Good evening all
This is attempt 2 at writing this weeks report as due to a website crash last night all yesterdays efforts were in vain.
As you can see I am back in the hot seat following being away fishing and I must thank Paul Hughes for holding the fort during my absence.
I have been away on my annual fishing trip to the River Ewe in Wester Ross that runs out of that fabled bit of water Loch Maree but alas it was a tough, fishless week. The River Ewe has suffered greatly from the lack of water this year and indeed was running at its lowest level since 1947 during our week. We all fished hard at the appropriate times and whilst we saw some fish, they were all running hard for the deep cooler waters of the Loch.
I have appended below a picture of the rock marking the lowest level in river which is opposite the former smiddy and the family have carved the years where the river has been this low. There are two arrows, which are under the ebbing tide showing the water levels at the base of the stone, the first in 1913 followed by 1947 and finally the modern generation have marked 2023 too.
I did make a new friend when at the river, albeit he is wild but seemingly the villagers in Poolewe have been giving him titbits now and again. Under no circumstances try this with wild animals as you could come off second best. Norman, as he was called by us, was not phased by us in any way, happily going about his business.
The weather last week did lend itself more towards fishing as temperatures stayed reasonably cool, with period of unsettled weather thrown in. A bit of rain would have helped the cause but alas this was not forthcoming. I have been reading that this unusually warm and prolonged period of weather could be the result of a weather phenomenon which occurs every 3-7 years called the El Nino effect which caused huge temperature fluctuations in the Pacific and this messes with the weather patterns over the world. I am no meteorologist so cannot confirm or deny these comments.
Right lets have a look at the fishing last week and see the scores on the doors.
Speymouth Angling Club have had their first fish of the year, a nice fish of around 10lbs, well done to the lucky angler.
Fochabers Angling Association only managed one small grilse this week to visiting rod Jim Goodladd, although other fish were hooked and lost. Andy Milne like many others is presently doing a daily rain dance.
Lewis Webb at Gordon Castle/Brae Water who is covering the weekly reporting for David Buley, following the birth of his second son reports that they finished the week in the mid 20s with a good few more lost, mostly salmon with a few grilse in the mix too.
Many congratulations to David, Helena and Reuben on the safe arrival of baby Archer.
Next Upstream at Orton Andy Gunn reports that they finished with 12 for the week with a fair few lost, seeing a lot more fish now.
Cooler conditions with some cloud cover certainly helped but it’s still reading minus 4” on our water gauge.
On Monday Pat Reeve pulled a nice 17lb fish from Cooperee and Tom Charles landed a Grilse from The Junction.
Tuesday saw James Reeve and Peter Wilkinson get of the mark with James landing a 7lber from Cooperee and Peter with a 13lb beauty from Greenbank.
A slight drop in water temp on Wednesday brought us 4 fish, James with an 11lber from Cairnty and a Grilse from the Turn.
John Walker lost 2 in quick succession from Cooperee before landing a cracking 11lber and Jonathan Walker opened his account shortly after with a nice Grilse.
Peter Wilkinson landed his 2nd of the week on Thursday, 8lb from Cooperee and Jonathan Walker had his 2nd, a nice 9lber from Cairnty on Friday.
Saturday brought a stiff Westerly wind and showers but Peter Wilkinson landed his 3rd, a Grilse from Cooperee once more and James Reeve landed his 4th fish of the week, a fresh 9lber from Cairnty.
Well done lads, see you next year.
Still at Orton there has been a change in personnel with Phil Leask having left and moved on to pastures new. Phil had been at Orton for a few years and will be missed but we wish him all the very best.
Mark Little from Carlisle is the new under ghillie at Orton. Mark is a well experienced salmon angler having fished the big 4 rivers in Scotland as well as some of our sister rivers in Norway. Welcome to the Spey and Orton Mark.
Up at Delfur, Head ghillie Mark Melville reports a good weeks fishing here again with the Fletcher party.
We managed to get to the mid thirties with some quality fish. Most were fresh and double figures plus 3 grilse. Water levels were sitting at – 23 or there abouts on our gauge but with decent overhead conditions most days, along with better water temperature of 60F it helped the fishing.
Continuing our Journey up river, Robbie Stronach at Rothes and Aikenway advises they finished with 7 for the week . Mr Pease got a 7lb fish Geantree, Mrs Bladon got a grilse from Junction, Mr Munro – Ferguson got a 7lb fish from Geantree, Mr Pease got another fish from Bluestone, Mr Bladon had two good fish ( both 12lb) one from Carnegie and the other from Geantree and finally Mrs Munro -Ferguson got a grilse from Carnegie. Robbie also advises that they are still not seeing the volumes of fish they would expect to at this time of the season.
Euan Reid at Arndilly advises that this week saw Nick Smith and his party on the river. Against a backdrop of low water and fewer fish this year, we were happy with 9 for the week. On Monday, Mark Beatty had 2, an 11lb fish from Cobble Pot, and a 7lb fish from Back of the Bog on a Munro Killer tied by our friend Colin Espie from Deecastle on the Dee.
Lisa Smith had a cast on Tuesday and caught a lovely 11lb fish from Cobble Pot, ably assisted by Ian Kelly.
Wednesday was quiet until late in the day when we had 2 grilse from Back of the Bog, Richard Summers, and Mark Beatty.
Only 1 on Friday, a 12lb fish casting at the bottom of the concrete path from the left side of Cobble Pot at 11pm for Mark Beatty. We had 3 on Friday, Richard Summers, a grilse from Cobble Pot, and Amanda Beatty, 9lb from above the groyne in the Cobble Pot on the right bank. Guy Bostock caught his first Atlantic Salmon, 12lb from Back of the Bog.
For those wondering what had happened to Euan’s weekly report over the past few weeks, fatherly duties on a Sunday have meant he has been unable to give us the criac. It is certainly not easy balancing work and a homelife when a Sunday is your only day off but very welcome to have his input back.
The following pictures are from previous weeks at Arndilly where there has been no report.
Next on our journey is Easter Elchies where Orn Sigurhansson reports another week of low water with the gauge still hovering about the -10 mark. However air and water temperatures cooled allowing for some good sport throughout the week. Successful fishers including Brian Maclean with a brace from Red Craigs and Robin Philip with an nice fish from Fiddich Mouth. Great end to the week with a 90 minute hat trick from Fiddich Mouth. Total of 14 salmon for the week. Really good week in the conditions.
Further up the river Malcolm Newbould at Wester Elchies reports three fish for their week in the continuing difficult conditions.
Across the river David Brand at Kinermony advises that they managed to get three salmon last week between 8 and ten lb only one was clean, Robbie Finnie and Richard Smith the captors all caught late at night. Just shows the potential when fishing either early mornings or indeed in the witching hour before dark.
Delagyle had a quiet week with only a couple f seatrout recorded for the angling efforts confirms David Smillie.
Knockando Home Beat ghillie Archie Baillie reports that it is getting more difficult as the weeks go on. Having said that we managed two salmon three grilse and six sea trout for the week.
Heading further upstream our last three reports come from Simon Crozier at Castle Grant. Simon reports a tough week on the salmon front for Castle Grant beats where water is badly needed to hopefully change their fortunes. They did however land a number of seatrout to 6lbs.
At Grantown they finished with 1 salmon and 5 seatrout for their week, with neighbouring Abernethy finishing with 3 salmon and 16 seatrout.
Water scarcity is now a major issue, not just in the Spey catchment but in other areas of the country too. At least the shortage in the West seems to have been alleviated with the persistent rain over the past week or so but we cannot be complacent. at least the cooler days this week will reduce evaporation in the river and we keep our fngers crossed for some sort of freshet of water in the not too distant future.
Tight lines to those out and about this week.
Apologies again for the technical issues experienced yesterday.