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 opined 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.