Willows - Milton Beat

Willows - Milton Beat

Ghillie's Wise Words

This pool can only be fished from the South bank. It is an easy wade, gradually deepening as you move down the pool towards the Boat Pool. Willows doesn't look much, but is almost certainly Finavon's highest scoring pool for both salmon and sea trout. The pool requires a stealthy approach, especially in low water fishing at night for sea trout.

The pool is approached by entering the water well above where the willows billow out across the river from the north bank. Moving quietly, making an effort not to tread too heavily on the gravel, or to create waves by moving too quickly, you should cover the water thoroughly, searching out the lies which are mainly about 5 yards out from the north bank. It is important to vary the angle of casting, the speed of retrieval and the depth that the fly is fished. If you do these things, thinking "fish" as you move down the pool, you will maximise your chances of catching a salmon or grilse from the first day of the season to the last, not to mention a leash of sea trout - or better - at night.

Willows is a fascinating pool to fish. Sometimes you can see the fish lying in the quiet water at the head of the Boat Pool. It is occasionally possible to approach these fish from below and, by casting a weighted nymph above the stationary salmon, you can bring the fly over the fish at the right speed and depth to encourage a take. This is salmon fly fishing at it's very best, not to mention most skilful.

Finally, be careful to keep this pool for the most likely moment in the day. It is not a good idea to fish through Willows in low water and bright sunlight. Wait until the clouds come, or dusk, or a welcome riffle of wind. Keep Willows in reserve!