Week Commencing 26th July 2021

Week Commencing 26th July 2021

Hello and welcome to this weeks report.

As mentioned by Brian in last weeks report, I have taken on the mantle of reporter so let me tell you a bit about myself.

My name is Sandy Howie, a Moray resident since 2004 and I do a bit of fishing. I have fished since the age of 11 so that amounts to over 40 years of fishing for salmon, seatrout, brown trout and only recently rainbows. I am a flytyer too, tying flies for not just myself but anglers all over the country ( my business is ASH Handtied Flies) and I have demonstrated at various events prior to the commencement of the current pandemic we find ourselves in.

I presently serve as Vice-Chair of the River Spey Anglers Association which acts as a voice for local anglers but also works hard at introducing individuals to angling via Junior days, ladies weekends and any event we are asked to support. I will keep you updated on events as we move forward.

Enough about me let’s look at the fishing.

The week started in the same vein as last week ended with warm, bright and dry conditions but a change was afoot and for the better. A couple of days of thunder, lightning and heavy rain from Tuesday onwards brought a drop in temperatures and a lift in river levels, as the parched ground meant a lot of runoff. This weather change has been to the benefit of the fishing and I am sure allowed the ghillies to breath a sigh of relief.

Andy Milne of Fochaber’s Angling Association reports that they did not get the bonanza they had anticipated following the midweek rain and river rise, finishing with 5 salmon and 7 grilse all caught from Thursday onwards.

The Gordon Castle Brae Water beats picked up after the lift in water, albeit some time was lost due to high coloured water but once it settled they finished the week with 47 fish with a good mix of salmon and grilse. All bar a couple of these were fresh fish. David Buley advised that Black and Yellow patterns were doing well for his guests but the fresh fish were hitting anything that took their fancy.  A few photos of the lucky anglers follow


A lovely fish caught in high water


A beautiful summer salmon


Lovely grilse taken in high water


Happy angler with a silver torpedo


Fresh fish and happy angler


Cracking fresh fish with a delighted lady angler, oh and the ghillie looks happy too


Another happy lady angler with a bar of silver


A second fish – lovely grilse

David also reported that 2 Pink Salmon were landed on two of the beats and in line with current guidelines these were dispatched. Current guideline also state that any pink salmon catches are to be reported as soon as possible to the local fishery board who will take samples etc from these non-native species. Some distinctive features of these fish are small scales which easily rub off, spotty tail fin ( as can be seen in pictures) and a black tongue.

Pink Salmon from Gordon Castle Water


A second Pink Salmon caught on Brae Water 4


Andy Gunn at Orton reported a steady week for them with a mix of fish, predominantly grilse but with some salmon about too. Average salmon weight 11lb and grilse of 4lb. Best fly of the week was the good old Cascade.

Delfur Head Ghillie Mark Melville says they had a bumper week with a few fish on Monday, double figures on the Tuesday, despite the weather conditions, one fish on the Wednesday before the water got too dirty, a few on Thursday and bumper days on Friday/Saturday, with some good fresh fish to 14lb on Saturday afternoon. Weeks total was in the region of 50 salmon and grilse, indeed a bumper week. Effective flies during the early part of the week were Lightning Bolt, Grant’s Orange, Oystercatcher, Haddie Shrimp and Black Shrimp and then it was tubes on fast tips for the remainder.

Tom Mountain with a lovely fresh fish


Joe Boulding with a nice fish


Nice hen ready to swim away


Michael Dean Fresh Grilse

At Rothes, Robbie Stronach advises that the week started slowly which is no surprise due to the weather and not a shock that they lost Wednesday to weather/rising river but then things kicked off good style. Finishing the week with 35 fish, a number of which had been in for a while but there were fresh ones amongst them. Biggest in region of 13lb. Small tubes in various guises Black and Yellow, Willie Gunn and Munro Killer were successful over the week. Some pictures from the week

James Bladon with a bright fish from Burnmouth


Heather Bladon with a lovely fish from Burnmouth


Sarah Bradley with a fine 13lb fish from the Junction


Piers Bradley with a lovely grilse


Emma Worrall, Burnmouth (obviously not Emma but Robbie Stronach with her fish)


Arndilly Head Ghillie, Euan Reid advises that they had a good week with 39 fish landed. A nice mix of grilse and salmon with both fresh fish and some that had been in the river for a wee while.

Easter Elchies report a week of two halves. the first half plagued by the warm bright weather but the heavy rain and big water created perfect conditions for their fishers at the end of the week with 28 fish landed for the last 3 days. Easter Elchies’ high water pools of Ladies Haugh, Heathery Isle, Upper Dips and Fiddich Mouth all fishing well in the big, colored water. In the inaugural ‘John Coutts’ cup, the Smith team from Yorkshire succumbed to the “in form” Junior Robertson team. Plenty of large summer salmon landed, the largest being a cracking 17lb fish caught by Thomas Robertson in Ladies Haugh pool on a Willie Gunn tube fly. Some pictures of the junior Robertson team “doing the business” which is great to see for our sport.

James Robertson with a grilse taken in high coloured water


James Robertson landing a grilse in big water


Thomas Robertson releasing another fresh fish


Thomas Robertson releasing a fine 12lb fish in the Fiddich Mouth Pool


Another one in the net- a young ghillie in the making.

A short video of Thomas Robertson releasing his fish from the Fiddich Mouth is below


David Brand at Kinermony reports a week of 8 fish landed, best of which was 12lb, along with 2 good seatrout each of about 4lbs. Guest, Brian Jones landed his first salmon during the week, well done to him. A picture of the happy angler is below.

Brian Jones with his first ever salmon at Kinermony

Malcolm Newbould reports that Wester Elchies finished with 14 for the week, a mix of both Salmon and grilse but interestingly none of the fish were fresh. He also advised that he was fishing Carron this week and fish were being caught on the Carron Shrimp, an orange fly which shows up well in the dark water.

On Knockando Home Beat, ghillie Archie Baillie advises that they finished the week with 11 salmon, 3 grilse and 2 seatrout. The best fish weighed in at 13lb but reported that all 3 grilse had red vent.

Andrew Hall on Lower Pitchroy advises an ok week was had with 15 fish in the book. A mix of Salmon and grilse but not many fresh fish amongst them. A bit of a concern given the water that arrived mid week.

Euan Clive at Phones reported that he had 6 grilse and 3 seatrout for the week.


Looking forward to next week conditions are not due to change from what they are today so hopefully we will continue to see good numbers of fish being landed.

As they say in Looney Tunes – That’s all folks

Tight lines


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