Finavon Castle Water Salmon and Sea Trout Fishing on the River South Esk in Scotland


This pool is 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 fishes excellently for sea trout in the lowest of water levels, but must be fished stealthily and with appropriate tackle. In high water, stealth is not important, and the pool takes on an entirely different life.

In low to medium water conditions, the pool is approached by entering the water at the steps above where the willows billow out across the river from the north bank. Moving quietly, trying 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. As you fish your way down the pool there are some submerged lie boulders midstream which fish like to congregate around.

In a high water, Willows becomes the head of Boat Pool, and the willow branches dragging in the water create a good strong run down the middle of the pool. In these conditions, the pool is fished from the bank and fish can often be caught quite literally under your toes as they creep up the slack water on your own side.

Finally, be careful to keep this pool for the most likely moment in the day. During low water in the sea trout season, Willows is usually best left until complete darkness, when it can quite spectacularly come to life with the boiling and splashing of sea trout and salmon. It is not a good idea to fish through Willows in low water and bright sunlight. With a high water, however, you cannot possibly overfish Willows!