It does not seem like a week since I wrote the last report but here we are again.
The week just gone brought us a settled period of weather, along with a settling river but there is still a lot of snow on the high tops which will no doubt feed its way into the Spey at some stage. Conditions were good last week although the wind at times would have been a bit of a challenge and there was still a rawness to the wind.
Great to see some of the other Scottish rivers get off the mark this week and others continue to see and catch fresh fish. The Helmsdale got off the mark this week after a long wait since mid January, the North Esk saw a few and landed a few fresh ones.On our doorstep the Findhorn continued to produce, including a fine 20lb specimen yesterday.
On a cautionary note, there are a couple of pictures from this week’s successes which people may not approve in terms of how the fish look or have been landed. Please bear in mind the circumstances behind these fish and appreciate them for their beauty. I know anglers will have their own views on these but I would ask that readers of this and indeed those who access the report for the social media shares do not persecute the anglers involved. We have seen this happen so many times and it can be very demoralising for beginners and indeed experienced anglers. We should be encouraging, supporting and educating anglers not giving them a hard time.
Taking a look at this week on the Spey, heading upstream, a few fish being caught and as conditions continue to settle, other beats will come into their own.
David Buley at Gordon Castle/Brae Water reports a few rods out in alright conditions but not a pull was had between them.
Heading up stream to Delfur, Mark Melville reports a lot of craic with the rods during the week but again nothing to show for it. With fish being caught above and ongoing improvement in conditions, it is only a matter of time before Delfur encounter their first fish.
Rothes got off the mark this week with a fine 8lb fish to Graham Ritchie in Creeky. The fish was hooked on a Cascade Conehead, again in improving conditions.
I must start with an apology for Arndilly and Head Ghillie Euan Reid, as I completely missed out his report for the week of 21st February but following a suitable chastisement from Euan, normal service has been resumed this week.
Euan reports that this week started with the water sitting just under 3ft on the Arndilly gauge and by Wednesday it was at 2ft having been slightly higher on Tuesday. We caught the odd kelt during this time but the lack of kelts has been notable, although speaking to the guys above they still have plenty.
John Martin, well what do you say, not only can he keep the party entertained but it turns out he can catch fish too, 6.5lbs from Town Road on Thursday.
George Lyon quietened down John (tough job), by catching a 7.5lb fish from Back of the Bog on Friday morning.
In the brilliant sun on Saturday, eoff Fisher had a lovely 10lb fish from the Bulwark and Jamie Hammond had a 16lb fish from the right bank of the Soo. Both with long tailed sea lice.
A great week, lots of fun and a few fish. Hopefully the fish keep coming!
The successful flies at Arndilly were Durris Shrimp, Green Highlander and the biggest fish on a Willie Gunn. All dressed between 2-2.5″ and fished on a medium sink tip.
Aberlour Angling Cub report an 8lber to a visiting angler but no further information available.
As we progress upstream Wester Elchies report 3 fish for the week, including a first fish for Graham Clairhew. Graham had never fished for salmon before yesterday morning and even had to borrow a rod to fish for the day but what a reward. I know the fish handling skills will raise a few eyebrows but bear in mind a new to salmon fishing and first fish angler. I am sure he will be keen to learn good fish handling skills, well done Graham.
Kinermony has a fish too this week in the Boat pool to Mark Morrison. As I eluded too earlier in my report some people may not like the sight of a bleeding fish but ghillie, David Brand said the fish recovered well and swam away strongly. Mark was successful with the old favourite a Gold Bodied Willie Gunn. David also tells me he lost another fresh fish at the net.
Laggan ghillie, Mike Murdoch also reported that they had a fish from the Bothy. It was 10lb and landed by Gordon Smith. Not the greatest of pictures but not one of the easiest pools to land a fish from. The fish took a 1″ Kinermony Killer.
The week ahead looks like another week of settled conditions with a good deal of sunshine in the forecast so we can hope for a further improvement in the catches reported.
For those of you at a loose end next Saturday, the River Spey Anglers Association Flytying Fair takes place as Inchberry Hall between 10am and 4pm. we have a number of local tyers in attendance tying salmon, trout, predator and saltwater flies. Catering will be available in the hall and we will be holding a raffle too. Come along and say hello and perhaps pick up some tips from the tyers.
Tight lines to those out and about.