This month Robert White, ghillie on the Benchil & Pitlochrie and Catholes & Luncarty beats of the River Tay, sits in the hot seat to face the 10 big questions and reveals all!


1. SSFS: What is the biggest salmon you have ever caught?

RW: The biggest fish I have caught was a 35lbs spring salmon. The fish was caught at Stanley on the River Tay in March 2011. I will never forget that sheer raw power that fish had. After a great fight it was safely returned.


2. SSFS: What is the most memorable salmon you have ever caught?

RW: My most memorable salmon was probably the 35lbs fish, however another two stand out in my mind! The 32lbs fish I caught from the Kinnaird Beat some 30 years prior to the most recent big fish and a 24lbs salmon caught at Pitlochry Dam on the fly which took an hour and a half to land. I hooked the salmon at Pitlochry Dam at around 11pm on a Saturday night and landed it on the opposite bank at 12.30am on Sunday morning!


3. SSFS: What is your favourite fly?

I don’t really have a favourite fly but inventing a popular fly called the Tay Raider gave me great satisfaction.


4. SSFS: What is your favourite salmon pool?

RW:I would have to say several pools spring to mind on the Tay. I have been lucky enough to fish probably around 85% of the whole river and in particular some of the great fly pools and streams stand out. Garnickie shingle where I caught seventeen salmon in a single day on the fly in the nineties is a very special pool for me. Others include the Bleechings at Waulkmill, the Craig’s at Fishponds, the Long Shot on Benchil, and of course the Horsey Pool at Stanley. I also love fishing the Black Stones on the Catholes Beat in the spring. The Aldrens on Stobhall and Long Head on the Islamouth Beat are also very special. All these pools offer mouth-watering fly fishing on the River Tay.


5. SSFS: If there was one place in the world you could salmon fish, where would it be and why?

RW: Any river that has large Atlantic salmon which are regularly caught on the fly sounds good to me.


6. SSFS: What is the most unusual sight you have seen on the river?

I would have to think about that one!


7. SSFS: What are the worst conditions in which you have seen a salmon being caught? 

RW: It has to be a dirty rising river, when all the odds are stacked against you and a salmon still hits the net!


8. SSFS: What do you love about being a ghillie? 

RW: I love the outdoor life and passing on my experience to other anglers. I get more satisfaction seeing others catching salmon after taking my advice and guidance, than I do catching myself.


9. SSFS: What is your salmon fishing pet hate?

Guests not listening to advice when we want them to have the best possibility of catching a salmon can be very frustrating.


10. SSFS: What is your favourite dram? 

RW: I am quite partial to a Balvenie 12yr old Double Wood!



For more information on fishing on the Benchil & Pitlochrie and Catholes & Luncarty beats, email Robert White at: alternatively visit our sister website at