Well the last couple of days of February have come and gone and we are now into March already. Where has the start of the year disappeared to?
A fairly settled start to March last week with temperatures not moving much over the course of the week and the weather being a wee bit wet at times but nothing that will deter the hardened angler!!
Nature is starting to wake up as spring is hopefully round the corner, the birds are in full song in the mornings and the sparrows are starting to prepare their nests under the tiles on my porch. Two of my work colleagues we lucky enough to spot a stoat or a weasel in the undergrowth around the office mid week.
The Spey Board have kicked off their Salmon in the Classroom program this week with visits to both Newtonmore and Grantown on Spey primary schools. The team of Head Bailiff Richard Whyte, Board Biologist Atticus Albright and Board volunteer John Trodden delivered the eggs to the schools and gave the pupils an insight into the life of the Atlantic Salmon and how to look after the eggs.
A very worthwhile project as we try to promote and protect our iconic fish and we will keep you updated as the eggs develop via social media.
So what happened during the week that has just gone? Who turned on the springer switch?
Lets Head up the river and see what transpired.
The Lower beats of Gordon Castle and Orton reported no fish but Gordon Castle had no rods out. They have availability for days rods so reach out to the estate office, as you just never know and may intercept the elusive bar of silver.
Next Upstream is Delfur where Head Ghillie Mark Melville was delighted to report their first fish of the season. Alan Christie on his first ever visit to the Spey landed a fine 11lber in Broom on Friday. Well done to Alan and Mark is sure this wont be his last visit to the Spey.
Robbie Stronach at Rothes advises a quiet week with a few pulls and a definite spring fish lost.
Euan Reid at Arndilly is the next head Ghillie to report that they had got off the mark during the week.
Euan reports that they had Iain Laing’s party here at Arndilly this week and we had our first fish of the season and what a fish it was. Finlay McCulloch, ghillie at Braelangwell on the Carron had a 23.5lb fish from the right bank of the Piles. Finlay took this fish on a Monkey tube. On Thursday Ian Henderson had a lovely 7lb fish from the tail of the Long Pool. Jamie Hammond did his usual on Friday much to the delight of the rest of the team with a fantastic 19lb fish from the hut side of the Bulwark. The water dropped from 9″ to 3″ on our marker and hovered between 38°f and 40°f. John Martin was our resident comedian this week.
Interestingly all 3 fish had very distinctive green backs which is not unheard of but unusual to have 3 in a row. The two small er fish had sea lice on them but the big fella did not. Fish of a lifetime for Jamie but many congratulations to all the anglers.
Craigellachie ghillie Dougie Ross reports a blank week for them after getting the Spey season off to a start in the previous week.
Aberlour Angling Club landed their second fish of the season with Steve Milne landing a fine 15lb fish in the ever reliable Boat Pool.
Across the river at Wester Elchies, Malcolm Newbould reports that they had four fish for their week. Malcolm advises the fish seem to be stopping here which may suggest the success from both banks is as a result of this but it only speculation from me.
As we continue on our journey up the river David Brand reports a quiet week a Kinermony but \i am sure this will change soon.
At Laggan, Mike Murdoch, in his last weekly update as ghillie on the beat reports that he was delighted to slip the net under a fine fresh fish for David Barker. The fish was landed in Delchapel. Mike is off to pastures new taking up a ghillieing position on the River Naver, which will be a completely different proposition to the Spey. I wish Mike all the very best in his new role and thank him for all his reports over the last couple of years. Mike has been replaced at Laggan by Max McKinstrie who takes the reins from tomorrow. Max joins the beat from a stint at Nesscastle on the River Ness, a warm welcome to you Max.
Further up river things have been quiet with no further fish to report.
It looks like the thermals will need to be out next week with a spell of wintry weather due to hit the area from tomorrow. we may see some more of the white stuff for a few days but it is not expected to last the end of the week. This may have an impact on catches for the next couple of weeks but we will wait and see.
Tight lines to those who brave it next week.