Been quite a nice day here in Moray, not long back from the Gordon Castle Highland Games which is being held for the first time in 3 years. Was tying flies for a while at the River Spey Anglers Association stand. The event looked as if it was very busy and the event itself is a great spectacle.
Fantastic to see Ukraine win Eurovision last night ( not that I watched it I may hasten to add) in light of the turmoil in the country and the atrocities taking place. It was a big shock to hear that the UK actually scored more than last year and finished second!! More lockdown fines issued in Downing Street during the week but we still have not heard if anyone of note was served with one. Closer to home the councillors appointed to run our various local authorities are starting to form coalitions where applicabel to deliver services to the Scottish population.
Enough of the news let’s see whats been happening on the river this week. Looks as if it was another week with varied performance, a rise in water levels and a wind which blew in every direction just as you were about to cast but it would be too easy without all these curveballs being thrown in to our sport.
Heading Upstream Gordon Castle/Brae Water finished their week with 5 according to David Buley. A quiet start to the week but things picked up mid way through with 4 being landed and the same again lost, tailed off as the week progressed.
Orton had a better week with a handful of fish to 19lb, according to Head Ghillie Andy Gunn.
Mark Melville reports that Delfur had a very quiet week with only 2 fish in the book.
Rothes fared little better with three for their week confirms Robbie Stronach.
Arndilly Head Ghillie Euan Reid reports they they welcomed Ian Cox and his family and friends back to Arndilly for their annual visit. What appeared likely to be a tough week having had only 1 by Tuesday evening finished up with a very respectable 11 salmon landed up to 16.5lbs. The 6″ rise of water on Wednesday no doubt helped us.
Tom Wheelwright got our first, 10lb from the tail of the long pool. On Wednesday and Thursday it was the turn of the girls with Lizzie Cox, 9lb and 8.5lb from Cobble Pot , Sarah Clarke 9.5lb Jock’s Tail and Nik Wilbraham 7lb from Back of the Bog.
On Friday Adrian Cawood had a 16.5lb fish at the culvert on long pool, David Ogilvie 8.5 from Reid’s and Dougal Evans had an 8.5 from the right bank of Jock’s Tail. Dougal had another on Saturday, 11lb from the hut side of Bulwark and Lizzie finished things off with a 10lb fish from the cobble pot path, ably netted by her sister Anna.
One or two of the fish this week had been in the river a week or two but most were sea liced, some of which had long tails. Still no sign of any numbers of sea trout, we very often catch our first in march but we still await our first one now.
At Easter Elchies, Orn Sigurhansson reports a week of low water, high winds and fish running hard. Despite a combination of resident and running fish, landing proved more difficult. There were some highlights, including a rare successful legal partnership, with Edinburgh lawyers Angus Macrae and Richard Goddard successfully hooking and netting a cracking 12lb springer from Upper Dips. Nigel ‘pizza’ Dudgeon also returned to the place of his earlier season success only to to straighten the hooks on a big fish in Heathery Isle – a topic of much fishing hut debate between fisher and ghillie!
The author did not add to the count at Easter Elchies during the week having seen a high number of fish laughing at the rods as they leapt from the water pushing upstream. It has been a long time since I have seen such numbers of fish running hard but it bodes well for the river. I would really like to know where they are !!!!!
Dougie Ross at Craigellachie confirms a good week with 10 fish in the book and as many dropped. It was a tough week with the ever present swirling wind but perseverance paid off.
Aberlour Angling Club had the Aberdeen Team in the week with Andrew Goodenough, Alistair Cheung and Graham Simpson each landing a fish on small flies.
Wester Elchies had 6 fish for the week with the Graham Nichol’s party shading the scores 4:2. A good number of fish were lost too.
Kinermony had a slightly better week according to ghillie David Brand with three fish landed.
Delagyle ghillie David Smillie reports that Belgian angler Jean Luc Verstappen caught a reasonably big fish this week!! the fish, a sealiced male measured 112cms in length and if reference is made to the Sturdy scale that puts the weight of the fish in the 36lb approx bracket. Some fish and a belter at that.
Mike Murdoch at Laggan advises a similar week to those gone, with fish seen periodically but not keen to take. they finished with 2 for the week.
Knockando Home Beat ghillie, Archie Baillie reports that they had another tough week with not a lot of fish to be seen but Sir Robert Clerk’s party fished hard and were rewarded with 4 fish to 16lbs with another lost at the net.
Further up river, Simon Crozier advises that a frustrating week was had at Castle Grant ,with difficult winds and many fish hooked but lost made it so. Jouni Rauha and his group of Finns had their second week fishing Beats 1 and 3 , it was tough but they managed to get a few to stick. A fine sealiced fish for Juha Kallio on Saturday from Dunbar gives us hope for more of the same next week.
Grantown Water had a great week with 16 salmon from 8 to 14lbs landed, the best May week for many, many years. The tally for the season so far is 58! The first 3 sea trout of the season were also landed.
Abernethy Water had 6 fish to 12lbs for their week too.
The week ahead looks mixed weather wise so we shall see what conditions bring when I report next week.