TOP BEAT

Dingwall & District Angling Club - Top Beat Pools

 

** Please note the DDAC fishing’s are tidal, and the descriptions given below are for when the clubs pools are not flooded by high tides. Anglers should make themselves aware of tide times and heights. The river Conon has hydro generation, and the river heights can fluctuate. Anglers should familiarize themselves with the club rules and maps prior to fishing. **

Railway Pool

The railway bridge marks the top on the DDAC fishing’s. The railway bridge pool is accessed from the south bank (Conon Bridge side). It fishes best in low to medium height water. Care should be taken when wading this pool as there are deep holes close to the bank at the head, and slabs of rock at the tail where it shallows.  Fish can be caught from the head of the pool in the deep run in front of the second and third bridge arches. Continue down the glide towards the shallow tail above the pipe bridge, running fish can be caught here.Vehicles can be parked at the road leading to the old Conon Bridge fish factory site, accessed from the Conon Bridge side of the road bridge, or on the grassy area adjacent the road next to the flood embankment. This road should not be obstructed as access is required for farm vehicles and anglers accessing the lower pools. There is also some parking in front of the gate leading to the ladies walk riverside path opposite the Drouthy Duck pub.

Bridge Pool (Upper)

The upper bridge pool is from the pipe bridge to the road bridge and is fished from the south bank. It is a shallow run with easy wading on gravel. But beware not to over wade, fish can lie in very shallow water. This pool again fishes best in low to medium height water. Start by casting behind the pipe bridge pillar and continue down towards the road bridge. Fish are caught all along this run, as they lie behind rock slabs, with the deepening run just in front of the road bridge far pillar and under the road bridge being the best holding spots. If the river height is above 1ft on the gauge, do not attempt to wade under the bridge. Parking is as per the Railway pool above.

Bridge Pool (Lower)

The lower bridge pool extends from the road bridge to the steps at the SEPA gauge hut. The pool is primarily fished from the south bank. The pool is best described as a run at the head in to a deepening wide glide. The pool has good wading and fishes in all heights, however wading is limited and best avoided in high water. Fish can be caught from the top to the bottom of this pool. The run down from behind the far bridge pillar being a productive taking area. However make sure to fish the whole pool, as fish are caught all the way down to opposite the steps at the SEPA hut.

The lower bridge pool also has some limited fishing from the North bank. Access is from the stile on the North side of the bridge, care should be taken coming down the bridge embankment. The fishing here is along the front of the old stone parapet. Wading is over stone slabs and care should be taken. Do not over wade as river deepens quickly and fish lie in the run from the near bridge pillar, and short cast is all that is required. Please note the North (Maryburgh) side of the pool can only be fished after 9:00am. Parking for both banks is as per the Railway pool above.

Car Park

The car park pool is the wide glide below the bridge pool and is fished from the South bank. The pool can be fished in low to high water. And has good wading over a gravel bottom; however in high water fishing should only be from the bank. Fish can be caught all other this pool and this is a favourite pool for sea-trout, particularly at dusk later in the season. Start fishing on or tight to the bank at the head of the pool, where the water is deeper and fish down to the tail where the pool shallows and runs out.  In high water fish can lie tight to the bank. For parking turn into the road that leads to the former Conon Bridge fish factory adjacent the Conon side of the road bridge. Then follow the track below the flood embankment for about 200 yards, where the track divides, and go up the track on the bank to the left. The track over this embankment leads to a level gravel/grassy area where cars can be parked. Caution should be taken on the track as it is pot holed, and please also beware that this car park will be flooded during some of the higher high tides.

 

Shingle

The shingle is part of the North bank of the lower bridge pool and is accessed from the stile on the North side of the bridge; care should be taken coming down the bridge embankment. Follow the rough path through the trees to the grassy embankment along the river. The pool is entered adjacent the seat at the bottom of this embankment. Anglers must strictly stick to the path when accessing and leaving this pool. The pool fishes in low to medium height water. There is good wading along the front to the trees, but care should be taken in higher water particularly at the tail of the pool where the water flows over the lip into the pool below. Fish can be caught all over this pool, but make sure to fish right round onto the dangle. This is another favourite spot for sea-trout. Anglers should familiarize themselves with the access and the pool before considering fishing at night.

Parking is as per the Railway pool above.

The Bush

The bush is a run of fast broken water that fishes from the South bank and is accessed by crossing the narrow run out from the tail of the Car Park pool. From the car park at the head of the Garry Isle follow the path through the woods for a short distance where the crossing point can be accessed. This bush can be fished in very low to medium height water which is under 1ft on the gauge. But fishes best when the river is below 6 inches on the gauge. This pool should not be fished in high water as access is difficult and the water can be extremely heavy. Start at the head of the pool, known locally as the Disco, cast a short accurate line under the bushes and trees along the opposite bank. As you fish down this run it widens, and then runs out over an old concrete pipe haunching into the pool below. Beware there is a sudden change in depth at the pipe haunching. Deep wading is not necessary, and is not advised in the fast water. This is a good pool for catching running fish, and can be productive on the ebb and flood of the tide when the run’s flow and depth starts to change. However beware of the tides.Parking is as per the Car Park pool above.

Morrison Pool

The Morrison Pool is long pool, with good fly water. The upper part of the Morrison pool is accessed as per the Bush pool above and is fished from the South bank. It extends from the concrete pipe haunching at the tail of the bush pool down to the A835 road bridge.  The head of the Morrison pool is a very fast run of broken water and should only be fished from the bank. It fishes in low to medium height water (Below 1ft). Make sure to cast your flies beyond the broken water into the flat water beyond, as fish lie along this crease in the water. This is also a good pool for catching running fish, and can be productive on the ebb and flood of the tide when the run’s flow and depth starts to change. However beware of the tides. The middle and lower Morrison pool is accessed from the car park at the head of the Garry Isle by following the path through the woods for about quarter of a mile. Where a path strikes of the main path, to access the pool. The middle and lower Morrison pool fishes in all but the highest water levels. The fast broken water of the upper part of the pool runs in to a wide long pool with good flow that provides excellent fly water. There is good wading here on a gravel bottom. The tail of the pool is referred to as The Bend and here the flow slows and the river deepens at a bend in the river. Fish can be caught all the way along this part of the pool, with the bend being particularly productive, especially for sea-trout.There is very limited fishing below the bend, but there is a short section of river called The Point, which is at the end of the Garry Isle above the A835 road bridge, which can be fished for trout. There is also a crossing point here to the lower part of the river, but this is only in very low water.Parking for the Morrison Pool is as per the Car Park pool above.

 

New Pool

The New pool extends from the A835 road bridge down to where the power lines cross the river below. The pool can be fished from either the North or South banks, with the predominate access being from the timber steps on the North side of the A835 road bridge. The South bank can be accessed from the South end of A835 Road Bridge, but care should be taken going down the bridge embankment to access the river. This a wide pool that is fished off the bank on the South side of the river, with some limited wading towards the tail of the pool above the power lines where the eel burn enters the river. This can be a productive spot, but beware of the power lines over.

The North bank of the New Pool is shallower and has a gravel bottom that can be waded; there are some large stones in the pool midstream that are known lies for fish, but fish can be caught all along the pool.Vehicles can be parked at the layby at the bottom of the Leanaig hill, located on the southbound side of the A835 carriageway, about 200 yards south of the river. Then walk North along the cycle pathway to the river. Beware of fast moving vehicles particularly if crossing the road.

 

Anchor Pool

The Anchor pool is a long pool that extends from the power lines down to a split in the river at the back gut on the South bank, and down to where the Maryburgh burn enters the river on the North bank. The pool is accessed via the New pool above.

To reach the fishing on the south bank cross the eel burn where the power lines cross the main river, and follow a path downstream through the woods for about quarter of a mile. Here you exit the woods. The pool here starts deep but soon shallows towards where the river splits. Fish along this bank, and in low water continue to fish across where the river splits, wading towards the line of stones that extend in to the river from the end island. This can be a very productive stretch for sea-trout. Anglers should familiarize themselves with the access and the pool before considering fishing this pool at night, and be fully aware of the tides. This marks the end of the DDAC top beat fishing on the South Bank. The North bank of the pool can be fished from the power lines down to where the old netting station anchor is situated. And given the right water levels this part of the pool can be waded. Below here the pool deepens and should only be fished from the bank. The later part of the pool on the North bank below where the river splits is a streamy run that can be fished in low water. Fish can be caught all along the Anchor pool, but the section at the old netting station anchor can be particularly productive for sea-trout. At the bottom of the streamy section, the river turns right and the Maryburgh burn enters the river. This marks the bottom of the clubs top beat on the North bank. Parking for the Anchor Pool is as per the New Pool above.

 

S. Ramsay - Feb 2018.