Pheasantry - Castle Beat

Pheasantry - Castle Beat

Ghillie's Wise Words

Pheasantry has long been a favourite pool of mine, but to be honest it is only very recently that I have cottoned onto how to fish this streamy little pool. People who read the bulletin regularly will see that we have caught two spring salmon in this pool, Which we are guilty of not having taken seriously as a place to catch a fish. All that has now changed!

Originally, before the upstream 'V' (RPJ) was built, Pheasantry was just a gravelly scoop running under the north bank, along a line of rushes. But now it is a much more complete pool with a very nice streamy head, and a swirly centre section running over about 4' to 5' of cobble and boulders, then leading into a fan-shaped gravel tail before the steep gradient down to Nine Maidens.

Pheasantry is a resting place for salmon negotiating the steep incline up from Nine Maidens. They need to pause after making the effort, and the configuration of the current and the uneven river bed in Pheasantry provide an ideal stopping place. In very low water this pool will hold grilse and sea trout in the streamy water immediately downstream of the RPJ, but in higher water fish can be caught all the way down the pool and well into its tail. The favourite resting place for salmon is on the south side of the stream into the pool, so it is worthwhile spending a few minutes standing well out in the river above the RPJ (effectively in the tail of Kirkinn Pool) to cover the head of Pheasantry, both sides of the main stream into the pool, before moving downstream on the N bank to cover the rest of the pool.

Pheasantry Pool benefits enormously from the construction of David's Treehouse, in terms of the amount of time fishermen spend observing (and fishing!) this pool. The Treehouse is the fishing hut for Castle Beat, approached via Haughs of Finavon Farm, past the aqueduct and through the wood to the car park. From the veranda of the Treehouse you can observe the whole of Pheasantry, and where the fish are lying. In April 2011 we had a nice 10lbs salmon from this pool: it came from the lie I described in the paragraph above on the S side of the stream into the pool.

While I would not claim that Pheasantry will reward hours of fishing effort, what I can say is that this pool is a delight to fish, and simply should not be ignored. Try sitting on the veranda of DTH, communing with the natural environment and observing the pool. That is time well spent by anyone's reckoning.