Week Commencing 24th June 2024

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Evening everyone

I am back from my little excursion to the West Coast and would like to say thanks very much to Sam for providing superb cover whilst I was having a break.

Talking of my break, conditions could not have been better on the Ewe with good weather, ideal water height but one thing was lacking – fish. It was quite worrying to see very few fish, yet along encounter many but a lot of hard angling later and our party managed to land 3 fish to 15lbs, with some losses and pulls. A few more fish have been seen this week and indeed hooked so hopefully the lack of early season water was a contributing factor to the delay in fish arriving.

Also on the point of arriving fish and the tragic news last week of the Norwegian salmon rivers in the south and middle of the country being closed until the 6th of July at the earliest, reports in social media today seem to indicate that there has been a jump in the number of fish seen at netting sample stations so again we can only but hope that the fish are now starting to arrive.

Everything is looking rosy in the countryside at present, crops are flourishing well given the wet and warm weather we have been having, we will still have to wait and see what this years harvest will being given the cold start to the year.

When I was on the Ewe it was a veritable feast of wildlife with an otter seen on two occasions paying in the river, the golden eagle was soaring majestically on the currents, the cuckoo was giving it “laldy” each day and the local red deer were not shy in coming close to you as they ventured to the river for a drink. The big red stag that I encountered last season was nowhere to be seen, possibly having been dispatched over the winter months for someones deep freeze.

Last week on the river brought us a variety of weather conditions from bright and very warm conditions to temperatures more akin to April/May so lets see how everybody that reports in has fared.

Working our way down the river, Simon Crozier from Castle Grant has advised that Grantown water finished their week with 2 salmon and 16 seatrout.

Abernethy finished their week with 3 salmon and 2 seatrout, the biggest of which was 10lbs.

On his own beats at Castle Grant, Simon reports a week that started off quietly, seeing fish caught of all our beats but coming across them was tough. Notable catches were a fish of 10lb for Chris Austin from Dipper on Tuesday. Party leader Mark Oglesby wasn’t to be left out with a fish from the same pool that evening. Sandy Scott had a brace of fish of 7 and 8 lbs, one from either side of Pollowick. The fish we had were a mixture of older fish and some lovely fresh fish in the 10 to 12 lb bracket. Two fresh grilse were caught towards the end of the week around the 4lb mark, our first of the season, a few grilse would be very welcome. An old campaigner from Pollowick of around 13lber on Saturday evening ended the week on a high. We hope for a few more fish to be with us next week and some sport to be had. We did see a few more seatrout towards the end of the week, they have been very thin on the ground this season let’s hope there are a few more on the way.

Sandy Scott’s fish from Pollowick
An Artistic photo of Sandy’s first fish from Pollowick
A bonny wee grilse

Down at Knockando, Archie Baillie confirm that the first half of the week saw the Codrington party land 4 fish for their 3 days between 6lb and 14lb, including a first fish of 13lb for Mrs. Rosie Thornton. The second half of the week saw the Tisdale party land 7 salmon between 8lb and a cracking 21lb, 2 grilse and 3 sea trout. Many congratulations to Rosie for her first fish.

Our next stop is Carron where Ian Borthwick was please to report that 6 fish were landed. A blank on Monday was followed up with 2 on Tuesday caught by Tim Piper and William Shaw. On Wednesday another brace of fish were added to the tally, caught by William Shaw. it was just a single on Thursday landed by Simon Neve and he had another 1 on Friday. The week finished as it started on Monday with a blank Saturday.

On the opposite bank at Laggan it was just a single fish that was put int he book according to ghillie Max Mckinstrie.

At Delagyle, David Smillie reports two this week for the Wilkinson party. Head of party, John had a fresh 18 pounder from Dal Breck and Charles Rose who has never fished before fished all week and was rewarded at 4.45pm on Saturday with a twelve pounder from the Gean tree. Well done to Charles.

Kinermony ghillie, David Brand confirms just two salmon landed for the week, with Mark Holmes and Robbie Finney the captors.

Robbie Finnie with a fine fish
Mark Holmes with Kinermony silver

As we work our way downstream we stop in at Wester Elchies where Malcolm Newbould advises that they finished 5 in a week of changeable weather from the 20s on Monday to single figures later in the week.
Gus Findlay was the top rod with 3 landed. Not sure how Sam upset him in the second photo, nothing serious I hope just being over zealous with the photo editing!!

Gus Finlay with one of his three fish
a bit too much cropping from Sam the ghillie

Aberlour Angling Club locals were on the scorecard this week reports Kenny Davis with Neil Borthwick picking up a fine grilse and a cracking Salmon and Liam Anderson a nice grilse.

Neil Borthwick with a fine fresh grilse
Neil again with a nice fish
Liam Anderson with a grilse

Down the river at Easter Elchies, Orn Sigurhansson reports settled summer conditions this week with salmon, grilse and sea trout landed. We were very pleased to welcome the Caswell fishing party this week. Water height started at summer level -1 on the gauge. Some good summer fishing evening conditions. The small rise in water mid week welcome and water temperature 58-60. 18 year old Jonny Caswell showing his father how it is done, with a solid 2-0 win! 11 salmon and grilse and 3 sea trout landed. A very enjoyable June week on Speyside.

James Caswell in Fiddich Mouth
James Cheer Heathery Isle

At Arndilly Euan Reid confirms another great week again at Arndilly. This week was David and Gilly Bate and their team.
Philip McGurk had our only Monday fish,8lb from the Cobble Pot on a #8stoats tail at 3″.
We had 3 on Tuesday, Tim Bull, 14lb Cobble Pot, David Bate15lb Back of the Bog, and Pete Caines 11lb from the Concrete path. Well done Pete, for your first ever fish.
On Wednesday 3 came for David Bate 2lb from Reids ( might have reduced the average fish weight for the week with that one!!), Sally Bull 9lb from the Piles boat and Sir George Hollingbery after his long awaited return, a 10lb fish from Back of the Bog.
Sir George got us started on Thursday with a 6lb fish from the left side of Piles, Gilly Bate and Olly Siegfried both has 10lb fish, Long Pool culvert and Cobble concrete path respectively.
We only had one on Friday, but that one was special. Jeff hooper had an 11lb fish from Jocks tail and this was his first ever Salmon.
Olly had another on Saturday, 6lb from Back of the Bog, and Hugo Thistlethwaite had an 8.5lb fish from the same place and lost a belter later in the day in Jocks Tail with Blair.
Well done Pete and Jeff for their first fish.

Tim Bull in Cobble Pot
Sally Bull in Piles
Pete with his first fish
Gilly Bate from Long Pool
Jeff Hooper first ever Salmon at the age of 78
cracking fish

Euan is also keen to point out that we’re very keen on our ornithology here at Arndilly, but we had a strange visitor this week.

Is it a bird or is it a Plane – no its a banana

Finally a big shout out goes to Beaky for keeping everyone smiling during the week, unfortunately fishless but according to Euan definitley the star of the show.

Beaky having a few for her box

Robbie Stronach at Rothes and Aikenway reports that they had 11 for the week . On Monday we just had the one from Creeky which was caught by J Hayley-Bell. It was a better day on Tuesday with 6 fish landed with James Bladon having 2 from Carnegie and Harry Taylor with 1 from Geantree. Harry also had 2 from creeky and Nic Playful-Bouverie got one in Town road. Wednesday was a wee bit quieter with 2 fish in the book, James Bladon with one from Burnmouth and Piers Bradley with one from Creeky. Thursday saw just the one landed with Jack Bladon getting one from Sycamore. Friday was blank and on Saturday Tom Finlay finished the week off with one from Geantree.

Tom Finlay with his fish from Geantree
Piers Bradley with his fish from Creeky

Next down the river is Delfur where head ghillie, Mark Melville confirms another good week back with the Fletcher party.
We managed 4 in the roasting 26c heat of Monday before we went back to winter on Tuesday with Baltic cold wet conditions! We managed to pick away all week and had our two best days on Friday and Saturday after the river settled down again.
Another week in the mid thirties with mostly fresh fish up to 15lbs and a couple of grilse but nothing sea liced.

well hooked
One of Malcolm Newbould’s trio from Big Haddie
Maher Al Tajir with one of his fish
Ghillie Grant releasing another of Maher’s fish in Sourden
Duncan Fletcher Snr playing another good fish in the boat
Duncan Fletcher Jnr with one of his numerous fish, this one in Sourden
Duncan Fletcher Jnr letting one go in Beaufort
A cracking 15lber from Sourden

As we near the end of this weeks journey, Andy Gunn at Orton tells me that it was another productive week for us, getting into double figures.
John, James and Pat Reeve, Peter Wilkinson, Dr Tom Charles, Richard Owen & Andrew Robertson all landing fish.
We’re not seeing many but most of the fish we’re catching are fresh as paint and sporting sea lice. A few Grilse also making an appearance.

Richard Owen with his Cairnty prize
Peter Wilkinson with silver in Cooperee
John Reeves 12lbs Junction
James Reeve, House Pool
Dr Tom Charles with his Cairnty fish
Andrew Robertson in the island Stream with a fine 12lb fish

Our penultimate stop is Gordon Castle/Brae Water where Middle Brae ghillie Lewis Webb reports a frustratingly quiet week after the previous two weeks of catches, but we did manage to make it into double figures by the end of play on Saturday.
Tuesday and Saturday were our busiest days on the beats.

Guy Rasch with one of his fish
Upper Brae ghillie Ian Stronach with another of Guy’s captures
Ready to go back
Kate Farquhar-Thomson with her first fish
Nicholas Buxton with a lovely grilse

Finally Andy Milne of Fochabers Angling Association reports a couple of lost fish for their week.

A mixed week up and down the river by the looks of it, with the very mixed weather possibly playing a part in it but we all know that salmon are fickle creatures, I can back this up as the biggest fish landed on the Ewe when we were there was landed at 11.08pm in the dark, was a 15lb bar of silver, fresh run and was hooked on a size 10 Cascade in big water. You certainly cannot write the script for these fish!!

The week ahead again looks to be unsettled with cooler temperatures again.

Tight lines to those out and about.


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