Springtime in Scotland is always a mix of weather. It can change greatly from one day to the next, let alone within a week. In-fact there’s an old saying that aptly defines our weather patterns in March and April – “If you don’t like the weather, wait 5 minutes”. It’s so true – we had it all! However, the week was dominated with high water conditions. Westerly winds brought in some really heavy rain at the start of the week. Although the heaviest rainfall was further west, the top of the Spey catchment is only 30 miles inland from Fort William – which is west coast, so we didn’t miss out! Sadly the high water prevailed for most of the week – but the overhead conditions did improve.
This is a photo of the “flooded” Inch marshes @Kingussie
Back on the river-
River heights – 2ft6 – 5ft (+/- 2in)
Water Temps – 42-46F or 6-8C
Air temps – 4-16C
As you would expect, both angling pressure and catches were down this week – particularly at the start of the week. It’s one thing braving the elements if the river conditions are optimum, but with high, cold and at times coloured water, many chose not to bother. Ironically, some of those who did get out for a cast managed to find a springer – even with 4ft on the gauge. There’s sometimes a misconception that high water is the toughest of conditions. This is far from the truth. Often in high water, salmon are much easier to find- less spread-out and usually out of the main flow. A pool on a bend can often be a good intercepting spot.
Upper River – 0 fish reported
Middle River – 7 fish reported – Laggan, Wester Elchies (2), Kinermony (2), Delagyle (2)
Lower River – 7 fish reported – Gordon Castle, Arndilly (4), Upper Arndilly/Easter Elchies (2)
Average size probably around 8-9lb. Biggest fish was 12lbs
I’d heard Aberlour AC caught fish also, but no further received.
Over 60 spring salmon were landed for March across the whole river. Considering a less-than 50% rod capacity I’d say that’s a good start to the Spey’s season.
Some photo snaps of happy anglers and our silver tourists….
Looking ahead to this coming week
The forecast shows a colder front coming in over the next few days with the possibility of more snow! This should see the river levels drop nicely. Water temperatures should hover around the 5-7C mark – which is good for this time of year. Rods are available up and down the catchment, so for those who are able get out there – it could be worthwhile!
Tightlines and good luck!