GUIDE TO THE RIVER TAY
(Stanley to Thistlebrig)
NAME OF RIVER: Tay
WHERE IS IT?: Tayside! Flows out of Loch...Tay.
PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: Stanley to Thistlebrig, see below.
APPROX LENGTH: 5 km.
TIME NEEDED: Unknown.
ACCESS HASSLES: It should be remembered that the Tay is a well-used fishing river so it is worth keeping an eye out.
WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: Stays paddleable for much of the year.
GRADING: Grade 2-3.
MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: Campsie Linn, weir...see descriptions.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: A not too long but very popular section. Busy on Sundays so if you only have one vehicle a lift can usually be guaranteed. The access point is difficult to find. From the south if you enter Stanley Village Take the second road on the right and drive to the end (200 yards). Turn left the right after another 200 yards. Follow the narrow road for about a mile and a half to a dead end at the river-side. Above the access point are a few bit of interest. Closest is a small rapid which can have a few good surf wave. Just above that is an eddy line which is a magnet for taily seekers. Above that on the right are a few small falls. On the left is the Campsie Linn fall where great care should be taken especially at high water. This is a pretty confused piece of water with strong whirlpools to catch the unwary. Your boat does not necessarily do what you ask it. Below the access point is Stanley weir which should be described as a hazard. The weir is quite big and partially destroyed. Inspection is recommended if you are not familiar with it. There are obvious channels on the right and left. Playing is not recommended here due to the presence of some iron spikes.
Around a corner is Hellhole(?). Here there is an almost river wide stopper in high water, offering plenty of opportunities for surfing. Just before the get out at Thistlebrigg is another hole, with plenty of play potential, and just a little further downstream is a stopper river right, which is good for smaller boats.
J Sigbrandt adds (March '00)... 'A somewhat confused description of the river can be found here: http://www.playak.com/tay.html
A more, err, pipe and slippers description: http://www.curriculumvisions.com/river/worldRivers/UKRivers/Tay.html
I've heard it said that Campsie Linn is the biggest vertical waterfall in the UK. The water only drops by a small a few feet, but since there is a lot of volume ... this makes it the biggest. Doesn't sound very believable to me!
Those whirlpools are fantastic though. They'll grab the boat and suck it totally underwater, rotating as it goes. It feels as if you're inside a washing machine and the power of the water feels as if you stuck the upper body into a strong current and held it there. I dread the consequences of not rolling in those sucky whirlpools...'
OTHER NOTES: Pretty well guaranteed water.
The sections from Loch Tay downstream are also popular. Has anyone paddled the river to the sea?
CONTRIBUTED BY: St. Andrew's Uni and J Sigbrandt.