Easter weekend is upon us, and it has been a lovely one here in Elgin with good temperatures and a bit of sun. Elgin itself is recovering from the Macmoray Music Festival which took place yesterday and from what I understand sold out and a great success, here’s hoping it is the first of many.
Farmers in Moray are forging ahead with crop planting and field preparation and it is good to see crops starting to turn the brown fields a shade of green. The early mornings are providing a great opportunity to hear waves of birdsong, woodpeckers tapping away and seeing partridges and pheasants running for cover as I walk the dog (she is on the path and they are in the fields). It is a great time of year to be out and about and getting a cast is a bonus too.
The week gone by saw another unsettled period of weather with wind, rain and rising river levels mid week but thankfully these started to settle as the week progressed.
Looking now at the river and the catches on its length, lets head down the Spey and see what was happening.
Simon Crozier, Head Ghillie at Castle Grant informs me that Abernethy Angling Club had 4 fish in the 8-12lb bracket for their week all caught by Sam Thompson in a 24 hour period- some bit of angling that.
Grantown Association had 5 fish for their week.
A week of milder more settled weather and easier fishing conditions at Castle Grant. No action on Monday surprisingly given good water conditions, on Tuesday Andy Gatenby had a cracking 18lb fish from the Dipper on Beat 1, on Wednesday 3 fish were caught, Geoff Whitehead had a sparkling 6lber from the March on Beat 3, a fish of 9lb from Number 2 burn on Beat 2 and one of 10lb from the Garra on Beat 1. On Thursday an 8lb fish was taken from the Manse on Beat 2 and a 10lb fish from the Garra on Beat 1. On Friday an 8 lb fish from Number1 burn on Beat 2 and on Saturday Andy Sutherland had a 9lb fish from Polchraine. More fish were seen in all the pools and fish were played and lost across the beats. On the estates other beat at Kinchurdy , ghillie Allan Grant got the season underway with a cracking fish of around 20 lbs from The Kinchurdy pool. Given the way fish are running up the river I’m sure Kinchurdy will produce a few more fish in the coming weeks. With the water fining down to a good height, we look forward to more action next week.
I have not heard of anything about Tulchan for the week gone by but hopefully their early season success will continue.
Ballindalloch had fish during the week but I can advise no more than that.
At Lower Pitchroy, ghillie Andrew Hall advises that he had Jouni Rauha’s party fishing during the week and was frustrating with the water levels first half of the week. With only a sea trout for our efforts in the first half it was not looking great. But Thursday came and we were off the mark with a 9lber from the neck of Green Bank.
Friday came and it started off a bit too good for Andrew Martin. On his first cast of the morning, in front of the hut he hooked and landed an 8lb fish. Saturday soon arrived and conditions were good and we landed 3 and had holds of a few as well. Overall a good week but the boys worked hard at it.
Downstream at Knockando Home Beat, Archie Baillie reports 2 fish for their week. The rods fishing only has 2 touches for the week resulting in the two fish caught, one on Tuesday and one late on Saturday.
At Laggan it was short week, with guests only fishing from Wednesday onwards, however 2 fish were landed according to ghillie Mike Murdoch. Cedric Audinot got his first ever salmon in his first ever hour of fishing from Dalmunach on Thursday and Nicola Kennell had one from the same pool prior to that. A few more fish were seen in the beat too.
Wester Elchies had a good week with 11 fish landed advises Malcolm Newbould.
Kinermony only had one for the week, Graham Ritchie being the lucky captor in Rhynde accordingly to ghillie David Brand.
Aberlour Angling Club had a good with with at least seven fish landed during the week reports Kenny Davies. Three were landed on Friday with one each for Stuart Wilson, Alan Grant and Jim Christie. Visiting rod, Matthew Will broke his Spey duck with a stunning springer. Well done Matthew.
Water conditions were not good for Craigellachie according to Dougie Ross, with just 2 fish landed. Hopefully the week ahead will see things improve.
Head Ghillie at Easter Elchies, Orn Sigurhansson reports a week of fluctuating water levels with 5 fish landed. Biggest fish of the week, a cracking 16lb springer caught in Fiddich Mouth on a Willie Gunn tube fly.
Downstream at Arndilly, Euan Reid advises of had another week with a high water day included. Wednesday for us below the confluence of the A’an and definitely the Fiddich we struggled with water the colour, it was not unfishable but worth a go. We finished with 10 for the week, 2 each day with a blank on Wednesday. Adam Stacy-Clear had 4 for the week . On Monday Mark Thorp had a 12lb fish from the left bank of the Soo at 18″ and Adam had an 8lb fish from Cobble Pot left opposite the path. Adam Stacy-Clear and Mike Arnall had one each from Bulwark and Back of the Bog respectively on Tuesday. Thursday was the Mr Tim Roberton and Mr Graham Prankall show,9.5lb long pool and 10.5lb Bulwark, both sealiced.
Adam Stacy-Clear had our biggest of the week on Friday, 16.5lb from the culvert in the Long Pool and Mr Prankall again 7.5lb from the tail of the Long Pool. We finished on Saturday with repeat offenders Mr Prankall and Mr Stacy-Clear 8lb from in front of the main hut and 7lb from left side of Jocks Tail. Most fish were sea liced but with water temperatures up to 48°f its little wonder.
Rothes had a good week according to Head Ghillie Robbie Stronach, with 8 fish for the week. Of those landed five we caught on the Monday but things slowed down thereafter with a few others lost. Best fish of the week was 23 1/2lbs.
Mark Melville at Delfur advises that they started off well with a couple of fish and some fish lost early in the week before another big rise on Wednesday. The rest of the week we caught 1 but with the water height and warmer temperature it’s perfect for running fish!
Andy Gunn, Head Ghillie at Orton confirms they encountered a few fish during the week but also a number of fish pushing through on their journey upstream. A few fish were lost too.
Downstream at Gordon Castle/Brae Water, David Buley was pleased to report success after a few blank weeks. Been a better week this week with fish starting to settle in the lower river. The first few days the river was at a good height and we were rewarded by landing two fish and lost a couple. The middle of the week was challenging due to the high water, but with the river settled towards the end of the week we were again rewarded with another two fish. Many congratulation must go to young James who after three days of hard fishing was rewarded with his first salmon on the fly. Great to see young anglers getting in amongst them.
Fochabers Angling Association are still waiting to get off the mark but hopefully this will be soon.
What is next week going to bring us? Weather looks as if it will be settled with reasonable temperatures and no great rain in the forecast so hopefully we will continue to see settling conditions and good catches.
Tight lines to those on the river in the week ahead and that includes me for a change!!