Week Commencing 25th September 2023

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Good afternoon all

Well that’s it over for another year, 2023 season has been completed.

I do not wish to dwell on what has transpired in the previous months but I think it is safe to say, it has not been the best but we will see what the year end figures say.

Many people will be glad to see the end of September arrive, allowing for a period of reflection over what has gone before and I am sure will be asking questions, maybe to the Fishery Boards, maybe to themselves as to what could be behind the year it has been.

People will, I am sure have their own thoughts and theories behind the lack of fish this year but without input of the various agencies and bodies that support/oversee/manage our rivers then we may not get an understanding as to where the problem(s) lie and what can be done to rejunivate the numbers of our iconic salmon in an effective and sustainable way going forward.

If only we had a crystal ball…………………………….

Anyway the last fishing week of the year brought us mixed weather conditions, with a fair bit of wind which would have hampered angling efforts up and down the river so lets see how things shaped up as we see who had any success.

Andy Milne of Fochabers Angling Association reports that he is only aware of three fish landed at the end of week but catches could well have been hampered by several sightings of Sammy the Seal in their water and I am sure he/she will have covered quite a bit of the river chasing the fish.

At Gordon Castle/Brae Water, David Buley advises it was a poor week with difficult conditions and very few landed as a result of it. Thanks to all the guests who fished this season

All quiet until we reach Delfur where Mark Melville reports that they had similar conditions as the previous week with the river up and down most of the week with some gales of wind.
Calum Davis who is a very keen young angler had a grilse from Sourden in very tricky conditions on Monday afternoon. Well done Calum!
Tuesday we had a visit from the very entertaining Alf Webb who managed a fine 12 lb cock fish also from Sourden . The skilled Alf managed another 12lb hen on Wednesday from Collie. We had our last day yesterday and managed 3 fish including 2 for Donald Morrison from Sourden and a first Delfur fish for Ian Simpson from Hollenbush.

Calum Davis with this fish in Sourden
Donald Morrison and his 6lb prize from Sourden
Alf Webb with his Sourden croc

Rothes and Aikenway finished their last week with 7 fish advises Robbie Stronach.

At Easter Elchies, Ben Grundie reports a week of fluctuating water conditions throughout the week. We were very pleased to welcome both the Thomson and Humphries fishing parties this week. Water level and colour constantly changing. The big water favoring Ladies Haugh, Red Craigs and Fiddich Mouth. Highlight of the week was Graeme Ritchie’s hat trick on Saturday which included a sea liced grilse from Inverfiddich. Total of 6 salmon and grilse in challenging conditions, with another 5 sea trout landed.

Graeme Ritchie first fish of the day, sealiced in Inverfiddich
Number 2 from the same pool
Number 3, 12lb from Ladies Haugh

Aberlour Angling Club rounded off their season with 2 fish in the book for a couple of local anglers.

Jim Cowie with his tartan prize

Across the river at Wester Elchies, Malcolm Newbould reports a blank week and with only one fish landed throughout September, roll on 2024

At Kinermony, David Brand advises that they finished with a four fish week, the lucky captors being Xander Christie, Dave Kerr and Dennis McBain- well done lads.

David Smillie at Delagyle confirms their final week finished with 5 fish in the book for the Hood Party, the best being a croc of approx 20lbs, landed by Robbie Morgan.

Robbie Morgan with a big backend fish

Up at Laggan, Max McKinstrie reports 2 fish landed for the last week. A fish of 11lbs to Mr Edward Theakston and an 8lber to Mr James Archibald. Both caught in the Gas pool. Mild weather seemed to keep the fish off the take but they were covered well by the party throughout the week. Seems to be the right time to leave these fish to do their thing in peace. 

Mr Edward Theakston with his 11lber

Continuing up the river Archie Baillie reports that they had at least three fish for the week at Knoackando Home beat as he enjoys the sun in Tenerife!!

Fish were caught at Tulchan, numbers and sizes not known but from the reports on social media a good last week was enjoyed by the ghillies and rods alike.

Up river at Castle Grant Simon Crozier reports the high water and high winds made things difficult to say the least but a flurry of activity across the beats on Wednesday and again on Saturday saw fish landed up to 23lbs , a number of seatrout were also caught. Another season has been and gone , we look forward to next season .

Grantown Water signed off with 7 salmon and 18 Seatrout

Our final report comes from Abernethy where they signed off with 6 salmon and 8 Seatrout.

Well everyone that is it, this keyboard warrior will stay dormant for the new few months and you may well be hearing from me again next season.

I would like to say a very big thank you to the ghillies for the weekly updates, some of the fishing tenants for their weekly reports and to you the people to seemingly read this bit of rambling narrative each and every week throughout the season. I am humbled by the comments and kind words.

I am sure everyone will be looking forward to the rest (of sorts) over the coming months as we get ready for the 2024 season which is only 105 days away!!!

Take care and kindest regards to you all.


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