Can I start this weeks report with the sad news that James Carr OBE died peacefully on the 10th of May 2017. James has been ill for the last two years but refused to give in to his illness. James was Chairman of Wester Elchies, had served on the Spey Board and has been a previous Chairman of the Salmon and Trout Association as well as helping out with a multitude of local matters at Carlisle. On a personal note I will miss working with James at Wester Elchies.
On a brighter note can I take this opportunity to wish Blair and Liza Banks congratulations on the birth of their second daughter Jessica. Both mother and baby doing well.
The weather forecast was very annoying, rain was promised but did not materialize, it was promised again then again failed to turn up. Looking ahead more rain is promised but will it eventually arrive? Temperatures are expected to remain in the mid teens. Winds with be light from the south or southwest. The tides have peaked and there will be no new water till next Saturday.
The river desperately needs a lift in water levels; it is the lowest I can remember it being at this time of the year. The low water just does not make it difficult for anglers but more importantly it makes it hard on the fish. There are a few diseased fish in the pools and some moribund fish close to the edges. (I am sure the river biologists will comment soon).
With the river as low as it is, it is quite surprising that any fish at all are being caught.
I hear trough the Facebook vine that the Fochabers’ Angling Club are catching a few fish.
Gordon Castle finished the week with twenty-one salmon landed. Again many thanks to Ian Tennant and his team for the updates and pictures.
Orton continued to pick away.
Delfur just managed into double figures. Thanks to Mark Melville for his help and photographs.
Rothes also finished with ten, Kevin Smyth kindly arranged for me to receive this picture.
I hear than Arndilly started the week well with four on Monday but found the rest of the week harder going.
Above Craigellachie things proved more difficult, the lack of water seems to effect the midd;e and upper beats more than the Lower Beats.
Craigellachie had a couple, Wester Elchies one, Carron three and a couple of seatrout.
Surprisingly Grantown fished quite well and finished the week just short of double figures, most fish in the 8-10lb class. The number of seatrout caught is beginning to rise, Peter Page had a fish estimated at 10lb from the Lurg on Friday night. Thanks to Jimmy Mitchel for his updates, enthusiasm, and pictures.
Spey Watch, for those who are not interested in the wildlife in the valley, you can stop reading now. The swifts have arrived a few days earlier than usual. My house martins have moved back in, the mess on the path and the windows is a small price to pay to have these lovely birds sharing my space. Mark Melville tells me the Grey Wagtails have fledglings on his beat and the pied wagtails have hatched beside the Delfur Hut. My blue tit is sitting and her dutiful husband is keeping her fed.
I will be the first to admit that I will never make a living at wildlife photography but you surely get the idea.