Murthly Castle and Dalmarnock Water, River Tay

Murthly Castle & Stenton, River Tay

tay spring 2011 008

The stunningly beautiful Murthly Castle Water is some two miles down river from Dunkeld. It is famous for the Glendelvine boat pool where Miss Georgina Ballantyne caught the British record salmon of 64 pounds in 1922. There are excellent huts on both beats.

The Murthly castle beats run from the Island at the bottom end of Lower Newtyle water right down to some half a mile below the Caputh Bridge and the march with Burnbane. The water is divided into two syndicates.

Beat 1 fishes on alternate days, the Upper water (confusingly called the Boat of Murthly) which runs from the march with Lower Newtle above us down as far as the top of Stenton Island and then the Lower Water (Which includes the famous boat pool) which includes The Garth down to and including Sparrowmuir.

Beat 2 rotates on alternate days between the Stenton beat itself and the Upper Water.

We fish each beat on alternate days, under a rotation agreement with the owners of the opposite bank, thereby effectively giving us exclusive fishing on whichever beat we are on for that day.



Each beat has a boat, which can be very effective in high water, but the fishing is mostly from the bank and by wading. There are excellent huts on both beats.

I have one week in April during which I have all the rods on both beat 1 and 2.




The Tay is one of the few Scottish rivers that can still boast of a considerable run of Spring fish and my weeks are chosen to coincide with their likely arrival given the right water.






Dalmarnock is a 2 ¾ mile double bank beat in the heart of Perthshire just a mile or so upstream of Dunkeld, the ancient capital of Scotland. I travelled up to spend three days on the beat in early September (2016) and with exceptionally warm and low water had a good chance to learn the pools and see what the beat has to offer. I have to say I was massively impressed! Colin Macfadyen the ghillie has just taken on a lease of the whole beat and is totally committed to improving the water and providing a top class service to anglers. Yes it has to be said that two of the 12 named pools are alongside the A9 – one of which is under the bridge where the A9 crosses the Tay – but most of the beat runs through lovely country and the amount of really top class fly-fishing water far and away compensates for any road noise. Also, this part of the Tay is not as intimidating as many of the lower beats and most of the pools fish well from the bank or by wading not much more than gum-boot deep on nice flat gravel.





dalmarnocksummerhousepooldalmarnockwilliesholetayIn addition to the fishing there is a very well appointed hut with dining table, sofas and chairs and a log burning stove, there are also coffee making facilities and a fairly basic but servicable chemical wc.

The fishing on Dalmarnock is normally let to 12 rods, but I will be reducing that number to 9 on my weeks (and pricing accordingly) as I think it will fish best with three groups of three rotating around the upper and lower left bank and the pools fished from the right bank. There are also a couple of boats that we can use if necessary, in high water. There is good vehicle access to most of the main pools.

More generally, the Tay is one of the few rivers left in Scotland that still has an appreciable run of hard fighting spring fish and regularly produces fish of over 20lbs but as with any salmon fishing your expectation should be that you stand a good chance of a “springer” rather than any certainty of one.

For details of my next courses and fishing availability click here COURSES AVAILABILITY.