Week Commencing 22nd April 2024

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Good afternoon all

Once again its wet in Elgin, rain has not stopped for most of the day and that is after some serious downpours yesterday, along with thunder and the occasional peppering of hailstones- lovely Scottish weather for April.

I think green is the new colour on the landscape this week, with previously planted crops now poking through the soil and the garden has really sprung into life. I finally got my tomatoes planted this morning so making progress in my own garden.

Nothing to report on the wildlife side of things today as it all seems to have been quiet during the last week, possibly down to the colder conditions.

Lets see how the river fared in the week

Heading up river, Fochabers Angling Association finally got the benefit of lower water levels, allowing Allan Crook to get their first fish of the year from the Snorkel.

Allan Crook’s fish from Snorkel

At Gordon Castle/Brae Water, Lewis Webb reports a quieter week on paper with only one fish landed along with a surprising kelt which had us fooled for a while. We did have plenty of other contacts from fish but sadly we couldn’t keep a hold of them. The water height is now right where we want it so we look forward to seeing what next week brings! It’s been very encouraging to hear of both quantity and quality fish being caught from the river. Also a special mention to a guest who misunderstood the assignment of catching a springer…and hooked a cocker instead.

Lovely GC fish
Bending into a fish

Next up the river is Orton where Andy Gunn advises A good week for us started by Dr Donny Black on Monday with a 13lb beauty from Twenty Pound Pool.
Tuesday before lunch Dr Phillip Fairchild had an 8lb sea liced fish from the Junction.
On Wednesday with the water continuing to drop Magnus Jepson from Norway landed 2 fish, the 1st from Twenty Pound Pool about 10lb and the 2nd from the Glide at 8lbs. Dr Fairchild landed his 2nd fish, this time from The Arns Pool, 6lb.
A cold wet windy Thursday morning produced 2 sea liced fish in quick succession for the good Doctor Fairchild yet again, at 11 & 13lbs from Twenty Pound Pool.
On Saturday Richard Adam landed a liced 8lb fish, again from Twenty Pound Pool and Dr Phil landed his 5th fish of the week, a cracking 11lber from The Arns.

Dr Donny Black in 20lb Pool
Bonny fish
Bar of silver
Another one for Phillip in 20lb Pool
Philip again, 11lbs Arns
Same fish different shot
Orton silver
Dr Phillip Fairchild with his 8lb Junction Fish
Richard Adam with his fish from 20lb Pool

Mark Melville at Delfur tells me that it was another good week for them. The Graeme Bone party caught some quality spring fish with two in the twenties!
It was nice to see Twa Stanes fishing again having been very dour the last few years.
I suspect the big spates over the Autumn and winter have shifted and dug out some holding water and lies. Once we get some low and clear water we will have a better idea of the changes to all the pools.
Great to see a decent run of spring salmon, long may it continue for everyone.

Graeme Bone with a cracking 20lber from Collie
A bonny hen fish from Twa Stanes
Paul O’Donnell, 22lbs from Sourden
Gus Macrae with one of his fish from Sourden, Hector has seen it all before
Gus Macrae with Delfur silver
Graeme Davies with his Sourden prize

As Mark says its good to see a decent start to the season but like last year fish seem to be reluctant to stop or at least pause in the lower river but hopefully as water levels drop we will see a few more fish take up residency and hold some fresher fish in the pools.

As we head up the river Robbie Stronach at Rothes and Aikenway reports a week of 22, yes 22 fish- what a week. Robbie reports that they got off to a good start on Monday with 6 caught . Kevin Clayton got one from Town road , Peter Hunt got one from Creeky, Harry Nash also got into the mix with one from Creeky and Kevin Clayton got a brace in Creeky one of which was 25 1/2 lb . On Tuesday 4 fish were landed Bill connolly got one from the Long Pool, Harry Nash was in again with one from Creeky , Kevin Clayton followed suit with one from Creeky and Peter Hunt got one from the Junction . On Wednesday we blanked . Change of party on Thursday with both John Reeve and Mike Heaps each landing a fish from Creeky . Friday 6 fish landed John Reeve with a brace from the Junction and David Saunders with one from Creeky , Mike Heaps landed fish from Burnmouth and Junction and Will Saunders got one from Jamieson. the week finished with 4 fish landed on Saturday with Will Saunders with a brace from Creeky , Richard Doyle with one from Jamieson and Will Saunders with one from Burnmouth.

Richard Doyle from Jamieson
Kevin Clayton with a cracking fish of 25 and half from Creeky
Bill Connolly and his fish from the Long Pool
Mike Heaps fish from Burnmouth

What a week for the Rothes rods- well done to everyone.

Up at Arndilly, Euan Reid confirms it was another lovely week on Arndilly which has flown by. They seem to be getting quicker. It must be my age (Not just you Euan-lol).
This week was Dr. Solomon and his long-term team. It was a week of two halves with 8 by Wednesday evening and 1 after. Why this was is hard to unpick as we saw more in the second half of the week and still had contacts and losses, but for some reason, it just didn’t work. In saying that, 9 fish is an excellent April week total, and we were delighted with that.
Pat Hatkin got us going with an 8lb fish from the boat in the Soo at 13″ on Monday. Tuesday, Pat Harkin had a brace one at 13lb from Soo left and 6lb from opposite the path in Cobble Pot. John Lawson had a 10.5lb fish from the tail of Cobble Pot at almost the same time as Pat has his Soo fish, both sea liced.
We had 4 on Wednesday, John Lawson, 9.5lb from the Piles boat, David Solomon, 8lb, Bulwark right, and Pat Harkin, 7.5lb, again from the Piles boat. Tim Wade had the fish of the week, a beautiful 20lb fish from the boat in the Soo.
We had 1 on Thursday for Pat, 8lb from Gilmour, and blanked Friday and Saturday.
Well done, Pat for a week to remember, and well done to the rest of the team for pretending to be  happy!

Pat Harkin with the first fish of the week – a silver bullet
Tim Wade, 20lber in Soo
Tim wrestling
Pat Harkin, Piles
Pat Harkin, Gilmour
John Lawson, Cobble Pot
Pat with a lively one
I am not coming out!!
Dr David Solomon, Bulwark

As we continue our upstream travels our next stop is Easter Elchies where Orn Sigurhansson reports another week of wintry weather with a persistent northerly wind and snow showers on Friday. We were very pleased to welcome both the MacDonald and Gordon fishing parties this week. The week started well with 3 fish landed on Monday, including 20lb cracker caught by Iain Gillies. Fish caught throughout the week with Ian Gordon wading in with a 17lb silver springer from Fiddich Mouth on Friday – hasn’t lost his touch! Water height starting the week at 9 inches on the gauge, dropping to 4 inches by Saturday. 10 salmon for the week, good in the conditions.

Ian Gordon, 17lbs Fiddich Mouth
Bill Drummond with a nice fish from Red Craigs

Across and up from Easter Elchies is Craigellachie where Dougie Ross reports a 4 fish week for them. Dougie is hoping for continued success into the week ahead.

Lower Wester Elchies also had a fish this week, the lucky rod being Tor Martin Roed with a cricking looking fish.

Fine fish for Tor Martin Roed

Opposite LWE is the Aberlour Angling Club water, where Kenny Davies advises they had 4 for the week. Local rod John Clark ahd three and a visiting rod landed the other.

Wester Elchies finished their week with just two landed reports Malcolm Newbould but he advises that the week was somewhat frustrating as a number of fish were encountered but failed to make the net.

Wester Elchies Silver

Up and over from Wester Elchies is Kinermony where ghillie David Brand reports three fish in the book. the rods who were successful being Robbie Finnie, Richard Smith and Carl Holmes- well done gents.

Carl Homes with his fish

Delagyle also got in on the action this week confirms David Smillie, with two fish landed. A fine 12lb fish for Sandy Datta and a sparkling 9lber for Orton ghillie, Mark Little.

Sandy Datta with a nice 12lber
Mark Little with a sparkling fish

Laggan ghillie Max Mckinstrie confirms just the one for them with Rachel Duncan landed a fish in the Stream but as with other beats, fish encountered but not sticking.

Rachel Duncan,12lb from the Stream

At Knockando, Archie Baillie reports two fish this week. The first for Chris Harden 9lb and the second was a fish of the same size for Paul Broughton.

Paul Broughton with his fish
Chris Harden with a fine 9lb fish

Another big fish off Tulchan this week, on Beat A. Stephen Higgins landing a fine 20lber, gicing him entry to the Tuclan 20 Club. Stephen was presented with a bottle of Tulchan gin and a Club Fly by Ghillie John Anderson.

Stephen Higgins fish from A beat
Stephen being presented with his 20lb club Gin and Fly by John Anderson

Our final stop on the river this week is Castle Grant where Simon Crozier reports that the week started with good water levels for our beats, we were rewarded with 2 fish on Monday, a fish of 7lbs for Cameron Smith from Number 1 burn and Scott Kerr had a fish of 9lbs from the March. Things went quiet after that across the beats despite good water height, the east wind however was ever present. On Friday Brian Anderson had a fish of 9lbs, again from Number1 burn. The week ended with a fish for Matthew Brownski of 9lbs from the Croy Race. With a more settled week of weather forecast we hope for more sport next week.

Scott Kerr with a fine fish
Matthew Brownski and his fish from Croy Race

As Simon says it seems the weather maybe a bit more settled next week, with temperatures being up a few degrees which will hopefully help and not make it such a chore to be wading the river.

I would say it has been a steady start to the year, nothing spectacular but a lot of big fish and also quality fish being caught. I can speak for everyone when I say I hope the season continues in the vane as we move though the months.

Tight lines to those out and about


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