Week Commencing 15th April 2024

Share this report

Good afternoon everyone

Another week of the season has just gone past us, half way through April already, time flies by when you are having fun.

Its not a bad afternoon in Elgin, certainly an improvement from this morning in that the rain has finally stopped.

Everything seems to be flourishing, its as if nature has really woken up, growth is springing up in all areas and its so wonderful to see. I was walking the dog the other morning and in the field next to the road a couple of cock pheasants were sizing each other up for a scrap, no doubt over a female who was sitting watching them but one of them saw myself and the dog and took off down the field. I knew pheasants could run but blimey this guy was shifting, not as fast as Usain Bolt but not far off it!

It is with disappointment that I announce that the Lionel Main Award will not go ahead in 2024 as a result of funding issues. However Sean Tighe is determined to see this take place in 2025 as it is an ideal opportunity for young anglers to fish but also to learn about the river, how it works, what lives in it but also who works on it. If you would like to support this worthwhile cause then please go to his fundraising page below:-

The link to the GoFundMe page is https://www.gofundme.com/f/the-lionel-main-angling-course (if you highlight the link and click on it, it takes you to the page)

The week gone by saw a great deal of mixed weather, wind, rain, hail and sunshine, basically a typical Scottish week. This did accompany fluctuating river conditions throughout the week but thankfully it did not deter the anglers.

Let us head down river this week and see how things were.

Simon Crozier at Castle Grant reports of a week of North winds and fluctuating water heights made for testing conditions. Andrew Wildblood had a fine 8lb fish from Number 2 burn on Wednesday. A few fish were seen across the beats but takes were hard to come by. The water had fined down to a good height of 1ft on the Cromdale bridge gauge on Saturday. A fine fish of 13lbs was landed in the Dipper by Sam Harrison. We hope for settled conditions in the week ahead.

Andrew Wildblood’s fish from Number 2 burn
Sam Harrison’s fish from the Dipper

Downstream on Tulchan C I am aware of success for a couple of rods during the week. Chris Shanks had a fine 12lb fish from the beat, along with Colin Sewel who landed a fine 11lber on the Friday but trumped that on Saturday with a cracking 22lber. Well doen to both Colin and Chris.

Chris Shanks with a fine 12lber from Tulchan C
Colin Sewel with his 11lb fish from the Upper Bog Pool on Tulchan C

Conditions have definitely proved tough on the last week as Archie Baillie at Knockando reports “Another difficult week with wind, rain and high water giving us that extra challenge. Edwin Whyte got us off the mark on Monday, landing a silver fish of 6lb and having a hold of another which came off. Unfortunately that was the end of the action until Saturday afternoon when Les Tyson managed a couple at 10lb and 16lb making it 3 for the week.”

Edwin Whyte 6lb of silver

Down at Carron, Ian Borthwick reports a week where water height first half of the week was high but settled to a better height the second half, resulting in fish being caught, including this one by Marcus Smith Hvidsten 8/9 lbs out of Carron pool.

Marcus Smith Hvidsten with a fine fish from Carron Pool

Across the river at Laggan, Max McKinstrie finally confirms they are off the mark, after a bad run of losing several fish this season so far, Miss Clare Slater landed a fish of 8lbs in Dalmunach on Saturday afternoon. Well done Clare.

Clare Slater with a lovely fish from Dalmunach

Delagyle also got in the action this week with 2 fish added to their tally reports David Smillie. the lucky captors, both landing 8lb fish were Andrew Goodenough and George McKenzie.

Delagyle silver

David Brand at Kinermony reports that they managed to get two fish this week, Edwin Whyte getting a cracker in very high water,and Mark Morrison getting the other, well done gents

Edwin Whyte with a cracking fish

Wester Elchies were also in action, despite the conditions advises Malcolm Newbould with 2 fish landed. One to Bjorn Riise one on Monday and Graham Ritchie had a 22 lb fish (weighed) from the Boat Pool.

Graham Ritchie with a fantastic 22lber

Across from Wester Elchies on the Aberlour Angling Club water 4 fish were addd to this years total, Ian Morrison landed a fine fish, along with Bill Warwick who had two and Andrew Goodenough the other.

Andrew Goodenough with his silver
Ian Morrison and his prize
Bill Warwick with one of his 2 fish
and the second

Dougie Ross at Craigellachie confirmed conditions and water height did not favour them during the week but they managed to add one fish to this years tally.

Continuing downstream our next stop off point is Easter Elchies where Orn Sigurhansson reports yet another week of fluctuating water height and wintry overhead conditions. We were pleased to welcome fishing parties from both the North of England and the North of Scotland this week, with the McCreath fishing party from Berwickshire and the Waugh fishing party from Sutherland. Monday started well with a 10lb springer landed. Water height rose to 30 inches on Tuesday bringing high water pools of Ladies Haugh, Fiddich and Heathery Isle into play. 2 fish landed on Tuesday. Finlay McCreath swapping bat with rod and landing his first ever salmon, a cracking 9lb Spey Springer from Fiddich Mouth. Les Tyson followed up later, landing a 17lb springer. The highs and lows of fishing, with Maureen McCreath losing what would have been her biggest fish, at the bank…next year, without a doubt. So 3 fish and 5 lost for the McCreath party. On Thursday we welcomed the Waugh party. Water levels continued to drop, albeit overheard still cold and gusty. James Hill landed a nice 9lb fish on Friday from Heathery Isle and Peter Graham landed the biggest fish of the week, a cracking 18lb Spey springer from Red Craigs. Big fish about. 5 for the week, good in the conditions and good fun fishing parties at Easter Elchies.

Finlay McCreath with his first ever salmon, 9lbs from Fiddich
Les Tyson with a good fish from the Tail of Fiddich
Peter Graham with a superb 18lber from Red Craigs

At Arndilly Euan Reid reports that they are very lucky to have pools which fish in big water and also the way the river runs through our beat gives us sheltered areas in high winds. That said, this weeks north westerlies at 20+mph made life difficult on a couple of days.
This week, we welcomed Mike Arnall and his team of long-term tenants back.We had a great week with a dozen fish landed and numerous lost.
Mark Thorpe got us going, 9lb, left Piles.25″ on the guage.
On Tuesday, Martin Ashford caught his first ever salmon, 7.5lb from the right side of Bulwark. 42″ on the gauge.
The river dropped back to 30″ on Wednesday, and we had landed two. A 9lb fish from the top of long Pool for Adam Stacy-Clear and a 7 lb fish for James Darrall, from the boat in the tail of long pool, his first Spey fish.
We had 3 on Thursday, Adam again, 9lb from Gilmour, Martin Ashford, 8lb from the tail of Cobble pot, and the fish of the week was for James Darrall, 19lb from the boat in Jocks tail with Keith -21 inches on the gauge.
Adam Stacy-Clear did well to get a 7lb fish from the Soo on Friday, given the strong wind.
On Saturday 4 fish were landed, 2 for James Darrall, 9lb, Piles left and 14lb from the tail of Cobble Pot, both netted by Blair. Robert Shanks had a lovely 14lb fish from the Bulwark, and Mike Arnall had a 7lb fish in front of the Soo stone.
Unfortunately, we couldn’t find Graham Prankall a fish this week. Graham fished well as always and was in contact with a fish, but as we all know, salmon fishing can be unkind.

Martin Ashford’s and his first salmon from Bulwark
James Darrall with his first Spey Salmon from the Long Pool
James again, 19lbs from Jocks Tail
James again with a 9lber
and again with his 14lber from Cobble Pot
Adam Stacey-Clear in the Soo
Mike with his fish
Mike Arnall getting his fish ready to go back

The following video was taken by Adam Stacy-Clear, just after landing a fish in Gilmour. The otter watched Adam as he released the fish and was on the lookout for an easy meal, presumably.  Quite amazing and rather impudent!!

Undeniably cheeky

I have never had an otter come that close, the nearest I have seen one was coming within a rods length ( 15 feet) as it swam upstream on the River Ewe a number of years ago.

Rothes and Aikenway had 6 fish for their week reports Robbie Stronach. Michaell French had 2 fish from Creeky, Matt Baker had a fish from Jamieson, Don Mackenzie also had one from Creeky and Ben Baker landed a couple, one from Creeky and got another from Burnmouth. Well done those rods.

Ben Baker with his fish in Creeky
Michael Frenchs fish from Creeky, held by Robbie Stronach

Downstream at Delfur, Mark Melville was delighted to report a good week finally, and good to see some fish stopping with us for a change this spring.
It was nice to welcome back the Potter family who managed to catch a fish each day including 3 on Friday.
Top pools were Big Haddie and Sourden with a fish each from Beaufort and Collie.

Richard Potter with his fish in Big Haddie
William Potter’s Sourden fish in the net
James Potter from Sourden
Henry Potter with silver in Beaufort
Henry Potter with a cracker from Sourden

Orton had a quiet week with just one fish in the book advises Andy Gunn. Lester Wolstenholme landed a cracking fish in Lower Cairnty despite the challenging conditions faced.

Lester Wolstenholme with a stunning 19lber from Lower Cairnty

Our final stop is Gordon Castle and Brae Water, where David Buley reports a week which started with strong winds, rain, and really tough conditions. The river came up to 4ft on the gauge on Tuesday, but dropped slowly throughout the rest of the week. Friday was looking good until we had a 1hr surge of chocolate colour to contend with, the same happened again on Saturday.
We finished the week landing one salmon and losing a couple. Well done to the anglers who came out. Fingers crossed we get some more spring like weather next week.

Tim’s fish

It is good to see fish being landed and encountered across all the various beats of the river that report into me and hopefully we will see this continue as the season progresses.

The week ahead looks like another mixed one, with periods of rain in the mix and temperatures possibly struggling to get into double figures, never mind anglers are a hardy breed and will be out there giving it their all in pursuit of our elusive salmon.

Tight lines to those out and about


Sign up to our fishing report email

Spey Fishing links

Recent Fishing Reports

Follow Us

Scroll to Top