Week Commencing 26th February 2024

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Afternoon everyone

Another week gone and we are now into March, time is marching on in more ways than one, certainly more noticeable as you age, gracefully or not.

The week gone by saw a mix of conditions, sunshine, rain, windy at times, indeed rather windy for casting and we even had some sleet here in Elgin yesterday.

The garden and the countryside are starting to spring into life as the days are now extending as I can nearly walk the dog in the evening without a torch, I do love it when this happens, beats the blues of going to and coming home from work in the dark. The bird song is becoming more prevalent in the mornings.

It was a great winter to see wildlife this year, saw a badger on a handful of occasions when out with the dog in the evening. It did not seemed bothered in our presence and went on about its business. I feel very privileged to be living in this part of the country and to be rewarded in viewing these creatures in reasonably close proximity.

A lot of the farmers are still on hold with field preparations etc due to the immense amount of rain we have had over the past couple of months. The fields are struggling to recover and have the water drain away so it may take a bit more time.

One thing of note this week was the advertisement for a the new Director of the Spey Fishery Board following the announcement by Roger Knight of his intention to step down from the role. The job specifics can be found on the Spey Board website.

Ok to the river, things started to stir this week from the winter hibernation as conditions held steady, even with a couple of mini rises during the week.

David Buley at Gordon Castle/Brae Water reports the weather and river conditions were good this week except for one day of strong gusts. With only a couple anglers out late in the week we unfortunately weren’t able to get our season up and running.
The weather looks good for the coming week so get in touch on fishpal or through the estate office to book a day or two.

As we head upstream Rothes and Aikenway got off the mark with a fine fish from Geantree reports Robbie Stronach. The Lucky captor was Kevin James, well done to all.

Kevin James landed this bar of silver from Geantree, in hands of Aaron, the ghillie

Upstream at Arndilly, Euan Reid reports it is still early, but the signs are encouraging! We had 2 this week, which, although not breaking records, is better than recent early seasons.
On Tuesday Niel Annand had a lovely 8lb fish from opposite the culvert in the long pool. Balmoral ghillie David Fernie had a 7lb fish on Friday from almost the same spot. It is unusual for Arndilly to have two consecutive fish from the same area , as they normally come from all over.
Well done to co-hosts Johnny Webster and Stuart Mackie for being the perfect hosts and letting their guests catch fish and keeping us entertained in many ways.

Neil Annand with his Arndilly prize
David Fernie’s fish from the Long Pool
Nae hanging about

Easter Elchies also got off zero this week, in quite spectacular style advises Orn Sigurhansson. A week of great early spring weather and water conditions and a mid week purple patch. Previous week we had been catching kelts every day and by Saturday had seen a few fresh fish move through. This week burst into action on Tuesday with 2 fresh springers caught at Tail of Fiddich and another lost. Wednesday trumped Tuesday, with 3 sealiced springers landed, 2 from Tail of Fiddich and 1 from Red Craigs. Fish size ranging from 6 to 13lb. With 5 for the week, its a very good result for end of February fishing.

Orn with the opener for Easter Elchies, 13lb Tail of Fiddich
Les Tyson, Fiddich Mouth
Spey springer from Red Craigs
Fiddich mouth sealicer

Next stop off on the journey upriver is Wester Elchies where they got off the mark too confirms Malcolm Newbould. Three fish were landed on Wednesday, the first of the season to Euan Ferguson from Pol ma Cree. The next from the Rhynd, for Tony Smith who catches salmon better than he photographs Sam and the last came from the Brock for Jim Bolton. Well done here too.

Sam, the ghillie holding Tony Smiths fish from Rhynd

Finally not to be outdone by the across the water neighbours, David Brand confirms Kinermony also had their first fish courtesy of Bruce Cameron, a cracking bar of silver, well done sir.

Bruce Cameron with the opening fish for Kinermony – a cracker

The week ahead looks reasonable with dry settled weather so we can only hope that things continue in this same early season vane and we see some of the other beats get off the mark too.

Tight lines to those out and about, myself included for the week ahead


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