Week Commencing 12th February 2024

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Afternoon everyone

I am back so I guess that means the fishing season is upon us again.

Its fine to see the back of the winter which brought us the usual conditions which we had to put up with but some parts of the country got a bit of a hammering in a couple of unprecedented spells of weather. The Spey Valley did not get off lightly with at least a couple of heavy, heavy spates over the winter months which I am sure have caused havoc on the river.

I need to start this weeks report by advising of the departure of Board Director, Roger Knight. Roger announced his resignation during the winter months, ahead of him taking up the post of Chief Executive Office with the Spey Catchment Initiative, a SCIO which Roger was heavily involved with in getting off the ground. Whilst saddened by Roger’s departure I would like to wish him every success in this exciting venture. The search for a replacement will being in earnest.

Right let’s have a look at opening week on the river. The formal opening took place on Monday 12th February in the usual location in Aberlour on a crisp sunny morning, with the river running at a great height, which lifted the spirits of anglers and ghillies as there was an anticipation that we would see a springer. The river was formally opened by Roger, who was accompanied by his wife Beryl for the ceremonial dram to the river, before the gathered audience headed for their respective vehicles to head to the beats. there were about 50-60 people in attendance and the opening was once again streamed all over the world. I am not aware as to which countries it reached this year.

I am delighted to announce for those who did not see it on social media channels that the first fish was indeed caught on opening day, a fine 14lb thumper, taken from Campbell’s Pool on the Aberlour Angling Club water. The lucky captor of this specimen was Gerard “Wee Gee” McAuley on a Willie Gunn variation. Gerard is a regular visitor to the Spey and indeed this is his third successful opening day fish, the other two being caught on the Tay.

Gerard “Wee Gee” McAuley and his opening Day 14lb bar of silver
The successful fly
Gerard being presented with prize for first fish by Roger Knight

A second fish was caught during the week, at Tulchan D but that is all the information I have on this.

I can attest to the damage the river has seen during these winter spates as I fished Orton on the 13th and saw damage t the banks of Cairnty and the Junction, which will no doubt need to be stabilised as a matter of urgency to prevent further damaging erosion.

It will be interesting to see what other damage has been incurred as the water levels recede and more of the banks/river bed become visible.

Well that is week one done.

Tight lines to rods who are out next week


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