River Spey Fishing Report – Week Commencing 1st of April 2024

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Good afternoon everyone. Sandy Howie is taking a well-earned break from writing the fishing report this week, but he will be back next week when normal service resumes.

We’re now well into the fishing season, and it’s fantastic to see so many anglers out on the river with some fantastic catches. With spring in full swing, the landscapes of Speyside have burst into life, offering a stunning backdrop for spring anglers.

Last week saw mixed weather and mixed success out on the river. One moment, we were basking in spring sunshine; the next thrust back into winter with snow and sleet.

Before we head onto the river, let’s start with a short update from the Spey Fishery Board and their Spey Dam Smolt Study.

We are pleased to be able to share with you that our Biologists are currently completing another year of smolt monitoring at Spey Dam, after a trial in 2023.

This study will allow the board to assess the impact of the Spey Dam on salmonid migration, which SEPA classified as a barrier to fish passage. We would like to thank ALVANCE British Aluminium/GFG for working with us on and funding this important study.

Our biologists have, with the support of GFG staff, installed a rotary screw trap on the River Spey, above the reservoir. GFG staff have also installed a wolf trap below the dam (see diagram below for more information).

The Smolt Trap above Spey Dam (pictured in early April)
The Wolf Trap below the dam.

By tagging the smolts above Spey Dam, using PIT technology (passive integrative transponder), and tracking them as they pass through the wolf trap below the dam, our team will be able to further investigate smolt survival and travel times across Spey Dam reservoir and through the dam.

We will post updates about this study and its results on our social media channels in due course.

Now onto the river.

Let’s start at Gordon Castle. David Buley reports that their week was a slightly trickier one, with a very unsettled river and changeable weather, meaning that fishing proved difficult. Whilst they had a few anglers out on the water, unfortunately, no fish were landed. However, on the 1st of April, Gordon Castle did report on their social media that during the annual Easter Monday ghillies casting competition on the curling pond, Lewis hooked into this monster!!

Lewis and his April Fool’s catch.

Next onto Delfur who welcomed back John Martin and team. Mark Melville reports that they were great fun as always and kept at it all week in very tough conditions at times.

A real mix of weather with snow/sleet Friday and +17c Saturday! The river was up and down all week with some dirty rises.

We managed two fish and a couple lost too. Iain Laing had a nice fresh fish on Tuesday from Beaufort and Jamie Hammond caught a cracking 19lb fish on Saturday also from Beaufort.

Iain Laing with his silver bullet.
Check out the shine on that! Well done Jamie Hammond!

At Arndilly, Euan Reid was joined by Iain Ogden and his team. Euan reports:

“We didn’t begin particularly well with 2 blank days! On Wednesday, Robin Philip had a 10.5lb fish from White Horse, and Jim Cruickshank had an 11b fish from the right bank of the Bulwark. The water was 18″ on our guage.

On Thursday,  with 33″ on the guage, Gordon Tait had a 14lb fish from the Cobble Pot.  Joe Dawson had a fish from the right bank of Bulwark on Friday, 7lb, and his sister Pheobe had a 17lb fish from the same place on Saturday.

This week, unusually for the spring, was a week of lost fish. We lost a couple on Monday, including an estimated 20lb fish from Reids with Keith in attendance for Tony Bambridge. Apparently, within minutes of landing. On Friday,  Gordon Tait lost 3, including a very big fish, which was hooked just below the wall on Bulwark,  left and lost in jocks tail.  2 More lost on Saturday. At least we are hooking them, and to be honest,  losing Spring salmon is a first world problem.”

5 for the week but plenty of stories!”

Robin Philip, White horse.
Jim Cruickshank, Bulwark
Joe’s fish.
Phoebe’s 17lber.

Upstream at Easter Elchies, Orn Sigurhansson reports a week of all four seasons of weather with rain, hail, snow, high winds and eventually some spring sunshine.

We were very pleased to welcome the Humphries fishing party from Staffordshire and the Brook fishing party from Norfolk. Both fishing parties battled well against the conditions and were rewarded with two great highlights of the week. The week started with a cracking 13lb sea liced springer from Fiddich Mouth. On Wednesday, Alex Humphries opened his salmon fishing career with a 8lb silver Spey springer from Fiddich. Thursday saw a titanic fish landed at Tail of Fiddich with Andy Semple landed a fantastic 29lb Springer on a Junction shrimp fly. A perfect Atlantic salmon specimen. The week was rounded off nicely with Steve Brook landing an 8lb spring salmon from Fiddich. A really enjoyable week on Speyside.

A cracking springer
Andy Semple’s ‘once in a lifetime’ 29lb springer
Another shot of Andy’s perfect Spey springer

Last weeks report missed a 22 pounder from Craigellachie, so we thought we’d include it here. And what a beauty it is

This springer was Josef’s first every salmon, an incredible reward after 5 days of effort. When Josef sent in his catch he added “Hopefully not downhill from here”!

Well done Josef!

Kinermony got two good fish this week, according to Dave Brand. Mike Rhoden getting a cracker out of the Rhynde on Monday morning, and Bob Newton getting another beauty out of Craig’s.

Mike Rhoden and his prize.

Next onto Knockando and Archie Balillies update.

They had four for the week. On Monday after some years of trying John Devine finally landed his first Spey springer. Another first on Tuesday when Billy Blackie landed a beauty for his first Spey fish. We blanked on Wednesday. Then on Thursday after waiting years for one. John Devine landed another which was bigger than his first. We blanked on Friday then on Saturday afternoon. Willie Gray landed a nice wee fish to end the week.


Our last report for this week is from Simon Crozier at Castle Grant.

“The week started brightly for us with Peter Falconer getting a fine double figure fish from Polchraine on Monday. The weather was changeable to say the least with strong east winds and fluctuating water levels . That did not stop Ghillie Allan Grant from landing a fine 10lber from the Kinchurdy pool . Robbie Henderson had a six pounder the same day fromthe bottom of Polchraine . Several fish were lost and Robbie Henderson ended on a high with a Friday 7lber from the tail of the manse. We look forward to more sport next week.”

Peter Falconer with a 10lb fish from Polchraine
Robbie Henderson 8lb Polchraine

That’s it for this week.

Looking out of the window from our office on Knockando Estate it looks like another blustery but bright start to the week. Checking the forecast and it seems we’re in for another week of changeable conditions, with wind, rain, sun and cloud forecast.

As always, tight lines to all those having a cast this week!


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