Week Commencing 23rd May 2022

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Hello everyone

I am back, sore, stiff and on painkillers after my accident. Still not able to sit comfortably for long periods so this weeks report with be spread out over the afternoon.

Many thanks to Paul Hughes for stepping in at the last minute to do last week’s report as my body would not let me sit for any length of time to prepare it.

A mixed week of weather has just gone by with some heavy rain and winds which has not done the angling any real good, giving fluctuating heights and water clarity.

It has certainly done the garden good and would assume the local farmers will be happy as it will hopefully put a spurt in the grass before the silage season gets underway. The colours in the trees, verges and indeed the wider landscape are starting to come into their own and this time of year can bring such a smile to one’s face as we revel in the beauty that we have on our doorstep in the Spey valley.

Before we look at what has been happening on the Spey in the last week, I have been reading reports that a number of fish, and some big fish too have been spotted in the Findhorn, suffering from Saprolegnia, which I published some information from the Board on a few weeks ago. This is a fungal growth which can been seen on fish at this time of year and again prior to spawning but it should not be confused with the dreaded UDN (Ulcerative Dermak Necrosis). This fungal growth, the spores of which are always present in our rivers, attack bare flesh where scales are not present on the fish. It is most prevalent when we have prolonged periods of cold water and low water flow. the sores do start to heal when see increased water temperatures and increased flow.

Right how have the beats fared this week and judging by the reports it was not an easy one.

Downstream we go, Abernethy water reported a solitary fish for the week and Grantown fared a bit better with 4.

At Castle Grant, Simon Crozier reports a difficult week for them, with strong winds and fluctuating water levels making angling tough. However fish were landed across all the beats. Monday saw fish taken from Polchraine and the Croy Race biggest being 16lbs , Jim McLaughlin a regular at Beat 1 had a fine fish from Slopichar, Laurence Lock had an 18lb fish from Pollowick on Friday, Peter Morrison and Keith Pilkington finished the week on a high with a fish each from Pollowick on Saturday morning . Fish are present in all the pools but are being a bit dour! Here’s to next week.

Peter Morrison’s fish from Pollowick

At Knockando Home Beat Archie Baillie reports a game of two half’s this week. Only two connections that both came off up to Wednesday evening. From there on in some good sport was had with fish ranging from 7lb to 12lb. Some coloured some fresh and the last one on Saturday evening was sea liced, ending the week on 10 with a handful lost.

Silver Bullet
Happy angler
Ready for release
And away
Bonny fish from Knockando
Another stunning fish
Another corker
And away- again

Next on the journey downstream, Mike Murdoch at Laggan reports fishing still proving to be tough and they finished the week with 3 fish. All fish fell to the rod of Andrew Roper.

Kinermony had a quiet week with only one fish to report, according to David Brand.

Wester Elchies finished the week with three fish but the fluctuating waters levels seem to have moved the fish on advises Malcolm Newbould.

The visiting anglers did well on the Aberlour Angling Club water landing five during the week.

Dougie Ross at Craigellachie advises only one for them for the week, the changing conditions and weather playing a part.

At Easter Elchies and Upper Arndilly, Orn Sigurhansson reports a week of two halves. The first half of the week affected by water level and clarity. Despite this, a cracking 10lb Spey springer was landed on Monday at the neck of Red Craig’s on a 1930’s Hardy Perfect fly reel. Heavy rain on Thursday night freshened the water, with 3 salmon landed on Friday and a further 5 salmon landed on Saturday. Some great sport with sea trout as well, with sea trout up to 5lb landed. Final total for the week of 9 salmon and 6 sea trout in ever changing conditions.

It is a shame we do not have some footage of the Perfect in action, as this is something we do not tire of hearing. Some of the more modern reels with a ratchet sing too but you cannot beat the old ones!!!

Ghillie, Orn Sigurhansson with a fine 8lb fish from Red Craigs
Cracking 4lb sea-trout Fiddich Mouth
You cannot beat a Classic, just “Perfect”

Euan Reid at Arndilly reports that they welcomed Andy Majerus to Arndilly with his team of rods which were either new to us or hadn’t fished the beat for many years. We had a great week in terms of the friendships made but the unsettled water and the peaty colour made the salmon difficult to catch. Having said that ,we managed 9 for the week but it felt like a difficult week because we saw so few. This might be down to the dark , peaty water because this does happen after a rise in midsummer when you know the pools are full of fish but they don’t show but in these uncertain times it’s easy to worry about stock levels.
We started away nicely on Monday with 3, party leader Andy Majerus had one in front of the hut and Brian Reid ,left side of Bulwark and Andy Cowan, left side Piles also scored, 14lb, 6lb and 10lb respectively. Brian Reid again on Tuesday, piles right bank and Andy Cowan right bank of Jocks Tail on Wednesday led us to a blank Thursday.
On Friday Jim Kilcullen had a 10.5lb fish from Gilmour and Cleeves Palmer had a 9lb’r from Back of the Bog. Andy Majerus got one, 14lb from Cobble Pot on Saturday morning and Anthony Lowes got a lovely 12lb, sea liced fish from Jocks Tail right on Saturday afternoon. Our first and second sea trout this week also, Brian Reid and Ian Gordon got them.
A big rise of water is what we need just now to reset everything.

Andy Cowan’s birthday fish, 7lb Jocks Tail
Brian Reid, 14lb Bulwark
Ominous looking sky from the Soo, looking upstream at Arndilly

Next down stream at Rothes, Robbie Stronach confirms 7 fish for the week. The start of the week was flying with 4 landed on Monday but things slowed down thereafter with only 1 on Tuesday and then nothing until Friday when a firther 2 fish were landed.

Delfur hosted Malcolm Newbould’s party reports Mark Melville in what was a quiet week for them. A handful of fish landed with fish seen at the end of the week before and after the rise.

Malcolm Newbould and his fish
Speyside silver
Charlie Harman with a belter
Graham Ritchie with his fish, looks like something had a go at it

Orton have picked away over the past couple of weeks with a handful of fish confirms Andy Gunn. Pictures of some of the fish over the 2 weeks.

Bill Cooper, Ist ever springer 10lb Junction
Stuart Waring, 7lb Junction
Neil Collins.11lb Turn Pool

Gordon Castle/Brae Water had a really tough week with the prevailing conditions advises David Buley. Strong winds, some torrential showers and the fluctuating water did not do them any favours, with three fish landed and a few hooked and lost.

Fochabers Angling Association are persevering away to try and get their first fish in the book.

The week ahead looks to be reasonably settled with constant temperatures and no torrential rain in the forecast so we will just have to wait and see what this brings.

Well that’s me finished, my body telling me this was a long enough stint at the laptop.

Tight lines to those out and about next week


6 thoughts on “Week Commencing 23rd May 2022”

  1. Douglas J. D. Campbell

    Glad to hear you’re on the mend Sandy, and thanks for keeping us up to date with the excellent reports !

  2. James (dinty) S D LEACH

    Another interesting week. Just what we like to read in anticipation of our visit. Could you include information such as which type of lines are being used….. floaters or intermediates.

  3. Welcome back and thanks for these reports. Thanks very much for including the link to Lionel’s memorial fund–we received over £1000 in donations as a direct result of this!

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