Standard tactics for low water require small flies and early mornings before the sun gets on the water. Beat 5 was my Monday territory including the Island Stream shown above. Under normal good fishing conditions, only the green island in the distance is visible so all the extra 'islands' reflect the drought. I fished the beat without success until the sun was well up before giving in to the conditions. I repeated the exercise the following morning on Beat 3 before giving up for the week faced with even more sterile conditions on the higher up beats. The Thurso is fed from Loch More above Beat 13 and the picture below left shows a vast shore which is normally deep under water. In the picture on the left, the river shows her bones at Westerdale. Fingers crossed for my next week in September.
The following week I was invited to fish with friends on the Alness, about 80 miles south of Wick. It was suffering from the drought but still seemed to have a better flow of water than the Thurso. The fishing was unsuccessful but the saving grace was the scenery and the streamy boulder strewn water providing plenty of lies for fish. It's marked down for a revisit under better conditions.
Novels by Alan Calder
The Glorious Twelfth
The Stuart Agenda published by Willowmoon