Week Commencing 4th April 22

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Good afternoon all

I am sitting here, having got through the week with Covid, dealing with the cough and breathlessness it has left me but very grateful to having contracted it in the current variant stage. I have every sympathy for those who have not been so lucky and got earlier variants. I would not wish it on anyone and would wish any sufferers a speedy recovery.

The ongoing conflict in Ukraine shows no sign of abating in the near future, continuing to prolong the suffering to the innocent on the ground and continuing to affect the rest of the world in other ways. UK residents are now feeling the impact of energy and taxation hikes which will continue to have a knock on effect to other aspects of life, including fishing.

At least angling can bring times of peace and solitude as we try to regroup and refocus on life as it is at present. We must all stay strong in these turbulent times but we should not feel ashamed if we need to reach out for support. A problem shared is a problem halved as they say.

Looking at the week just gone, or what I saw of it, the week started off in good shape and looked promising but as this is Scotland, things can change quickly. Heavy and persistent rain, northerly winds and wintry showers pushed the river up and from the Fiddich down, ran with some colour. This had the usual affect of affecting the catches but lets look and see how the beats fared.

For a change I am going to work my way down top to bottom this week as follows:-

Abernethy Angling Club had 3 fish last week, Billy Richardson landing two at 8 and 9lb respectively and Gordon Henderson one of 9lb too.

Grantown Water had a good week with 2 on Monday, John Davies,Lurig -10lb, and Chris Harrison -16lb ,Long Pool. On Friday ,one of 18lb and on Saturday 3 , Robert Buchan, 11lb and 6lb , Macleod’s Pool and Stevie Wilson 8lbs , Inverallen. Great to see the fish well spread through out the system.

A big thank you goes to Simon Crozier, Head Ghillie at Castle Grant who will try keep me updated with the successes where he can for these two local Associations/Clubs.

At Castle Grant it was a much quieter week thanks to the high water and the wild, unpredictable weather experienced by the rods. Ronald Ewen had a fine fish from Slopichar on Beat one on Tuesday and Robbie Henderson had a fish from Polchraine on Beat 2 on Thursday. Other than that fish were seen, hooked and lost across the beats. The drop in water bodes well, fingers crossed for the week ahead.

Tulchan had more success this week but no further information is available.

Andrew Hall at Lower Pitchroy, Knockando confirms that what was a promising week for a new party fizzled out quite quickly, with only one fish landed on Monday and a couple lost. A good number of fish seen but the weather played its usual part and affected the remainder of the week.

Knockando Home Beat ghillie, Archie Baillie advises that they had Malcolm Newbould’s party for the week and after a good start with 5 fish up to Thursday, it went dead thereafter with no further fish encountered. The rod of the week was Par Palms who landed all the fish with weights in the 6-16lb range. Well done sir.

One of Par Palms five of the week
Number two with Ghillie Archie Baillie
Number 3
Number 4

Laggan ghillie Mike Murdoch confirms their week got off to a good start with Ed Rennie on Monday with a 7 pounder out of the Gas Pool and Ruaridh Waugh got his first ever salmon out of Dalmunach on Thursday, so not bad given the conditions. They suffered as everyone else did the with unsettled conditions

Ruaridh Waugh 8lbs, Dalmunach

Wester Elchies had a good week with seven in the book and a fine 17lber landed by Michale Larg.

Michael Larg 17lb from Brock

Kinermony had three fish for the week advises David Brand. Mike Roden winkled two out of Craigs and Bob Newton the other. However catch of the year goes to Patric Wright , and Stuart Mathieson both catching fresh water mussels within ten minutes of each other, gold bodied Willie guns doing the trick on an intermediate tip ????????

Mike Roden with one of his 2 fish
Mike with his other fish
Catch of the week!!!!

Aberlour Angling Club report only one 14lb fresh fish landed to the rod of Lynn Sutherland. A number of well mended kelts were also caught with a further fish lost by a visitor on Saturday.

Dougie Ross at Craigellachie advises they only had one for their week with the high water making it unfishable for them.

Craigellachie’s only success of the week

Ronnie Fraser has advised me of his success at Upper Arndilly with a couple of fish last week. Both fish caught on a monkey variant of his fly the Roncade.

Ronnie Fraser with one of his two fish
The second of Ronnie’s fish

Euan Reid, Head Ghillie at Arndilly advises that it was at tough week what with the 6ft of water midweek and the north wind up to gale force on Friday afternoon. Steven Lodge and his team this week need to be congratulated for their hard work and persistence. Jonny Jowett had a 10lb fish from the tail of the long pool on Monday afternoon. Just exactly what we didn’t want happened on Tuesday evening, the river rose considerably. When your beat is catching fish you don’t want a change in conditions, but these things we can’t control.
Before the rise Jake (the gloves) Lodge caught a belting 11lb fish from the left side of Jocks Tail, just below the steps. Wednesday the water level was at 6ft and Thursday was messed up with the Fiddich bringing in a lot of colour, above it was OK.
Friday brought a falling river, 2ft 9 down from 3ft 6 on Thursday and a well shaped 9.5lb fish for Stuart Lang from the left bank of Cobble Pot, about the corner. That was us for the week, disappointingly Saturday was blank on a lovely water where I expected two or three more for the tally. There you go, that’s salmon fishing.

Jake Lodge, 11lb Jocks Tail
Stuart Lang a fine 9.5lb fish
Happy Angler
Hopefully the snow will stay up there!!!

Next downstream, Rothes had 2 fish for the week before the conditions changed with a further couple of fish lost reports Robbie Stronach. Both fish landed in the Burnmouth.

Kevin Clayton’s fish from Burnmouth in hands of Robbie
Cathryne Boye’s fish from Burnmouth

Mark Melville at Delfur confirms their week was saved by Wilson Phillips who landed a fine 12lb hen fish in Collie on Saturday Afternoon.

Wilson Phillips with his cracking hen from Collie

Orton Head Ghillie, Andy Gunn advises that no fresh fish encountered only a couple of kelts for their week.

Gordon Castle/Brae Water fishings are still waiting to double their total for the year according to David Buley. The high water scuppered their week having lost a good fish in Lower Brae at the start of the week.

Finally Fochabers Angling Association are still waiting for their first fish, with water levels hampering them getting off the mark.

Looking forward, next week looks somewhat more settled weather wise and hopefully we will see the successes continue on the river. The Lower river will be looking to bounce back soon as the season progresses towards May.

Tight lines to all those out and about


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