail of the Cottar' pool (in low water) in front of the fishing hut and downstream at the left hand bend in the river is 'The Boil' where Willie managed somehow to swim across the Tay.

These 2 pools produce many salmon on the fly each year and are a delight to fish in many different water heights.

Jock Monteith

Thursday 20 December 2007

Newtyle Beat Fishing Season Opening For 2008

A group of Newtyle beat non fishers from the opening day on the 15th of January 2007. Below is a photo of a reporter from STV (and myself) doing some media coverage for the lunchtime news.

Click here for the BBC's news clips in both audio & video of our stance on Newtyle last January.

The Newtyle Beat will again be sticking to it's stance of not opening on the traditional 15th of January Tay opening date. Newtyle (as last year) will be opening on the 1st of February to allow spawning fish to go about their important business undisturbed and also to give the many kelts a few weeks extra to avoid being weakened even further by being caught by the anglers.

30 years ago we had harder winters and spawning overall started earlier each year and the abundance of kelts still in the Tay were equalled by a huge runs of early spring salmon. These days very few early spring salmon are present in the Tay in January so any angling pressure impacts only on late spawning fish and kelts.

As a full time ghillie I would love to see the entire river adopting a much later opening but sadly tradition & timeshare (at the moment) seems to be more important than the salmon. In my opinion a 15 February opening day with the river open until the 15th of November would be far more appropriate these days (with a good catch & release policy) as clearly the climate has altered in the last 20 years or so.

Click here
to book up a February fishing day on the Newtyle beat

Jock Monteith

Wednesday 19 December 2007

Newtyle Beat River Tay The Trap

This pool on the Newtyle beat is called 'The Trap' it is practically in the middle of the beat and is appropriately named as fish enter the classis V shaped tail of the pool from both streams below. This pool has deep water of about 15ft on the inside and shallower streamy water of approx 5/6 ft on the outside where salmon love to lie knowing they have the security of the deeper water should they need it. Often when salmon are hooked in 'The Trap' they bolt down the fast water below which always adds that bit extra excitement to the fight.
This pool is one of the best taking spots on Newtyle.
To book a day on the beat Click here for more information.
Jock Monteith

Tay Fishing Boats on the Newtyle Beat

In case you wonder what a ghillie does in the close season well here's one of his tasks. Repairing and repainting the boats usually takes a few weeks of work. They look lovely just now and it will be a shame to step into them with anything but carpet slippers but sadly they'll get well scuffed up before the Spring fishing is through.
These boats are nearly 20 years old and built with larch. They are very heavy which is essential for stability on a river like the Tay which has many moods.
To book one for the day click here for more details.
Jock Monteith

Tuesday 18 December 2007

The Spey Ghillie

Jock Royan is a great friend of mine and is one of the most professional and dedicated ghillies in Scotland. If anyone is looking for a true Spey experience then Jock's the man to contact.
Click here for more details.

Jock Monteith

Speycasting Courses on the Tay in March 2008

We are very fortunate to have some of the finest AAPGAI casting instructors holding casting courses on the Newtyle beat in March 2008

Gary Scott AAPGAI has a 2 day course running on the 28th & 29th of March (a few spaces are available). Click here for link to Gary's course website page.

Gary Scott with a lovely fish

Glyn Freeman AAPGAI, Illtyd Griffiths AAPGAI & Gary Champion AAPGAI have a 3 day course running on the 17th 18th & 19th of March (a few spaces are available) Click here for link to Glyn's course website page.

These guys are all superb teachers and an absolute hoot to be with and are all very well quoted in the salmon fishing world. Here's Glyn below with a fine salmon. Middle to late March is always a great time on Newtyle for a 'real' fish and is my personal favourite time for fishing of the entire season.


Jock Monteith

Glyn Freeman with a superb specimen

Monday 17 December 2007

Salmon Spawning on Newtyle December 07

Even our fishing hut looks cold today !!!!!!!!

You'll need to click this shot to enlarge it. The fish is in the distance.

Many salmon are now spawning on the beat as you can see on these photos taken today. The very cold temperature of last night and today seem to have got them finally going about their business.
Of the 5 salmon I caught last Tuesday for the Tay District Salmon Fishery Boards hatchery program 3 of the fish were absolute bars of silver and likely not to spawn for many weeks yet.
Jock Monteith
To check out the Newtyle beat page on Fishtay Click Here

Saturday 15 December 2007

River Tay Salmon

The big fish above was one of several salmon caught on Newtyle during Mid December for broodstock purposes for the TDSFB's hatchery program. The fish measured 42 inches long and is estimated to be approx 26lbs. It fought hard for 55 minutes and was caught on the Jock's Shrimp Fly in the Cottar Pool. I eventually landed it 350 yds downstream of where it was hooked. The five in the other photo were caught the day before for the hatchery program (1 of which is an early 2008 springer !!!).

Jock Monteith

To see the tackle used to catch these salmon Click Here