Friday 21 December 2007

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

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