Week Commencing 21st August 2023

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Afternoon all

Another reasonable day here in Elgin, no rain since this morning but we have had a bit during the last week, but also nice spells too.

Another week into the season and we creep ever closer to the end of what can only be described as a poor one and we can only hope that it is a blip.

I was visiting my mother yesterday who is finally getting over her first dose of Covid and on leaving we saw the following crawling along her path. Now this is a first for me as I have never seen a caterpillar that was this long, about 3 inches and on doing research when I got home it is a Elephant Hawk Moth Caterpillar. It was stunning.

Elephant Hawk moth caterpillar

As mentioned last week, the Spey Board are holding their next quarterly open meeting on Friday coming in the Fochabers Institute at 9.30am. If you wish to attend please notify the board by email at admin@speyfisheryboard.com or by calling 01340 810841.

Secondly just a wee reminder that the Board are having a further an Auction in November, hoping to raise funds to develop the ” Trap and Truck” smolt process. Any countryside related prizes would be very welcome. If you wish to donate please contact the Board on the above details.

Right lets see how we fared this week.

Heading down the river, Abernethy Angling Club had 2 salmon landed by Chris Jeffers, they weighed 8 and 9lbs respectively.

At Grantown they finished their week with 1 salmon and 3 grilse in the book. Many thanks to Simon CRozier for these updates.

At Castle Grant Simon Crozier reports another week of unsettled water heights and difficult fishing. Monday saw a reasonable start with fish caught across the beats and fish showing in numbers in many of the pools. However the several small rises in the water and bright conditions saw only sporadic catches across the beats, nice to see the odd cleanish grilse still showing up, however with a more substantial rise happening as I write we hope for good sport next week.

Kevin Shanks fishing at Kinchurdy this week for a few days had 14 seatrout to 7lbs for his efforts.

Doon the water at Knockando Home Beat Archie Baillie advises 9 salmon 5 grilse and 2 sea trout for the week. Two notable salmon and a first fish. The first fish was caught by Emma Thompson a 4lb grilse. The second notable fish was caught by Laura Wills who hadn’t caught a fish for 3 years or 53 days fishing a good fish of 16lb. And last but by no means least was a fish of a life time caught by Nick Troubridge which after an epic battle where at one point the fish was round a rock in a different pool, was finally landed. It was measured at 43” and weighed at 28 1/2lb. Well done Nick.

Laura Wills and her fish after 53 fishing days blank
A lovely fish from Knockando
Nick Troubridge with his leviathan

As we continue downstream David Smillie at Delagyle reports that David Astor was fishing this week and ended up with a seatrout, a grilse and a salmon. Does that count as a Salar macnab?

At Laggan, Max Mcinstrie advises that the Spence party also fished the Carron beat rotation this week so they had plenty of water to cover each day. The party, made up mostly of the younger generation fished hard and fished well throughout the week and were fortunate enough to encounter fish most days even though the fish were trying their hardest not to play ball in the conditions. 4 fish were landed for the week to 8lbs. 2 for Freddie Spence from the Big Griggle and Delchapel, 1 for Charlie Clark from the Horseshore and 1 for Tim Clark from the Little Griggle. There were more fish lost than landed probably due to the rising river a couple of times during the week encouraging fish to move on upstream. After a good lift in the water today we hope for an increase in the action for the week ahead at Laggan.

At Wester Elchies, Malcolm Newbould reports that after a quiet start to the week a flurry of activity saw 1 fish landed on Friday and 2 on Saturday. The Friday fish was landed landed in the Boat Pool by Oli Harvey and weighed in at 4lbs. The Saturday captors were Emma Stewart-Richardson in Delene (5lbs) and Wilfred Harvey in Gene Tree (8lbs). All fish were safely returned.

Oli Harvey, Boat Pool

Across the river, both Kinermony and Aberlour Angling Club report fish free weeks.

As we mosey on down the river, at Easter Elchies, Orn Sigurhansson reports a sluggish week with plenty of resident fish but needing some water to freshen up conditions. Great fishing parties, with both beats split, and we were pleased to see the Dudgeon party from Berwickshire, Macrae party from Ayrshire, along with team Kyle and team Brodie. Highlight of the week was Watsons College pupil Henry Macrae with a good 11lb fish from tail of Fiddich on a size 10 lightning bolt. Water up to 14” already on the gauge this morning which hopefully bodes well for the team USA next week.

Henry Macrae with a fine fish from the tail of Fiddich

Next stop on the list is Arndilly where Euan Reid reports that this week, we had Brian Lovering and his team. Brian brings a lovely team to Arndilly, and they all enjoy being here regardless of whether the fishing is good or difficult. This time it was difficult! We began with 3 on Monday, Alex Hunt from the tail of the Long Pool, and Brian with one from the Back of the Bog and one from Reids. We then had 3 blank days before Brian had a grilse from the left side of the Warren. On Saturday afternoon, Barry Gilling had a 10lb fish from the left side of the neck of the Cobble Pot, and James Cheer had a fish from the top end of the Long Pool.
So, no great numbers, but we had a happy team that had a great week.
We’ll see if this lift in water is enough.

Robbie Stronach at Rothes and Aikenway reports a quiet week with just 4 in the book.

At Delfur, Mark Melville reports a very quiet week where they finished with 8. Nice to see a good foot and a half plus rise today.Even though it was tough we still managed two first fish this week!

Dom Henry with his fish from Sourden
Orla Constant with her prize
Pat Reed with her first ever fish from Broom
Katie Chesterton with her first Delfur fish in Otterhole

Hopefully that should switch them on for the coming week.

Down at Orton, Andy Gunn advises that they made it into double figures this week including 2 fish to 15lb for Richard Summers, 2 grilse for Rory Downie from the Turn and a nice 11lber for John Forbes Leith from the Junction.
Unsettled water for most of the week made it tricky but perseverance paid off.

John Forbes-Leith with silver from the Junction
Rory Downie and one of his grilse
Hugh Downie and his 6lber from Greenbank
Richard Summers with his 15lber from Junction
Angus Forsyth in the Junction

Our penultimate stop is Gordon Castle/Brae Water where Lewis Webb reports a hard week with our best days being Monday and Saturday.
We’ll see what todays rise brings, the water level is threatening to touch the 2ft mark on my gauge…. We’ve not been there since the spring!

Grilse galore
A nice fish
A nice fish again
A fine grilse

Finally Andy Milne at Fochabers Angling Association advises that they finished their week with 3 grilse in the book. Please check their social media as they may have a visitor rod available this week for a few days.

As some of the ghillies have mentioned the river is up today after some really heavy rain recently, so hopefully this will stir the fish up for the week ahead, we can only but hope.

Tight lines to those that are on the water this week.


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