Week Commencing 27th May 2024

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Hi everyone

Another week has flown in and it takes us out of May and into June already and we are fast approaching the longest day of 2024.

Its been another cracking day here in Elgin, a bit breezy but at least it is a bit more overcast, allowing for me to work in the garden for a while earlier on without my heading getting fried due to the lack of a thatch.

Has someone hit the accelerator pedal in the countryside? Things are sprouting at a great deal of knots, crops that were a few inches high last week are now twice the height, making it more difficult to spot the wildlife munching and hiding in the crops. The brown hares are still able to give themselves away when you see the tips of their long ears just poking above the crop tips. They certainly put a smile on my face as they amble away, at speed when they see you. The songbirds have been singing intently the last few morning, both in and around the garden but also when I am out with the dog. A wonderful thing to hear early in the morning as it puts a spring in your step for the day ahead.

Can I remind everyone that the Spey Fishery Board are still looking for your views around the River Spey and its catchment so if you can please spare 15 minutes to complete this it would be gratefully appreciated by the Board.

The river has certainly had a turbulent week, with levels going up and down like a yo-yo due to the weather so lets see how things have been as we journey down river this week.

Abernethy Water report 2 fish for their week weighing in at 8 and 10lbs respectively and Grantown had 4 fish recorded up to 14lbs. My thanks again to Simon Crozier who provides me with this information on a Sunday, it is very much appreciated and helps to show what the river is producing further up the system.

At Castle Grant, Simon reports that the week started with good water height and high hopes, however Monday was fishless. On Tuesday Stuart Shaw had a bright fish of 9lb from Greenbank to get them started. Stuart doubled his catch on Wednesday when he landed a bright fish of around 8lbs. Philip Dalton got off the mark too with a fish in the high teens from Dunbar Sluggan, an older model, but a cracker none the less and to findh the day John Leigh had an 11lb fish from Polchraine. On Thursday Philip Dalton had an 8lb fish from Delliefure again an older fish, Nigel Dawe-Lane got into the action with 2 fish, the first a clean fish from the March the other an older fish of 6lbs from Dunbar. Friday saw a bright fish of 8lbs from the March for Philip Dalton. We finished off on Saturday with a fish of 7lb from the Washpot for Garry Stoddart and the last fish was a 9lb sparkler from the Garra. We hope for the sport to continue next week.

Phil Dalton’s fish from Dunbar Sluggan
Phil again from Delliefure
Stuart Shaw with a nice fish from Greenbank

I am aware that Tulchan had fish during the week but numbers and weights are not available.

Down river at Knockando, Archie Baillie reports a better week this week putting 10 in the book. all fish were in the 6lb-16.5lb bracket, mostly fresh some with sea lice and a couple of older fish.

The boat prize
Safely in the net
Bonny fish just about to go back
A fine Knockando fish

At Laggan, Max Mackinstrie advises that they had six fish in the book for the week.

Pru Herd with her 8lber from Big Griggle
Anna Taylor with her fish in the Gas Pool
Stephen Taylor with another fish from the Gas Pool
I want to go back please
Rachel Duncan with an 11lber from Big Griggle
Vanessa Bathgate with her “couple of casts” for a fish in the Gas Pool

Across on the other bank at Carron, Iain Borthwick reports that they had a decent week with 10 fish in the book. On Monday Neil Borthwick landed a solitary fish, Tuesday saw three fish landed, 2 for Stephen Potter and one from Dr Malcolm Newbould. Wednesday saw just a single fish to Ian Galland make it to the record books. It was a three fish Thursday with single fish to each of Ian Galland, Scott Mackenzie and Steve Hulme. Friday saw Neil Borthwick back in action with 2 more fish but Satruday was a blank.

Silver in the sun
Lovely fresh fish
Happy Angler

As we go with the flow, David Smillie at Delagyle advises that they finished their week with three salmon and a seatrout. Jean Luc verstapin had two, both about eight pounds and Ria Seeder had one approx 6 pounds. Gust Florus had a 4lb seatrout. Few fish lost as well but an enjoyable week.

The other David, David Brand at Kinermony reports that they landed three this week. The successful captors being Marcus Mitchell and Dave Johnston but David also confirms that a number of fish were lost too.

Marcus Mitchel with his Kinermony prize
David Johnstone with his fish and support party

Malcolm Newbould at Wester Elchies confirms that a solitary salmon to Henry Mountain and a couple of seatrout was the tally for the week.

Henry Mountain with a nice fish from the Boat Pool

Over from Wester Elchies on the Aberlour Angling Club water, Kenny Davies report three fish this we. One for a regular visitors Ivan Leggett, one for Jim Seivright and one for Bruce Cameron.

A wee bit further downstream at Craigellachie, Dougie Ross advises a difficult week with the water up and down like a yo-yo. We managed 7 for the week. Hopefully it will settle for a few days now.

Jonathan Ellerbeck with a lovely fish
Jonathan again
Paul Morgan with a nice fish
Paul Welling with his prize

The next stop is Easter Elchies where Orn Sigurhansson reports a week of mixed weather, fluctuating water levels, some coloured water and fresh fish. We were very pleased to welcome back the Cutmore and McCreath fishing parties this week. The week got off to a flying start with Tor Cutmore landing a 9lb salmon at 9:10am on Monday morning from Red Craigs. Finlay McCreath continued his 100% record with a nice fish from Heathery Isle, also on Monday. Red Craigs was the pool on Wednesday with 4 landed, including James Robertson with the 4th of the day. Good to see fish from Lower Dips, Boat Pool and Smiddy. Overall a good week, with 15 salmon landed.

Tor Cutmore with a lovely fish from Red Craigs
Tim McCreath with his Lower Dips prize
Nigel Cutmore with a fish from red Craigs
Jamie Hammond, Tail of Fiddich
James Roberston in the action in Red Craigs
Finlay McCreath in Heathery Isle

Euan Reid at Arndilly reports they they welcomed Andy Majerus and his team back at Arndilly, and what a week it was.
It was a strange week in that we saw very few fish, I haven’t seen a fish since Wednesday, yet we had fish in every morning and afternoon session. Every rod caught at least a fish this week.
Jim Kilcullen got our first grilse on Monday morning from the top of Long Pool at 6″ on the gauge. Cleeves Palmer and Brian Reid had 8lb fish from Jock’s Tail boat and left Cobble Pot (tail), respectively, and Andy had the same size fish from Soo left.
On Tuesday Dick Bronks had a 5lb fish from the top of Long Pool and a 9lb fish from Bulwark at 14″. Brian Parker, 7lb, Jock’s Tail boat, Robert Jolly, 8lb, and Cleeves Palmer, 12lb from Cobble Pot, completed the day.
On Wednesday, Andy Majerus had 3, 8lb and an 11lber from the Piles boat and a 12lb fish from the Jocks Tail boat. Brian Reid had a 9lb fish from Reids (apt), Jim Kilcullen had a 10lb from the left side of the Soo, and Cleeves had a 7.5lb fish from the boat in the tail of the Long pool.
On Thursday morning, the water was 9″ up when we arrived but rose more than a foot by late morning. Surprisingly we still caught fish, Nick Morral had a 5lb fish in front of the hut, Ian Gordon had a 10lb fish in the tail of the long pool, and Andy had an 11lb fish from the Bulwark. All at about 2ft on the guage.
By Friday morning, the river had dropped a foot, and Andy had an 8lb from Soo left and an 11 from Cobble Pot. Tom Brown, 9.5lb, Back of the Bog, Ian Gordon, 6lb, Soo boat, Nick Morral, Long Pool, and Mike Burrell from the Piles were the other scorers.
To finish off on Saturday, Jim Kilcullen had 2 lovely sea liced 10lb fish from right bank of Jocks Tail and the Soo boat, Andy had an 8lb fish from the Piles boat and Mike had another fine 10lb sea licer right at the death from the boat in the tail of the Long Pool, on a #6 Arndilly Fancy.
This year, from what we have seen, the Sea Trout numbers are way down, we had our first on Friday, 2.5lb for Brian Palmer from the Long Pool.
It was a week to remember for our rods, and hopefully, things build a bit now for the river as a whole.

Cleeves Palmer with his prize from Cobble Pot
Happy angler
Euan holding Andy Majerus’s fish from Bulwark
Ian Gordon, 10lb Long Pool
Glinting in the sun
Mike Burrell and his silver prize
Ian Gordon’s fish from the Soo note deformed lower jaw
Jim Kilcullen with his Soo reward
note the sealice on gill plate
Jim again from Jocks Tail
Johnny Webster

As we continue our journey to the lower reaches of the river our next stop is at Rothes and Aikenway, where ghillie Robbie Stronach reports 5 fish for the week. The successful rods being James Bladon with one from Creeky, Mr J Bladon with 2 from Creeky, Luke Worrall with one from Junction and Emma Worrall with one from Creeky.

Luke Worrall’s fish from the Junction, held by Ghillie Robbie
James Bladon’s fish from Creeky
Emma Worrall also from Creeky

At Delfur, Mark Melville advises that they started off with a fish for John Grant from Big Haddie on Monday morning.The foot rise that night didn’t help us and it was particularly dirty again.
Party host Neil Cameron caught a fine fresh 12 lb fish from Beaufort on Wednesday. This was followed by Dryburgh Upper ghillie Brian Lile catching his first Delfur fish from the Bridge pool.
An older fish that Brian said was harder to catch, I reckon it was starving,so easier to catch!!
Another dirty rising river Wednesday night didn’t help again and meant that fish were not hanging around.
Thursday was blank.
Friday and Saturday once the river dropped and cleared gave us some sport with Thom Macleod catching his first Delfur fish and a cracker at 18lb from Sourden followed by another fish from Big Haddie. John Grant had a fresh 12lbr from Collie and Neil Cameron caught our first grilse of the season, very early for us.
Another couple of fish gave us a nice finish.
Interestingly we hardly saw a fish most of the week but knew they were running hard from the good news above us.
A more settled week ahead should bring us some good sport.

Neil Cameron with his reward in Beaufort
Brian Lile, Dryburgh Upper Ghillie with his older fish from the Bridge Pool
Thom Macleod with his first ever Delfur fish, 18lbs Sourden

It was a quieter week at Orton where Andy Gunn confirms just three for the week. it started with a 12lb fresh fish for Iain Roxburgh on Monday morning from the Wee Pool, followed up by a 12lb silver bar for Adam Slater again from the Wee pool, on Wednesday.
An older fish of 7lb was landed in the House Pool on Saturday.

Iain Roxburgh with his fish from the Wee Pool
Adam Slater with his Wee Pool fish
A nice 7lber from the House Pool

Our penultimate stop is Gordon Castle/Brae Water where David Buley reports that the river was very unsettled this week. The beginning being a tad high for us, but by Wednesday it had dropped to the ideal height and 3 fish were caught. Typically the river then rose on Thursday, it came up all day and not surprisingly no fish were caught. By Saturday the river had come back to the same height at Wednesday and another 2 fish were landed.

a fine fish
Cracking fish
Silver in the GC sunshine
in the net

Last but no means least is the Fochabers Angling Association water where Andy Milne reports that it was a two fish week for them. Ian Tennant had one of 12lbs in the lower Quarry on Monday and yesterday Ben Fox had a 17 pounder in the tail of Cumberland. Well done.

Ian Tennan’ts fish from Lower Quarry

Interesting to see some grilse starting to appear, along with a couple of fish which appear to have been in the river for a wee while but this trend of older fish will probably now continue as we head into the second half of the season.

The week ahead looks like another mixed one so we will see what it brings.

Tight lines to those out and about.


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