Week Commencing 13th March 2023

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Hi everyone

Another week gone, half way through March already.

Not too bad a day here in Elgin, dry and settled for a change. the last week has been a bit mixed resulting in cold wet conditions to start with but it gradually warmed up. The garden is starting to spring into life with the daffodils in bloom and the tulips are pushing through the ground. The crocuses in the garden would look day were it not for a spaniel charging through them chasing the neighbourhood moggies.

The river had a mixed week with fluctuating heights, water clarity and temperature but hopefully this will settle and allow catches to pick up across the beats. The fish would certainly have got a bit of a stir up with the conditions just gone.

Lets take a look and see how things have been on the fishing front.

Andy Milne of Fochabers Angling Association reports a very quiet week, mainly down to the amount of water about.

Gordon Castle had another quiet week with light angling presence on the water, which was probably as a result of the fluctuating conditions reports David Buley. Please email the estate Factor if you fancy a day on the Gordon Castle Beats as you just never know.

Orton had a quiet week too again down to conditions but alos I think the fish that were enetering the river have been running straight through the lower beats.

Mark Melville at Delfur confirmed the same as the beats below him, good conditions after Monday but fishing pushing through.

Robbie Stronach at Rothes and Aikenway reported one solitary fish for the week. The lucky angler, Ross Wood taking a 7lb fish in Burnouth on a small monkey. Well done Ross.

Ross Wood and his 7lb fish from Burnmouth

At Arndilly, Head Ghillie Euan Reid reports it was another week of fluctuating water levels, but fortunately, here at Arndilly, we have pools that can handle a bit of water. We had Derek Wiseman and his team first half of the week and Allan McKay, and his second half. On Tuesday Matt Newton had a 7.5lb fish from the top end of Bulwark on the hut side, and Derek Wiseman had an 8.5lb fish from the same place a couple of hours later. Whether there were a few fish lying in there for that time or we just coincidentally bumped in them, we will never know.
Wednesday and Thursday, we were disappointed not to pick up a fish because it was lovely water, but that’s spring fishing!
Following the big water on Friday, we got our third of the week on Saturday an 11lb fish for Robert McQueen from the neck of the Cobble Pot at 2ft 6″. Whilst all the fish were bars of chrome, none had sealiced on them. It was great to see young Ryan McKay trying and willing to get a fish to take his fly – dad Allan giving him pointers. Fantastic to see the next generation out on the water and whilst they did not mange to land a fish they had a ball.

Matt Newton with his lovely fish
Stunning silver
Happy angler
Robert McQueen and his 11lber in big water
Derek Wiseman and his Arndilly chrome
Just beautiful
Allan Mackay and his son Ryan trying to tempt a springer- rod just visible
Happy anglers

This is what our sport is all about as without young Ryan and other youngsters being on the water and given an opportunity to fish then generations of skill and knowledge cannot be passed on, leading to a potential missed generation of anglers. Keep it up Ryan.

Easter Elchies got their season off to a good start with two fish landed according to Ghillie Orn Sigurhannsson. The river height was up and down like a yoyo starting at 45 inches, falling back to 14 and then back to 26 by the end of the week but the local father and son team of Bob and Craig Alexander struck it lucky with an 8lb fish to Bob and a 9lb fish to Craig. Well done guys.

Bob Alexander and his fish from Fiddich Mouth
Craig Alexander and his fish from Red Craigs

Further upstream at Wester Elchies, Malcolm Newbould reports that they had three fish for the week, with Mungo Ingleby landing 2 and Jason Elles with the third.

Mungo Ingleby’s first fish from Rhynd
Mungo Ingleby’s second fish from Pol ma Cree
Jason Elles playing the third fish of the week with helpers

Across the river at Aberlour Angling Club water two fish were landed. A fine 10lb fish was landed by Allan Crook and Gerard Macauley had a fine 12lb seatrout.

Allan Crook and his fine 10lb fish
Gerard Macauley and his 12lb seatrout

David Brand at Kinermony confirms success for them with 2 fish landed for the week. Shane Fraser had a lovely deep fish from the Boat Pool.

Shane Fraser with his deep fish from the Boat Pool

At Laggan, new ghillie Max McKinstrie reports Laggan was fished for 3 days this week by the Burton party and a lovely 9lbr was landed by Mr Philip Burton on Thursday in the Bothy pool. A couple of other enquiries and a fish lost on Saturday after playing it for a couple minutes were the only other action but certainly signs of more fish around this week than last with the rise in temps and water levels.

Philip Burton and his fine 9lb fish from the Bothy Pool

Further up river at Castle Grant, Simon Crozier reports a quiet week but optimism is on the rise as they are fuull from Monday onwards so hoping for success.

With a week week ahead we are probably going to see more changing conditions as the week progresses, with temperatures set to fall a couple of degrees by the end.

On another note the River Spey Anglers Association Ladies day at Gordon Castle on Saturday 1st April still has one space so any lady angler who fancies at day on upper/middle Brae please see the RSAA facebook page for contact details.

Tight lines for the week ahead.


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