Caught in the act: two scale readings for the price of one.

On Friday and then again today I heard of anglers hooking parr which were then taken by big trout on the Spey. The one reported from Kinermony on Friday let go before it was landed but the one from today didn’t. It turned out to be a trout of 4 1/2lb, a not unusual specimen trout from the Spey. The ghillie took it up to the office so we could have a look at it.

Big old tout from the Spey. We will read the scales in a day or two once they have had a chance to dry out, I suspect it will be 7-8 year old.

Big old trout from the Spey. We will read the scales in a day or two once they have had a chance to dry out, I suspect it will be 7-8 year old.

We took some photos, a few scales for ageing then had a look at its stomach contents. The stomach was opened from the rear end and was found to be completely empty all except for a salmon smolt in its throat. The smolt had been swallowed tail first and it was already partly digested. It was a good size smolt of about 135mm. Scales were taken from the deceased smolt as well.

Big trout food. This one never made it to the sea: nothing new in that, always has happened and always will.

Big trout food. This one never made it to the sea: nothing new in that, always has happened and always will.

Anglers have reported catching good numbers of smolts on the river over the last couple weeks, including big sea trout smolts. This may appear late but when the Spey Foundation operated smolt traps in the lower river a few years ago smolts were recorded right to the end of June, although the peak run was in May. The sea temperatures in the Moray Firth as still below average (http://www.tide-forecast.com/locations/Moray-Firth-sheet-pile-wall-Scotland/forecasts/latest) (colder than any other year between 1981 and 2005) so maybe these smolts have got it right?

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