May-fishing certainly has a different feel to it this season! With the Jet-stream blocked over mainland Europe, our weather patterns have been dominated by cold air and unsettled conditions. This has resulted in more rain and higher than normal water levels. Although this doesn’t suit all the fishing beats, I’d always favour too much water than too little water for the river as a whole. Of course, those anglers that got soaked last week and had to battle the elements, might have a slightly different perspective 🙂
Anyway, as we head towards June, I’m sure the weather will change at some point and the river will return to its ideal fishing height.
River heights – 1ft-3ft plus(+/- 2in)
Water Temps – 46-50F or 7-10C
Air temps – 5-12C
The week actually started really well with some beats recording big catches on Monday. However, river levels then rose and fluctuated over the rest of the week, peaking at over 3ft on Friday. With good water temperatures, salmon were on the move. In these conditions the middle to upper river typically performs better, as the fish move through the bottom beats fairly quickly – and that was the case.
Frustrating for some but productive for others – swings and roundabouts as they say. Salmon fishing would n’t be the same if it were predictable!
All things considered though, the catches were good once again.
Upper River – Over 25 fish reported – Castle Grant, Grantown Ass and Abernethy Ass
Middle River – Over 80 fish reported – Knockando, Laggan Wester Elchies, Lower Wester Elchies, Craigellachie, Kinermony, Aberlour AC
Lower River – Over 40 fish reported – Gordon Castle, Orton, Delfur, Rothes, Arndilly
Average size – approx 11-12lb. Biggest fish reported 24lbs. First Grilse of the season landed.
As with previous weeks, many of the salmon caught were sealiced or very fresh – however the biggest of the week probably entered the river in early spring – as you can see from the slight tinge of colour. Weighed at 24lbs – a cracking fish from the Castle Grant beats.
More lovely fresh salmon from up and down the river.
Only 1 lady angler caught on camera this week.
And a few more…..
Looking ahead to this week
I’d say the river is likely to rise again at the start of this week – rain is forecast across the whole catchment. However, the weather patterns appear to be changing and more settled and warmer conditions are coming to Scotland as we head through the week. Summer is coming!
As always, tightlines to all – and feel free to send me photos or videos of your salmon experience on Speyside.
On that note, I’ll finish this weeks report with a short film set on the beautiful Easter Elchies Beat and featuring the Spey-side’s best know celebrity – Ian Gordon. Hope you enjoy.