Week Commencing 28th August 2023

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Hello everyone

Its a warm, windy and sunny Sunday here in Elgin and its been a reasonable week that has gone by, with a bit of an Indian Summer.

The farmers have had a bit of a hiatus at times during the early part of the week, with damp weather stopping them from getting the crops in before they lose their goodness. I love this time of year when out with the dog, glorious late evening sunshine, watching the combines and balers working relentlessly- can you tell I come from a farming family?

Oh and the hedgerows and verges are hanging with a cracking bramble crop with the berries making the most of the weather to plump up.

Just a wee reminder that the Spey Fishery Board are holding their second auction this November and are on the look out for countryside related donations, fishing preferably but anything will be gratefully accepted. Please contact the Spey Fishery Board if you can assist.

Also the Board held its latest Quarterly meeting last Friday in Fochabers, the minutes of which will be published in due course.

Before we head to the river to see how everyone fared last week I would like to the contentious subject of life jackets. I know this is a matter of personal choice, although some beats do make its use mandatory, which in my opinion is a correct decision to make. After all none of use want to be in the situation whereby we fall in and we cannot keep ourselves buoyant.

This has been brought about by the number of images I see, of anglers with/without fish not wearing these protectors and luckily enough we do not hear of many fatalities from our rivers.

Their use is something I would like to see all youngsters wearing (a mandatory requirement on all rivers and on all beats), after all they are the lifeblood of angling and without them our sport will disappear.

I must admit to being a river angler who has been, up until now, reticent to wear one on the river, as I find them a wee bit cumbersome but given I wear one when I head onto a loch trout fishing so why should wearing one on the river be any different? I am not getting any younger so my personal choice as I go forward will be to wear one.

Fatalities on the river(s) are very low but we can all do our bit and try and keep the numbers down by wearing life jackets as this will aid us, our sport and rivers from attracting the wrong sort of attention should the situation ever arise. I would strongly encourage their use throughout the remainder of this season and going forward.

Right lets see how things have been.

We will start up river where Abernethy finished their week with three salmon to 16lb and Grantown Water ended their week with 1 salmon, 2 grilse and 3 seatrout.

Next is Castle Grant where Simon Crozier reports a week of excellent water but not the number of fish we had hoped would appear. However fish were caught on all the beats with a good number of late season seatrout up to 6.5 lbs to keep the anglers keen, the salmon caught were old campaigners as you would expect. Saturday saw a few more fish moving and a few were caught. We hope for a change of mood from the fish next week.

Archie Baillie at Knockando Home Beat advises 3 salmon and 8 grilse this week. Good first half of the week where we were seeing and catching fish but a poor second half where the fish just disappeared. One of the grilse was very fresh but no lice which is rare for the beat this late in the season.

Downstream at Laggan, Max McKinstrie reports that they had 12 for the week. The Graham party enjoyed a dropping and clearing river after a rise to 2’ on Monday which resulted in 7 fish for the day including a 20lbs fish for Mr Tom Graham in the Big Griggle. Mrs Alex Graham had a brace from the Gas pool in quick succession. Mr Fred Mason also had a fish from the Gas pool at 8lbs. Mr James Wills had 4 fish for his week to 9.5lbs.

Tom Graham with his 20lb croc in Big Griggle
Mrs Alex Graham 8lb fish
Alex again with a 7lber
James Wills with a coloured 10lber
Fish on for Mr Fred Mason

Delagyle had a quiet week advises David Smillie with nothing to show for angling efforts.

Malcolm Newbould at Wester Elchies reports that they finished with 2 for their week, one of which was a first fish for Bill Banks.

A first fish for Bill Banks

Kinermony ghiliie, David Brand advises that they managed to get two sea trout and two grilse, one very fresh. Interesting to see the odd fresh fish still kicking about this late in the season.

Aberlour Angling Club report they had a bit of action on Monday with a grilse being landed but another two bigger fish were lost, other than that it seems that the fish are now switched off.

Trundling down the river at Easter Elchies Orn Sigurhansson reports a week of welcome water. We were pleased to welcome both the Graham and Burns fishing parties this week. Water level started at 12 inches on the gauge dropping to -5 by Saturday. Plenty of resident fish in all the pools and we had some good fun and sport. 7 landed for the week.

Father and Daughters week at Easter Elchies
Peter Graham with a nice fish from Red Craigs
Les Waugh’s prize from Fiddich Mouth
Dr Geoff Landis Team USA, Upper Dips
Warren with a fine fish from the Boat Pool
Rachael Kyle, Red Craigs
Swan Lake in Heathery Isle

Euan Reid at Arndilly advises that the air travel chaos this week put paid to their week, with little fishing as a result.You do feel so sorry for the travellers who have been left in such a predicament when something goes wrong and it cannot be rectified quickly. Technology has a lot to answer for in some respects these days.

Robbie Stronach at Rothes and Aikenway reports that they finished with 4 for the week, including a first fish for Brian Johnson, not the Brian of AC/DC for the rockers out there!!

Brian Johnson with his first ever salmon

Delfur head ghillie, Mark Melville advises that they had a better week after the rise last Sunday. We caught fish each session with Wednesday and Thursday the best days after the water cleared a bit. Nothing fresh appeared which was disappointing after the first decent rise since early spring. We finished with just short of 30 fish and grilse for the week.

Downstream at Orton, Andy Gunn advises that they finished with 17 Salmon, 20 grilse and 29 finnock for the week.
A water level of just over 2ft and falling on Monday morning provided great sport for the Symonds party with 28 fish landed by Wednesday evening . Things eased off slightly with only 9 landed on the last half of the week.
Nick Symons was top rod with 11. Well done to Nick, great result for the week.

Nick Symons, 14lbs Junction
Nick with a Willows fish
Charlie Hannington with a clean fish from Cairnty
Ben with another good fish
Ben with a Cairnty Beauty
Ben Fawcett in Cairnty
Ben again from the Glide

David Buley at Gordon Castle/Brae Water reports this week was another tougher one, very much September style fishing. Monday saw a good rise, with more water than they have had for a long time, unfortunately the silver tide wasn’t there behind it. We’ve had just over 30 fish landed, a few of these have been fresh but the majority older fish. It was as a week with quite a few first fish, which is always great to see.

William Elwes with his first ever fish and a fresh one too
Thomas Elwes and his first fish
Its a beauty, can I have a sniff?
Geordie with his “slab”, a cracking 20lber

Final stop is with Fochabers Angling Association where Andy Milne reports about 6 fish reported caught this week and quite a few hooked and lost. A seal was spotted again several times which doesn’t help.

That is us into the final few weeks of the season, with the fishing looking like normal form with fish being hard to catch. The week ahead is probably not going to help as this wee spell of sunshine looks set to continue for at least a few days.

Tight lines to those out and about.


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