Week Commencing 27th March 2023

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Afternoon everyone

Well March has finished, April has now started – does this mean spring and better weather is around the corner?

Last week was not too bad, temperatures were still a bit on the low side at times but did lift during the day. The garden and the countryside continues to make its push into spring with growth on most plants. we have a lovely minature cherry tree in the garden and it is just solid white with blossom, always a great sight to see in the early part of the year.

The Spey Board staff have been busy this week with alevins being planted out in some of the catchment burns to being their life and hopefully their journey to sea to return in 12 months time or longer. The hard work put in by the hatchery staff over the colder winter months will hopefully pay dividends. The staff were also out on the Spey system installing and making operational some smolt traps to allow the team to see how the migration will be this year. for those who have not seen these before that are positioned in the streamy water and rotate with the flow, catching the smolts as they descend the burns/rivers and holding them in special tanks until the team analyse the contents of the holding tanks. The smolts and any other small fish in the tanks are then released and allowed to continue their journey to the sea. This research allows us to try and understand what is happening in our waterways and how the smolt population is in certain locations.

Alevins being planted out into the Ringhorn and Green Burns.
getting the finer details of positioning right
Nearly there with placement
Another smolt trap being set in place

Lets see how the beats have fared on the river heading downstream.

Castle Grant head ghillie Simon Crozier reports that it was a week of mixed weather but good water heights saw fish seen across the beats. 2 were caught , both from the Garra . Tony Sullivan having a nice fish of 8lb and Jamie Mair getting a 7lber from the same spot to finish the week off, we hope for more action next week .

Jamie Mair’s fine 7lb fish

I am aware of fish being caught at Tulchan, do not know the numbers but I have seen that Lesley Phillips from Forres landed 2 fine fish on Tulchan A.

All the beats at Knockando have now had a fish.

Andrew Hall ghillie at Lower Pitchroy advises that they had their first guests in yesterday and it was Craig Green that opened the score sheet. First time fishing and first fish weighed at 17lb. It had been through the mill abit and lot of damage to it but never the less a fish is a fish. Well done Craig on a fine first slamon.

At Knockando Home Beat, Archie Baillie reports their first fish too, a fine 20lber to Bob McKay – another notable 20+ fish for the river.

Euan Clive at Phones reports the rods continued the good start to season with 7 fish to Malcolm Newbould and some Norwegian anglers. One lucky rod, Steinar Christensen had 6 to his rod for the week, well done Steinar. Most of the fish were taken in Slioch.

Steinar Christensen with one of his 6 fish
Steinar with another of his catch
Steinar yet again
Odd Nakland with his fine fish

Heading downstream Max MacKinstrie, ghillie at Laggan reports that it was a quiet start to the week for us at Laggan but like London buses, we had 2 in a few minutes on Thursday afternoon to Nicholas Horgen. The first of 8lbs then a beauty of 21lbs from Dalmunach. We were unlucky not to have landed anymore this week with other fish managing to part company at various stages of the fight.

Nicholas Horgen and his first fish
Nicholas Horgen with his second fish – 21lbs

At Wester Elchies, Malcolm Newbould reports another good week with 7 fish landed, the best being 18lb. Nick Mason seemed to have been in the right place at the right time picking up multiple fish.

James Padgett with his fish
Charlie Thompson and a lovely fish
Nick Mason with one of his fish
Nick again
and again

Across at Kinermony, David Brand confirms three fish in the book. Ian Greensitt, Stephen Foster and Mike Brodie the lucky rods.

Stephen Foster and his Kinermony fish
Mike Brodie with his fine fish

Aberlour Angling Club continue their bright start to the season with a further three fish landed. the captors being Chris Provan, Neil Borthowck and Steven Dawson – well done guys.

Neil Borthwick’s fish from the boat Pool
Steven Dawson and his fine 12lber
Chris Provan’s fish

Craigellachie finished their week with 2 fish in the book according to ghillie Dougie Ross.

Allan Mackay and his spring fish
Bobby Ramage and his chrome shiner

Down at Easter Elchies ghillie Orn Sigurhansson reports wintry week at Easter Elchies. -5 degrees when we started on Monday. Team Alexander once again on the score sheet with Bob Alexander landing a nice 11lb salmon from Ladies Haugh and Craig Alexander landing a sea liced 9lb salmon springer from Red Craigs. Some team this father and son combo!!

Bob Alexander and his fish from Ladies Haugh
Craig Alexander and his fish from Red Craig’s
Ghillie, Orn Sigurhansson netting Craig’s fish

At Arndilly, head ghllie Euan Reid reports it was a relatively quiet week here for the time of year. Very little showing except for the first hatches of flies bringing some trout to the top.
Iain Ogden had our first of the week on Wednesday, 8lb from the Soo. We had 2 on Saturday, Pheobe Dawson 7.5lb, and Terje Skalstad 17.5lb both from the boat in the Piles with Keith.Again, none of the fish this week were sea liced, which I find a bit odd because we thought they were hammering through.
The water is now below a foot on our guage, which it hasn’t been at for a while, so that might hold them in these lower beats.

Phoebe Dawson and her fish
Getting ready for the release
and away……..

Rothes and Aikenway head ghillie Robbie Stronach reports three fish in the boot. Captors being David Morgan and John Hickman with 2 fish.

John Hickman in Bluestone
David Morgan in Burnmouth
Aaron holding John Hockman’s second fish in Creeky

Delfur was quiet again this week with no success but head ghillie, Mark Melville hopes this lower water might slow them down a bit.

Orton had another fish reports Andy Gunn, Craig Wyness landing a stunning 15lber in the House Pool.

Craig Wyness and his fine sea liced 15lber from the House Pool

Gordon Castle and Brae Water ghillie David Buley advises that they had their first fish this week. On Monday Alex Stock was lucky enough to bump into this beautiful spring fish on one of his own tied flies. Unfortunately we we unable to land any others. With the conditions looking good for next week fingers crossed for more spring silver. There’s still rods available throughout this month, get in touch with Gordon Castle Estate or Fishpal. Unfortunately the RSAA were unable to increase that tally but more to follow on our Ladies Day.

Alex Stock with Gordon Castle’s first fish of 2023

Finally on the Fochabers Angling Association water Andy Milne reports that they got off the mark on Friday with a 6lb Salmon for Tony Smith in the Cumberland pool on his trout rod with a small nymph fly. Took him half an hour to land it and no photo I’m afraid because it shot off before the camera could be brought to bear. Who needs 1″ Monkeys???!!!

To close the River Spey Anglers Association held its first ladies day for novice/intermediate anglers on the Upper and Middle Brae beats on Saturday courtesy of Gordon Castle. We had 10 rods on the day split between the two beats, ably supported by the committee, a raft of helpers and 2 SGAIC qualified instructors in Ross Macdonald and David Mateer. The ladies fished hard on their allocated beats in the morning with no success other than a finnock before breaking for a cracking lunch, kindly supplied by Mikaela Robertson of MR Catering. Wishing we could have stayed in the impressive new Middle Brae hut, I turned up at otters Cave expecting the old one but t had gone we headed out for an afternoon on opposite beats to the morning. Alas no success but the participants enjoyed their day and are eager for another.

Rods, helpers and ghillies at the new Middle Brae hut
Instructor David Mateer taking the rods through the basics
David demonstrating the roll cast
Angler under instruction
Best time of the day – Lunch
After a hearty lunch the afternoon session being organised

Next week looks to be settled temperature wise with mid to low teens forecast for the full week, a bit of rain may dampen things but hopefully these will mean the fish hold up a but more in the lower beats.

Tight lines


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