Week Commencing 7th August 2023

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Good afternoon all

Well another week of the season passes us by as we head towards the close. I do not know where the time is going as I tend to agree that things go quicker the older you get.

Another mixed week of weather has just gone, with extremes in the weather from temperatures in the high 20’s to the downpour yesterday during the thunder and lightning. I watched it whilst I was cleaning painting equipment and saw a couple of cracking forks of lightning, was sure they were close to the houses behind me but have not heard anything about strikes.

I had the pleasure of watching three young leverets, reasonably well grown but small in comparison to an adult hare try and find safety on Friday night just as dusk was falling. I had a late walk with the dog and watched a combine cutting the last 4 four bouts of crop when the leverets appeared from within. They slowly made their way to different shelter points, well out of the way of the heavy machinery, poor little things.

The crops have certainly been getting the works this week with combines working away steadily.

The first of the hedgerow fruit are starting to ripen, patches of brambles starting to appear so soon be time to get some picked.

Ok enough of the pleasantries lets see how the beats fared.

As we head down river our starting point today is Castle Grant, where Simon Crozier reports a quiet week , some nice grilse landed across the beats but not the upturn in catches we had hoped for. We will see what next week brings.

Next stop is Knockando Home beat where Archie Baillie advises not a lot to report this week. A few fish lost but only a salmon of 6lb and a sea trout landed. This is a picture being played out across the beats this week with the weather conditions.

At Laggan, Max McKinstrie reports 2 Grilse for the week. Both caught on Monday then it went quiet for the rest of the week. The river is a bit on the low side for us now. There are fish in the pools but proving hard to catch. We hope for a lift in the water this week to bring them onto the take.

Next at Kinermony, David Brand advises that they managed to get three grisle and a seatrout Robert McKay and Jim Brown the captors, well done gents.

Malcolm Newbould reports that Wester Elchies finished their week with 5 in the book.

Across the river Aberlour Angling Club had a quiet week with nothing to report, probably symptomatic of the prevailing conditions during the week.

Downstream at Easter Elchies, Orn Sigurhansson reports a much slower week with dropping water levels all week. We were very pleased to welcome the James fishing party this week. Despite lots of fish showing, they went off the take quite early on in the week. Despite this, always a very enjoyable week with the James party.

Euan Reid at Arndilly advises that they got off to a flier this week with 8 on Monday. This week’s host, John Dickinson, had 3, 2 from the right bank of Piles and the other from Jocks Tail, all sea liced. Mike Forbes had 2 from Bulwark, Heather Forrester had 2 from Jocks Tail left, and the tail of Long Pool. Tom Haxby, on his first Arndilly visit, had a fish from the right bank of Cobble Pot off the path.
Thereafter the week became a bit difficult. Everyone that fished a full rod caught a fish, Bill Forrester and Patrick Dickinson had fish from Long Pool and Paul Marris had 2, Cobble Pot and Jocks Tail. Special mention after many part time years of trying Gail Forbes caught her first ever salmon. It was 7lb and fresh without sea lice, ably assisted by Neil Borthwick who was helping us out this week. Our very own Keith Mclaren caught the other one this week, apparently not in a taking spot. Weird, yes but that’s salmon fishing!!

Neil with Gail’s fish safely in the net
Gail and host John Dickinson
It was a bit wet on Saturday afternoon

Euan kindly sent me this picture from the same party on the same week in either 2014 or 2015. I think the river was up the day the picture was taken!!

Wet feet in the Arndilly car park from 2014 or 15!!

At Rothes and Aikenway, Robbie Stronach reports a quieter week with 8 for the week . Mostly grilse and a couple of salmon.

Jenny Larsen in Creeky
Jenny again in Geantree

Mark Melville at Delfur reports that their week was quieter with a catch in the upper teens. Mostly grilse some fresh, others have been in a week or so. Yet again a lot of predator damaged fish noticed.
The week was going quite well until Friday when they switched off completely, the first blank day for months! We managed a few small grilse Saturday but still very dour!

Kimberley Pickup with a lovely grilse
Alex Pickup with his prize
Sean Howe with his grilse

Next on the journey down the river is Orton where Andy Gunn reports a week of 3 Salmon, 10 Grilse. Plenty fish about but switched off when the water dropped.

Gordon Castle and Brae Water finished their week into the 60’s advises Lewis Webb. he reports that they were seeing good numbers of grilse going through and catching the odd resident fish. The changeable weather seemed to have the fish switching on and off with no real consistency to catches throughout the week, Saturdays thunder and lighting will have cleared the air nicely so let’s see what next week brings!

Silver in the sunshine
Robert Gurney and his Brae Water fish
Ready to go back
Otto Stroyan with his first fish
Mr Williams and his silver prize
Mark Stroyan with his prize
Mark Stroyan with his grilse
Bunch Stroyan with a not so fresh fish
Ben Leatham with his first fish
Archie Stroyan with a resident
another fine grilse
Amelia Gurney with silver from GC
A lovely fish

Our final stop this week is Fochabers Angling Association where Andy Milne reports a slow at the start of the week but then on Thursday there were a lot of fish about. About 20 caught, some decent salmon amongst them, the biggest being 18lbs to Alan Wilson who had an excellent week. Unfortunately a seal was spotted a couple of times in Braehead and Cumberland.

It disappointing that “Sammy” or one of his relatives has made an appearance again, as this is the first report of a seal that I have heard of for a while. This appearance leads on to me advising that the Board’s application for a licence to shoot a small number (4) of grey seals has been declined, along with similar applications for Tweed, Dee, Tay, Deveron and the rivers of the Kyle of Sutherland. It is a disappointing outcome and the Board, along with others are to seek a meeting with MSLOT ( Marine Scotland Licensing and Operations Team) to try and establish further reasoning for the refusal of the relevant applications. I will bring you an update when more is known.

Next week looks like being another mixed one on the weather front so we will see what this brings to the river.

Tight lines to those that are out able to take advantage of a day on the river.


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