Week commencing 22nd July 2019

The thundery weather spoilt the fishing this week, the river only rose a couple of feet and soon dropped back but the colour made chances poor for a couple of days. The forecast for the coming week is a little cooler, but not much. There will be rain at the start and end of the week, Monday will be reasonably heavy. The tides are building all week.



Catches, as I mentioned above at least two or three days were lost to rising water or turbidity or perhaps both.

Gordon Castle, Ian Tennant tells me they had mid-twenties with the second half of the week being a struggle with the dirty water.

Gordon Castle.

Gordon Castle.

Gordon Castle.

Orton ended in single figures again the end of the week being hard.


Delfur managed to reach double figures.

Rothes, Mike Euan tells me,  “A week of bright conditions and two days of dirty water made for a testing week. Murdoch Laing had a grilse on Monday and another on Tuesday with Lord Nickson getting one from Junction. Thursday and Friday the water was coloured. Saturday we had three grilse, Graham Ritchie with two and Robbie Stronach another, ending with six for the week.”

Grilse from Rothes.

Arndilly, Euan Reid reports, “Nine for the week which set against high air and water temperatures and at times filthy water was not a bad return. Monday to Wednesday was a fish a day with Hugo Thistlewaite with two and Lex Mitchel one through sheer perseverance. Thursday and most of Friday were lost to dirty water but George Hollinbery and son Christian had a fish each as the water cleared late on Friday. Saturday, we managed four with a few lost. Nick Outhred and George Hollinbery each had a grilse from the Long Pool and Cobble Pot respectively.Mr and Mrs Webster, Bruce and Sian had a fish each the later being possibly the only fish caught on Speyside with the angler wearing flip flops, 10thcast of her week in bright conditions in front of the hut.” (Speyside, I would suggest Scotland)

Where’s Charlie as we have his factory?

Hugo Thistlewaite’s fish.

The “flip flop” fish.

I was pleased to hear that that Luca Greenham landed an estimated 20lb fish from Pol ma Cree, Delagyle on Friday. He was assisted by his dad, Dan. Great to see a young man with such a fish.

Luca Greenham Delagyle.

Carron were again lightly fished but finished with four.


Red Vent,

Red Vent


There is no evidence at present to suggest that the condition affects the survival of returning Atlantic salmon or that it impacts on spawning success. The likely cause of the condition is a nematode worm infestation and Anisakis sp. and Hysterothylacium sp., both very common parasites, have been found around the vent area of all fish examined with RVS.

The nematode has a complex life cycle with the adult worms found in seals, whales and other marine mammals. Wild salmon become infected at sea when they ingest prey items which are infected with the nematode larvae. These symptoms have not been reported in farmed Atlantic salmon or sea trout (S. trutta) and seem to be restricted to wild Atlantic salmon.

Whilst the parasite can be carried into freshwater by migrating fish, it is unable to be transmitted between fish in the freshwater environment, so it is safe to return infected salmon to the river.

 Health Risk
Parasites in fish, particularly Anisakis, can, if eaten alive, cause serious health problems. Therefore, the Food Standards Agency has issued new guidance for anglers who may want to eat their own catch.


  • Visually inspect the wild salmon to detect and remove parasites. Those fish which remain obviously contaminated should not be consumed.
  • If wild salmon is to be eaten raw or almost raw it should be frozen in all parts for at least 24 hours, at a temperature of –20 deg C or colder. This will ensure that any non-visible parasites or undetectable larvae of nematodes are destroyed.
  • This freezing advice also extends to wild salmon that are to undergo a cold smoking process or to be eaten after marinating or salting i.e. as in Gravadlax.
  • Where wild salmon is to be hot smoked (internal temperature above 60 deg C), which is sufficient to kill any parasites present, then it is safe to eat without freezing first.
  • Where it is not possible to carry out adequate freezing it is advisable to cook the wild salmon. A temperature of 70 deg C for two minutes will kill any parasitic contamination present. As there is no infallible method of detecting and removing larvae, this advice is particularly relevant for pregnant women and elderly people, where ingestion of live parasites from fish could pose a serious health risk.

This guidance document has been issued because of an increased prevalence of wild salmon in UK rivers infected with the parasite and can be downloaded from the Food Standards Agency’s website:


If you are fishing the Spey, or even other rivers, please keep an eye out for adult salmon bearing tags. The Spey Fishery Board and Spey Gillies are running a salmon tagging project to:
– Determine the re-capture rate of released salmon
– Provide information on the movements of rod caught salmon

Gillies along the river have been provided with tags, tagging equipment and training. Tagged fish could be recaptured anywhere in the river, even in other rivers, so we are asking all anglers to look out for fish carrying “Floy” tags next to the dorsal fin. Floy tags are vinyl coated, available in different colours and individually numbered.

What are we asking anglers to do if they catch a tagged fish?

-Take a note of the Floy tag colour and number (take good photo if possible)
– Carefully release the fish, with tag still in place
– Contact the Spey Fishery Board by Telephone number on tag or via the contact details below
– Anglers reporting a tagged fish will receive details of the fish including original tagging place and date, as well as any other information available
– A full report on the tagging study will be published at the end of the season, including details of all fish.

Please note the latest tags are yellow.

New Yellow tag.


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