Meikleour House and Upper Islamouth by Linda Mellor

fpal_meikleour014Meikleour House and Upper Islamouth beat offers the angler something very special. The beat is set within the beautiful and private Meikleour estate and only a fifteen minute drive north of Perth. The mature grounds are home to a vast range of magnificent trees, providing an inviting backdrop to the 1.7 mile double bank beat where anglers can enjoy some of the best fly fishing, accommodation and facilities on the Tay system.

The beat has 14 named pools, offering fly fishing and spinning from both bank and boat for up to 8 rods. There is much variety on offer with regard to booking bank rods, wading rods or boats for single anglers and groups.

fpal_meikleour015The estate has invested a great deal of work into the beat over the last 12 months improving the river banks, renovating the Ferry Cottage Boathouse and the charming Meikleour House lunch hut. Traditional paths have been restored and new ones created, all designed to offer the angler choice of fishing from the bank or wading. The newly created pool called ‘The Meadows’ produced great fish throughout September.

Angler’s needs are very well catered for with two ghillies; head ghillie Calum McRoberts and second ghillie Daniel Wright. Both understand the importance of first class customer service and ensure anglers have an enjoyable visit.  Calum says: “Whilst I cannot guarantee my guests a fish, I always do my up most to ensure my guest has had a great day out. I’ve always been in the customer service industry and know that a little can go a long way. Being a ghillie, working on the river in such a wonderful environment is a great honour and privilege and if I can share even a small part of my enthusiasm with my guests, then I feel I’m doing my bit, not just for my beat, but the River Tay and Scottish tourism in general.”

fpal_meikleour001Parking up at the Ferry Cottage Boathouse you can glimpse the Tay making its way upstream. Walking down to the bank, on the left, the view opens up to Kinclaven Bridge stretching over the river. The warmly coloured red sandstone bridge catches the sunlight throughout the day and is a popular viewing point for visitors passing by. On the right, a short distance downstream from the bridge is the famous Islamouth pool where the River Isla enters the Tay.

I have been fortunate enough to visit Meikleour throughout the year and, in addition to the fishing, I have enjoyed the wonderful light and natural beauty of the estate. The landscape changes over the months but its splendour never diminishes. The vast collection of mature trees and wildflowers surrounding the river making Meikleour House and Upper Islamouth a popular and relaxing fishing destination for anglers from around the world, of all ages and experience.

Meikleour offers an unrivalled choice of accommodation, all close to the river. You can stay at the Meikleour Arms, a traditional small country hotel offering comfortable accommodation and an excellent menu of top quality food made from local produce. The pub also has its own locally brewed ale ‘the lure of Meikleour’. Your accommodation choices extend to the self catering Meikleour walled garden cottages which are an easy walk from the hotel and close to the river. However, if you like your accommodation on the claire_grand scale you can book the east wing of the 250 year old Meikleour House with a self catering or chef option. The house is warm and modern but retains its country grandeur and charm and is only a short distance from the river. In addition to the estate’s extensive fishing heritage, the house, grounds and village have a longstanding part in Scottish history.

The beat is competitively priced offering good fishing throughout the season. It fishes well in medium to higher water. In high water it is amongst the most productive beats on the whole river and due to the proximity of the Isla junction it is particularly productive in the spring, last season it produced 70 fish until the end of May.

You can be completely wrapped up in fishing for days or weeks never once having to step foot off the estate. The Meikleour House and Upper Islamouth beat offers an iconic angling location with an enviable heritage.

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