Week Commencing 20th May 2024

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Good afternoon all

I am back this week and thanks to Paul for covering last week whilst I was attending the Gordon Castle Highland Games, assisting with some flytying at the River Spey Anglers Association stand. It was a great day with good crowds once again.

It is starting to brighten up in Elgin following some pretty heavy rain earlier today which meant I did not get out to do some odd jobs in the garden, thankfully a good cover of plants is keeping the weeds at bay. I must admit tomatoes are not going to be great this year. Using peat free growbags on a growbag reservoir to ensure plenty water but they are not absorbing the water so having to water most days, somewhat disappointing as the reservoirs takes this daily task away but I will monitor anyway.

The countryside is certainly greening up and locally sown Oilseed Rape last winter has nearly finished shedding its flowers, with a good crop of seed heads that will be harvested in the coming months.It will not be long before we see that start of the silage season if the weather stays favourable for the farmers.

Last week saw a fair old mix of weather with warm temperatures for the early part and then just a wee drop rain towards the end of the week. It will certainly have helped and also hindered the fishing on the rivers of the UK.

I would like to draw your attention to the Spey Fishery Board Consultation 2024 which has been launched. I have noted below the link to the consultation and would ask that if you have the time please complete the paper, as the Board would board would like to hear from as many intertested parties as possible to help shape the Boards direction.

Spey Fishery Board Public Consultation 2024

So lets head to the River and see how things went.

At Gordon Castle/Brae Water, David Buley reports a quieter week than expected. The first half of the week was ideal conditions but we had very few rods fishing. We lost Thursday due to high dirty water. One fish landed, and five or six lost.

Nice fish in the net

Up at Orton, Andy Gunn confirms 3 fish for us this week.
We were enjoying the low water early in the week, Mark Everard landed a fresh 12lb fish from the Turn and another angler obviously using Teflon coated barbless rubber hooks lost 4!
A rising dirty river put paid to the sport on Thursday and it was Saturday before we connected with anything else, Robert Chambers with an older fish about 10lbs from the House Pool before lunch and another angler landed a fresh 7lb fish from the same pool in the afternoon.

Mark Everard with his 12lber from the Turn
Cracking silver fish from the House Pool

As we go up the river, our next stop is at Delfur where Mark Melville advises of a mixed week of sunshine and rain with the lowest water of the season to start the week before the 2 foot spate on Thursday.
We picked away the first couple of days with a fish a day and then had a good day on Wednesday with the fish switching on as usual before the big rise.Thursday was unfishable for us with filthy dirty rising water all day!
Friday and Saturday were very quiet with a couple of fish caught including a first Delfur fish for Sarah Macrae.
Looking forward to hopefully seeing a lot more fish about this coming week.

Malcolm Macrae with a fine fish from Collie
Happy fishing party in the sunshine at Delfur
Camilla Mountain with a fish from Beaufort
Henry Mountain with a long tailed sea licer from Beaufort
Henry Mountain’s fresh fish from Sourden
Sarah Macrae with silver from Big Haddie

Well done to Sarah for landing her first fish at Delfur

Euan Reid at Arndilly confirms this was a week of extremes. On Monday and Tuesday, the air conditioning on the trucks was working hard. By Thursday, the heating was on, and the hut stove at full tilt.
Ralph Green got us started with a 13lb fish from the boat in the Piles on Monday afternoon in the blistering sun and -2″ on our guage.
Mrs Kathleen Duncan had a lovely 8lb fish from Back of the Bog on Wednesday.
Then the rain started, and kept going. From our perspective, we wanted the rain as really low water doesn’t suit us particularly well. The river rose to 3ft and coloured up on Thursday.
On Friday, Rachael Duncan had an 11lb fish from the tail of Long Pool and Anna Taylor had a 7lb fish in front of the hut, both sea liced at about the 2ft 6 mark.
Saturday was disappointing in that we hoped to kick on a bit but didn’t, one or two lost and pulled but that was that.

Rachel Duncan with her prize from the tail of the Long pool
same fish
Anna Taylor with a sparkling 7lber
Fish On
Kathleen Duncan with her fish just as the rain was starting
and Away
ok one on the bank let’s find another

Up at Easter Elchies, Orn Sigurhansson reports another week of roller coaster water levels and fresh fish. We were very pleased to welcome the Harman fishing party this week. We started the week at -4 inches on the gauge, rising to 27 inches on Thursday dropping back to 6 inches today. Fish caught throughout the week, ranging from 7lb to 20lb. Rod of the week, Graham Ritchie with 4 to his rod from Inverfiddich. 19 salmon for the week, a good week. Well done Graham.

Fiddichmouth Silver
High Water Salmon

Dougie Ross at Craigellachie confirms a quiet week with us conditions not having helped at all. Hopefully next week it will fall and clear. Only 4 fish caught for the week.

Silver in the sun
Nice fish

The rain at the start of the second half of the week will have had an impact on matters, as it was fairly stotting down in Elgin for long spells. Thankfully the garden coped with it and there were not too many plants that suffered apart from a bit of rain droop.

Aberlour Angling club confirm that they were well fished over the week, with a number of rods out each day but unfortunately nothing made it to the bank or into the net.

Across the river at Wester Elchies they had a quiet week too with just one fish landed, Kinermony were in the same boat too according to David Brand with a single fish landed on Monday.

Up at Delagyle David Smillie reports four fish for the Flack party. Peter Flack 2 at approx 12 and 15 pounds and Camilla Flack 7lbs, her first fish in ten years. Alex Calhoun also got in on the action with a fine 8lb fish. David also confirms that afew fish were lost too.

Bonny fish, happy angler (and ghillie)
Camilla Flack with her first fish for a number of years

Ian Borthwick at Carron advises that they had a good week with 11 salmon for the week. It kicked off on Monday with Paul Davidson landing a single fish. Tuesday was also a single fish day with John Hill getting in on the action. Wednesday saw four fish in the book, with 3 to Paul Davidson and 1 to Steve Belcher. Thursday blank due to rising water but on Friday the rods were in amongst them again with 1 to John Hill, a single to Graham Moffat and 1 to Paul Davidson. The week ended with two fish on Saturday for John Hill. Well done to all the rods.

Silver at Delagyle
A lovely fresh fish
Lovely fish
Happy angler

Nothing to report from Carron up river until we reach Castle Grant, where Simon Crozier reports a quiet week for us. Olga Johnson got us off the mark with a 9lb fish from Greenbank on Monday evening. The fish took a needle fly intended for a seatrout at 10:30 pm ! On Tuesday John Mutter had a fish of 7lbs from the Washpot. Things became difficult after that with bright conditions and low water in the first half of the week and high water on Thursday and Friday. Although still peaty on Saturday, the height was good and two fish came to the net. A fish of 12lbs for Peter Morrison from Pollowick and a twilight fish of around 11lbs from the Manse. With good water height for the early part of next week at least we hope some fish will come to hand.

Sea liced fish from the Manse
Peter Morrison with a nice fish in Pollowick

Grantown water had three salmon to 14lbs for the week, Abernethy had 2 fish, best was 9lb and Nigel Badiozzaman also landed a fish at Kinchurdy.

The week ahead looks to be mixed once again, with sunshine and showers, possibility of isolated thundery showers tomorrow so please be vigilant if there is thunder and lightning about.

Tight lines to everyone out on the water wherever it may be.


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