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The Birnam Glen Blog

An occasional blog about a small part of Highland Perthshire...

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Peter Guthrie

Peter Guthrie

Living as I do at the foot of Birnam Glen, and loving nothing better than a walk with the dog on quiet tracks and trails in beautiful surroundings, it's hard to tell you just how lucky I feel to live in this part of the world.


Over the years that I've lived here I've seen all manner of Scottish wildlife in and around Birnam Glen, discovered ancient lost paths, the hidden picnic spots of the Victorians, found a forgotten waterfall, sledged down the entire length of the hill with the kids, marvelled at those taken part in the annual running event, tracked down bronze age rock carvings and iron age hillforts... and on it goes.


So this is my homage to a tiny corner of Scotland that has so much to give if you're just prepared to look - please come back from time to time to check on my latest piece of of rose tinted, besotted scribblings, which I hope you will enjoy!

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As the weather has settled down to more like what we come to expect in the hills for this time of year, rather than the roasting we all endured earlier in the season,I am pleased to report that both lochs are fishing well.
Black wet flies,dries and daddies doing well on Bhac.
On Kinardochy traditional black wets and dries seem to be most popular.
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The recent return to cooler (more normal) weather has resulted in improved fishing at Loch Bhac. Fish are free-rising and well dispersed around the loch and with a September stocking planned, prospects look good from now until the end of the season.

Today, fishing from the bank, club member Colin Milne caught a fine rainbow of 4lb 2oz in a bag of three for 7lb 12oz + two others returned. The successful fly was a cruncher fished on a washing line setup. With fish well up in the water, floating and midge tip lines are proving most popular. Trout are being caught on dries (when conditions permit), traditionals such as Kate McLaren and Butchers as well as the usual range of nymphs, buzzers and boobies.

Colin's four pounder

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Not many anglers out at the moment and it has been quiet since last week’s rise in water levels. Andrew Khakoo was successful this morning, though, with a sea trout of 1lb caught in Sawmill. Still worth a cast.

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The rise in river level really seems to have livened things up at the Dam: Jim Fisher caught two fish on Pitlochry bank this evening at 9 and 10lbs, both on the fly. It'll be interesting to see what the rest of the week brings - with water prospects look excellent.
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Not many anglers out at the moment but with a rise in water levels yesterday conditions looked more promising. Martin Wilson took advantage and was rewarded with a fish of 7lbs caught on the fly from Port-na-Craig bank last night - it can be done! Could be more this week.
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After the prolonged dry spell the recent lift in water levels seems to be having a positive effect: Paul Carter followed up on his recent success at Ruan Ruarie with a fish of 8lbs caught on the fly this evening – this time from our Sawmill beat. It’s still worth a cast!

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Since the unusually long heatwave and drought conditions we all endured in June and July,I am glad to report that both hill lochs are fishing well.
Bhac rainbows being tempted by buzzers,nymphs and dries once again.
On Kinardochy black pennel,clan chief,bibio and dark sedges are doing well with the brown trout.
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The recent rain seems to have livened things up at Ruan Ruarie and Paul Carter was in the right place to take advantage, landing a fish of 6lbs on the fly early this morning. With good numbers of fish now in the beat Ruan Ruarie offers the chance of some great sport at this time of year. Further downstream on the Tummel, Andrew Khakoo landed a fish of 8lbs on the fly on our Sawmill beat this morning. Great to see some fish getting caught - could be more this week.

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Following on from the very good catches reported since the beginning of May some excellent catches have continued into June.
Bhac anglers have had success with nymphs,buzzers and dries.Whilst brownies in Kinardochy have been partial to soldier palmer,bibio and kate mclaren.
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Over 1200 fish have passed through the ladder at Pitlochry Dam and most of these fish are now heading towards our Ruan Ruarie beat on the River Garry. Conditions were close to ideal on the beat this morning, with the river having fallen back nicely after a rise over the weekend, and Dave Wilson was in the right place to land out first of the season with a fish of 7lbs taken on the spinner. The rocky nature of the beat makes it a great choice for the adventurous angler – and well worth a cast now that the fish have arrived in numbers.

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Conditions looked favourable this morning: overcast, light winds and fish showing throughout the beat – definitely room for optimism. David Russell was able to take advantage, landing a fresh fish of 8lbs on the fly on Pitlochry bank this morning. Not many rods out at the moment but it’s still worth a cast – should be a few more next week.

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Jim Fisher ventured out last night for a late cast and was rewarded with a nice sea trout of 3lbs - caught on the fly from Pitlochry bank. Still good numbers of salmon about at the moment with roughly twenty fish a day ascending the fish ladder at the Dam.

Jim Fisher landed a nice sea trout on Pitlochry bank last night

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Fisheries Management Scotland (FMS) has emailed DSFBs and Fisheries Trusts to let them know about a recent capture of a pink salmon on the south coast of Norway by an angler, and that a pink salmon may have been caught in commercial nets in NE England (also reported on Tweed News http://www.rivertweed.org.uk/news/?p=6234). FMS asks that anglers and other stakeholders as well as DSFBs and Trusts remain vigilant to the possibility of these fish turning up again in Scotland this year. 
 
FMS notes that whilst it was initially felt that the odd-year class of fish (like 2017) were likely to be most prevalent, that stocks from even-year classes (like 2018) may also occur.


FMS has offered to assist with the collection of any information on incidences of these fish, and it can be contacted (asap please) if you do record any sightings or captures http://www.fms.scot alan@fms.scot. People are asked to record the following information, and, where possible, retain whole fish, and scale and tissue samples.
 
Date caught  
Location with approximate grid reference  - (you can use https://gridreferencefinder.com/)  
Method of capture (or details of mortality)
Sex of fish
Size of fish length (cm) weight (kg)
Scale sample retained (y/n)
Frozen sample retained (y/n)
Any other relevant information

Note: Pink salmon were reported last year in Scottish waters from early July and it is possible that they might turn up even earlier in the year. One of the many reported in Scottish waters last year was from Portnacraig Pitlochry Beat, where it was found dead. It was a ripe female with only a few eggs left in place and may have spawned. There were news items about it on our News page - see

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We've had a quiet - and frustrating - period on the river recently with a number of fish hooked but none landed. Today, however, Pat Phelan persevered and was rewarded with a fresh fish of 9lbs late in the afternoon on the spinner from Port-na-Craig bank. Good numbers of fish are showing in the beat at the moment and hopefully there will be a few more this week.

Pat Phelan persevered today and was rewarded with a fresh fish of 9lbs on Port-na-Craig bank this afternoon

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This morning a workparty of Club members organised by Club President Jimmy Ross carried out some bankside vegetation trimming on Portnacraig Pitlochry Beat as part of our ongoing programme of maintenance of Club waters.


Part of the workparty in action

More of the workparty in action 



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With bright, sunny and warm conditions it was a quiet morning at the Dam but with good cloud cover in the afternoon the fishing picked up nicely: Roy Longair landed a fish of 15lb on the fly and Howard Rankin followed on with a fish of 14lbs on the spinner – both were caught on Pitlochry bank. Plenty of fish about and looking good for the rest of the week.

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The list of loch fishing permits available from our website continues to grow. Now visitors can book fishing on Loch Bhac, Loch Kinardochy, Loch Tummel, Loch Rannoch and now, recently added also Loch Eigheach. Eigheach is a pretty loch that sits to the south of the road between Bridge of Gaur and Rannoch Station (B846). It holds a good population of trout averaging about three to the pound but has the attraction of occasionally producing much larger trout weighing 2 to 3 lbs. A great place for both beginners and experienced anglers to test their skills. Both bank fishing and boat fishing permits are available. Electric outboards are allowed and fishing is fly only using conventional fly tackle. Boat keys are held by Gordon Brown, phone 07483997017. 
Loch Eigheach (early springtime)
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It was another warm and sunny day at the Dam – not ideal for fishing – but with fish about there’s always a chance. Marc Wrigglesworth persevered and was rewarded with a fresh fish of 10lbs – caught on the fly from Port-na-Craig bank this morning – it can be done. Not a bad end to the week.

Success! - Marc Wrigglesworth lands a 10lber on Port-na-Craig bank this morning


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With low water and bright sunshine conditions were less than ideal today. With good numbers of fish about, though, you’ve always got a chance and Andy Gillespie was in the right place to land a fresh fish of 15lbs. With the current weather set to continue perseverance could be the key over the next couple of days.

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There will be no access to the Pitlochry fish pass observation chamber and the usual counter display from 28 May to 29 September because of work being carried out at the power station. There will be a real time count display and real time images at the Pitlochry Dam Visitor Centre on the opposite bank and it is understood that the count display will be able to be seen from the outside of the building at all times. The footway over the dam will still be accessible by a path on the away from the power station side of the fish ladder and Some additional details are on


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  • Hill Lochs Continue To Fish Well

    As the weather has settled down to more like what we come to expect in the hills for this time of year, rather than the roasting we all endured earlier in the season,I am pleased to report that both l ...

  • Loch Bhac - September update

    The recent return to cooler (more normal) weather has resulted in improved fishing at Loch Bhac. Fish are free-rising and well dispersed around the loch and with a September stocking planned, prospect ...

  • Sawmill Sea Trout

    Not many anglers out at the moment and it has been quiet since last week’s rise in water levels. Andrew Khakoo was successful this morning, though, with a sea trout of 1lb caught in Sawmill. Still wor ...

  • Dam Fishing Well

    The rise in river level really seems to have livened things up at the Dam: Jim Fisher caught two fish on Pitlochry bank this evening at 9 and 10lbs, both on the fly. It'll be interesting to see what t ...

  • Dam Salmon

    Not many anglers out at the moment but with a rise in water levels yesterday conditions looked more promising. Martin Wilson took advantage and was rewarded with a fish of 7lbs caught on the fly from ...

  • Sawmill Success

    After the prolonged dry spell the recent lift in water levels seems to be having a positive effect: Paul Carter followed up on his recent success at Ruan Ruarie with a fish of 8lbs caught on the fly t ...

  • July Hill Lochs Report

    Since the unusually long heatwave and drought conditions we all endured in June and July,I am glad to report that both hill lochs are fishing well.Bhac rainbows being tempted by buzzers,nymphs and dri ...

  • Fish About!

    The recent rain seems to have livened things up at Ruan Ruarie and Paul Carter was in the right place to take advantage, landing a fish of 6lbs on the fly early this morning. With good numbers of fish ...

  • JUNE REPORT FROM HILL LOCHS

    Following on from the very good catches reported since the beginning of May some excellent catches have continued into June.Bhac anglers have had success with nymphs,buzzers and dries.Whilst brownies ...

  • First Of The Season From Ruan Ruarie

    Over 1200 fish have passed through the ladder at Pitlochry Dam and most of these fish are now heading towards our Ruan Ruarie beat on the River Garry. Conditions were close to ideal on the beat this m ...

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