Little Blackhall & Inchmarlo : A Beat For All Seasons
Little Blackhall, with its opposite bank Inchmarlo, is one of the prettiest and immaculate Middle Dee beats situated 2 miles up river from Banchory. This unique fishing location offers double bank fishing (rare on the Dee) with superb fishing lodges on either side to accommodate anglers which are located just 150 metres away from the river. There are two highly competent and experienced Ghillies, Martin Hayward and Terry Paton, who look after the Little Blackhall and Inchmarlo sides respectively. The beat sees anglers from all over the world coming annually to fish for salmon, grilse and sea trout in the splendid pools that populate the length of the beat (approx 1 mile).
Images of some pools
The famous Roe Pot Pool, mentioned in the late John Ashley Cooper’s book ‘The Great Salmon Rivers of Scotland’ fishes well in all heights of water, as do the many other pools of the beat – mostly from the bank in high water but wading is necessary in the low-water summer months. New Fawn: from the Little Blackhall side, where a fly landed in a heap miraculously straightens itself out to give perfect presentation.This is ideal for novice anglers learning their craft. Old Fawn : Another favourite pool fishing best off the bank in high water or by wading when the water is at or around 2’6” on the gauge. This is a long pool and tends to hold fish well. It probably fishes best from the Inchmarlo bank.
The Seat : Seat pool fishes best in medium to low water and used to be one of the most productive pools on the beat. Although Seat is convenient to the lodge, and is generally fished off the bank, it has not been heavily fished in recent years. It fishes better in high water from Inchmarlo. Cottage : Although still classified as a pool, Cottage is seldom fished except in high water where Spey casting is almost essential from the Little Blackhall side. It does however fish well from Inchmarlo where it is known as ‘Holly Bush’ and ‘Nellie Hogg’. Seaties : A low water pool fishing best at around 1’6” on the gauge. The fast water tends to restrict fishing to the summer months. It fishes well at all heights from Inchmarlo.Lairds Cast : A low water summer pool where wading is necessary to reach fish lying in the deep water further out. This is a pool that is generally under fished by Little Blackhall, but easily fished from the bank at Inchmarlo.Kineskie : A long and beautiful pool, and one of the most famous on the Dee. The pool is fished off both banks in high to medium water, and wading in medium to low water from Little Blackhall bank in the Upper Roe Pot. Inchmarlo fish the Upper Roe Pot from the croys. Little Blackhall sometimes fish the Kineskie bank from the boat. This is the most productive pool for both Little Blackhall and Inchmarlo, since it holds fish throughout the season. Rod’s Cast : Worth a cast but not very productive from Little Blackhall. This is the house pool on the Inchmarlo side and can be very productive in medium to low water, particularly for grilse. Many more images can be seen at the salmon fishing forum beat report here .
Inchmarlo Ghillie Terry Paton with a nice springer
A feature of Little Blackhall is the beautiful and newly converted lodge standing on the site of the old Blackhall Castle and situated in a wonderful setting of mature and varied trees which were part of the old castle garden. The pretty lodge, 150 metres from the river, accommodates up to eight people in four twin-bedded rooms. There are two bathrooms and a seperate shower room, cloakroom, spacious kitchen/dining room, comfortable lounge, garage with drying facility. There are the usual modern conveniences including television, telephone and broadband wi-fi.The lodge is serviced every other day and is available from as little as £750 per week-excellent value !
The Charming Little Blackhall Lodge
Lairds Cast, Inchmarlo
This is the very comfortable fishing lodge at the bottom of the Inchmarlo beat with cooking facilities, tables, chairs, etc and has running water, electricity, heating and wc facilities as you would want and expect at a premier fishing destination. The Lairds Cast is located just a few steps away from the superb fishing hut which also includes w/c facilities and a great wood burning stove. This hut is very popular with anglers who wish to celebrate their catch after their days fishing with the lodge conveniently located ensuring there’s no neccessity to drive.
Beat Facilities : Little Blackhall side has a hut at each end of the beat, the main top hut is fitted with rod racks, tables, chairs, stove, etc with electricity, running water and wc facilities.Two boats are available, mainly used for crossing the river, but sometimes used in suitable conditons for fishing from the Little Blackhall side. The Inchmarlo side has a super hut beside the Lairds Cast Lodge with all facilities the visiting angler requires. To summarise it’s a super beat with great facilities that will suit anglers of all levels.
Joe Greener with a spring salmon in front of the Roe Pot hut
Fishing is available with or without accommodation throughout the fishing season although preference is given to anglers taking both fishing and accommodation as the package is superb. Superlative sport can be obtained at times from opening day right through until the middle of October when the river closes. The pools offer a wide variety of fishing to suit all levels of fishing competence which can demand the longest of casts and the most delicate of presentations. The River banks are beautifully maintained by the Ghillies and are fished from in medium to high river levels. The beats are extremely popular as they do fish in virtually all heights of water. There is a temperature barrier on the beat which ensures there is typically a good population of fish during the spring. In the summer months the summer salmon and grilse will populate the faster flowing pool necks and deep glides. Sea Trout can be encountered on a warm balmy evening, especially at the pool tails. So there is something for everyone with Little Blackhall and Inchmarlo providing the ideal destination for families looking for a fishing holiday or larger groups all wanting to stay and fish together.
Success for Tony Black-One of a 5 fish capture to his own rod
Dave Gordon with a lovely summer fish from the Roe Pot
Availability : Fabulous Fishing opportunities are currently available throughout summer and autumn for as little as £65 per rod day-excellent value.
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