Week Commencing 20th June 2022

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Afternoon all

Another Sunday afternoon, another week over in the 2022 season.

A mixed week of weather, sunshine (lots of it), high temperatures, windy in spells and the odd splatter of rain, not ideal for anglers but fine for the farmers and gardeners.

Talking of gardens, they are looking brilliant at this time of the year, as are our wild gardens around us, namely the hedgerows and woodlands, full of bird song and wildlife to spot from Roe deer to squirrels.

Right let’s look at what happened in the week gone by and it is not good reading. The river is struggling to see numbers of fish throughout all the beats, resulting in poorer than normal returns. This is somewhat concerning to all those to either come to fish or indeed work on the river. I do not know if anyone can put their finger on the cause of this or is it just the continued decline in wild fish stocks? I wish I had a crystal ball to give the answer but sadly I cannot.

Let us head from the bottom to the top.

Andy Milne at Fochabers Angling Association, reports two fish landed, both in the Quarry Pool with a number of fish lost too. Retired Brae Water ghillie, Ian Tennant was one of the lucky rods.

Ian Tennant’s 8lb from the Quarry
Visiting Angler, Allan Wilson with a fine 12lb fish

Gordon Castle/Brae water ghillie David Buley advises another tough week for them and their guests, with bright sunshine and very low water. The rods managed to land 12 fish with a good number lost. No grilse amongst this number but all fish were fresh but devoid of sea lice. They still await the arrival of this years grilse run.

Gordon Castle silver
“Ghillie”, angler and his silver prize
another “ghillie” photobomb

At Orton, head ghillie Andy Gunn advises a good week with a mix of salmon and grilse landed by the Rose party.

Orton grilse
Lovely fish
Bonny fish
A wee fat bar of silver
12lb of Orton salmon

Mark Melville, head ghillie at Delfur confirms another tough week with sporadic catches as the week went on. They finished with 9 for the week, a mix of salmon and grilse, with some fresh and some older fish. One fish that was landed survived a seal attack which caused considerable damage.

Ghillie Grant Morrison with a 20lb belter
A big grilse for Paul Ross
Colin Humphries bonny fish from Beaufort
without the net
Charlie Mason’s badly seal damaged fish
Damage inflicted

Robbie Stronach at Rothes reports that they had a better than expected week given the weather conditions faced by the rods. Their week ended on 10, with five of those landed on the Monday and sporadic landings thereafter.

Nick Playdell Bouvere with a fine fish from Geantree
Nick with another from the Town Road
James Bladon, Geantree
James Bladon again, this time from Bluestone
and a second from Bluestone

Arndilly head ghillie Euan Reid reports a week of beautiful weather and the lovely David and Gilly Bate with their party made it a very enjoyable and great fun week.
In common with the rest of the river I guess we continue to struggle with a lack of fish arriving into the system. The sea trout are also almost absent. Worrying times. On the bright side one or two grilse are beginning to arrive. Tim Bull 11.5lb from Bulwark and Giles Brand, 8lb from Long Pool got us going on Monday and David Bate had a 3lb grilse from in front of the hut on Tuesday. David, again 12lb same place but this time fishing for unicorns on Tuesday night but strictly speaking it was a Wednesday fish having been caught after midnight. Giles Brand got a lovely grilse from the right bank of Gilmour, now that’s a rarity. Two grilse were landed on Friday, one for Mark Eyre from the very top of Back of the Bog and one for David Bate from the neck of Cobble Pot on the right bank.
So 7 for the week and everyone worked hard for that. Unfortunately Gilly Bate and Beaky Allesch-Taylor fished well all week for no reward.

Tim Bull, 11.5lb
Safe release
Mark Eyre, Back of the Bog with the signature hat that luckily survived the wind
Giles Brand, Gilmour
Mrs Eyre Casting a lovely line across Back of the Bog

Next upstream at Easter Elchies/Upper Arndilly, Orn Sigurhansson reports a week of continued low water and sport throughout the week. We had a split week this week and welcomed the McAllister party the first 3 days and the Dernie party the last 3 days. Salmon, grilse and sea trout all landed during the week and a draw between both parties on fish landed. Total of 10 salmon and grilse landed and a further 5 good sea trout caught. Overall another good week in the low water conditions.

Orn with Peter Dernie’s 10lb fish from the Boat Pool
Merlin Dernie 5lb grilse, Red Craigs
John Henderson, 12lb Fiddich Mouth
Peter Dernie, 4lb grilse Inverfiddich

Craigellachie had a poor week with only one fish in the book, reports Dougie Ross.

Both Aberlour Angling Club and Wester Elchies had blank weeks.

Kinermony had 2 grilse for their week reports David Brand. The lucky captors being Tim Pullen and Robin Taylor.

Laggan did not fair much better, still struggling to see fish in any numbers advises Mike Murdoch. They only had one grilse for a strong party of anglers.

Knockando Home Beat ghillie Archie Baillie advises their only success this week was a very coloured 12lb fish. as scarce as hens teeth is how Archie is describing conditions just now.

Further upstream on our journey, Simon Crozier at Castle Grant confirms another difficult week with fish hard to come by. The week started well for Di Orson and her party fishing Beat 3 . On Tuesday the party had 3 salmon, a grilse and 6 seatrout . James Eggleston had his first salmon from Delliefure, Andrew King had a sealiced grilse followed by a 10lb salmon from Pollowick. Di Orson had an evening to remember with a salmon and 2 seatrout , 8 and 7 lbs. After that good start only a few seatrout were landed across the beats. Bright sun and strong winds making things difficult, however with a bit more cloud and a bit less wind in the forecast we hope for better fishing to come.

Paul Eggleston with his Greenbank seatrout
James Eggleston, first salmon, Delliefure
Di Orson’s 7lb seatrout
Di Orson and her Pollowick midnight Salmon
Di Orson, 8lb Seatrout Pollowick
Andrew King, Pollowick
Andrew King, 6lb Seatrout, Greenbank

Grantown had a quiet week with only 2 salmon to 8lb landed, along with 9 seatrout.

Abernethy Water landed 4 salmon and Seatrout for their week including this absolute belter for Sam Thomspon.

Sam Thompson with a magnificent seatrout from the Nethy Pool, Abernethy water

The above makes solomn reading for the time of year and we can only hope that something changes soon to bring the fish into the river.

The week ahead shows a mix of weather and with less wind we can only hope the conditions are more favourable for anglers.

As an aside I would normally have been on the Ewe this week but due to my accident did not make it. The rest of the party had a good week in the bright conditions mainly down the fact they had great water conditions, making the entire river of just under 2 miles fishable. They finished the week with 11 fish to 14lb on the bank and further 12 fish were hooked and lost to a party of 4 rods. Like the Spey, conditions made it hard work. A mix of salmon and grilse were landed. Conditions have been very favourable for this West coast river this year, with plenty water so far and a good number of fish landed to date.

Tight lines to those out and about next week


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