Sunday afternoon in between the showers but more to come later today and into tomorrow. The garden is needing it, flower beds are not filled with soil but dust, so if my garden is desperate for water then everyone else in the same boat. This farmers with winter sown crops which are ready for harvesting will have enjoyed the dry weather we have been experiencing but with the extreme heat it would have come with a very high risk of fire.
The week gone by exposed the country to a heat we have never experienced before, for a couple of days and whilst it was nowhere near the southern temperatures it was still uncomfortable, especially for people like me who hate the heat!!!
The river is low and we were in danger of seeing seriously low conditions were it not for the wee boost the river got with the rain last night. It will certainly help but possibly only a short term relief.
So lets have a look and see how the beats fared in the conditions they had to endure last week.
Heading upstream Fochabers Angling Association had a good week with 18 fish landed, mostly grilse but the same, if not more hooked and lost.
David Buley at Gordon Castle/ Brae Water advises a good fishing with mid 50’s landed and lost the same if not more. Bright sun made the first few days tough and brought the water temp up to 20 degrees Celsius. As the week went on temperatures cooled and fish started taking. Most fish landed were fresh grilse, fewer salmon caught than last week. Also this week we had 3 anglers catch their first salmon which is always a highlight for all involved.
Orton head ghillie Andy Gunn confirms another good week for them, with 13 in the book and as many lost. Best of the week was Mark Everard with a 16lber from the Turn. Young Fraser Morris caught on grilse and lost three on his first trip, well done to him. Early starts and late casts weer the order of the week.
Up at Delfur, Mark Melville reports a week finishing in the 20’s, with Saturday being their best day with 7 landed. About 2/3rds of the fish landed were grilse but a couple of 15lbers in the mix too. Mark remarks that all the fish landed were in great condition, even the wee 2lb grilse.
As we continue the weekly journey up river our next stop is Rothes where Robbie Stronach confirms that they had 10 for the week, all of which were grilse bar one salmon. A good enough week given the prevailing conditions.
Euan Reid, head ghillie at Arndilly reports that of all of great weeks we have on Arndilly this is always one of the most good fun weeks from a Ghillieing perspective. This week we had Freya, March and Rose Hollingbery and their merry band of entertainers! Unfortunately this week we had the hottest day in history in Scotland which made catching fish really difficult but the team worked really hard and caught some very important fish. We had 7 fish for the week but 4 of them were first ever fish.
On Monday Miss Rose Hollingbery had her first fish, a grilse from Back of the Bog. Tuesday had water temperatures through the roof so we caught nothing as a result. On Wednesday Oscar Edwards and George Dakin had a grilse each from Bulwark left and right respectively, both first fish. On Thursday Fox Wincott and Rowan Wooley had fish from Cobble Pot and Gilmour.
Ryan Khan had his first ever from the neck of Cobble Pot on the right on Friday and Fox had his second of the week on Saturday from right bank of Jocks Tail. Freya and Joe were unlucky although fished well. March, Wik and Fox did a great job of entertaining us, especially Wik being slightly confused as to why there were so many otters. Turns out his otters are our ducks, we still love you Wik!
Rose and Rowan and team always entertain, woohoo!
Next on the journey is Easter Elchies where Orn Sigurhansson reports a week of high temperatures and low water. Always pleased to welcome the Wilson fishing party to Easter Elchies in July. With the forecast, early morning starts and late evening fishing were the order of the week. A week of grilse only and having to concentrate again on our streamy pools where the fish could oxygenate. Five grilse landed and a few lost, a good effort for the team in what were really tough fishing conditions.
At Craigellachie, ghillie Dougie Ross sums up their week given the conditions in one simple image below but still managed to finish with 4 fish.
Lower Wester Elchies entertained the River Spey Anglers Association first junior outing of 2022 on Saturday. A half dozen youngsters had the opportunity to fish the beat under the supervision of volunteers for a few hours but despite their best efforts and having seen fish nothing stuck. they had more success in the trout pond on the estate in an entertaining few hours which were not competitive in any way between the adult volunteers as they tried to outdo each other. A big thank you to ghillie, John Lunardi and the owners for the opportunity.
Across the river Aberlour Angling Club had another quiet week due to the low water conditions, as did Wester Elchies who only managed one fish.
At Kinermony a few fish were encountered but unfortunately did not stick reports David Brand.
Upstream at Knockando Home Beat, ghillie Archie Baillie advise that due to the conditions the guests opted for mornings and evenings which proved to be the right decision. We ended the week with 5 salmon, 3 grilse and 3 sea trout. Hopefully this wee rise in the river might freshen things up a bit for the coming week.
Heading further upstream, Simon Crozier, head ghillie at Castle Grant reports a testing week last week with the low water and high water temperatures making things challenging. Some grilse were coming through sporadically and a few clean grilse were landed throughout the beats. Some nice seatrout were landed with fish up to 8lbs being taken. The dancing shoes are being looked out and the rain dance has begun.
I think it is fair to say there was a definie split in the river this week, with the lower beats doing well in the low water conditions. As Simon Crozier says above I am sure a few ghillies will have the rain dance footwear on as water is desperately needed to freshen things up, otherwise it could be a long run in to the end of the season.
Looking forward to the week ahead, there is the possibility of some rain for the later part of today and tomorrow but how much??? It should certainly freshen things up a wee bit but with temperatures set to climb again as the week goes on, conditions could be tough for the anglers and more early starts/late finishes will be in order.
Tight lines to those on the water, wherever it is for the week ahead.