Warm and muggy in Elgin this afternoon, weather has been great for things other than fishing!!
The garden is taking some punishment just now from this warm dry weather and the persistent breeze is not making it any easier. I think there has been a definite change over the last couple fo years around weather patterns but I am no scientist so forgive me if I am wrong.
Hay making has been in full swing in Moray, with farmers taking full advantage of the super conditions to allow grass to dry out sufficiently to be baled and stored before any rain comes.
Lovely weather for wildlife too, spotted a couple of squirrels on the way to work last week, scuttling across the main road, the sun glinting through their bushy tails. We have a couple of families of house sparrows nesting in the roof tiles, they can make some racket but it wonderful hearing them chat away. They are still feeding heavily on the bird feeders but think if the fallen seeds germinate may need a combine harvester in to cut it down!!!
Anyway I digress, let’s look at the week just gone, the week of the 4th was a bonanza so how was this week? The conditions were far from ideal sun, sun, heat, sun oh and bits of rain. I think it would have been a week of early starts and late finishes, with long siesta’s in the middle of day but I may be wrong.
Heading up river Fochabers Angling Association finished their week with 7 grilse but Andy Milne advises it was hard work to get them.
David Buley back on reporting duty advises that Gordon Castle/Brae Water experienced another week of 2 halves, the first being not too bad overhead but the water temp reached 20 degrees and very few fish even showed themselves let alone took a fly. As the week went on the cooler temperatures definitely helped, fish were showing and being caught. We finished up with over 40 for the week, almost all very fresh, the majority were grilse but a few salmon in the mix as well. Biggest around 16lb.
Orton head ghillie Andy Gunn confirms another good week for the beat finishing with 28. David Dobbs had 13 to his own rod. Quiet early in the week, plenty fish caught Wednesday & Thursday and slowing up again towards the latter part of the week. Lots of Grilse around.
Heading upstream from Orton to Delfur, Mark Melville reports that the start of the week with the warm weather was slow. Second half and especially Saturday was more productive. We finished just short of 20, mostly grilse but some good fish too. Grilse a wee bit smaller from 2- 3 1/2 lbs all in great condition again.
At Rothes head ghillie Robbie Stronach confirms finishing up with 22 for the week. Slow start Monday and Tuesday with a couple caught each day. Wednesday and Thursday were the better days with 6 caught each day and then couple of fish caught the rest of the week . We were half a half with salmon and grilse being caught
Arndilly experienced another week of low water reports Euan Reid as they welcomed David and Kelly Wood and their party of regular guests. The water hardly moved all week, -6 on Monday morning with a water temperature of 67°f at 9am rising to 71°f by 5pm. By Saturday the water had dropped only an inch to -7 but with the cooler weather the water temperature had dropped to 60°f. We had 17 for the week including 10 grilse almost all fresh fish. James England, John Garnet and Sam Elkington had fish on Monday and Tuesday produced 4 shared between either side of the Cobble Pot. Charlotte Oglesby had our only Wednesday fish, 2.5lb from Cobble Pot and James England had 3 and Simon Channing the other on Thursday.
James Cheer had a grilse from Reids and Gill Elkington had her second of the week 11lb, in the neck of Cobble Pot on the right bank. Sally Button had a lovely sea liced fish of 12lb from Cobble Pot left, Simon Channing had a grilse in front of the hut and Moira Christie on her first salmon trip caught a lovely 13lb fish on the difficult side of Back of the bog, ably assisted by Keith.
Undoubtedly the moment and fish of the week went to 9 year old Monty Channing who had his first fish. It was caught in the Cobble Pot on a Willie Gunn and I’m not sure who was more delighted, Monty or John Garnet who had taken him under his wing for the morning. Well done Monty!
Easter Elchies ghillie Orn Sigurhansson reports a week of low water, hot weather and good sport. With the schools holidays upon us, we were pleased to welcome the younger fishing fraternity this week. With the low water and hot weather, the team adapted well, changing fishing depths, flies and fishing times. Mixture of summer salmon and grilse landed, a good number fresh. Many of the fish caught this week well into dusk. The blue skies swapping afternoon fishing into the Archiestown étape! With the warmer water temperatures, we focused on our streamy pools such as the Pot, Lower Dips, Fiddich and Boat Pool. Total of 16 salmon and grilse for the week, a good week in the conditions.
Next upstream at Craigellachie, ghillie Dougie Ross advises a poor week down to the prevailing weather conditions with only 4 fish landed.
Aberlour Angling Club had another very quiet week, despite the angling effort on show. They welcomed a party of 6 beginners from the US on Thursday, three on Friday and another 3 from the UK yesterday. Once again water levels not helping the situation.
Wester Elchies finished with 5 according to Malcolm Newbould with a couple of first fish to visiting anglers Mary Elizabeth Thomas and Oliver Mittelstaedt.
Kinermony had a quiet week with one grilse and one 7lb salmon landed by anglers Ben Dorrington and Edd Wilkenson respectively reports David Brand. David also advises that a lot of fish were lost and a good number seen given the water levels at present.
Laggan still having to work hard for their fish according to ghillie Mike Murdoch. They finished with 3 grilse and a seatrout for their week but had another “first fish”, this time for Ali Bovill. Well done Ali as this comes after a number of years trying to catch her first fish.
Knockando Home Beat struggled with the conditions last week advises Archie Baillie. They managed to finish the week with 3 fresh grilse and a coloured salmon of 16lb.
Simon Crozier at Castle Grant has been under the weather with COVID so has been out of the loop during the week but her is a snap shot. A few grilse were caught across the beats , John Walker and his guests fishing Beat 3 had some fine sport with seatrout, a feature of recent weeks with 15 to 6 lbs, given the forecast things could be difficult next week but I’m sure one or two will be there to be had.
Grantown finished with 4 seatrout for their week and Abernethy with 6 salmon,1 grilse and 7 seatrout.
I think it is safe to say that outwith the bottom beats it was a really tough week following the week before but as they say that is fishing. The weather certainly did not do fishing any favours and with warming water levels the welfare of the fish need to be considered during times like these.
Looking forward to the week ahead, i think it is safe to say the start of the week looks as if it is going to be very tough with hot, humid and bright conditions. Tuesday night into Wednesday might see a change accompanied by thundery conditions so this may aid the remainder of the week.
On a final note the River Spey Anglers Association is finally holding its first junior day on Saturday 23rd July. This is down to the generosity of the owners and ghillie, John Lunardi at Lower Wester Elchies. We are hoping to have a dozen participants spending part of their time chasing salmon and the remainder on the trout pond. A very relaxed day is planned and we keep our fingers crossed that one of them may encounter a bar of silver.
Tight lines to all of those out and about.