Week Commencing 8th April 2024

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Good afternoon all

Firstly I need to pass on my thanks to Paul Hughes for looking after last weeks report whilst I was officiating at the annual Moray International Curling Bonspiel and Moray Leisure Centre. A long hard weekend but very enjoyable and great to catch up with old friends but also to make some new ones.

Its a bit of a mixed day here in Elgin, it was lovely earlier on but the wind and the rain have now appeared, much like other spells during the week when it was really quite nasty.

The bright nights are a bonus as I finally got round to giving the grass its first haircut of the season and the greenhouse got a tidy, ready for this years plantings. Plants and bushes in the garden are fairly springing into life and the farmers have taken advantage of the dry warmer spells during the week to get this years planting done, although I am sure the ground will still be pretty wet and cold in places. The remedy for that is sunshine, warmth and wind but that’s not what we want on the river!!!

I know that most people understand that predation in the river and in our oceans is a big issue but I am not sure how many of the readers will have seen a post on Social media, filmed in England of a mother Goosander with a her brood following her down the river. I was astounded to see 27, yes 27 chicks, probably from multiple broods, happily journeying with her. How much damage could that family alone cause in a river, it does not bear thinking about.

Right lets have a look at the week gone by.

Heading up the river, David Buley at Gordon Castle/Brae Water advises that this week started with persistent rain, that lead to a big water. We didn’t have many fishers out but those who fished, fished well. One fish was lost after a short battle and another pull was all to report on the fishing front. The ghillies helped out on a couple of days where available to assist in the huge task of spraying the hogweed with Karen and a couple volunteers. To end the week we hosted the RSAA ladies day, although no fish were caught everyone enjoyed their day.

Up at Orton, Andy Gunn reports a 2 fish week for them. the first was a beautifully fresh 9lb fish from the Turn on Thursday for Jeremy Phillips, this was followed up byBrian Sim who landed a fresh 7lb fish from Lower Cairnty on Saturday morning.

Mark Melville reports a quiet week at Delfur where perhaps the prevailing weather and water conditions during the week played their part.

As we go upriver Roddy Stronach at Rothes and Aikenway reports a single fish for them for their week. The lucky captor was David Theaker in Geantree.

At Arndilly, Euan Reid reports, as I’m sure you will have covered already, it was a week of all weather conditions. Sometimes, making it tough going.
We had 4 for the week and they arrived in pairs. The first of the week was on Wednesday with an 8.5lb fish for Frank Lodge from about level with our hut. This was Frank’s first salmon after 7 years of fishing, so he wears the captains hat this week.
Within an hour, Frank’s brother Stephen had an 18lb fish from the tail of Bulwark.
On Thursday morning Stephen Bate had two from the Long Pool. An 11.5lb fish from the 3 rocks below the hut and a 16.5lb fish from the tail. The water level was 2ft9 dropping to 2ft 3 between the 2 days we caught fish.
We hoped things would carry on through Friday and Saturday, but unfortunately we only had brief contacts and losses.

Stephen Lodge, 18lb
Stephen Bate and his 11.5lber
Beautiful fish
Stephen again 16.5lbs

As we continue going on our journey, this seasons hotspot so far has delivered again as Orn Sigurhansson reports another week of roller coaster water height at Easter Elchies. Water height reaching a high of 30 inches on Wednesday falling back to 15 inches today. We were very pleased to welcome Team Denmark back to Easter Elchies. Wednesday the best day for the Danes with Allan Bendix landing a cracking 15lb springer from Tail of Fiddich and Rasmus Harder likewise landing a great 13lb salmon. Big water continuing to favor our high water pools of Heathery Isle and Fiddich Mouth. Big fish hunting continued this week with a 40 inch 24lb salmon from Heathery Isle and a 22lb from Fiddich Mouth. Finished the week with another cracking 11lb springer on Saturday. 5 salmon for the week, a good week in the conditions.

40 inches, 24lb, Heathery Isle
Allan Bendix, 15lb Fiddich Mouth
Rasmus Harder, 13lb Tail of Fiddich
Saturday Silver
New Moon, Easter Elchies

Wester Elchies had success in the week gone by reports Malcolm Newbould, with a solitary fish for Kenny Macdonald. As you will see from the pictures the fish has suffered a deformity of its mouth but this has not stopped it from taking a hold of Kenny’s fly as it crossed its path.

Kenny Macdonald and his prize
Deformed Mouth

Across the river at Delagyle, David Smillie reports that they had 2 fish for their week, the lucky captors being Andrew Goodenough and Max Gerson. Well done gents.

Andrew Goodenough with a cracking 20lber
Max Gerson with a nice 8lber

Ian Borthwick up at Carron confirms success during the week, with a single fish in the book. It is an absolute belter of a fish, landed by Steve Hulmes in Delmunach, turning the scales to 22lbs. A very happy angler with a fish of a lifetime.

Steve Hulmes with a stunner from Delmunach

Our final stop today is Knockando where Archie Baillie who tells me that despite the strong winds and rain we managed 5 fish for the week. One on Tuesday for James Mumford from Slioch. After loosing two nice fish on Thursday, Robert Galbraith went on to land three in quick succession again from Slioch. Andrew Goodenough rounded off Thursday with a fourth fish making it four from Slioch on Thursday. Unfortunately that was the end of the action for the week.

Robert Galbraith with one of this 3 fish from Slioch
Number Two
Number 3
James Mumford, Slioch
Silver in the net

It certainly looks like the weather last week made life difficult up and down the river, certainly testing the best of anglers and their ability to get line to land where they wanted it to go. Numbers are not massive and still blank spaces across the river where some beats, who we would have expected to be off the mark are still waiting for the first fish in this years book. We can only but hope that numbers continue to grow and become spread all over the beats.

Looking ahead, the weather seems to be on the wet side in the coming days but the wind looks to remain breezy at the start of the week but gradually dropping off but hey forecasts can change.

Tight lines to those out and about in the week ahead


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