Good Evening all
Apologies for the lateness of the final Spey report but its been a busy week for me in various fishing guises having spent today at a ladies trout and pike event outside Inverness.
Well that is it, done and dusted for 2022. The ghillies earn a well deserved break before they start the winter maintenance routine, the fish get a break from having bits of metal in various forms thrown at them and my typing skills get a break too!!
The season has been a very mixed one it is safe to say, with huge variances week on week across the beats as the weeks progressed. I am no scientist nor indeed specialist when it comes to studying the patters on the river over the past seasons but I have scratched my head at times when the numbers come in on a Sunday as to why some have been better than others.
I am sure there will be a degree of scrutiny over the winter months when the final catch numbers come out but the Spey cannot be singled out as performance across all rivers has been mixed this year.
Anyway lets see what the last 5 days brought. the weather having been settled for the first two days changed on Tuesday night bringing in persistent rain to the catchment, resulting in a sharp rise in the river level and clarity resulting in a mixed season end.
As we head up river for the last time here are the numbers reported for the final fling.
David Buley at Gordon Castle/Brae Water reports the final week done and dusted, just less than 20 fish landed. Was a tricky week with very difficult weather conditions and unsettled water.
Would like to say a huge thank you to all our guests for making this season such an enjoyable one. Thank you all.
At Orton they finished with 22 for the Wildgoose party this week with everyone getting fish reports Andy Gunn.
Delfur head Ghillie Mark Melville advises that they finished well with a good last 5 days. Mid forties including some big old cock fish and some good sized hens too. We also had a fresh grilse which was nice to see.
Robbie Stronach at Rothes and Aikenway reports that they finished with a flourish ending on 32 for the week up to 16lb.
At Arndilly it was pleasing to see young Alfie Reid, son of Head Ghillie Euan Reid successfully play and land a fine 11lb on the final day. I hasten to add he was in school and came down at the end of the day whereby he had the chance to play this fish, which dad, Euan had kindly hooked. It is fantastic to see the next generation on the river and we would love to see more.
At Easter Echies/Upper Arndilly a report of two beats. At Easter Elchies Les Tyson reports fluctuating water heights and water colour made for an entertaining last week. The Thomson party landing 5 salmon on Monday and Tuesday and loosing the same number. On Wednesday, the River Fiddich came in dirty pushing the fish to Easter Elchies side, resulting in 5 salmon for the day. Best pools for the week were Red Craig’s and Fiddich Mouth and fish up to 16lb landed. The GH shrimp and Dinnet shrimp both fishing well on the autumnal conditions. Final total of 15 salmon for the final week of the year at Easter Elchies.
At Upper Arndilly I have the pleasure of reporting on the weeks activities whereby myself, John Trodden, some local volunteers, members of the Spey Fishery board and fellow River Spey Anglers Association hosted 8 S3 pupils from Speyside HIgh School for 2 days on a Rural Skills workshop as part of their John Muir Trust Award. The attendees spent some time fishing, learning how to tie a fly, some knot work and also received talks from the Spey Board Biologist, Digital and Communications Manager and Head Water Bailiff on their roles and responsibilities. Unfortunately due to the change in conditions they were unable to undertake electrofishing but Atticus, the board Biologist gave an intersting talk on invasive species and the equipment used for electrofishing.
By the end of the 2 days the pupils could cast a decent line but despite the pools being full of fish were unable to connect with a salmon but one young lady did manage a lovely little brown trout.
A big thank you goes out to the owners of Upper Arndilly for making this available to us, John Trodden for his fantastic organisational skills in makinh the 2 days run smoothly, the Spey Board Staff, the volunteers from the local angling fraternity, RSAA committee members and last but not least Ross Macdonald from Loop who came on the first day and provided a superb casting demonstration and coaching during the day.
Without all of the above we could not undertake these initiatives to encourage youngsters into the sport.
On a final note from our 2 days and big well done goes to Peter Green, one of the volunteers who managed to hook and land a lovely 15lbish hen fish from Upper Dips on a Altyre Dog tube.
Up at Upper Pityoulish on the Cottage Water, Ali MacPherson reports that they finished the second half of the season with three seatrout up to 8lb, the best falling to veteran sea-trout angler Rich Waller.
I have no more for you but other than to say thank you to those who take the time to read my ramblings, post comments and take an interest in the River Spey.
I hope to be back next year, if the Board want me but we will wait and see.
Roll on 2023 ad the 11th of February