Thistlerigg - North Tyne - The Folly
Folly is a classic salmon pool, full of wonderful contrasts. It is fed by the Rapids emptying Wallpool some quarter of a mile upstream, creating a narrow throat of very fast, turbulent water, spilling and moderating into the lower part of the upper pool.
Approximately halfway down, the pool is almost split by the huge ‘chair’ rock, the bulk of the stream at this point running between the rock and the right bank. Below the ‘chair’ there follows a glide running eventually into the lower pool and culminating in a magnificent tail, a classic resting lie, probably the best on the beat.
The fish having progressed up through Thistle (the next downstream pool) they tend to rest in the tail and to a lesser extent the lower pool. Having made their way up into the chair rock area and the upper pool, they hold up for a while before tackling the turbulent waters of the Rapids. So, whilst you will not always encounter salmon in Folly, when you do they will be resting fish, alert and usually very good takers. Concentration should be given to the upper pool down to just below chair rock and the willows (further down the left bank) down to the tail.
However, if I had to pinpoint a particular hotspot it would be this; about twenty to twenty-five yards below the top of the pool, there is a large grey rock (whitish lichen) on the right bank. There is a lie opposite this rock at just right of midstream. However, fish can be located in the whole area of the upper pool and when they are, it is surprising how often there is more than one taken.