Key for water heights :
L – Low M- Medium H-High
(Heights stated refer to Beat 4 Gauge at Big Rock)
- Lower Garden pool (L-M): Fished only from Left bank this beat. Only fish in low-medium height. Not the easiest pool to fish from this side due to the high bank at the top. However as the flow comes out from the deep hole, you can clearly see a gravel bank on this side. Wade out and stand on the gravel and fish this section until it becomes too deep to wade. Make your way back to the bank but depending on height you may need to walk back up gravel bank to cross the small channel. Take care wading here.
- Torcastle Rocks (L-M): Between Lower Garden and Cat pool – left bank only. This area has deep channels and ledges but can hold fish, particularly later in the season. A hitch fly can work here as you tend to be standing well above the water.
- Cat Pool (L-M-H): Fishes from both sides. Best from 9in to 4ft. Left side favours higher water, although the tail section will fish at 1ft-2ft, but deep wading is necessary. From 1ft-9 + the right bank is best. This requires little wading and can be fished from the bank itself. The key taking area is from opposite the burn on right bank all the way down to the tail section. In low to medium flows you can sometimes pick up a fish right at the top close to the boat – left bank.
- Kitten (L-M) : Fishes from left bank only. Best from 3in-1ft 2in. Only fish from the middle of the pool to the tail. The top section has serious undercurrents and will drown your line. Square cast and hand line as soon as fly hits the water as fish can often lie on the far side of the main current as well as the middle. As you fish down, lengthen line and cover the whole tail section.
- Canal Pool (L-M-H) : Fishes from Left bank only. This is a long pool and can be broken down into 3 sections. The faster top section will fish in low-medium heights.. 3in-2ft. There are some good lies in this part of the pool particularly at the very top. 30yards down there is a back-eddy….go through quickly. The middle section starts after the back-eddy but needs water levels over ….2ft. The tail section, which is called “Lucky Cast” is covered below.
- Lucky Cast (M-H) : Left bank only. Fishes best from 2ft-5ft. Wade in 30m upstream of the metal railings on right bank and fish down past ripples at the start of Larch Tree. Depending on height you may need to wade deeper and cast long to cover this part of the pool effectively….2ft-3ft. At much higher flows (4-5ft) fish tend to lie closer to left bank and much further down into the bend.
- Larch Tree (L-M) : Left bank only. Fishes best in low to medium flows 3in-1ft. Start opposite the Larch Tree on right bank and fish round the corner and down to Big Rock pool. Good areas are usually the top section, on the corner itself and the tail. No wading or long casting required. Fish with stealth here as the river is narrower and fish can be easily spooked.
- Big Rock (L-M) : Fishes from both banks. Top section is best from left bank, whereas the tail section is best from right bank. The faster top section fishes best from 3in to 1ft6. Start just below tail of Larch Tree (ripples) and fish down and past the big rock formation itself and into the main body of the pool. Best lies are just as a small bay forms on the right bank down to the rock point. Be careful when you reach the rock point as the gravel shelves away very quickly. The tail section is best fished from 9in to 2ft9. Take the boat across and start (wade in) opposite the rock in the middle of the pool and fish through. Fish can often lie around this rock or just as then enter the pool. This section can also be fished from the left bank but due to the rocky outcrops and no backspace, speycasting with shooting heads makes life easier.
- Pol-Na-Ha (L-M) : Fishes from right bank. Fishes at a range of heights but best from 6in to 2ft6. Knee deep wading and long casts required to cover the pool effectively. A key spot is where the treeline on the left bank ends. Access via Big Rock boat.
- Ford (M-H) : Fishes from both banks. On a medium water right bank is favoured. Just continue after fishing Pol-Na-Ha, but wade out a little further and cover the deep channel along tree line on left bank. Left bank favoured in the higher water.
- Beech Tree (M-H) : Fishes from both banks but mostly from left bank. The top section, starting where the treeline ends, will fish best at 2ft+. The tail section will fish from 1ft 2+. The deeper channel is to this bank so very long casting not required. Pay attention to the 3 large boulders at the tail….. the first 2 are known taking lies, but fish can be taken anywhere from top to bottom. No wading required at top section but as you near the tail you can wade out a little to cover the lies. If water above 3ft 6 right bank fishing can be productive although deep wading is required. Access from Big Rock boat and walk down.
- Rail-End (M-H): Fishes from left bank only. The top section, above dead tree, will fish in low water, however the main lies are below the dead tree in the deep channel under the right bank. You need to wade in well above your knees to cover this section. Care must be taken as your wade line will take you into a deep hole on the bend of the river on the left bank. Make a few long casts before you work your way back to the bank. The next section is fished from 2ft +. Wade out below the hole and take an easy wade line down until the water starts to deepen . The fish tend to lie from middle to right side where there are some large boulders here. The very bottom tail section can be fished even with less than 2ft of water, but it requires a deep and difficult wade and long casting towards the trees hanging over the water.
- Cruive (L-M-H): Mainly left bank fishing. The top section will fish in low to medium heights and best from 6” to 1ft9. Walk onto the gravel spit and start 40yards down from the old Cruive (boulders across the river). Continue wading down gravel spit until you either run out of flow or it become too deep. Fish can lie anywhere down this stream. The tail section is best in higher water 2ft+. The easiest way to fish this section is to take the path down stream and before you come out the trees drop into the river, wade out a rod length+ and fish this section until you are opposite the grassy bank. The wading is easy but you need to cast long to cover the large boulders in mid-river, where the fish lie. NB: No Boat here as stated on map!
- Big Stone (L-M) : Fishes from either side but best from right bank. The main channel is on the right side of the big stone. This is a short pool and may hold a running fish as it passes through. Access is via the Caravan park (Lundy Mouth) and walk up.
- Lundy Mouth (L-M-H): Fishes from both banks but best from right bank as you can fish the whole pool. Best between 6” and 2ft6 but will still produce fish in higher and lower levels. Start high up in the faster neck of the pool and fish down past where the Lundy burn enters the river from the left bank. Wading is required as is long casting in the top section to cover the large boulders which are spread along the left bank. Fish will often lie around these boulders. Another key taking area is around the Lundy burn and down towards the tail. Make sure you are covering the ripples mid-stream opposite the Lundy.
- Foxhunter L-M) : Fishes best from Right bank but the runs above can be done from the left bank below the Lundy burn also. A small pool but one that can produce fish in the right conditions. Wading into the middle of the river is necessary to cover the deep channel close to the left bank. Do not attempt this on a rising water or when river is above 1ft as the water becomes too fast. This pool can often hold fresh fish as they come off the tide so timing can be crucial.