Week Commencing 11th March 2024

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Afternoon everyone

It’s a wonderful afternoon here in Elgin, sunny and warm, cracking spring day to be out and about especially if your garden, like mine needs some attention.

Our journey into spring continues with lengthening days and growth sprouting everywhere but I suppose we still need to be a bit wary as the night time temperatures can still drop below zero, affecting plants as they try to show us their blooms.

Seeing urban life encroach on our green spaces was evident last week on my journey to work on the outskirts of Elgin. The houses are pushing east and the new business park at Barmuckity is starting to come alive as further industrial/business units start to spring up but calmly sitting in the middle of the field between were 5 roe deer, quite unperturbed with what is going on around them, hopefully they will not lose more of their habitat.

Expectations of continued catches on the river, especially in the lower river were quickly dispelled in the early part of the week, as a considerable landslip took place at Rothes and Aikenway on the opposite bank from the hut etc, resulting in the river below this suffering considerable colouring and rendering it unfishable for the remainder of the week. These events, whilst unwlecome, do happen and on this occasion have had an effect on the beats downstream and impacted on their availability for fishing. I was speaking to the estate office at Orton during the week and they were trying their hardest to offer rods alternative dates etc where they could.

From the reports you see below, the lower beats are optimistic that the situation may be an improving one as the rise that occurred on Friday night seems to have started to settle things down and the long term affects may not be as bad as they could have been.

Ok lets see what has taken place on the beats.

Understandably Gordon Castle and Brae water were fishless, along with Orton after the impact of the landslip.

the effect of the landslide

Delfur got off the the mark this week reports Mark Melville. Graham Ritchie caught our first fish of the season from Sourden Monday morning .Within a couple of hours I was called by Robbie at Rothes that there had been a massive landslip!!
This coloured the water within an hour or so which curtailed our fishing for the rest of the week.
The foot and a half rise Friday night seemed to have helped and the river was looking much better this morning though still carrying some suspension in the water.

Graham Ritchie getting his and Delfur’s season off the mark
Downstream of landslip
Boats tied up

Rothes and Aikenway managed a fine fish for Rob Mason in Junction before the impact of the slip was felt on the river, advises Robbie Stronach.

Rob Mason’s Fish from Junction
Landslip devastation
Landslip from a different angle

Up river at Arndilly, Euan Reid reports, we started the week with relatively low water for the spring, 4″ on our gauge. Martin Robinson had a 7lb fish from below the line of rocks in the top end of Long Pool.The river was a similar height on Tuesday, and David Bilborough had an 8lb fish from Reids.
Scott Hay had an 8lb fish from the right bank of the Soo on Thursday after the river came up to 12″.
After steady and persistent rain through Thursday night into Friday, the river coloured up, which made most of Friday tough. Having said that, knowing what is happening just below us, I won’t complain about dirty water.Three for the week and a few confirmed fish lost, so all in all, we’re quite encouraged by what appears to be a decent start. We just want to see things step up again this week and hopefully the lower river gets some clean water to get going.

Scott Hay with his 8lber from the Soo
Martin Robinson with his fish from the Long Pool

At Easter Elchies Orn Sigurhansson reports a week of low water Monday to Thursday with a welcome rise in water on Friday, bringing best fishing conditions with a fish landed on Saturday. Fish seen running at the usual viewing spots of tail of Ladies Haugh, tail of Upper Dips and Tail of Fiddich during the week. Good to see the fish continuing to push upriver.

The next success comes at Wester Elchies where Malcolm Newbould advises of a fine fish for Mungo Ingleby.

Mungo Ingleby with his prize

Across the river, David Brand at Kinermony reports a good week with three fish in the book. The lucky captors being Andy Goodfellow, Ally Ker,and Jake Stephen. Well done gents

Jake Stephen’s bar of silver
Andy Goodfellow’s reward
Ally Ker with his bullet

Delagyle also got off the mark this week with Sandy Datta landing a fine 10lb fish.

Well that’s all I have to report this week, hopefully we will continue to see an increase in numbers after this weeks little “blip” in the lower river.

The week ahead looks as if there is more rain at times, not sure how heavy and how intense and obviously what affect this will have on the sand/ground etc that is still lying around at Rothes.

Tight lines to those out and about.


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