Week Commencing 17th July 2023

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Hello everyone

Another week has slipped under the radar bringing us one nearer to the end of the season. If my calculations are right there are 10 weeks to go until the 2023 season bids us farewell.

Last week brought us mixed weather, isolated to certain areas but it certainly was needed. Conditions stayed reasonable positive for fishing but not sure if the farmers are enjoying it, as I am starting to see fields of barley and wheat with flattened areas due to the rain. These are a magnet for crows and pigeons and they can reek havoc in a short space of time.

Have been able to enjoy the first of my tomatoes this week, what a flavour change to those we buy in our supermarkets and hopefully they will continue to ripen and provided us with tasty fruit.

Talking of gardens we had a wonderful show from the Red Arrows yesterday as they displayed in an around the RAF base at Lossiemouth. a spectacular piece of flying to observe.

As I mentioned last week the Spey Board are running their Auction again in November to raise monies for the development of their smolt “Trap and Truck” program so if you would like to donate an auction prize and wish to discuss this, then please email admin@speyfisheryboard.com

Also this week the Gamekeepers Welfare trust launched a new award titled the Gold Grilse Ghillie. This annual award is being introduced to honour the former Head Ghillie of Castle Grant, Lionel Main who sadly lost his battle with illness in 2022. The award will be presented to children of, or closely associated with River Ghillies, Boatmen or River Managers of the Scottish Rivers and who have gone above and beyond helping out generally, delivering conservation or something else which stands out from the every day work.

The inaugural award will be presented at this year’s Moy Country Fair on 4th August 2023.

For nominations or further information please see the attached link:-


Right lets have a look at the river and see how the week fared.

Heading upstream, our first port of call in Fochabers Angling Association where Andy Milne advises about a dozen grilse caught last week Sandy, 4 of them for Ian Tennant. It was hard going for the rest of us! What is also remarkable is that Ian Tennant, who could probably winkle a fish our of a puddle had a tremendous day on Thursday landing 9 fish in total, the final one on the Association water, with all the rest on the Brae Water. Well done Ian.

grilse from Cumberlands
fish number 9 of a red letter day
A fine grilse for Ian Tennant from Cumberlands

At Gordon Castle/Brae Water, Lewis Webb reports a great week of fishing with some fantastic summer salmon being caught. It seemed no matter on the size of the fish they were providing some really good sport! We finished into the 80s with the majority of the fish being liced with the odd exception. Always nice to get some new anglers into their first fish and in some cases followed up with 2nd and 3rd!!

a fine bar of silver
A fresh grilse
Alex Hamilton with his grilse
Another fine grilse
Another bar of silver
Charles Bridge with GC silver
Ellie with a bonny fish
Fresh from the sea
GC grilse
Henry Bridge with a cracker
Ian Tennant with one of his 8 fish from Thursday
Ian again
Kevin Barron with a fine grilse
Kevin again
Peter Bridge with a bullet
Ready to go
Sandy Young with his prize
Happy Angler
Tara with her first fish
The ever dependable Graham Ritchie keeping the numbers up

Hoping these conditions continue into next week for some more of the same!

Next on the journey is Orton where Andy Gunn confirms 31 fish for their week including 8 for Robert Chambers to 16lb & Matt Randall 7 fish to 10lbs.
Mark Everard landed 3 including a 15lber and a 12lber on Monday morning, Phillip Matthews landed 2 from Cooperee on Thursday at 11lb &18lb and Simon Samson also had an 18lb from Cooperee.
Louisa Woods landed 2 on Tuesday morning, Fergus McMullin also had 2, young Fraser Morris landed a 5lb Grilse on Wednesday, Clive Roberts had a 12 on Friday and Cameron Evans landed his 1st Spey fish on Saturday. Well done to all.

Robert Chambers and a nice fish from the Island
Ollie Matthews, with Ghillie Mark and a nice fish in Cooperee
Matt Randall with one of his 7 fish for the week
Mark again with Eddie Matthews in Cooperee
Clive Roberts and his fish
Cameron Evans and George Randall and a nice fish

I think it is clear to see the fish have finally arrived, after what has been a struggle in the first half of the season.

At Delfur, Mark Melville reports that they had their best week of the season so far getting in to the mid 40s.We started off with a good Monday, Tuesday then a great Wednesday with 13 fish for the day. Mostly good quality fresh salmon up to 16lb with a dozen grilse for the week. Friday was quiet after the wee rise put them off.
We look forward as always to the coming week and hopefully lots more fish/grilse to come in. Tight lines to everyone on the river.

Cracking light and water at Delfur

Robbie Stronach at Rothes and Aikenway advises a much better week for us with 33 being caught. Got off to a good start on Monday with 8 landed. Tuesday was a bit slow with only one which was caught by Margaret Fok which was her first ever fish (grilse), Wednesday was our best day with 10 landed the biggest being 18 lb landed by Derek Smith . Malcolm Bastard got a nice fish on Thursday @ 12lb and also Micheal Smith landed one of 14lb . Derek Smith had a 17lb fish on Friday . We also got quite a few grilse during the week so hopefully they will keep coming .

Margaret Fok and her first ever fish
Derek Smith with this Beauty from Creeky
Alex Smith and his Bluestone fish

Euan Reid reports of another lovely week at Arndilly with Bob Edwards and Euan Webster. We finished with 29for the week. We worked away pretty steadily all week with more than half our catch being fresh, often sea liced grilse, supplemented by some salmon.
Notably Garry Webster with 3 fish on Friday evening incl 16lb a 19lb. Due to work committments, Euan has been unable to give us a more in depth report than normal but that is understandable.

As we continue up river, Orn Sigurhansson reports a week of more settled conditions at Easter Elchies. We were very pleased to welcome the Wilson fishing party this week. Water level hovered around the 0 on the gauge all week, with water temperature 57-59. Fishing continued as previous week and we had good sport all week. Mixture of salmon and grilse caught throughout the beat. Total of 26 salmon and grilse, with another 7 sea trout. A really good, enjoyable week with the Wilson team.

Peter Kidd and his Fiddich Mouth fish
Lovely fish from the Tail of the Fiddich
John McInnes with fine fish from Ladies Haugh
Andy Brodie, Red Craigs
Alastair Wilson and Boat Pool silver

Craigellachie had a decent week advises Dougie Ross. A good mix of salmon to 15 lb and grilse. The fishing switched off after the rise on Friday but hopefully it settles for this week.

David Thistlewaite with a bar of silver

Aberlour Angling Club report 8 fish for their week with Shane Fraser landing 5 and Billy Anderson 3. Just shows what can happen if you have the time and conditions are in your favour.

One of Billy Anderson’s 3 for the week
Billy Anderson again
Shane Fraser with one of his 5 for the week
Shane again
And another to Shane
A slightly coloured fish

Wester Elchies reports a slightly better week according to Malcolm Newbould, with 8 landed and a few more lost.

Kinermony finished with 5 for the week advises David Brand with Steve Smith, David Hobkirk and Francis Cotter being the successful anglers.

Francis Cotter with his fish
Steve Smith with a nice fish

David Smillie at Delagyle confirms 9 salmon this week and no grilse. Head of party, Dr Colin Jones had 6 to 15 lbs. Mr Ian Banister had 3. Well done gents.

At Laggan, Max McKinstrie reports that they welcomed the Bleaney party this week and they finished the week with 20 in the book. The conditions most of the week were ideal for us with the slow dropping and clearing river. There was a mix of Salmon to 15lbs and Grilse. Some very fresh ones included. Great to see the river in good form after some tough conditions this season so far.

Rupert Allinson with his 15lb fish
Jamie Macmillan with a fine fresh grilse
Fergus Macmillan and his fish
Alex Enderley with 10lbs of silver

Knockando Home beat had a couple of salmon to 15lb and 6 grilse.

Our final stop this week is Castle Grant where Simon Crozier reportsalthough we did not get the arrival of fish we had expected, the latter part of the week saw fish landed across all the beats, with a mixture of fresh grilse and older fish being caught. Robin Gardner had a fine cock fish from Greenbank on Monday. A notable catch was a fine 9lb seatrout for John MacLeod, his sons Callum and Andrew both had grilse from the Manse the latter being sealiced, Callum’s girlfriend Steph had her first fish, a fine fish of around 9lb from the Wash Pot, Donny Goddard from Inverness had a fish of 7lb from Dipper on Saturday, further fish of 10 lb from Congash and a wee grilse from Slopichar ended the week on a high. We hope for settled water and good fishing next week.

Well done its in the net, Steph’s first fish
Steph and her first fish from the Washpot
John Macleod’s fine seatrout from Polchraine
Congash Burn 10lbs
Robin Gardner’s early dinosaur from Greenbank

Grantown water had 9 salmon to 14 lbs and 8 seatrout.

Looking forward, the week ahead looks like another mixed one, with not a lot of sunshine, so hopefully conditions will be good.

Tight lines to all those on the water next week.


2 thoughts on “Week Commencing 17th July 2023”

  1. Re the “Gold Grilse Ghillie Award”, the wording of the eligibility criteria includes those who are “closely associated” with river ghillies, boatmen or river managers, not those who are “closely related”, although if the applicant is closely related, he/she is clearly closely associated as well.

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