Week Commencing 17th April 2023

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Afternoon everyone

I am back, thanks to Paul for covering last week whilst I was at an international curling bonspiel in Elgin.

Well last week brought us sunshine, a lot of it, some warmth at times but also a breeze which if you were in the shade still had a cold edge to it. This resulted in tough fishing conditions up and down the river but looking out at the rain and rather dull day today we should hopefully see better conditions in the week ahead.

The weather saw lots of activity last week with numerous birds spotted carrying soft fluffy materials about as they build nests for this years brood. Still have not managed to get into the garden yet but maybe this week for a wee while.

Right lets see what was happening on the river.

Heading from the top down at Grantown on Spey the Association had 3 fish for the week. Two (20 & 7lbs respectively) were taken from Clachnastrone on Friday and John Davies had a 10lber form Inverallan midweek.

John Davies with his fine fish from Inverallan Pool

Castle Grant Head ghillie Simon Crozier reports a week of tough conditions and fish hard to come by. The week started well in the ideal conditions on Monday, Keith Johnson had a fine 12lb fish in the March and Keith Pilkington had a fine fish around 10lbs from Dunbar. Things were slow thereafter with cold winds and cloudless skies up untill Saturday. However against the odds Bob Ford had a fine 14lbs from the Garra. On Saturday Laurence lock had a fish of around 8lbs from Pollowick Sluggan, a few more encounters were had but no more landed.

Keith Pilkingtons fish
Laurence Lock’s fish from Pollowick

I am not provided with data from Tulchan on what they had during the week but an angler kindly sent me a note advising his son had success there landing a fine 12 lb fish.

Chris Shanks with a fine 12lber

At Phones, Euan Clive reports a couple of fish for their week despite the tough conditions.

silver in the sun
About to go back

Knockando Home beat Ghillie Archie Baillie reports a tough week for Colin Tett’s party an after a lot of hard work they were rewarded with two fish, both about 8lb in weight. Out with the two successes it was very quiet.

At Laggan, Max McKinstrie reports a similar scenario with a fish on Monday for Miss Clare Slater from Delchapel. She had a brief hold of another on Tuesday but this was to be the only action of the week. Occasional fish seen but not hanging around for long.

Clare Slater with a lovely fish from Delchapel

Next downstream Delagyle had a very quiet week with only a solitary but cracking 4lb seatrout to local rod George Mackenzie advises David Smillie.

A fine 4lb seatrout for local George Mackenzie

Kinermony had a good first half of the week with 5 fish landed and a few lost according to ghillie David Brand. The lucky rods were Zander Christie, Bruce Cameron, Marc McAlmont and Marc Morrison.

Zander Christie and a lovely fish
Marc McAlmont and his Kinermony fish
Bruce Cameron with his silver prize

Wester Elchies had two fish for the week and twice as many lost reports Malcolm Newbould. Conditions were difficult with bright sunshine and a cool easterly wind. Saturday was more overcast and four fish were contacted then but unfortunately lost. On a positive note I landed my first of the season, after almost ten weeks flogging the river.

Malcolm Newbould’s first fish this season held by Sam Bremner

Aberlour Angling club saw a good return for their week with three salmon and a sea trout this week unfortunately no pictures, a Swedish visitor had two fish, John Clark had one and John Spence had the sea trout. On a positive note from introducing people to the sport, the Club have had an enquiry about pupils learning how to Spey cast. I am sure Kenny will keep me updated on this front.

Continuing our journey downstream Dougie Ross at Craigellachie reports three fish for their week in conditions that were less than ideal. The captors being John McDavitt, Douglas Campbell and a first ever salmon for David Welsh, well done David.

John McDavitt with a fine fish
Douglas Campbell’s fish
David Welsh with his first ever salmon

At Easter Elchies, Orn Sigurhansson reports a week of wall to wall sunshine. The best fishing day was Monday and this proved to be the case with 2 cracking 10lb springers landed for the McCreath party. Much harder work in the second part of the week for the Waugh party, conditions very much against the fishers.

Alastair Ness with Jack Ness Jnr and a cracking 10lber from Red Craigs
Tim McCreath with an audience for his 10lber from Lower Dips

Euan Reid at Arndilly confirms a week of sun isn’t what you would pick for salmon fishing any time of the year, but it’s pretty much what we got, except Saturday.
This week, we welcomed Dr. David Solomon and his team of Arndilly devotees. We were blank until Mr Alistair Ewing got us going on Thursday afternoon, 7lb from the boat in the Piles on a #10 Arndilly Fancy. Quite a small fly, smaller than I’d be using, but what do I know!
Dr Owen-Jones had a 14lb fish from the Jocks tail boat on Friday afternoon.
We had a change in the weather on Saturday, north easterly wind and cold but with cloud cover. Whether it was connected to the change in overhead conditions or not I don’t know but we had 2 on Saturday, both from the tail of the Long Pool out of the boat, 9lb for John Lawson and 7lb for Pat Harkin. We had a quite moment in the boat following Pat, landing his fish in memory of his good friend and mentor, Vic Abbott, who died at the start of the week. Vic played a huge part in Pat becoming the angler he is, and a few tales were told on Speyside in memory of a great man.

Dr Owen-Jones and his 14lb fish
Dr Owen-Jones and a textbook release
Look at the colours
Pat Harkin and his Arndilly prize

Dr Owen-Jones had the fortune to hook and the misfortune to lose within a few minutes of netting a fish of 25lb plus off the concrete path in the Cobble Pot on Saturday. Although disappointing now, once the dust settles, he’ll realise, and he probably does now, what a privilege it is to be connected to such a wonderful creature.

Robbie Stronach head ghillie at Rothes and Aikenway reports a 4 fish week for their beat, with three of those falling to the rod of James Kent, well done James.

James Kent’s first fish from Creeky
His second with lice visible

Next on the journey is Delfur where Mark Melville, head ghillie reports a glorious week of weather though not the best for salmon angling. We managed 2 fish for the Greenham party with quite a few pulls and losses.

Donnie Cameron with a lovely fish from Big Haddie
Charles Rafferty with his first fly caught salmon from Beaufort

Andy Gunn at Orton reports 3 this week, Farquhar Murray House Pool, Gordon Bell Willows & Peter Bowling Wee Pool.

Farquhar Murray and his fish from the House Pool

Finally at Gordon Castle/Brae Water David Buley advises that they only managed to get one fish this week unfortunately. The river height was perfect, we started to see fish moving through, but I think the relentless sunshine was not helping our chances. Ian Mattioli was our lucky, but deserving angler after working really hard all week he landed his beautiful spring fish in the Flats pool. Well done to all who fished this week

Ian Mattioli and his GC springer

The week ahead looks more akin to fishing weather dull, overcast, rain with occasional glimpses on the sun. It will not be warm and indeed sleet is forecast for a couple of nights!!

Tight Lines to those out and about


2 thoughts on “Week Commencing 17th April 2023”

  1. Surely Ghillie of the week goes to Jack Ness Jnr who from the picture was in shorts and bare feet. Brave young man.
    Thanks for the report, always a joy to read.

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