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Why Come to Speyside Early Season?

Scotsmen Drinking Macallan at Macallan Distillery
Justin and me enjoying some craic at Macallan

With winter making way to early spring, I found myself on a new, to me, venue on the River Spey. My first weeks teaching on the river this year, I teach at this time of the because fishing is readily available, and customers can enjoy being on the river at reasonable cost. It’s nice for both myself and returning clients to see distinct parts of the river and stay in different accommodation. This year took us to the wonderful Inverallan House on the Castle Grant estate. The loveliest, well equipped, and expertly staffed Georgian House, set in 5 acres by the banks of the river was a perfect venue for guests to enjoy the learning experience on the river as well as the hospitality and chat in the evening.

Dogs outside a Scottish Country Lodge
Dogs enjoying their time at Inverallan House too.

Add to this exclusive access to Castle Grant number two beat and it’s expert Ghillie, Craig Robertson, a wonderful caster and certified casting instructor himself, and we have one of the best teaching/learning and visitor experience venues in Scotland.

People Dining at Inverallan House Grantown on Spey
Our Guests Enjoying Dining at Inverallan.

And all of this is before we even begin to look at what Speyside and the surrounding area has to offer. We are truly spoiled in this part of the country.  

As is normal, my weeks are split into two, with a new group of 6 people replacing the first on Wednesday. Our first group saw 6 people from all over the UK join me and enjoy all the above, as wall as some Interesting pre, during and after dinner chat about all things linked with the Salmon Fishing, Whisky, The Highlands, Wildlife, History, Culture and Heritage. Three days passed in the blink of an eye and before I knew it I was being joined by the second group.

Man Wearing Spence Tartan
Justin Spence

This was just two people, one from Montana, a fly shop owner,, the other a businessman from down south. An unforeseen turn of events meant the businessman had to return south, leaving Justin and I to enjoy the remainder of the time on the river. However, this did leave lots of time to enjoy learning more about what he had come to focus on, Single Speycasting with long lines. I have to say, this was a really enjoyable week on Castle Grant. Two very different half’s to the week. The first a standard 3 day casting course with a great bunch of people. The second a very different scenario for me as Justin was not only, already a good caster, but also a good instructor. Add Craig to this and the three of us had some great fun exploring different casting, fishing, and teaching techniques. For me, focusing on finer points of casting the long line was so nice and although I have shared this to a great many people, it’s always nice sharing information and technique with a fellow professional, who genuinely appreciates what you are giving. We never stop learning and coaching people of this standard always ends with everyone learning. This was very much the case here and is one of a few reasons why I enjoyed my time with Justin and Craig during those days. 

Motion Picture Analysis
Analysis of my Customers Casting


However, castings one thing, but you can’t come all the way to Speyside from Montana without sampling the local produce and of the many things we do well on Speyside, one thing sits far above the rest. Yes, you have guessed, whisky. No one should visit Speyside without a visit to, or sampling some of the 40 or so most famous whiskies in the world, and fortunately, this is where having friends and family working is some of the best of those helps make my guests visits to some of the most memorable experiences.  

Visiting Macallan Distillery
Justin At Macallan Distillery

Overall, after a long winter, the first weeks teaching and hosting our groups at Inverallan House, in the unique environment that is Speyside proved to be just what the doctor ordered. It’s nice for me to know too that in staying in this lovely place we are not only supporting the fishery, but also those girls looking after the house jobs, add to this the money spent by guests in the local tackle, kilt and whisky shops so I went home a happy man.  

Man Wearing Kilt Casting a Fly at Macallan Distillery
Casting At Macallan

Everyone had a great time on both the river and staying at the beautifully appointed and elegant lodge and I’m very much looking forward to the same trip in March next year as well as our next visit here in early June. This will be focusing on fishing, and I know salmon will be present and keeping their eagle eyes open for my clients flies.

A cancellation means I have one place remaining for this fully catered experience at prime time. This, and I'll also be taking names for next spring. Do you think you'd fancy it?   

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Mar 23

Looks a great place to stay 👌

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