Good afternoon everyone
Another week into the season, May is nearly over, all things in the countryside continue to flourish and grow down to the spell of warm settled weather we have been having. It has not all be plain sailing with the weather as we did see a small lift mid week which coloured the river for a short period.
The Spey Board had their quarterly meeting on Friday and it was a subdued concerning the river and the catches to date with the proprietors expressing the same concerns as their ghillies. It is not easy to stay positive in the current catch predicament that we find ourselves in but stay positive we must. The Board are currently exploring options for the future but more details on this will be shared at the appropriate time.
The subject of water abstraction from our rivers is not just confined to the Spey and its catchment, it affect many other rivers all over Scotland and I was shocked to read on social media that there is a current predicament with Loch Maree and the River Ewe following a extended dry period. SEPA have asked for those behind the abstractions to be mindful of the current conditions and the very low flow in the Ewe. This is a subject that I am sure angers many due to the detrimental impact on our rivers and especially at times where prolonged fine weather drops loch and river levels but the abstraction companies still can continue to draw water from these diminished supplies.
Right let us head down the river and see how things have been doing.
Abernethy managed to secure a single 12lb salmon for their week and the Grantown water had one salmon to 8lbs and 2 seatrout to 3lbs for their week. Once again many thanks to Simon Crozier at Castle Grant for keeping me updated on both of these bits of water.
At Castle Grant Simon Crozier reports another quiet week for us at Castle Grant. On Thursday I attended the ghillies committee meeting , it was a very sombre mood as one could imagine and some frank discussions took place, However having spoken to Sandy Scott after the board meeting he told me of a new direction the board have agreed to take which may provide a glimmer of hope for both Angler and ghillie alike. I believe a change of direction is the only option now. Details to follow in the coming days. Anyway back to the fishing. The long waited rise of water did little to improve things,the Dulnain colouring the water , fish were seen but takes were hard to come by. Jim Bolton managed to tempt a fine fish from the Garra and Samuel Hill had a fine 8lb fish from the Croy race. A few seatrout were also landed , we as always are hopeful of better fishing to come .
Downstream at Laggan, Max McKinstrie reports a blank week for them despite the angling effort commenting that things are tough at present.
David Brand at Kinermony reports that they managed to get 3 fish this week and a couple lost too. The lucky captors being Mr Olivier getting two, and Mr Pasquale getting the other. Well done gents.
Delagyle had another tough week according to David Smillie with nothing to show for the angling hours put in on the water.
Wester Elchies managed a solitary fish for their week despite the early week rise which did not seem to benefit the river reports Malcolm Newbould
Downstream at Craigellachie ghillie Dougie Ross reports a three fish week for them, John Young landing two and Nigel David the other fish in the book.
Orn Sigurhansson reports that they welcomed the Harman Family to Easter Elchies this week. The rise in the river brought with it a lot of hope, however, Monday and Tuesday the fishing was difficult with a lot of debris in the river from the rise in the water. Whilst the river settled on Wednesday the bright sunshine brought with it different problems. We finally managed our first fish of the week on Thursday afternoon. A lovely, sea liced fish from the Fiddich, with a further two salmon caught and three sea trout lost. Friday saw good conditions in the afternoon with 3 sea trout caught. Saturday produced another cracking, acrobatic salmon from the Fiddich and one lost in the Lower Dips. Another sea trout was landed in the Heathery Isle. A mixed week with 4 salmon and 4 sea trout.
At Arndilly Euan Reid reports another tough week with a sweet ending. Nick Measham had a 9lb sea liced fish on Tuesday afternoon. That was us til Saturday when Andy Majerus had a fish on a #14 s stoat from Back of the Bog, 9lb but been in a bit. Andy Cowan and Ian Gordon had 10lb sea liced fish from Reids and the neck of Cobble Pot respectively. Hopefully that’s a better sign.
At Rothes and Aikenway it was another fairly quiet week advises Robbie Stronach with just 2 fish in the book. the lucky anglers being Duncan Fletcher(Snr) with one from Geantree and Duncan Fletcher (Jnr) the other from Sycamore .
Mark Melville at Delfur reported a quiet start to the first half of the week after the dirty rise on Sunday. We managed 3 fish Thursday morning then 1 Friday morning. Still not seeing many fish showing.
Orton had another quiet week according to Head ghillie Andy Gunn.
Next on our journey is Gordon Castle/Brae Water where David Buley reports a week where the weather wasn’t too bad, a couple afternoons where the sun maybe slowed things down, and then the wind towards the end of the week made things tricky at times. This week started very slowly with nothing hooked or landed on Monday or Tuesday. Wednesday saw the first fish of the week caught, and a few more were seen moving through. Thursday one of our long term clients caught a lovely fish while being boated down Aultdearg. Great to have guests still fishing after 60+ years on the Spey. The third and final fish for us this week came on Saturday morning.
Finally Andy Milne of Fochabers Angling Association reports a blank week for their water.
Another week of mixed fortunes with fish being taken through the system but on a very sporadic basis and not in great numbers. This is the pattern we have seen all season with no-one really hitting double figures. We can only but hope that this will happen soon.
Looking forward to the week ahead, looks like it will be warm, sunny all week so not the greatest of salmon fishing conditions but if your fly is not in the water then you are not fishing.
Tight lines for the week ahead.