Private Beat .



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The Private Beat nestles between Beat 10, to the West and Upper Beat 11 to the East, on the Thurso River.


Starting at the Sauce Pool, the Beat winds slowly downstream to Maggie Dumpy, Hickson's Hole, The Bridge Pool and The Long Pool before turning sharply North to The Castle Pool and on to The Devil's Pool where it turns East and ends as the river runs into Upper Beat 11.

The Sauce Pool

Sauce Pool The Sauce a 50m stretch of deep water and a favourite spot with most anglers. It has a very narrow stream at the head and opens up in to a wide pool at the outflow. It is not an easy pool to fish as it has two quite severe backwaters on either side of the stream. There are always fish to be seen in the Sauce Pool, although not particularly easy to catch.

Maggie Dumpy

Maggie Dumpy Maggie a very narrow, fast flowing bit of water that only extends for some twenty five yards but is an absolute favourite to take a running fish.

Hickson's Hole

Hickson's Hole Hickson's a rather dour, deep pool which is quite reluctant to give up it's resident fish. This is always worth a cast as, this too, is a good spot to encounter a running fish

The Bridge Pool

Bridge Pool The Bridge Pool.....the late Lord Thurso always used to go up on to the Bridge and check to see how his fly was swimming as this gave him the height to do so. I have seen fish caught in this pool but getting them out is a hair raising experience with the very sheer, high banks.

The Long Pool

Long Pool The Long probably the most productive after the Sauce. It is a narrow pool throughout but the bottom half, which is slow moving, is very productive.

The Castle Pool

Castle Pool The Castle Pool.....a "delicious" pool to fish from top to bottom. It has a lovely stream at the head and the even flow continues right to the very bottom. Great fun!

The Devil's Pool

Devils Pool The Devil's Pool.....lies under a very high cliff and has some very strange and turbulent underwater currents. This makes it rather difficult to fish but the angler is certainly challenged when they hook one.



Satellite Photo

The satellite image with the Beat boundaries marked gives a fuller understanding of the layout of the Beat.


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The Private Beat, in its present form, only came into existence in 1967.  In that year there was a major re-numbering of the Beats, for reasons which we will expand upon in a different part of the Site.


The current Private Beat used to be the tail end of what was the old Beat 12, which started at the Old Woman's Pool and ended at the Devil's Pool.


With the restructuring of the Beats, the present day Beat 11 started at the Snatch Pool (some three quarters of a mile above the Old Woman's Pool) and there were three small pools between these points. This Beat now ends at the Upper Sauce Pool.

Looking from the head of Hickson's Hole towards Maggie Dumpy.

Part of the reason for using this area as a private water was much to do with the spectacular scenery but also taken into consideration was the isolation and privacy.


The Queen Mother was a regular visitor down through the years as is Prince Charles in the present day.


Sporting legends Jack Nicklaus, Ian Botham and David Seaman have also been guests on the Beat.

Aerial Video

The aerial video provides a more visual understanding of the Beat.

Satellite Photo

The satellite image with the Beat boundaries marked gives a fuller understanding of the layout of the Beat.


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The map shows the route to the Private Beat.


Please drive carefully through Westerdale and on the single track road to the Private Beat.

Private Beat Map

Sand Pit Entrance

Turn off the road here and drive straight ahead, through the Old Sand Pit.

Private Beat Parking

Vehicles can park here on the grassy area to the left of this old building.

Private Beat Gate

It is not advisable for vehicles which are not 4X4s, with a good ground clearance, to drive through the field.  Park up and walk in instead.

Private Beat Livestock

Please close the gate behind you, usually there are livestock in the field.


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Private Beat

For further information about the Private Beat, contact details are provided below.

By Phone
Landline: 01847 831591
   Mobile: 07833 500165

Eddie McCarthy

By Post
Eddie McCarthy
River Superintendent's House
Braal Road
KW12 6XE