Blairgowrie (River Ericht)
The association has an agreement to fish for salmon, sea trout, brown trout and grayling on the Blairgowrie, Rattray and District Angling Association's water on the River Ericht, from the road bridge in Blairgowrie downstream to Kitty Swanson's footbridge. See map below for details of beat. (NB the water upstream of Blairgowrie Bridge is reserved for BRDAA members and West Grange Fishings guests only.)
UPDATE 2019: West Grange Fishings (owners of the Rattray Bank), and the BRDAA (Blairgowrie Bank) have instituted a bank share agreement. This effectively divides river into two beats (upper and lower) on a rota basis. Details of the 2019 rota and a map showing beat boundaries will be available before the start of the 2019 season.
The road to West Grange is due to be repaired which will give better access to the BRDAA parking just upstream of Kitty Swanson's Bridge.
For full details see the BRDAA Website.
Availability in 2019
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NB When fishing this water PDAA members must carry ALL of the following:
- A copy of the master BRDAA permit, available as a PDF Download here
- The dated day permit (issued at Malloch's, or sent by email when you book online).
- Your PDAA member's handbook and ID card.
Depending on the month of the season you fish, the river will determine the tackle you need. All stretches of the Ericht controlled by the BRDAA can be fished (with minor exceptions ) using fly fishing tackle. Generally a 13-15 foot fly rod can be used throughout the season with smaller rods being used for grilse and sea-trout during the summer. As with rods, the time of year will determine the type of fly line but a selection from floating line, intermediate or sink tip and a medium sinker should cover all conditions.
Safety is important. A good wading staff, eye protection and studded felt soled waders are essential. An automatic life jacket should also be considered.
All the usual fly patterns can be tried but for early season a large black and yellow, or a large yellow fly with a silver body fished deep can be best. The Ally’s shrimp family are popular in all their variations. In summer a stoat’s tail or red twist will also do well. When the water temperature rises above 45F, a Haslam or Invicta are still worth a try. The size of fly will vary depending on the height and temperature of the water encountered.
Spinning for salmon is restricted to the water below Blairgowrie bridge. A general spinning rod of 9½ to 11 feet will suffice. The Devon Minnow in various colours is effective, along with Tobys and flying C’s. If using multi hook spinning rigs e.g. the Rapala, remove the front and centre hooks to avoid foul hooking or damaging fish which may need to be released (See rule 12 on main permit).
Lindsay Grant has created a video showing the fishing available to PDAA members on the River Ericht, along with the various access points and parking options. Note – the river heights mentioned here refer to the Ericht river levels page on Fishpal.
Extra info supplied by a PDAA member (Jan 2017)
Rather than laze around at home I like to get out for walks during the closed season and having already checked out the fishing available to the association on the main river I turned my attention to the Ericht and walked the length of the beat from the lower limit to Blairgowrie .
Access to the bottom of the beat is good with sound farm track to a grass parking area (about 6 cars) alongside the river. Could see a couple of dead kelts in first pool and disturbed a live one which is encouraging. A well maintained country walk/right of way leads downstream to Kitty Swansons Bridge crossing to the bottom of the beat (right bank).
This right of way follows the course of the river upstream to the Chain Pool giving access to good pools and broken runs. No areas are open, everywhere is tree-lined therefore some pools are more suited to spinning than fly fishing. No evidence of any bank clearance work apart from high beaver activity, at least they tend to fell trees to fall away from the river.
From where this right of way leaves the river until you hit the road at the Dump Pool there are good pools and runs but it’s very difficult to access. There are no paths, the fields are ploughed right up to the fence lines, lots of undergrowth and bankside blockages and, as I discovered, a high electrified fenced area – normally houses a bull luckily not loose that day. Wouldn’t try that section again - it must be a lot worse in the summer.
There is evidence of bank clearance having been done in the past in this section but on the opposite bank, and it seems likely that locals used the large public parking area here and fished from the left bank until it was lost to the syndicate.
For the most part the riverside road in the town is wide and parking is not a problem although from information on the forum I think locals tend to use the TESCO carpark. From there to the dump the bank is high and steep sided and probably not suitable for the less agile.
Parking is available along Welton Rd in Blairgowrie at the top of the beat, and near West Grange Farm at the bottom of the beat (see map). From the latter, you will need to walk downstream and cross Kitty Swanson's Bridge to reach the right bank (5 to 10 minutes walk).