Week Commencing 12th June 2023

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Good morning everyone,

It was another very hot and sunny week on Speyside, with temperatures reaching up to 27 degrees on several days. While ideal for a midday siesta, these conditions were less favourable for fishing.

Before we dive into the reports from the river, I’d like to share some updates on the Spey Fishery Board activities.

We’ve made significant strides with our ‘Save Our Smolts‘ trap and truck trial. The field-based stage of the project is complete, and the results have exceeded expectations. 800 smolts were moved from our smolt trap above Loch Insh and released below it. We fitted 60 of the trapped smolts with acoustic tags, releasing half above and half below the Loch. Our ongoing tracking efforts will answer the question, “Does moving smolts around Loch Insh, a known pinch point, improve their survival and increase the number of smolts reaching the sea?” You can find the full update here.

If you are interested in providing support for the Save Our Smolts project, please contact director@speyfisheryboard.com

Unfortunately, recent updates from Fisheries Management Scotland have indicated the emergence of a more aggressive strain of Saprolegnia in various rivers across Scotland. This strain could be much more virulent and deadly to fish. Please help us spread the word and protect our precious Atlantic salmon. Find out how you can help stop the spread of this potentially fatal disease by reading our new blog post here.

Now, let’s check in with our ghillies.

Starting at the mouth of the river, Andy Milne from Fochabers Angling Association reports one grilse of 4.5lb caught by Ian Tennant on Wednesday. Ian also lost a fish on Monday.

Further upstream at Gordon Castle / Brae Water, Lewis Webb informs us of a more encouraging week given the conditions, with catches making it into double figures for the first time this season. The hot weather necessitated a shift in their approach, with fishing mainly conducted during the cooler times of the day.

One of many from the Brae Water last week.
Safely in the net, ready for a quick release.
Another happy Brae Water angler.

Mark Melville, at Delfur, welcomed back Robert and Teresa Jolly and friends including a couple of new faces. They had a good week, especially with the adverse conditions. They fished early and late and had 19 fish all fresh fish with no grilse.

Chris Ford, first time at Delfur and the Spey.
Andy Britton, Beaufort
Phillip Walker, first time Delfur fisher. Hollenbush.
Teresa Jolly with her Spey salmon

At Rothes and Aitkenway, Robbie Stronach reports 5 fish caught this week. Ed Clive caught a 12lb fish from Bluestone, as did Will Kipling. James Bladon caught a 5lb fish at Jamieson, and A Thavenot landed a 6lb fish at Creeky. Ed Clive also caught an 8lb fish at Gean Tree.

Easter Elchies: A beautiful Spey salmon, safely returned.

Orn Sigurhansson, reporting from Easter Elchies, tells us of another hot week with challenging conditions. The week started positively with 6 salmon landed on Monday. After thunder and lightning on Monday night, the river rose 1ft at 10pm, and they found themselves greeted by hot chocolate-colored water on Tuesday morning. However, the day turned around with a lovely 11lb Salmon caught from the Fiddich in the afternoon. The remainder of the week was defined by bright conditions and high water temperatures.

Phil Gormley landed a fantastic fish from the Red Craig on Thursday morning a good reward for the early starts. The team at Easter Elchies managed 3 sea trout for the remainder of the week. All in all a challenging week but happy with 8 salmon and 4 sea trout.

An Upper Dips beauty.
The ‘hot fly’.
Cracking Smiddy sea trout.
Sunset on the tail of Fiddich – Easter Elchies.

Across the river at Wester Elchies, Malcolm Newbould reports low water with high temperatures and bright overhead conditions made fishing difficult. Two fish were caught – Mr. Michael Hobden with the larger of the two and Mr Tim Gregory.

A lucky angler with the first from Wester Elchies.
What a salmon! The second caught at Wester Elchies.

At Kinermony, Dave Brand reports that they managed to land one fish this week, caught by Ben Mcallmont.

Happy days at Kinermony.

Our last report for this week is from Knockando.

Archie Baillie informs us that it was a difficult week at Knockando last week. However, despite the blazing sunshine and hot temperatures, their party fished hard and was rewarded with 4 salmon to 12lb, a grilse at 3lb and 3 sea trout to 7lb. Unfortunately, the Phones beat was blank despite the guests trying hard and fishing into the night most nights.

That’s all for this week.

The weather forecast for the coming week promises rain at the beginning of the week, which may help cool the river down. The rest of the week alternates between sunny spells and heavy showers, with temperatures remaining warm with highs around 22 degrees.

Finally, this week Spey Fishery Board biologists will start to lift receivers from the river as part of the ‘Save Our Smolts’ trap and truck trial. The data collected from these receivers will play a crucial role in understanding how successful the trial has improved smolt survival. The data analysis is due to start next month, so watch this space for updates on this exciting and potentially game-changing project!

Stay tuned for next week’s update. Until then, tight lines!

Paul Hughes

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