Week Commencing 28th March 2022

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Good afternoon all

I sit here at home writing this report, self isolating – yes my turn for COVID and looking out at the rain. Having avoided it for nigh on 2 years I suppose it was only inevitable that I would get my dose of it.

As atrocities continue in other parts of the world, along with energy price hikes life is tough at the moment but we muddle through and continue to put brave face on the situations facing us. For some of us we can find solace in our angling activities regardless of the method or indeed the specie(s) we target, through flytying or indeed watching fishing on the TV.

Last week was a very changeable week weather wise, starting off bright and warm but this soon changed across the entire country as Nippy from the North and not the Beast from the East hit us. Winter woollies would well have been needed at the tail end of the fishing week.

Right let us have a look at the scores from the ghillies and clubs as we journey upstream.

Andy Milne of Fochabers Angling Association reports another blank week for them and this was the same story from David Buley at Gordon Castle. Fish are not stopping in the lower river at present but we can only hope this will change and we will see some fish coming off this water.

Upstream Orton reported one solitary fish and Mark Melville at Delfur reported another fishless week, despite the fact that fish were seen and conditions improved as the week went on.

Robbie Stronach advises that Rothes had 4 fish for the week, with a couple lost and fish being seen too. David Turtle landed two of these and Grant Turtle one. All gleaming bars of silver.

Grant Turtle with a chromer from the Long Pool
David Turtle with silver from the Town Road
David Turtle with a belter from Jamieson

Arndilly Head Ghillie Euan Reid reports another lovely week on Arndilly with Iain Ogden and his team. As will be a familiar story over the next few weeks, because of the covid thing many of our guests haven’t been here for 3 years and it’s great to have them back.
Gerry Kelly had a lovely 14lb fish from Reids on Monday morning to get us going. Malcolm Smith had a 9lb fish from Cobble Pot and a well shaped 11.5lb fish from Gilmour on Tuesday afternoon. On Wednesday we lost 2 close to the net but Thursday was very quiet. Malcolm Smith had a lovely 7lb sealiced fish from the right side of Bulwark on Friday afternoon and Stuart Dawson had his first Arndilly fish, 9lb from the boat in the Soo with Blair.
On Saturday Stuart had another 9lb fish, this time from the Piles on the hut side but the fish of the week was a 22lb beauty for Malcolm Dutchman-Smith from Reids. Head of the party Iain Ogden unusually blanked but did have 3 fish close to the net amongst other contacts.

Malcolm Smith 9lb
Stuart Dawson, 9lb in the Soo
Stuart’s number 2, also 9lb with ghillie Blair Banks
Sea-liced 7.5lb fish from Friday

At Easter Elchies conditions were tough with the northerly wind causing the anglers some issues according to Ghillie Orn Sigurhansson. However by the end of the week things had slightly improved with 3 fish landed on the Friday, 2 of which were to the rod of young Thomas Robertson. Fishing the tail of the Fiddich, Thomas landed a sparkling 10lb fish and 20 minutes later he hooked and landed a fish of a lifetime, 28lb of Spey Muscle on a Willie Gunn Tube. What an experience for the 16 year old, his father, grandfather, brother and of course the netsman. Good to see he held his nerve!! A very well done goes to this young angler and it is great to see the youngsters in amongst the spring fish.

Thomas and his 10lb fish
In the net
Fish on for the second time!!
The fish being measured
The weigh in
No words needed
Getting ready for the release

Craigellachie ghillie, Dougie Ross confirms thhey had 4 fish for the week. Two at 8 & 10lb for Lars Berg and on each for Steven Urquhart and Ryan Clarke.

Steven Urquhart, 9lb silver
Ryan Clarke’s fish with a monkey in its mouth

Upstream Aberlour Angling Club contact Kenny Davis reports 2 fish for the week, with the conditions putting a lot off. The lucky anglers being Billy Anderson and Jimmy Christie.

Malcolm Newbould confirms that Wester Elchies had three fish for their week.

Kinermony landed three fish for their week according to ghillie, David Brand. Interestingly all fish were caught after 5pm.

Mike Brodie with his prize
Ian Henderson with a bit of silver

Laggan had a good week according to ghillie Mike Murdoch, landing 6 fish to 11lb.

Tomas Larsen, Little Griggle 8lb

Upstream at Knoockando, Home Beat Ghillie Archie Baillie advises that they had two fish on Monday but things went quiet thereafter.

Davy Robertson with a 7lber
Another 7lber for Gregg McArthur

As we continue our journey upstream, Tulchan appear to be having a good time of late, with some of their best fishing. I do not have specifics to share.

Castle Grant Head Ghillie Simon Crozier advises another good week. A week of wild weather and difficult conditions at Castle Grant but still some springer action to be had. On Monday ,Chris Jffers ,returning to beat 3 after 20yrs had a 9 lb fish from lower Dunbar on his 3rd cast! Quite the return! Steven Gleave had a fine 12lber from Congash on beat 1. On Tuesday the wind swung and the weather turned but Ally Morrison had a cracking 16lber from the Manse on beat 2. Christopher Mcwilliam had a great few days on beat 1 starting with an 8lb fish from the Garra, he left the best to last when on Saturday he had a cracking 18lber from Slopichar. There are some rods available on beat 1 next week.

Chris Jeffers from Lower Dunbar
Ally Morrison with his 16lber from the Manse Pool
Chris McWilliam with his 18lber

Its been some week for some of the anglers, with fish of a lifetime brought to the net and we can only hope this bodes well for the rest of the season.As we look forward, the week ahead would appear to be cold and unsettled, perhaps bringing the lower river into action but we can only wait and see.

Tight lines to those that are out and about.


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