Week Commencing 4th September 2023

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Good afternoon all

Well there are only 3 weeks, after this report left to go in the 2023 and we can only describe it as “different” and we can hope it is a cyclical blip. I think everyone will be glad to get to the end of this one and recharge and focus for 2024.

Last week brought us temperatures that the warmest parts of the world would be jealous of but did some of us suffer with the heat in the office, my office is an old farm building with 2 foot think walls and no air conditioning. I have never worked in such an oppressive heat so glad to see a change today.

The week gone by will hopefully allow the farmers to have finished this years harvest all in, baled and in some instances planting next years crop. The grain dryer near to where I walk the dog was working flat out at times during the week.

Before we move on to see how the river fared there are a couple of things to mention.

Firstly the Spey Board Auction takes place in November and if you can help out with any form of donation for the auction, ideally fishing related but countryside themed would also be acceptable. any donations can be discussed with the Board who can be emailed at admin@speyfisheryboard.com.

Secondly the Board were notified yesterday of a number of fish fatalities across some of the river beats. At this moment in time the cause of the mortalities could be one of a number of things ranging from water temperature and height playing a part, to something in the water etc. The Board is currently supporting its Biologist, Atti Albright as he tries to establish what is behind this. It is such a sad thing to see and concerning for a species that is already having a tough time of it. I am sure the Board will let us know in due course.

Right lets have a look at how the river fared and to be honest the results are not surprising.

Working our way up river, Andy Milne of Fochabers Angling Association advises no fish reported caught this week, though fresh fish were seen running through yesterday morning. Sand martins are away but the odd osprey still here and a couple of skenes of geese spotted.

At Gordon Castle/Brae Water, David Buley reports that things were incredibly tough this week. Weather was not what we’d expect in September. Not a cloud in the sky till Saturday afternoon, and temperatures well over 25° made things almost intolerable for most anglers. Credit to those anglers who got stuck into the early mornings and evenings, but unfortunately very few fish ended up caught to show for their efforts. Hopefully next week’s better.

Upstream at Orton, Andy Gunn confirms 1 fish for the week, a 1st ever salmon of 11lb for Monica Haydon fishing with the Taylor party. Mediterranean weather and low water spoiled the fun.Plenty of fish on the beat but they’re just switched off at the moment.

I think it is safe to say the trend on the Lower beats typifies the circumstances that have been reported in the lower beats are repeated as we continue our journey.

Mark Melville at Delfur sums up the week with one word Scorcio!!! They did manage a few fish in extremely tough conditions.

Robbie Stronach at Rothes and Aikenway reports a blank for them, which in the conditions does not come as a surprise.

At Arndilly this week we had Iain Laing and his team reports Euan Reid. We all knew what was the likely outcome of the week ahead from last weekends weather forecast and so it proved. Warm, low water is never your friend on Speyside in September, and this, married to the low numbers of fish this year resulted in a really difficult week in terms of catches.
George Lyon had our only fish of the week, 5lb from left side of Back of the Bog on a half inch sunray coloured hitch tube.
Everyone took the weather in their stride and had a great week, John Martin, having never been known to quieten down a party provided the usual entertainment.

At Easter Elchies, Orn Sigurhansson reports a slow week. Conditions against us all week, with sunshine and low water. Plenty of residents in the pools. A rise in water would be very welcome.

As we go up river Wester Elchies, Delagyle and Laggan did not manage to get on the scoresheet due to the conditions but Kinermony did with a fine clean 8lb salmon to Sam Lewis.

At Castle Grant, Simon Crozier repeated what has been said elsewhere, tough going with only early and late fishing, fish in the pools but not surprisingly playing hard to get.

Well that is it, a very short and sweet report this week which is not surprising given what Speyside had thrown at it this week.

I am sure the Board will advise us in due course as to the outcome of the mortalities in due course and I would ask that we do not jump to conclusions as to the reasons behind what has happened.

Thankfully the week ahead will bring reduced temperatures and the possibility of some light rain as we really begin the season end countdown.

Tightlines to those out and about.


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