Good evening all
Apologies for the slight delay in the production of last weeks report but was on plum picking duty this afternoon. Its that time of year again, autumn is nearly here but the mornings have definitely been cooler of late. The hedgerows are full of brambles and the first touches of autumn help them sweeten, great in an apple crumble.
The week gone by has of course been one of sadness following the passing of the Queen at Balmoral. Our deepest condolences go out to her family at this difficult time, as we all mourn a remarkable lady, who has been in all our lives for the past 70 years of her reign. The Queen was an avid angler and took up the sport seriously after getting married. Her Scottish home on the River Dee afforded her the opportunity to fish for the King of fish on one of our great rivers whenever she could. Rest in Peace Your Majesty.
Before we take a look at the scores on the doors this week, I would like to share with you the Spey Fishery Board’s recent announcement about spring catches on the River Spey:
“The Spey Board has today declared the Spring catch in 2022 was 1974 salmon. This is midway between the 5-year average of 1716 and the 10-year average of 2203. It was a strange season which may be symptomatic of advancing climate change. We had a warm, wet, winter, with no appreciable snow on the Cairngorms and little or no Grue on the river. The run came early and ran hard heading for the top of the system. Indeed, a fresh fish was caught at Dalwhinnie on the 7th of April.
The Grantown Water, Castle Grant beats, and Tulchan Estate beats, had one of the best springs in living memory. Some of the middle river beats also performed strongly. Below Rothes, spring catches were poor.We believe the numbers would have been better if June had not been so hot, dry and sunny. Many ghillies have opioned that if the fish come early and run hard and head straight for the top of the system, we are likely to have a long dry summer with low, warm water. Apart from a small rise in July, that is precisely what has happened.
Even today, in early September, the river is on its bones. We will all be praying for some water soon.”
Please note this was dictated and sent to me prior to the weather of last week.
Right onto the river, heading upstream with our first stop at Fochabers Angling Association where Andy Milne reports a double figure catch but pleasing to note was the number of fish about which were up to their usual tricks and proving difficult to hook.
David Buley at Gordon Castle/Brae Water reports a tough week with a reasonable amount of it lost to dirty, higher water. We landed over 30 fish with the biggest around 18lb. No fresh fish caught and not many seen. Hopefully the settled forecast for next week keeps them taking.
Upstream at Orton head ghillie Andy Gunn reports 23 this week for the Taylor family. Richard Taylor has been fishing the Spey for 49 years and landed his biggest fly caught fish, 21lb from the Turn on Tuesday. His son John 3 landed fish to 15lb and his grandchildren all caught their 1st Salmon and many more.
The lift in water certainly improved the catches, switching on the residents and bring new fish into the beat.
Lots of fish hooked and lost.
Delfur is our next stop where head ghillie Mark Melville advises a tricky week with the up and down dirty water. We had two decent days Thursday and Saturday finishing with just short of 20 fish including two at 19lb. The rest of the week we picked away apart from Wednesday which was unfishable.
Rothes had a very quiet week according to Robbie Stronach with just one fish landed, obviously water conditions playing a part in the final tally.
Aberlour Angling Club reports just one fish for their week, landed on Thursday.
Wester Elchies had a reasonable week reports Malcolm Newbould with 9 in the book and that was with the loss of Wednesday due to the river conditions.
David Brand at Kinermony confirms they only landed two older fish for the week but plenty were hooked but not landed.
Up stream as Castle Grant Simon Crozier reports a frustrating week as the long awaited water did not improve things as we had hoped. Fish were caught across the beats but sport after the lift in water was not as one would have hoped. Paul Hearson started well on Monday with la 16.5 lber from Pollowick, The Cutts party on Beat 2 saw some good sport after the rise with but then it went quiet, we hope for good sport in the week to come.
Grantown finished with 7 Salmon and 7 seatrout for their week and Abernethy finished their week with 9 seatrout to 5lbs , and 3 salmon to 7lbs.
Well it looks like autumn fishing is now here with no fresh fish reported this week and the images of those captured show them all in varying stages of spawning colours.
Next week looks to be fairly settled so hopefully the sport will continue as we enter into the final stages of the season with three fulls weeks of fishing left.
Tight Lines to those out and about on the river.