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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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The river rose by 6 inches overnight and this brought lots of fish into out Dam beat this morning - conditions looked excellent. These fish were moving fast, though, - over 200 have ascended the ladder in the last 24 hours – but with three fish caught it was still an excellent day: Nicol Paton was first to take advantage with a fish of 10lbs on the fly from Port-na-Craig bank this morning; not long after Dave Stewart had a fish of 6 lbs on the fly from Pitlochry bank; and in the afternoon Graham Fyfe continued his good run with a fish of 6lbs on the fly from Pitlochry bank. The river has now dropped back a little but with plenty of fish about prospects remain good.

Dave Stewart lands a 6lber on Pitlochry bank this morning



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When Tony Brown lost a good fish early this morning on Port-na-Craig bank it looked as if it could be one of those days. More was to come, though, and with three fish caught it turned out to be an excellent day at the Dam: Graham Fyfe was first on the scoreboard with a fish of 8lbs on the fly from Pitlochry bank; Tony Brown put the morning's disappointment behind him with a fish of 8lbs on the fly - again from Pitlochry bank in the afternoon; and in the evening Saul Mackay continued his good run with a fish of 7lbs on Pitlochry bank. Plenty of fish about - and they can be caught - despite the low water. Room for optimism.

Tony Brown lands an 8lber on Pitlochry bank this afternoon

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Two fish were caught at the Dam today – not too bad given the conditions. Saul Mackay was the angler on form - continuing his good run with fish at 18 and 8lbs both caught on the fly from Pitlochry bank this morning – it can be done. Fresh fish can be seen throughout the beat and prospects remain good.
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More frustration for the day rods on the river yesterday (Tuesday) - lots of fish about but none willing to take - a now familiar pattern. Late in the evening, though, Jim Fisher ventured out to try a new rod / line combo. Starting on the top pool on Pitlochry bank he fished about half way down when Saul Mackay appeared. Jim invited Saul to try out the new rod ..... and six casts later Saul is into a 14lber! Unlucky Jim ... well done Saul. Maybe a bit of luck is the key at the moment. Should be more this week.

Saul  Mckay with 14lber on Pitlochry bank
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Heavy rain was forecast for today but it didn’t come to much – the river remains low and clear. It was a pleasant fishing day, though, and with one fish caught it wasn’t a bad start to the week: Jim Fisher was the successful angler with a fish of 10lbs on the fly from Pitlochry bank this morning. Plenty of fish about so every reason to be optimistic for the rest of the week.

Jim Fisher returns a nice fish of 10lbs on Pitlochry bank this morning

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It's been a frustrating week on the Dam - no lack of fish but they haven't been in the mood - despite the best efforts of the rods. This evening, though, the deadlock was broken: Martin Wilson landed a fish of 9lbs and not long after Saul Mackay had a fish of 8lbs - both were caught on the fly from Pitlochry bank on the fly. Some encouragement for the weekend - hopefully more to come.
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Lots of fish moving at the Dam - especially first thing - but with wall to wall sunshine it was hard going and the day rods had no luck. In the evening, though, Martin Wilson landed a superb fish of 21lbs on the fly on Pitlochry bank - it can be done - while down at Sawmill Gordon Nichol landed a nice fish of 10lbs on the fly. They're not giving themselves up easily at the moment but the quality of the fish is superb. Prospects looking good for next week.




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It was a frustrating day at the Dam - no shortage of fish but none willing to take - the bright sunshine didn't make things easy. Sawmill continues to fish well, though, - Gordon Nichol landed a nice fish of about 12lbs on the fly this evening. The counter at the fish ladder was sitting at 601 this evening - a few fish on the move. Should be more to come this week.

Gordon Nichol lands a 12lber in Sawmill today





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Bright sunshine today but with plenty of fish on the move and two caught it was another good day at the Dam: Roy Longair caught a sea-liced fish of 11lbs on the fly from Pitlochry bank this morning; and in the afternoon Alun Williams landed a 12lber on Pitlochry bank - again on the fly. Perseverance is the key at the moment.

Roy Longair lands a sea-liced fish of 11lbs on Pitlochry bank this morning

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Settled weather made for more pleasant fishing conditions and with two quality fish caught it was an excellent day at the Dam: Peter Fitzpatrick got things going with a fish of 12lbs on the spinner early this morning on Port-na-Craig bank; and Alistair Hamilton followed up with a fish of 13lbs on the fly Pitlochry bank in the afternoon. There’s lots of fish in the beat at the moment and despite the low water they are there to be caught. Should be more this week.

Peter Fitzpatrick lands a 12lber on Port-na-Craig bank this morning


Alistair Hamilton enjoys success on Pitlochry bank this afternoon
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Work will be taking place from 2 May to approximately 16 May to replace a broken outfall pipe at Ballinluig Wastewater Treatment Works on the east blank of the River Tummel just above the bridge at Ballinluig. 
Although the contractors are making every effort to keep the work area safe, anglers also need to take care, particularly if in the vicinity at night, and comply with any guidance or restrictions.
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Last week the wind blew downstream and yesterday (Monday) it blew upstream – other than that not much changed at the Dam – fish showing but none willing to take – despite the best efforts of the rods. The Sawmill can still produce a fish, though - Ally Gowans landed a nice fish of 10lbs on the fly this morning - and up at Ruan Ruarie Dave Wilson managed to intercept an early runner catching a fish of 7lb on the spinner. Room for optimism.

Ally Gowans lands a 10lber on Sawmill yesterday

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The river cleared nicely overnight and with good numbers of fish showing early on it was looking promising this morning. The fish weren’t really in the mood, though, and as it turned out the only catch of the day was on our Sawmill beat where Gordon Nichol landed a fresh fish of 13lbs on the fly. Not a bad week given the challenging conditions – and hopefully things will pick up next week.

Ready to go - Gordon Nichol returns a 13lber on Sawmill this morning


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With the river up about 10 inches and lots of fishing showing at our Dam beat conditions looked promising today. James Robertson was able to capitalise with a fish of  21.5lbs this afternoon on the fly from Pitlochry bank. The river is now dropping back to a good height for tomorrow – prospects looking good.

James Robertson with 21.5lb fish caught on Pitlochry bank this afternoon

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One landed and another lost at the net – not too bad given the conditions: Ally Gowans was the successful angler with a nice fish of 15lbs on the fly from Pitlochry bank this morning. With the current weather set to continue it looks like more of the same for the weekend – should be a few more fish to come this week.

Ally Gowans returns a 15lber on Pitlochry bank this morning

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Another difficult day on the river – cold, very high winds and snow! The fish didn’t seem to mind, though, with Gordon Nichol landing one of 10lbs on the fly from Pitlochry bank this afternoon. The forecast improves significantly from tomorrow – hopefully more pleasant fishing conditions and a few more fish this week.
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Cold, windy and occasional sleet showers – not ideal fishing conditions but with two fish caught it was a excellent start to the week: Bruce Campbell was first into action with a fish of 10lbs on the spinner on Port-na-Craig bank this morning; and Richard Hamilton followed up in the afternoon with a fish of 9lbs on the spinner from Pitlochry bank. Let’s hope the weather improves and the good fishing continues.

Bruce Campbell with 10lb fish on Port-na-Craig bank this morning

Richard Hamilton enjoys the moment - a 9lber from Pitlochry bank this afternoon




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Another low water day at the Dam but with plenty of fish about there's still good sport to be had: Neill Sproull persevered and was rewarded with a 9lber on the fly from Pitlochry bank this afternoon. The forecast looks to be more of the same for the foreseeable future – prospects remain good.

Neill Sproull enjoys success on Pitlochry bank this afternoon

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Low water is making for testing conditions at the moment but John Simpson was equal to the task landing a fish of 8lbs on the fly on Pitlochry bank this morning and Danny Docherty followed up with a fish of 9lbs on the fly from Pitlochry bank in the afternoon – it can be done. Perseverance seems to be the key at the moment but with good numbers of fish in the beat there’s always a chance – room for optimism.

Success - Danny Docherty on Pitlochry bank this afternoon

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The river dropped back over the weekend but there were lots of fresh fish about and with three caught it was an excellent start to the week: Ally Gowans landed two in quick succession at around 7lbs on Port-na-Craig bank this morning on the fly; and not long after Neil Tong had a fish of 16lbs on Pitlochry bank – again on the fly. With good numbers of fresh fish coming into the beat at the moment prospects look good for the rest of the week.


Almost there - Ally Gowans brings in the first of two fish on Port-na-Craig bank today

Neil Tong with 16lber on Pitlochry bank this morning








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  • Lots Of Fish About

    The river rose by 6 inches overnight and this brought lots of fish into out Dam beat this morning - conditions looked excellent. These fish were moving fast, though, - over 200 have ascended the ladde ...

  • Dam Fishing Well

    When Tony Brown lost a good fish early this morning on Port-na-Craig bank it looked as if it could be one of those days. More was to come, though, and with three fish caught it turned out to be an exc ...

  • Fishing Well

    Two fish were caught at the Dam today – not too bad given the conditions. Saul Mackay was the angler on form - continuing his good run with fish at 18 and 8lbs both caught on the fly from Pitlochry ba ...

  • Mixed Fortunes!

    More frustration for the day rods on the river yesterday (Tuesday) - lots of fish about but none willing to take - a now familiar pattern. Late in the evening, though, Jim Fisher ventured out to try a ...

  • Good Start To The Week

    Heavy rain was forecast for today but it didn’t come to much – the river remains low and clear. It was a pleasant fishing day, though, and with one fish caught it wasn’t a bad start to the week: Jim F ...

  • Good Catches

    It's been a frustrating week on the Dam - no lack of fish but they haven't been in the mood - despite the best efforts of the rods. This evening, though, the deadlock was broken: Martin Wilson landed ...

  • Dam And Sawmill Produce

    Lots of fish moving at the Dam - especially first thing - but with wall to wall sunshine it was hard going and the day rods had no luck. In the evening, though, Martin Wilson landed a superb fish of 2 ...

  • Sawmill Return

    It was a frustrating day at the Dam - no shortage of fish but none willing to take - the bright sunshine didn't make things easy. Sawmill continues to fish well, though, - Gordon Nichol landed a nice ...

  • Steady Catches

    Bright sunshine today but with plenty of fish on the move and two caught it was another good day at the Dam: Roy Longair caught a sea-liced fish of 11lbs on the fly from Pitlochry bank this morning; a ...

  • Dam Picks Up

    Settled weather made for more pleasant fishing conditions and with two quality fish caught it was an excellent day at the Dam: Peter Fitzpatrick got things going with a fish of 12lbs on the spinner ea ...

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