Week Commencing 6th September 2021

Week Commencing 6th September 2021

Afternoon all

Well we are into September now and the countdown to the season finale is on. It is a thought to see the nights drawing in even quicker but the temperatures are not falling quickly as was evident last week, when Scotland recorded its hottest September day for 115 years. Not the news that anglers and ghillies want to read or hear about.

If conditions do not change soon, the end of the season will be a damp squib, despite the small rise following the persistent rain yesterday, it may not be enough to end the season on a high but we can only live in hope.

I must say though the last couple of Sundays evenings have seen the Paul Whitehouse and Bob Mortimer in “Gone Fishing” and it makes enjoyable watching for the half hour and in my humble opinion shows the importance of fishing to people’s wellbeing, although I do not know how Bob has not broken any bones with his continual falling over.

Anyway lets see what the ghillies have to say about the week in yet another tough instalment of ” Fishing the Spey”

Heading upstream from its mouth Gordon Castle and Brae Water landed 10 for the week, including two fresh fish according to David Buley, David also mentions that the conditions were really stale and fish have switched off completely. We can only hope that the rain yesterday may liven them up again.

A small resident


A first fish for the lucky angler

Andy Gunn, Head Ghillie at Orton reports another very quiet week for their rods.

Delfur made it into the teens for the week although they were suffering the same fate as elsewhere with fish well and truly off the boil. Mark Melville, Head Ghillie advises that they managed to land fish each day, all stale but they did see the odd fresh grilse in the pools. Delfur welcomed back old friends Team Haggas for the week. Mark is hopeful that the rise seen will be of benefit next week.

Will Haggas with a cock fish


Clare Haggas with a resident cock fish

Rothes hosted the Eric Wardle show last week, with Eric landing 7 of the 8 fish caught for the week  reports Head Ghillie Robbie Stronach. Gavin Wiggins Davis got their other fish estimated to be around 20lb on Saturday Afternoon. The same picture being painted by Robbie of fish being seen but becoming harder to tempt as the week went on.

Euan Reid at Arndilly advises that with a mix of hard work, a little luck and most importantly plenty fish they finished with a very respectable 17 fish for the week. All 7 rods during the first half of the week caught fish including 5 for Paul Davidson and 2 for John Richardson and first Arndilly fish for David Ashmore, Robert Bell, Andy Brown, Stevie Morrison and Bill Sandford. 8 of the 13 fish in the first half of the week were 12lb or over, Best 16.5lb.
The second half of the week was more difficult with an equally able team but the warm weather didn’t help, by Friday the water temperature was 62 at 9am. Keith Shearing managed a couple on Thursday and John Thompson and Paul Dobson had 1 each on Saturday.
This weekends rain has given us a 9″ rise today and although I’d have preferred 5 or 6′ it will have lowered the temperature and has given us hope of a good week ahead.
Fish this week were caught on anything from #10 executioners to a 2″ red Frances. Typical September.


Paul Davidson with a fine 15lb fish


John Richardson’s 12.5lb gentleman displaying his spawning colours


Paul Dobson with nice fish from Back of the Bog


Paul Davidson releasing his 14lb fish

David Brand at Kinermony reported a very quiet week for them with no joy.

Wester Elchies suffered the same fate with no success to their rods.

Laggan ghillie Mike Murdoch advises a distinct lack of “craic” for the week with one small grilse landed on Monday and blank thereafter.

Archie Baillie at Knockando Home Beat advises it was tough going but they finished with 8 for the week.

Lower Pitchroy managed two “old Soldiers” reports Andrew Hall.

Further upstream at Kinchurdy, ghillie Frazer Paterson advises that plenty seatrout were seen but one lucky lady angler, in the following pictures, managed to land a fairly substantial crocodile on a Willy Gunn Tube Fly. Well done to her!

Mrs Potter with her 27lb fish

Another shot of Mrs Potter and her fish


What does the week ahead hold for the beats, guests and ghillies? The wee drop rain yesterday will hopefully reinvigorate the fish but we will have to wait and see. There is a distinct lack of rain in the run up to 30th September but forecasts do change so we will continue to watch with baited breath.

On a different note the River Spey Anglers Association are hosting a short 2 day Rural Skills/Fishing Workshop on 29/30 September at Upper Arndilly/Easter Elchies, with the very kind assistance of the beat owners. We are hosting 8 S3/S4 pupils from Speyside High School who are undertaking their John Muir Trust award. Whilst the program has not be finalised we will be looking to cover off Fishing, Flytying, an Interview with the Head Ghillie/Water Bailiff and Board Biologist and some hands on practical work. A busy two days but hopefully of benefit to the youngsters in attendance. I will give you a better idea of the program before the event.

Tight Lines to all






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