Red Brae - Castle Beat

Red Brae - Castle Beat

Ghillie's Wise Words

This pool is one of the most famous on the South Esk and is fished from the North bank after crossing the river by the footbridge. Wading is easy, and the whole experience of fishing this pool is a delight.

Red Brae holds fish in every month of the year. The pool is in three parts, the neck, the wall and the tail which we now call 'Kirkinn' (see below). Fish can be caught all the way down, although it requires considerable skill and a modicum of luck to persuade a salmon to take the fly close to the wall. This is where the water is deepest and there is not much room for the fly to swing across the current. The tail fishes well in high water and can be superb for sea trout too.

It is possible to fish Red Brae from the wall along the south bank. In fact this is getting easier as the bank gets eroded allowing more space for casting. In 1988 I had an incident fishing off the wall when a very large salmon took my fly just where the current breaks away from the wall. I played the fish for a long time and saw it many times. It was absolutely fresh from the sea, and I am pretty sure it was under thirty pounds, but only just. The tail section of the pool is a most interesting section which should produce fish in all conditions.