Week Commencing 19th April – Blue sky days with a silver lining

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It was another very sunny week on Speyside. This is never “ideal” conditions for fishing but after a winter of lockdown and indoor pursuits, a bit of spring sunshine should always be welcomed – and, what from what I hear, it didn’t hinder the catches on the river. On one of the lower river beats the majority of their catch came in the afternoon sessions – which almost defies our usual logic regarding the most productive time to fish on sunny days. However it’s worth noting that most of these springers were sealiced – some with long tails – they are travelling fast upstream. Maybe they were reaching a certain point in the river by the afternoon and pausing.  Moral of the story, best time to catch a spring salmon is when they are there in front of you!!

River heights – 6in (+/- 2in)
Water Temps – 43-48F or 6-9C
Air temps – 2-14C

Conditions and rod pressure probably influencing the distribution of catches last week.

Catch Summary
Upper River  – 2 fish reported –
Castle Grant
Middle River – 12 fish reported –
Kinermony (2), Knockando (4), Craigellachie (1), Lower Wester Elchies (3)Wester Elchies (1), Laggan
Lower River – 24 fish reported –  
Rothes (11) Arndilly (13)
Average size – around 10lb. Biggest fish reported 17lbs

The river is starting to hold a reasonable stock of salmon now. New fish are arriving each day and there’s a general air of optimism amongst our anglers and ghillies.  Short term outlook looks positive.

To prove it, here’s some happy anglers with some really nice fish!

I have to mention Ronnie Fraser – the guy is a fish magnet. He managed 6 fish for his week and had numerous other offers.  He’s caught so many this season already he just gets the ghillie to do the photoshoot 🙂  Here’s Aaron from Rothes with one of Ronnie’s silver prizes.

A few more happy anglers –

Smolt Migration Time

As well as spring salmon migrating upstream, we are now at the point where our smolts are heading downstream to the sea.  This is such a critical time in the salmon cycle – maximising our smolt output is paramount to all we do. These smolts have so many obstacles in their path even before they reach the open ocean. The Missing Salmon project and the subsequent smolt tracking programme are important measures to help us understand what happens during this migration period.  Our team of scientists, led by Brian Shaw are busy now with this trapping and tracking activity.   Let’s hope it provides us with some some really useful feedback.

Looking ahead

The weather looks more changeable this coming week. Some clouds and rain is forecast. Will this help or hinder the fishing – who knows –  why not get out there and find out – we can all travel again 🙂


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