The River Dulnain, Speyside 06 Aug 2013

Many of you will not know the small village of Dulnain Bridge, indeed you may blink as you drive through it and miss the whole experience. Dulnain Bridge crosses the river Dulnain, the area is better known for the mighty Spey River and the salmon fishing that is available there. The family and I have holidayed here repeatedly for the last seven years or so. I have tried my arm for a salmon but have yet to succeed, to be honest I find it a bit boring. I have spent some nice afternoons at Lochindorb but never thought to fish the Dulnain. After a walk down to the river with the kids I noticed a couple of small fish rising and thought it would be worth nipping back with some light tackle the next day. I had spoken to a few of the locals who assured me that I was wasting my time and there was very little to f**k all in that river as one enthusiastic salmon angler informed me. Undaunted the very next day I trotted down the half mile path through the woods to the river, access was easy and the very low water levels made wading simple enough. I could see the odd fish rising and had a few casts at them despite a number of splashy takes I failed to get one to hand.

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I attached a small nymph to my dry fly and had instant success. The small perfectly formed fish came straight to the net with the size #20 Mary in its top lip. I moved up the river taking three of four of similar size fish and losing many others. I walked past large parts of the river that were more canal like whilst walking I startled a hare in the undergrowth which was a good size and took flight as I traipsed onwards. I arrived at some lovely looking runs and got in at the tail of the first pool. I had seen no signs of fish for over an hour and the session had turned more into a casting exercise. As I reached the head of the pool I made a speculative cast into the head of the pool and the water erupted and a good fish shot from the water. I would estimate it at around 25-30cm which was a monster compared to the tiny fish I had been catching. The shock of catching the unexpected guest was too much and I promptly lost the fish, bugger! Time was wearing on and it was time to make my way back to the house for some tea. As I turned to go I spooked two deer that had come down to the water’s edge, before I could wrestle my camera from my waders they had bounded up the bank and were gone. It took me a lot longer to get up the bank but I was not concerned, it had been a really nice few hours and I had not bumped into another person. I will not return to the Dulnain to fish there is just not enough to hold interest, the next trip will be to my old stomping ground of Lochindorb.

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