Week Commencing 1st July 2024

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Afternoon all

Well we are into July, the run down to the end of the season has begun. I cannot believe that we are at this stage of the 2024 already as time marches on.

The garden is still looking good, with some of the flowers now bursting into life and some phenomenal growth on plants. The greenhouse is looking good, with the first of this years tomatoes staring to colour up, although I have lost a few with bud rot due to watering issues early season, mainly down to the fact that the growbags are peat free and it took a while for the roots to find the water source.

Not much been happening on the wildlife front except for playing chicken the last few nights with this seasons baby frogs. They run a suicide alley in places due to human traffic and it is not easy to miss them as they hop about the roads. The dog does not seem to be too bothered about them at all.

Looking at the ongoing plight of our iconic fish, I see from social media that the Gaula River Board is to ask the Norwegian authorities not to reopen the river for the remainder of the 2024 season. This is a massive shame for anglers but perhaps the right course of action. It may not be the only Norwegian river to take this stance for this year but we must all play our part in trying to protect the atlantic salmon.

Talking of looking after our salmon, the Spey Board and the the Spey Ghillies Committee have been working hard this year to draw up a set of good fish handling guidelines to help our fish survive on their respective journeys upstream. These guidelines will be shared in the coming days and will hopefully be a great aide to all anglers when handling fish, particularly for the obligatory photos and allow me to include as many pictures as possible in the weekly reports. I will share a link to the guidelines when these have been uploaded to the Spey Fishery Board Website.

Last week brought us a week of mixed weather conditions once again but the rain in the middle of the week was a welcome boost and freshened things up a little, so lets see how everyone fared.

Starting up from the mouth of the river, Andy Milne of Fochabers Angling Association reports another quiet week with only 5 fish landed and a few hooked and lost.

The neighbouring beats of Gordon Castle and Brae Water had a good week advises Lewis Webb with sport across the beats ending in the 30s. The grilse seem to have showed up in numbers but unfortunately their soft mouths resulting in parting company with a lot of fish before they reached the net. A couple of first fish which was great to see especially on their first ever visit to the river and trying out double handed rods. Good to see the grilse have arrived.

ready to go
And away
Silver in the net
Lovely fish
more success
a lovely fish with a happy angler
Ian Tennant with a fine fish from the Birks
Ian again
Ian again, 14lbs, Lower Ewe

Up river at Orton, Andy Gunn confirms it was a good week for us with fish numbers into the 20’s.
Notable catches, 15 year old Sam Bain catching his 1st ever Salmon, a 13lb sea liced fish from Cairnty.
Piers Blewitt, 14lb with lice from Cairnty along with many more fish for his week.
Hugo Bain, his best of the week a 13lber from Junction.
James Haggie had 5, the heaviest being 11lb from Cairnty.
And David Haggie had a few, biggest at 9lb also from Cairnty.
A few more landed on Saturday evening.

Sam Bains with a lovely 13lber in Cairnty
Piers Blewitt, 14lb Cairnty
a bonny 12lber from Cairnty
cracking grilse for James Haggie
James again, 11lbs in Cairnty

Good to see the fish holding more in the lower beats and if the grilse are starting to arrive, then hopefully the numbers will remain good.

Mark Melville at Delfur reports that they had another good week, getting into the thirties again by close of play on Saturday. The weekly tally consisting of good quality summer salmon with a handful of grilse.
We also had the pleasure of 3 first time fishers all catching their first fish. They are all now passionate salmon anglers which bodes well for the future. Well done to all three is getting their first fish, something They will never forget.

I still remember my first ever salmon, a 7lb grilse taken just about the Bridge Pool on the River Conon on a Black Shrimp in 1985. I have never been so panicked about making sure it stayed on the hook but it did. I got plenty words of encouragement from a couple of old timers who were on the bridge and kept me right.

Ok enough reminiscing back to the Spey.

Robbie Stronach at Rothes and Aikenway reports that they ended up with 14 for the week . Mr Dickinson got one from Geantree and Mrs Curtis got a couple of fish , one from Junction and the other from Geantree .
on Tuesday it was a solitary fish for Mrs Curtis with one from Creeky.
On Wednesday Mr Curtis and Mr Barbor each landed one from Creeky . On Thursday three fish were added to the tally with Mr Tinsley landing 2 from Creeky and Mr Rawson landed one in Junction . it was just a single fish for Mr Rawson on Friday when he got one in Creeky. On Saturday Mrs Bardor landed 2 in Creeky, Mr Curtis got one in Burnmouth and Mr Dickinson got one in Geantree to end the week.

Mr Rawson, Junction
Robbie with Mrs Curtis’s fish from Junction
Mrs Curtis again, Geantree

Another steady week at Rothes with one pool featuring quite a lot!!

Upstream at Arndilly, Euan Reid confirms that the last few weeks have been steady and consistent without breaking records.
This week, we welcomed back the lovely party assembled by Nick and Lisa Smith.
Amanda Beatty got our first of the week on Monday morning, 14lb from Cobble Pot, and Mr Martin George also had a 6lb grilse from a similar place in the evening.
On Tuesday 4 were added to the tally, Martin George, 6lb , Cobble Pot, Will Beardmore-Grey, 13lb from left Piles and Mark Beatty with a brace, 12lb from Bulwark and 15 from Back of the Bog.
Nick Smith had a couple on Wednesday, 10lb from Back of the Bog and 7lb from Cobble Pot with the water level up an inch to the heady heights of zero.
On Thursday, we had 3 grilse, all from the neck of the Cobble Pot. Nick with a fine 5lber and a 4 and a 5lb for Sio Axel-Berg.
Friday saw a further three landed, 9lb for Juliet May Cameron from the Jocks Tail boat, 11lb for Mark Beatty, Cobble Pot and 10lb for Amanda Beatty from Back of the Bog.
Juliet had a grilse in front of the hut, Nick a similar fish from the neck of Cobble Pot on the right and another from the right side of the Soo with the water up to 6″.
I’ll never hear the end of it if I don’t mention Hugo Axel-Berg ‘s 3lb sea trout. Actually, it is probably the most notable fish this week due to their worrying absence.

Juliet with a lovely bar of silver
Will Beadmore-Grey with a fine fish

As we go onwards up the river at Easter Elchies, Orn Sigurhansson reports a week of northerly winds, welcome rise in water and fresh fish. We were very pleased to welcome again the Trafford fishing party to Easter Elchies. A week of two halves with the start of the week slow. The rise in water in the second half made a big difffence and Friday was our best day with 7 salmon and grilse landed for the day. A great end to the week with Jeremy Clayton landing 2 salmon from Red Craigs late Saturday afternoon on a Park Shrimp. 21 salmon and grilse and 8 sea trout for the week. A good early July week.

Upper Dips Silver
Roger Smith with his fish in Red Craigs
Jeremy Clayton with one of his fish from Red Craigs
Heathery Isle sealice
James Robertson, Upper Dips
Graham Ritchie being ably assisted by his dog in Inverfiddich
Fiddich Mouth Sea Trout

Dougie Ross at Craigellachie advises that they had a slow start to the week but finished it strongly with a few fish in the book, perhaps the small rise helping the cause. Dougie also happy to see a few grilse starting to appear so fingers crossed for a few next week.

Kenny Davis of Aberlour Angling Club advises that he is only aware of one grilse being landed by a visiting angler during the week.

Across the river, Malcolm Newbould reports a better week for Wester Elchies with 10 landed and a few lost.

out of the net

Up at Kinermony, David Brand advises that Mark Mcallmont being top rod for thier week with the lions share of the 3 salmon and single grilse caught.

Dvaid Smillie at Delagyle confirms just a solitary fresh 9lb fish from Pol Macree for the Flack party.

Up at Carron Ian Borthwick tells me that they had 4 fish for their week, with three of them being first fish for the following three rods Toby Hawkins, Theo Hawkins and Simon Brookes. Well done to all.

Toby Hawkins with his first ever fish
Theo Hawkins with his first fish
Simon Brookes with his first fish

Across the river at Laggan it was just a single fish for Dinty Leach who landed a fresh 8lber from Macgregor Stream reports ghillie Max McKinstrie.

Our penultimate stop is Castle Grant where Simon Crozier reports another week of unseasonably cold weather and fluctuating water heights which saw sport hard to come by. However some sport was had. Chris Jeffers had a nice fish from the Dipper on Monday and followed that up with a fine fish from Craigroy. Catches were sporadic to say the least . Some fine fresh fish were caught though with Peter Bentley having a cracking clean 12lber from Greenbank at 11:30pm while sea trouting ! A pleasant surprise. John Cottenham had his first ever fish from Pollowick a cracking clean fish ,a few more seatrout are showing up now. We hope for more settled conditions next week and a few more bent rods!

Finally Abernethy had 3 salmon to 16lbs, along with 12 seatrout biggest 6lb and Grantown landed 3 salmon and 3 seatrout.

It looks like it will be another mixed week of weather ahead of us but hopefully this will not have too big an impact on the catches.

Tight lines to those out and about


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