The first week of August has now been and gone, a time of the year when I always try to stop and take time to appreciate summertime: wildflower meadows alive with the buzzing of insects, long picnic lunches, late sunsets beside a firepit and days spent walking along the Speyside way, marvelling at the beauty and quiet of it all.
As part of a fishery board training course to prepare me for Sawbill Duck counts, I recently spent a Sunday paddling the Spey for the first time, from Advie Bridge to the Old Tamdhu Station. We passed through Tulchan, Ballindalloch, Pitcroy and Knockando…it was an excellent way to see the river, connecting the dots and seeing the landscape and river from a different perspective. I would highly recommend giving it a go, perhaps the views in the video below might convince you (bonus points if you can identify where the video was taken!).
Now, let’s get onto the reason you’re all here and head onto the river.
First stop, Gordon Castle/Brae Water. David Buley reports that they had a very different week from last week with much fewer fish caught. Conditions were frustrating with bright sun, strong winds, and low clear water. They managed to land somewhere around the mid-twenties with a good few more than that lost. There was one or two older fish hooked this week but again the majority were fresh grilse with one or two summer salmon too.
Andy Gunn, at Orton, reports that they also ended up the week in the 20’s with 21 for the week.
Now onto Delfur, who had another good week finishing in the 30s. Mark Melville reported it was a mixed week of catches again with Saturday being our best day by far. Saturday was a perfect fishing day and the fish responded well. They caught a good mix of fish and grilse with some stale and fresh fish/grilse, which Mark said is typical for this time of year.
Continuing our journey upstream to Rothes and Aitkenway, Robbie Stronach reports that his party ended up with 8 for the week. They got off to a good start with 2 landed on Monday and say fish showing in some of the pools but they weren’t being easy to get a hold of. They landed a couple more on Friday and 4 on Saturday.
At Easter Elchies, Orn Sigurhansson reports a week of low water, cooler weather at the end of the week and good sport.
We welcomed the MacDonald fishing party at the start of the week and the Smith party from Leeds for the last 3 days. The rise in water from the previous week had gone and we focused on our low water pools such as Fiddich Mouth and Lower Dips. In the annual ‘John Coutts cup’ the Robertson Junior team just pipped the Smith team by 1 fish – Saturday morning being the opportunity for the Smiths, only to hit the woodwork!
A really good, fun August week at Easter Elchies with the final total of 15 salmon and grilse landed.
Aberlour Angling report that there were lots of grilse showing with a few fish lost for the week.
Wester Elchies had 5 fish, a mixture of fresh grilse and older bigger salmon.
There was a week of highs and lows at Castle Grant according to Simon Crozier. The week started well for the Ewer party on beat 2 with grilse being caught on Monday and Tuesday, however, the middle part of the week was quiet on all the beats.
The gloom lifted as lower air temps, cloud cover and dropping water temps brought a flurry of fish to the net across the beats. On Friday David Murray had two grilse to 4lbs and a 3lb seatrout from Pollowick on beat 3, his son Alex(14 yrs old) had his first seatrout a fine 3lber from Pollowick.
Donnie Goddard had a 10 lber from Pollowick on Saturday morning. The Ewers had a fine finish to their week on beat 2 with 4 fish on Saturday. On beat 1 Sandy Scott had a fish from Congash and Derrick Cooper had a grilse from Congash ably netted by his Grandson Nathan. We hope the fish continue to be on the take next week.
And what about the week ahead?
For those who haven’t checked the forecast, we are due another long and hot spell on Speyside with the MET Office predicting “dry and very warm with bright and sunny spells”. Temperatures will peak most days above 20 degrees and as high as 25 degrees on Tuesday in Aberlour.
With water levels in the river already on the low side, this might not bode well for a productive week of fishing. Early starts and late finishes with a midday break will likely be on the cards for many, so perhaps dive into a good book and enjoy a long lunch and siesta.
I will keep you updated on river levels and temperatures on our social media channels, which you can follow using the links below:
As always, tight lines to all those on the water this week.