Starting at the very top of our beat, the first pool is known as “the Top Boards”.
The Top Boards is probably the most productive pool on our beat, fishable from left bank (long walk via Carnsalloch) and right bank (short walk from holm farm) banks. This pool fishes well for salmon when the river is up, with at least a foot of water on the gauge. The river can almost never be too high for the Top Boards. The higher the river, the tighter the fish lie to the left bank. Salmon can be encountered along the whole length of the pool, with different hotspots at different heights. The left bank is about twice as long as the right.
Below the Top Boards, the river flows in a streamy fashion for about a hundred yards through the “Holm Steam”. The river bed has changed in recent years, reverting back to an older river course. Here, the river meanders and flows through gravel so erosion and direction change are the norm. There is depth to the water here and this is classic fly water. Very lightly fished, but salmon are caught. The Holm Stream ends where the river meets the wooded banking and leads down through the legendary Railway Pool.