Another hard week on Speyside, there were fish caught from Grantown to the sea but not in any great numbers. I notice that the Gordon Castle beats picked up towards the weekend so hopefully next week will be good! Temperatures remain in the mid-teens at the start of the week but drop away quite dramatically on Wednesday; there is no rain forecast till the weekend. The tides are building till midweek. I fished Carron this week and was asked by the Laggan fishers to keep an eye out for two Cocker Spaniels, which had been lost by one of their party. The dogs were eventually reunited with their owner after two or three days of being missing. This got me thinking, as a spaniel owner myself, that anglers ought to pay more attention to their animals especially at this time of the year when all the ground nesting birds are sitting or have young. As dog owners we owe it to the countryside and the estates to ensure our animals are kept under supervision. Enough preaching!! Catches: As I mentioned before most of the beats caught something. The Gordon Castle beats had a handful of fish the majority toward the end of the week. Delfur picked away slowly, as did Rothes, both beats lost as many as were landed. Mike Ewan tells me he has residents starting to build up on his beat. The beat above again got close to double figures and at this rate will reach three figures by the start of May. Craigellachie had a couple of fish and Wester Elchies one on Monday, Sam tells me they were seeing fish, and lost a few but just could not land them. As I mentioned before I fished Carron and landed four fish, rather embarrassingly the only four landed all week; I might struggle to get invited back next year. Especially when I cut off Ian’s head in the photograph in order to get my dogs in. The fish had a pretty rough time, loosing part of its tail with a close encounter with a seal. Laggan certainly had a couple by mid week but I am unsure if they had many after that.
Knockando, as I mentioned last week, James Byatt had his first ever salmon under the watchful eye of Sandy Smith, here they are photographed together. Spey veteran Ruth Hosker had a fish from the Pouch whilst being looked after by trainee gillie Euan Clive, Ruth said he netted his first ever salmon as if he had been on the river for years.
Castle Grant continues to have fish caught and I was pleased to receive an Email from Chris Davies who fished there at the start of the week, Chris wrote; Please find attached two photos of salmon caught on consecutive days this week at Castle Grant Beat 2. The first was caught on Monday (21st April) by my partner Lisa Saltiel and despite several attempts for a Spey springer, this was her first (around 12lb – “Manse Pool”) she was understandably delighted. The second is one that I caught yesterday (22nd April)– what a fantastic fish (around 18lb – “Number One Burn”). Without doubt the hardest fighting fish I have ever landed. With only two days on the river, I just wish we could have fished for longer, fabulous fish, fabulous scenery and wildlife and all in the company of Lionel Main – a perfect time in the Spey Valley!
Grantown also continued to catch fish and I was pleased to receive this photograph of local angler Bobby Hall in Poll Clachan Lios.