The weather improved this week, or at least if you are a salmon fisher, it did. Cooler temperatures and spells of rain put the river up mid week with a second rise on Saturday, and judging by todays rain, more to come. In the summer this invariably brings good sport and this week was no exception. Many beats recorded their best week of the season, although this year has been characterised by steady catches rather than many big weeks.
Starting in the lower river Fochabers Angling Association reported 11 for the week, 3 salmon and 8 grilse.
Brae Water beats continue to pick away with 36 fish this week. The catch consisted of a mixed bag of salmon and grilse with the first coloured fish following the midweek rise in river levels.
Orton had a good week with a mix of salmon and grilse averaging 9lb with the best day producing 12 fish.
Mark Melville reported that Delfur had 30 fish, 75% of which were salmon. Rothes had a similar total with 29 for the week, the best 17lb. Robbie Stronach said that only 2 of their fish were grilse. A positive feature this season is the presence of decent numbers of good summer salmon, they were in short supply last year.
I got this report from Euan Reid from Arndilly – “Another lovely week at Arndilly with the Browne family but first things first, congratulations to Jim Browne and Georgia Munro-Ford who got engaged in front of the Arndilly hut on Thursday, long awaited by some and welcomed by everyone.
The fishing was good, we had 6 in the low water on Monday, Jim got us started with 2 in Back of the Bog on Monday. Tuesday gave us 4 as the water began to rise. With the rise of water overnight, we had 11 on Wednesday including an 18lb fish for party leader Simon Browne and a 16lb for Bill Tyser, both fish were fresh but no lice. On Thursday we had 8 including a 16lb fish for John Beames. Notable catches this week were a first salmon (followed by a second) for splasher Paddy Peake and Ewan Dryburgh with his first. Not to forget Charlie and his duck. John Winstone, George Browne, Hugh and Daphne Oliver-Belasis and Hollybolly Browne also added to our score. All in all a very memorable week”. Another half dozen were added to the total before the week end.
In the words of Callum Robertson, Easter Elchies, it was another good week with 27 salmon and grilse landed. Callum notes that all the pools fished well and that the most successful flies were Willie Gunn’s, Cascades & Pot Bellied Pigs. The junior section of the family did well with Thomas and James Robertson landing 9 fish between them and were top rods for the week.
Callum also send a home produced video showing the young Robertson clan in action https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=stB38ZhzoW4 . A word of warning though, you may wish to view with the volume off and I can only hope for Callum’s sake that the video doesn’t age rapidly!
The weekly total for the lower river, below Craigellachie, would have been around the 200 mark, which is more like it, with the salmon still outnumbering grilse.
Upstream of Craigellachie sport was also good. Kinermony had 14, 11 of which were grilse, with twice as many lost. Some of the grilse were as small as a pound and a quarter, although most of the grilse this year have been of a decent size. On the opposite bank Wester Elchies has a dozen, mainly salmon. Upstream the Carron rods picked up a few, including a nice 13lb fish for Pedro Wakefield.
Archie Baille, Knockando Home beat ghillie was delighted with the sport his party enjoyed. The party landed 15 fish, in the following sizes – 26, 19, 16, 15, 14, 14, 12, 12, 11, 7, 6, 4, 4, 4 & 4lb. A great selection of fresh grilse, summer salmon and some older springers. The 26lb fish was landed by Nicky Henderson from Vrennon, a personal best. Mrs Caroline Jenks also landed a personal best of 19lb from the Long Pool.
The upper Knockando beat, Lower Pitchroy, has enjoyed really steady sport this season with this week contributing 16 to the total, 8 salmon and 8 grilse. Andrew Hall, beat ghillie, reports that floating lines with intermediate tips and size 10 Cascades and Ness C’s were doing the business.
I have no news from further upstream but I hear on the grapevine that, like further downstream, sport has been steady. A couple weeks ago I was speaking to an angler on Kinchurdy, the famous sea trout beat above Boat of Garten. He was enthusing about the number, and size of the sea trout they had caught this year.
That covers the catches last week, what of the week coming? Well there will be water that is for sure, hopefully not too much of it. As I write on Sunday afternoon the river is rising again and I can hear thunder not too far away. Whilst walking the dogs this morning I could see fish running so the prospects are good. The water is quite peaty, but don’t let that put you off, it doesn’t put the fish off! Summer salmon and grilse are running so you should be prepared for anything. There have also been two pink salmon caught on the river so keep an eye out for them. If you land one please dispatch humanely and report to the Spey Fishery Board.
Tight lines, Brian Shaw