Week Commencing 2nd August 2021

Week Commencing 2nd August 2021

Hello all

I think it is safe to say that that this week was eagerly awaited by Anglers and Ghillies alike following the much welcomed spell of heavy rain the week before.

The settling river levels and overcast conditions would have fuelled the anticipation of good catches for those who were on the water.

Going by the following I think the anticipation was justified.

Working from the bottom upwards here are the scores on the doors for the week.

Andy Milne from Fochabers Angling Association advises that at least 40 fish have been taken off their water during the week. A split in favour of grilse but a good number of salmon too. Tony Smith fishing the water had 9 grilse to his own rod.

Gordon Castle and Brae Water Ghillie, David Buley reported that 87 fish had been caught in total on the beats. A great start to the week with great catches of very fresh fish, albeit the bulk of these were grilse but a few salmon were in the mix up to 20lb in weight. The second half of the week proved to be tougher with the fish less willing to play. Saturday saw another lift in the water following more heavy rain to the Spey catchment so hopefully this good fishing will continue.

Some pictures of happy anglers and fish below.

Happy Lady angler with a fresh grilse


A second fish


Ghillie, David Buley with a pristine fresh fish


A pristine fresh fish


A lovely fresh fish


A bar of silver


Long tailed sea lice

At Orton, Head Ghillie Andy Gunn reports a good with a mix of grilse and salmon to 20lb, with a number of  fish lost too. Average weight for salmon 12lb and grilse 4lb. Hector Roberts, 21, only started salmon fishing on Thursday but finished his week in style with a grilse and a seatrout on Saturday, well done that man.

Ant Mason with one of his fish from the week from Cooperee Pool.

Ant Mason with a long tailed liced Grilse

At Delfur it was another good week. Head Ghillie, Mark Melville advises that catch levels were in the 40’s. Within that figure there were no less than 4 first fish earning the recipients their Delfur first fish badge, and some of them went on to have multiple catches for the week. A good mix of fresh fresh fish up to 16lbs and grilse to 5lbs. Some older stale fish up to 18lbs were also encountered.

Great to see so many anglers breaking their duck and this will hopefully spur them on to return in future years through out their salmon angling journey.

Some pictures, including some of the first timers follow from Delfur.

Emma Mountian with a cracking salmon


Charlie Tuffill with a bonny fresh fish


Archie Mountain with a fresh fish


Till Fitzjohn with her first ever fish


Rory Mountain with a lovely fresh Grilse


Ollie Hall with a 16lb fish, what a first fish!!!


Milo Herbert with the biggest fish of the week at 18lbs


Lady Flora Dundas with a stunning fish


Harry Arkwright with his first ever fish

At Rothes the story was the same from Head Ghillie, Robbie Stronach. They landed 20 fish for the week with a mix of Salmon and grilse, not many fresh fish encountered with a good few fish lost too. Rothes rod, Andy Heald had a great start to the week landing 3 fish on Monday morning.

Bronnie Edwards broke her duck with a small grilse from the Junction.

Andy Heald with his first of fish from Monday morning

Fish Two

Fish three

Bronnie Edwards with her first fish from the Junction

Euan Reid at Arndilly sent his usual comprehensive summary of the week and again this makes good reading;-

“Similar to many other Spey beats this week at Arndilly started with a bang with 12 fish on Monday. By lunchtime we had 7 fish from 7 different pools to 6 of the 7 rods, typical Arndilly.
This week we had another of our longstanding tenants, David Plumpton and his team,most of whom have fished the beat for many years. Our newcomer this year was James Bastian who caught his first Arndilly fish on Monday morning, 13.5lbs from the tail of the long pool, preceeded by his dad, Dick Bastian with a fish from the Soo. Roly Dangerfield had 4, best 15.5lb and David Plumpton matched him with his best 13lb. The rest of the week, although steady, felt tough with the fish caught in bursts, very often late morning, late afternoon and evening. John Reeve caught fish and covered the miles, Jack Meredith started with our first one on Monday and had 3 on Saturday, David Saunders had our biggest at 16lb and just to even things up Roly Dangerfield had a swim on the opposite side of Jocks Tail to last year.
The water temperature started at 58f on Monday and finished at 60f. The most productive flies were 1″ stoats tail tubes and various sizes of Durris shrimps.”

Some of this weeks action at Arndilly.

Jack Meredith playing a fish

Jack Meredith with freshly landed fish

Dick Bastian’s beautiful fresh fish

Rory Dangerfield with a lovely fish of 13lbs

James Bastian with his first fish at 13.5lbs

Easter Elchies head ghillie, Orn Sigurhansson reports 18 fish for the week, with the largest at 13lbs. The James’ party fishing on Easter Elchies fishied traditional single hook flies all week. On Upper Arndilly, Dani Morey and Ian looked after the Burns party with 9 American teenagers trying out salmon fishing on the Spey for the first time. Liam from the US landing his first fish, a 5lb grilse from Upper Dips.

A few pictures from the week.

The USA contingent this week on Upper Arndilly

Liam from the US with his first fish, a lovely grilse from Upper Dips. Ably assisted by Ian Kelly.

Burnie Burns with another grilse from Upper Dips

Following on from last weeks Easter Elchies Report whereby I published a picture of a “young ghillie in the making”, here is a short video clip of said junior Ghillie – James Robertson, so focussed on the job in hand that he is not distracted by things that happen around him.


Aberlour Angling Club reported a tough week with fish not being very co-operative. Kenny Davis could not give me a full report as he had been fishing Ballindalloch during the week but will give me the scores on the doors next weekend.

Malcolm Newbould advised that Wester Elchies had five fish for the week for the Theaker party with the bulk of the fish taken early in the week.

Laggan Ghillie, Mike Murdoch reported that the Burton party enjoyed a decent week of 9 fish with a very young team of rods. First half of the week being the better half, before the unsettled weather quietened things down. Highlights were Jude Message and Noah Palmer both getting their first ever fish with similar sized grilse and Felix Burton taking the best fish of the week with a 16lber on Saturday.

The two first ever fish and the best fish pictures below

Noah Palmer with a grilse from Big Griggle


Jude Message with a grilse from Millionaires

Felix Burton with a good fish from Dalmunach

Lower Pitchroy ghillie, Andrew Hall reports that the beat was lightly fished last week but still managed to land half a dozen fish. Pods of fresh grilse were seen coming through most days but very little of the MSW fish. Felicity Goodall caught her first ever fish, a 5lb grilse in Greenbank. Catches were similar on Phones with lots of fish moving on Saturday, on the back of the 18″ rise in river level.

The Estate currently has some Rod availability over the next couple of weeks on all three beats. Further information can be obtained from the estate office by telephoning 01340 810578 between 9am and 3pm

Felicity Goodall with her first ever fish

Looking forward to next week, the weather looks to be throwing the catchment a bit of rain, sunshine and cloud so it all looks well for another good week on the river.

Tightlines to all those who will be out.


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