On The Beat- with Martin Robson, Little Blackhall and Inchmarlo


Photo courtesy of Atlantic Salmon Trust

Martin Robson joined  Little Blackhall and Inchmarlo in the spring of 2015 and is the Head Ghillie for the beat.

Martin hails from Alston, in Cumbria, where he used to fish the South Tyne as a boy. He spent a lot of his time fishing there and developed a deep and lasting love of the countryside. He went onto to study Countryside Management and Gamekeeping at Newton Rigg College in Penrith, for which he received a distinction. The placement element of his course took to the famous Grimersta fishery on the Isle of Lewis. This led to seasonal work as a ghillie on Grimersta and also the wonderful Amhuinnsuidhe on the beautiful Isle of Harris.

Martin has developed his boat skills from his time in the Hebrides and there are two boats on LB&I for guest to use, both as a ferry to fish both banks and also for positioning anglers for the best possible chance of a take.

Little Blackhall & Inchmarlo has traditionally been a spring beat; angling effort slowed at the end of June, but Martin believes there is potential for the beat in the summer.

“ The best months are generally April and May. We are at our busiest then, but I would like to see more rods in the summer. The beat fishes at a range of heights and I am keen to increase the effort during the summer as I am certain we will produce fish.”



Photo courtesy of Atlantic Salmon Trust

Generally, Martin prefers medium water levels on the beat. During spring he actually prefers the water to be lower than other beats might. As a rule of thumb, he likes the gauge at Inchmarlo to be between 2’8” and 3’5”.

“We have some deep pools here and lower water helps us to fish the fly deep and slow in the cold water during February and March- I like the fly to fish as slowly as possible. We are really lucky to have a great variety of pools and there is always a good option to be found at most water heights. In high water, the tail of the Roe Pot is good from either bank. The old Fawn into Seatties from the Blackhall side is also a good cast. In low water, I am always confident of an offer in the tail of the Otter Stone or the Fawn from the Inchmarlo side. The Otter Stone is a favourite of mine and if have a spare half hour, it’s where I like to have a quick cast.”

Martin’s spring set up is either an intermediate head, paired with a long type 5 tip or a Skagit with T14 or T18. These help him present the fly deep and slow. He enjoys fishing large singles, in the usual patterns, Tosh, Willie Gunn and Monkey. In summer the tactics change and he adopts a much lighter set up and advocates a stealthy approach to the river.

“I like a long leader in the summer and I also like to fish at a longer distance to maintain as much distance as possible between me and the fish. As for flies, a silver stoat is as good as any.”


Top Tip: “Think about how you approach your pool. We can often ruin our chances before we start if we fail to remember our quarry is wild and wary.”

To book fishing or get in touch with Martin, check out Little Blackhall and Inchmarlo on FishDee





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The FishDee blog is your website for snippets and news items coming from the riverbank from anglers, ghillies and local people who have useful news they wish to share. The supporting business infrastructure which supports angling will also be providing items of news that may be relevant to people who have an interest in the River Dee.

Posted on March 7, 2017, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on On The Beat- with Martin Robson, Little Blackhall and Inchmarlo.

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