Week Commencing 5th August 2019.


Perhaps the title is a little misleading perhaps I would be better saying a few days commencing 5th August. I was a little conservative in my description of last week’s rain, it started then forgot to stop, at one stage the gauges were showing over six feet. This coming week appears to be more of the same, Monday is the only dry day of the week, and Wednesday will be the wettest. The tides are building all week.

Big Spate.

Deposit of silt following the recent spates



As I suggested above the catches would have been compromised by the high coloured water with most beats loosing at least one day if not more.

Gordon Castle Ian Tennant tells me they had thirty-three for the week under tough conditions, a good mix of salmon and grilse.

Gordon Castle.

Gordon Castle.

Gordon Castle.

Orton were into the mid-teens for the Faith Party, a mixture of fresh and slightly coloured fish.




Delfur were into double figures with a couple of “first” fish.

Rory Mountain Delfur.

Rory again Delfur.

Charlie Tuffill 1st fish Delfur.

Nick Colbourne 1st fish Delfur.

Rothes, Mike Euan tells me “Eric Wardle’s party ended with fifteen fish for the week under difficult and constantly changing river heights. Eric showed the way with eleven to his own rod. Jenny Potts caught the first ever ‘pink salmon’ on Rothes, a female fish full of eggs.”

Arndilly, Euan Reid reports, “ We started the week with five on Monday. Party leaser John Reeve got us going with a fish from the left side of Bulwark. David Saunders and Dick Bastion had one each and Dick’s son Olly had two, one from the Culvert in the Long Pool and one wading the neck of the Piles. Jim Reeve had the only fish on Tuesday from the bottom of Jock’s Tail right side although there were a few lost. With Wednesday at seven and a half feet on our gauge the less said the better. By Thursday afternoon we were going again, five grilse including two for Jack Meredith. On Friday we had eight, and four sea trout and despite five feet on Saturday at 7AM. By close of play we had eight salmon and grilse. We are fortunate on Arndilly that high water doesn’t cause us a problem. Twenty-seven for the week.

Rolls Dangerfield Back of the Bog Arndilly.

Upper Arndilly Callum Robertson sent me this picture of Finlay Smith with his first fish.

Finlay Smith 1st fish Upper Arndilly

Aberlour had at least eight for the week. Neil Borthwick again amongst the fish as was visitor Ian Legget.

Neil Borthwick Aberlour.

Ivan Legget Aberlour.

Another first fish for Charlie Devine (7) from Delagyle, assisted by his dad, the fish was caught on a JJ Special.

Charlie Devine 1st fish Delagyle.



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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