About 2km of the River Isla, between Meikleour and Coupar Angus. Left bank only.
Availability in 2017
|15 Jan||15 Oct||Two rods available from PD Mallochs||Two rods available online||Two rods available from PD Mallochs||Two rods available online||Two rods available from PD Mallochs||Two rods available online|
From the start of the 2017 season, the Links Farm permit no longer gives access to the Oak Bank beat on the River Ericht.
From the parking place at Links Farm you walk down to the river at a nice pool that takes the fly. The bank here is grassy and well kept for about 200m downstream, then is mostly overgrown and unfishable down to the lower limit of the beat, where a small burn enters the river (it's possible to go through the gate, walk along the edge of the field and get over the fence at the far end where someone has thrown a bit of carpet over the barbed wire, for a final cast with a spinner).
From Links Farm, you can walk upstream on a riverside path all the way to the top of the beat in about 20 minutes (the farm track approach from Laystone Farm is not recommended). There are two streamy pools here that can be fished by fly, one immediately downstream of the little island, and another right at the top of the beat (where you'll find an ancient marker post). Most of the rest of the beat has fairly slow-moving water, best covered with a spinner (Flying C is recommended).
The first fish tend to arrive in February or March, with good runs in April and May, depending on the water levels. The Isla has some of the best spring fishing in the Tay system.
In the summer months thrilling sport is provided by the grilse run. They take only a few hours to reach the Isla from the sea so the fish are in beautiful condition. When the river level drops in the summer, the river has some deep pools where the fish hold up.
But if bigger fish are sought then September and October can provide both numbers and size with the arrival of the main run of fish that will spawn in the Isla itself.
From Perth take the A93 for Blairgowrie. Approx 12 miles from Perth at the approach to the traffic lights at the River Isla bridge, turn right to Woodside and Burrelton (do not cross bridge over Isla). Follow the road for around half a mile then turn left on a private road at sign for Links Farm. This road (tarmac, suitable for all vehicles) leads to a parking place at the far end of the farm sheds on the left, opposite the entrance to the farmhouse. From here, walk through the gate and down to the river's edge at the lower part of the beat.
There is a separate access to the top end of the beat, but it is via a rough, steep and often muddy farm track, not recommended in anything other than a 4WD vehicle. Continue past the Links Farm road and take the next left turn, opposite Laystone Farm. Pass through two gates, turn right along the edge of a large field at the foot of the hill, and park near the river. Update Feb 2017: the farmer has asked anglers not to use this access, as two cars have had to be towed out by tractor after getting stuck.