Altnahara Beat

The Altnahara Beat is immediately below the Dunearn Beat but in every respect offers a different set of challenges to the angler.   For it’s entire run of 15 named pools it is set in a magnificent gorge.  The steep sides to this gorge are studded with native flora and trees ranging from Caledonian pine, birch, alder, birdcherry to numerous types of willow.   A few exotic trees introduced on the Glenferness side add to the diversity.   This beat offers the angler the most fishing when the water conditions are on the low side. Some experts say the lower the better!   This is all to do with the series of turbulent rock pools in the middle of the beat which only fish in really low water conditions.   Above and below this area there are larger pools that offer good prospects in medium as well as low water conditions.   It is only in very high water that the two rods are left just two top class high water pools to share between themselves.   For the weekly team this is not a serious problem because of the daily alternating arrangements with the Daltra Beat downstream.   The weekly arrangement is Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday on the Altnahara Beat with the other days being available for locals.   On this beat all fishing is from the left bank as Glenferness has the fishing rights on the right bank.   It should be noted that there is no vehicle access along this beat. Vehicles are parked beside the public road.


Pool by Pool Guide to the Altnahara Beat

A bit of a scramble but if you are fit it is worth a go.  The bottom half in high water needs a long cast.

BOAT Approach the throat with stealth and allow fly to come in close to the bank.  Fish the tail amongst the boulders from the bedrock bank in medium water and in high water an excellent place to be when the beat offers little fishing elsewhere.
SIMON'S STREAM 40m below the Boat Pool. Only fishes in low water. A stopping place for running grilse.

An interesting pool in low water & medium water.  Avoid spooking.  You have to be a bit of an acrobat to really fish it properly.  Keep a very low profile if you can.  A great place for sight fishing.


Really only fishes in low water but the Chair will fish well in medium water.  A bit of mountaineering and stealth required to master these rock pools and the paths.  The tail of the Chair can only be fished when you are down at the Englishman's.  Dibble the white waters.  Be adaptable as no two pools are the same.


Two parts.  Top part fish off the rocky spine with a short line and rod point down.  For the tail go out carefully onto the large rock – be very careful here as fish are easily spooked.


Two parts (three if you are an idiot).  The throat in low water.  Off the big rock for the centre bit in medium water. Fish lie anywhere in amongst the big boulders.  The idiot area is the tail.  A dangerous scramble and you could be faced with an expensive helicopter bill if the water rises fast.  It has happened before!


In high water the tail & run-out are promising places.  Start with a short line and then gradually extend to a long cast.   In low water dibble the white water in the throat running in from the rapids above..


and little streams below to Upper Sawpit)   The water level is critical, it needs to be a fine medium height. The stream is subject to annual changes.  The pots below are all well worth a flick.


Good tail in high water.  For medium water you need a long cast to get across as you can't wade in very far & fish it well into the rougher water in the tail.  The throat is always worth a go in low water and try a dibble too.


Good in medium water, but the throat can be good in low water too.


Rob Hoskin, Estate Office, Lethen, Nairn, Scotland IV12 5PR Tel: 01667 452247 Email: