Fishing Report 2021 – week commencing 1st March

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Hello all,

Before we dive into the exciting stuff it’s probably best I introduce myself and share a little about the new role which I am tasked to fulfil.

My name is John Veitch. I have joined the Spey Fishery Board as their Digital Marketing and Communications Executive and I am extremely excited to be in this new role.  Some of you may remember me from my time on a well-known West Coast river but for those that have no idea who I am, I’ll provide a very quick summary.

My background is a mixture of IT and Marketing (from previous jobs) combined with project management and of course managing the salmon fishing operations on the River Lochy from 2008-2018.

I am a passionate salmon fisherman and have cast a fly over many wonderful rivers both here in Scotland and in Norway.  However, I have a deep connection with the Spey – it’s not only Scotland’s most famous Salmon River but it’s also where I caught my first ever spring salmon.  That’s something you never forget!!

Anyway, moving on…..

Over the coming weeks and months, my objectives will be focused on improving, enhancing and expanding the marketing and comms of the Spey Fishery Board along with the River as a whole. This will include :

  • Developing a marketing strategy that underpins the Spey’s status as Scotland’s premier Salmon River.
  • Building good working relationships with all the Estates and Beats to ensure their needs and requirements are built into the SFB Digital comms strategy.
  • Creating new and better ways of marketing and communicating River Spey News – fishing, science, environmental, & other activities.  This will include a new-all-inclusive SFB website – designed to be central to all things Spey related.  Social Media channels will be used and improved upon and linked into the new website and comms strategy
  • Working closely and in parallel with all the Ghillies up and down river to capture all fishing related info
  • Developing new ideas to help expand our reach and bring new anglers to Speyside
  • Building relationships & partnerships to create a wider Spey community

I am really looking forward to getting started on the above and of course bringing riverside news to the many anglers who come and fish this great river.  As with all good things, it may take some time to get all in-place and working well, so in the meantime, please register yourself on the current website (if not done so) or follow us on Facebook – , Twitter – and Instgram –

Thankyou – and I look forward to hearing some great fishing stories and experiences throughout the season.

My contact details –

Now for the Fishing news…..

Given that river conditions have been less than favourable since the season opened, I think it’s fair to say that our season only got underway last week. The river settled and the weather, for most part, was more spring like – making fishing both possible and enjoyable.  The river heights ranged from 1ft5 -2ft, depending on location/gauge. The water temperature was fairly stable at around 5-6 deg C or 40-42 F and the overheads provided a mix of sun and cloud with highs of around 7-8 deg C. These are ideal fishing conditions for March.

Bearing in mind that we are still in the midst of COVID restrictions on travel, some beats are not fishing at all and many have only been lightly fished.  Unfortunately, this will be the case for much of the early spring period.  However, we did have some action throughout the week and a total of 9 beautiful spring salmon were landed.  Average size around 7lbs – which is typical of early March springers.

The Upper Beats (Tulchan Estate and above)  – These beats were very lightly fished.  Only a few kelts were landed.

The Middle beats (Craigellachie to Ballindalloch) – some beats were lightly fished, others not at all, but 4 salmon were landed from Wester Elchies (2), Kinermony & Laggan

Damon Harrison with a stunning fish measuring 35in taken on a black and yellow snaelda.
Damon Harrison with a stunning fish measuring 35in taken on a black and yellow snaelda.

Lower Beats – (Easter Elchies – Brae Beats) – as above most beats were lightly fished with 5 salmon landed – Brae1, Orton (2), Arndilly & Easter Elchies.

Special mention goes to Craig Chabert for landing the first fish of the season from Brae Beat 1. Pete Murray, Ronnie Fraser and Orn Sigurhansson were some of the the other successful anglers.   Interesting to note that Ronnie’s fish was caught on a full floating line and sink tip – proving that different tactics apply and work depending on the speed, flow and depth of the pool you’re fishing.

All in all, I’d say it was a good start to March given the rod pressure on the river.

Looking ahead to next week – here’s what’s in store weather wise.

If the river remains reasonably stable then I’d say prospects look fairly good!  Lower and Middle river will still represent the “best chance” of bumping into a salmon, however as fish migrate through the system the upper river will quickly come into play.  Please continue to adhere to the travel guidelines when arranging your fishing.

That’s all for now.

Tightlines to all who venture out.

3 thoughts on “Fishing Report 2021 – week commencing 1st March”

  1. Good luck with your new job john hopefully see you sometime on the Spey once we can travel up north ????

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