Week Commencing 7th March 2022

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Good afternoon everyone from a breezy Elgin

The week gone by has seen the world continue to view the suffering in Ukraine and the plight the innocent are facing as the onslaught continues. We can only hope that this hostility is brought to an end quickly and the suffering can be eased for people. Our thoughts go out to each and everyone who is being affected by this, both in the Ukraine and other countries around the world where families reside.

Turning now to Speyside and the weekly “performance review” I think it is safe to say that performance has improved for nearly all the beats but miracles were happening on the river too!! More of this later on in the report.

The weather in the week gone was changeable with gusty wind, squally showers and an increasing air temperature which lead to the river rising quickly and having a chocolatey consistency. The end of the week would have been awrite off for most people and beats

Making our way upstream Fochabers Angling Association reported nothing as water still on the high side of them.

Gordon Castle and Brae Water had a blank week according to David Buley. A few guests were out braving the challenging conditions but unfortunately no fish were encountered.

Heading upstream Orton got off the mark with one stunning fish and 2 moles according to Head Ghillie, Andy Gunn. An absolute belter of a fish taken by Jon Amos, 18lb of spring muscle and landed on the old faithful, a Willie Gunn. Well done to Jon.

Fish on!
Its in the net!!
Jon Amos with his 18lb belter from Junction Pool at Orton

Delfur broke their duck too during the week too, finishing with 3 for the week reports Mark Melville. Their fist fish came on Tuesday to Ian Hutchison from Two Stones on a Posh Tosh tube. The other 2 fish, both first ever spring salmon fell to big Willie Gunn tubes fished by John McHardy and John Nevin. John M landed his 11lb fish in Collie and John N , 10lb in Sourden. Well done gents.

John McHardy and his first ever springer
and away it goes

Rothes finished the week with three before the high water arrived advises Head Ghillie, Robbie Stronach. Malcolm Newbould had two fish on Wednesday and Mike Glass was the other lucky captor.

The first of 2 fish for Malcolm Newbould
Fish 2 for Malcolm Newbould
Mike Glass with his fish

Arndilly Head Ghillie, Euan Reid reports that last week was dominated by wind which at times made some pools simply unfishable but John Mackie and his team battled through it with a mixture of good humour and resilience. Nothing was landed on Monday but on Tuesday Ross Macdonald from Deeside had a lovely 7lb fish from Back of the Bog in the afternoon when the wind was at its worst, perseverance is key. Wednesday was a great day, Ralph Green had a bonny 6.5lb fish from The Piles (right) and John Davidson had an 11lb sea liced fish from opposite the path in the Cobble Pot. The star of the show on Wednesday was Sarah Cruickshank who caught a wonderful 18lb salmon from Reids. I think that made everyone’s day!
Second half of the week was disappointing, yes the water came up but we usually do well in big water but it wasn’t to be. We had a couple of solid contacts which may well have been fish because kelt numbers are so low with us, but who knows. Saturday was unfishable.

Ross Macdonald with his fish from Back of the Bog
John Davidson with his sealiced 12lb fish
Sarah Cruickshank with her absolutely stunning 18lb fish from Reids
Another picture as it departs showing its shape, nothing better to see

Easter Elchies and Upper Arndilly welcomed Ian Gordon’s fishing partyto Easter Elchies and Les Tyson’s to Upper Arndilly. A number of local experienced anglers featured in the parties and they proved to be successful. It was a week of fluctuating water but also some great spring fish landed.

Bob Alexander, Heathery Isle, caught on a skinny cascade
Mark Morrison, Heathery Isle, also on a skinny cascade
Les Tyson, Tail of Fiddich, sea liced, caught on a secret Sunray
The secret Sunray

Craigellachie got off the mark too this week reports Dougie Ross. That man, Ronnie Fraser on the mark again and there was also a first fish to Ollie Lyon. The coming week will be tough due to the high water levels but Dougie advises they still have some rods available over the next few weeks, so get in touch via the usual channels.

Ronnie Fraser with a nice fish from Lower Slabs
Ollie Lyon with his first Salmon

Aberlour Angling Club contact, Kenny Davis had not heard of anything taken from their water.

On the opposite bank at Lower Wester Elchies, Ghillie John Lunardi reported that they got off the mark with a fine 9lb fish to Baillie Mone in the Milford Pool. Once again the old faithful Willie Gun was the fish magnet. Well done Baillie.

Baillie Mone with a fine 9lb fish from the Millford Pool

Upstream at Wester Elchies 4 fish were landed advises Malcolm Newbould.

As we continue our journey upstream and only a short way (the opposite bank), David Brand at Kinermony advises a week which saw 2 fresh fish landed, a big brownie, some kelts and fresh fish lost at the net. Top rod was 14 year old Alex Murray who outfished his father and grandfather during the week. The Willie Gunn again featuring in the success of the beat.

James Stenhouse with a stunning fish
Clive Murray , with a sea liced fish caught on a 3inch black and yellow waddington
14 year old Alex Murray with his big brownie

Mike Murdoch at Laggan advises they only encountered kelts during the week gone past.

Well up the river, Simon Crozier, Head Ghillie at Castle Grant advises that they are now of the mark in 2022. The successful rod was John Shooter, member of the Cornfoot party, a bonny 8lb fish from the Garra on Beat One. Simon hopes that as the conditions improve and the river settles they will see further fresh fish in the beats. Simon has also confirmed the availablility of some rods int he week ahead.

As I mentioned at the start of my report, miracles appeared to have happened on the river at the weekend but did anyone see it? Did some one miss the various bridges across the Spey and need to find a shortcut on their way home? the following picture would certainly give that impression. Many thanks to Malcolm Newbould for the screenshot of the SEPA gauges for Saturday morning. A bit of light hearted humour for a Sunday afternoon.

The parting of the water!!

Finally the River Spey Anglers Association held their Flytying Fair yesterday at Inchberry Hall. A good turnout saw 60 odd visitors calling in to see the tyers on show. Many thanks to those who came but also to the tyers them selves for taking the time out to come and show their skills.

The week ahead looks as if the weather will stay warmish, with some rain on Wednesday and low night time temperatures so we will need to see if more snow melt takes place. It would be nice to see a settling river to allow some of the other beats to get off the mark for the season.

Tight lines for the week ahead.


2 thoughts on “Week Commencing 7th March 2022”

  1. What a brilliant report, well done Sandy. I live about 250 miles away but still love seeing the fishing reports. I have only fished on the Aberlour town water but miss it so much, hope to get back soon health prevailing.

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