Upper Boat Pool - Milton Beat

Upper Boat Pool - Milton Beat

Ghillie's Wise Words

We fish this important pool from the South bank. Why 'important'? Because it is the best holding pool on any of the four beats of Finavon Castle Water. That doesn't mean that it is easy to catch fish in this deep dub section of the Boat Pool, despite the large numbers of both salmon and sea trout that congregate in its very considerable depths in all water conditions.

This pool isn't easy to wade, and virtually impossible to do so in high water, when you are forced to fish it by snake roll or double Spey casting from the high bank. The transition from the easily waded Willows to Upper Boat pool is defined by depth rather than by a particular riverbank feature, and you have arrived at the Boat Pool when you are striving to cast across the wide bay below the overhanging willows (which incidentally was where Finavon's biggest ever salmon – 36lbs – was caught just before the Second World War).

Upper Boat pool is a holding pool in two sections. The top part is mostly deep holding water, and a great place for a spring salmon and where big shoals of sea trout lie up in the low water of June, July and August. A summer or autumn spate can give this pool a huge head of fish resulting in catches unsurpassed elsewhere in the middle river. We had 19 salmon and grilse here in one August day in 2008. The lies are mainly under the North bank and the bed of the river is rubble strewn, ideal holding water. In low water this upper section can be waded at night when quiet movement and minimum disturbance can result in great sea trout catches.

The tail section culminates in a 20 yard long 'V' that runs smoothly into the Volcano squeeze. This is a top spot for a salmon in as falling spate, and a really exciting piece of water to fish. The salmon and sea trout come to you here, so in these conditions you can fish it slowly and wait for that to happen!