Tackle Advice


Due to the nature and dynamics of the Spey, Fly Fishing is by far the preferred method of fishing and is encouraged throughout the length of the river.

The rod and line combination depends on the time of year, the temperature and level of water. When fly fishing in the spring or high water, more robust rods are essential, coupled with sinking lines or shooting heads. During the summer months, lighter rods with floating lines are normally sufficient and indeed offer better sport, particularly with the lively Grilse and Sea Trout.

If we were to recommend one general-purpose rod to tackle the Spey, it would have to be rated 10/11 and 15' in length. The line to match the rod would either have a mid-length head of around the 50-65' mark, or be a shooting head.


The choice of flies very much depends upon the angler! Obviously the water temperature and height are determining factors but essentially, the choice is yours. Black & Yellow combinations like the Posh Tosh and the Monkey are very popular in early spring as are the yellow, orange, black mix of colours, commonly seen in the variety of Willie Gunn options.

During late spring and early summer, the Cascades & Ally's shrimps come into their own and when the Grilse make an appearance, the Silver Stoat and more sparse flies are worthy of consideration. The Red & Black Frances seem to work well in the back end of the season, as do the Sunray Shadows and Pot Bellied Pigs.

A wise old ghillie once said 'Show me a taking fish and then worry about the Flee' I now don't worry about the flee, as I only ever fish one pattern, The Kinermony Killer! It has what I believe are all the ingredients, and more importantly the profile, of the perfect Salmon fly'.

Local tackle shops should have everything you need.

Although in general, a relatively shallow river, the wading in the Spey can be challenging in parts. It is therefore advisable to bring in addition change of clothing in case of accidents. I would highly recommend that all anglers bring a decent wading jacket and wading staff simply to make your trip more enjoyable. Whilst on the matter of safety, life vests should be available on all beats however please contact your ghillie before arrival for all the latest up-to-date information.


Although Fly-Fishing is encouraged, Spinning is generally permitted in high water on the Association beats at Aberlour, Grantown and Abernethy. It is however only permitted on a handful of private beats below Grantown. These beats currently include Castle Grant, Delagyle & Craigellachie. The beat directly below Craigellachie also permits spinning but only on certain lets. To prevent any misunderstanding, please check with the beats directly before booking any fishing.


Due to the width of the river, Chest waders are required on most beats. Speyside is a cold place in the early spring therefore neoprene waders will help to keep out the chill. Having said that we much prefer breathable waders with modern under armour as they appear to retain the heat. Its purely a matter of personal choice however, remember that neoprene does not breathe in the warmer summer months!

Hiring/buying tackle

Visiting and local anglers are able to purchase tackle from local tackle shops and mail order outlets. Those marked with an asterisk (*) in the following list of suggestions also hire out equipment.

Tackle shops & hire, Tackle Supplies
Mortimers of Speyside*
Mortimers of Speyside*,Grantown on Spey
Grantown on Spey
01479 872684
Mortimer's is the premier fishing tackle and country wear shop in the Highlands of Scotland based on the River Spey. We are stockist of all major brands of tackle and clothing including House of Hardy, Sage, Loop, Bruce and Walker, Greys of Alnwick, Orvis, Daiwa, Abu Garcia and Barbour waxed jackets and outdoor clothing. For the angler, outdoor enthusiast, walker or shooter you need look no further, our extensive range will meet your needs. Fishing Hire Service including waders, rods and reels.