Week Commencing 4th March 2024

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Afternoon everyone

Well that the first week of March gone already but I think spring is getting closer, despite the cool temperatures, at times during the week.

Things continue to come alive after their winter dormancy, spring bulbs are well through the ground, indeed the crocusses are on show all over but the gem has to be the beds of snowdrops at Orton on my way to work, they have been stunning for a few weeks now.

Woody Woodpecker was out yesterday morning, tapping away on a dead tree in the woods as he looks for a mate. I cannot resist creeping about on the periphery of the wood trying to spot him but inevitably they see me long before I spot them. The early morning birdsong is getting stronger outwith the town as all you hear some mornings in Elgin are those damn seagulls.

I have been asked by the Board to assist with the publicity around the annual Lionel Main Angling Course held at Castle Grant in the summer. The organisers are looking for sponsors to assist with the costs of running this event so if you can assist please donate via the undernoted link.

The link to contribute can be found at https://www.gofundme.com/f/the-lionel-main-angling-course

Here is a short video showing what the course is about:-

One of the participants getting some advice from the ghillies

The Spey Fishery Board has also started this years Salmon in the classroom projects at Rothes and Milne’s Primary Schools. Head Bailiff, Richard Whyte ably supported by former teacher John Trodden have visited the schools, giving presentations and “donating” some eggs for the pupils to watch develop.

Head Bailiff Richard Whyte engaging with the pupils
John Trodden asking the questions and getting some replies
The Salmon Lifecycle

The river was in good shape last week, falling levels with a cold and gusty wind but the sun was out at times and kept it reasonably pleasant.

On the river Gordon Castle and Brae water got off the mark reports David Buley. This week was one with good conditions but very few anglers. With that said we managed to get off the mark with our 2024 season. This lovely fish was caught on Saturday by our lucky guest up on the Upper Brae. The weather looks to be fair for the coming week and if the river remains low good chance of a fish. Book on fishpal or call the estate office for a cast.

Cracking fish from the Rock Pool

Orton also broke their duck confirms Andy Gunn, with one fish for us last week, a 9lber from the Turn on Thursday for David Milne. The river dropped to a fine height for access to all the Pools.

Continuing up the river, Robbie Stronach at Rothes and Aikenway reports a two fish week for them. Rob Mason had a nice fish from Creeky and Steven Rose got a fish from Geantree. Good to see they are about.

Robbie with Rob Mason’s fish from Creeky

At Arndilly, Euan Reid reports:- Hi Sandy, a lovely mixed week of day rods, reasonable weather, a couple of fish and nearly a seagull (that’s your department) (Yes, I nearly had a gull as one took a liking to my tube fly in the Long Pool but thankfully did not ingest it).
The water is dropping back now which often works well for us in spring. Slightly disappointed that it took us to Friday to get a fish but like busses….
Paul Mciver had his first Spey spring fish, 8lb from the Soo, following Jordan (he’ l love that).
That fish was caught in the late morning, early afternoon Andy McDonald caught a similar fish from the neck of back of the bog, ably assisted by Blair. Both fish were sea liced.

Paul with his fine 8lber from Soo
Time for a quick photo before it goes back
shining silver
Andy with his fish from Back o The Bog
Ready to go

At Easter Elchies their good start to the season continues as Ben Grundie reports a week of fluctuating weather conditions and some good early Spring sport. We welcomed 3 new parties to Easter Elchies this week by way of successful lot winners in the Spey Fishery Board Auction. The Stock fishing party from Cheshire, along with tuition days with Ross Mclellan and Jimmy Simpson. Always good to see fishers from other rivers fish the Spey and this week we had Naver, Tay, Dee and Findhorn fishers with us. Temperatures fluctuated all week and we landed our first fish on Tuesday. Les Tyson with a cracking 6lb sea liced springer from Heathery Isle. We also lost another 3 fish on Tuesday. Friday was our best day with 2 fish landed, Geoff Holloway with a fine 9lb salmon and Tam Brown with a cracking 8lb springer from Fiddich Mouth. All the fishers put in a good shift this week, with good returns for early Spring on the Spey.

Tom Brown with his fish from Fiddich Mouth
Speyside silver
Les Tyson, Heathery Isle
Pressure is a privilege

Other than the above no other action to report but the fish are making an appearance each week and as time goes on we will hopefully see more of the beats start to pick up fish.

The week ahead looks a wee bit unsettled with a mix of sunshine and showers but nothing that will cause a great rise in the river.

Tight lines to those out and about.


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