Another week goes by and it brings to an end the school holidays here in Moray. A sigh of relief will be heard from many parents as they will no longer need to keep the kids entertained on a daily basis from Tuesday onwards.
Another mixed week of weather in the Spey catchment with some heavy rain lifting river levels again and creating “dirty” water which did lead to the loss of fishing time.
Brian Shaw, Spey Fishery Board Biologist advises that himself along with Spey Fishery Board staff and some of the beat ghillies have been collecting data from adult salmon to monitor changes in fish sizes, which will help Marine Scotland understand egg deposition in the river – see attached link http://fms.scot/adult-salmon-sampling/ . A proportion of these fish are sedated so that accurate length and weight measurements can be obtained. An fish that have been under anaesthetic are marked with a white floy tag, as there is a withdrawal period during which these fish should not be eaten. The numbers involved are small and based on previous tagging programmes the number of late season fish recaptured is very low. But if you do catch a tagged fish, take a note of the tag number before returning the fish. Please let the Spey Fishery Board know the details of any recaptures.
Brian also sent me a snippet of information taken from the Easter Elchies Monitoring station concerning the river acidity levels and Turbidity ( water clarity)
On the fishing front everyone would have been hoping for continuing good returns following the rain we have had over the last couple of weeks and from the reports provided this has certainly be the case.
Ghillie, David Buley at Gordon Castle and Brae Water, who also celebrated a birthday this week reported that the beats were not fully fished during the week and a day was lost due to dirty water but they still finished just short of 120 fish for the week. Most of the fish taken were grilse but a number of fresh MSW fish were also hooked during the week. Once the water had settled after the spike on Tuesday, fish were on the take resulting in the catch levels quoted.
At Orton, Andy Gunn reported another steady week where the majority of the fish caught were grilse but a few salmon were encountered to 18lb. A couple of pictures from the week as below.
Upstream at Delfur, catch levels were good too, according to Head Ghillie, Mark Melville. A good mix of fish with fresh MSW fish to 17lb and fresh grilse to 5lb. The usual resident fish came to life during the week with the fluctuating water levels. The week finished close on 50 fish.
Rothes Head Ghillie, Robbie Stronach advises a return of 42 fish for the week, most of the fish were older and had been in for a while but they had three fresh fish, one of which was sealiced. Going by the following pictures the Geantree was the place to be!!
At Arndilly, Euan Reid confirms another excellent week with 32 fish caught and typically of summer fishing many more lost and pulled. John Dickinson and his party did well in very changeable water conditions with rises every day in the first half of the week. Every member of the party caught fish this week including a first salmon for Charlie Kitching and a first fly caught salmon to Laura Dickinson. First Arndilly salmon also went to Patrick Dickinson and Rob Hall-Jones with the biggest fish being 15lb for Mike Forbes. The water temperature began at 60°f and fell to 56 with successful flies being the usual ally/ cascade patterns and the now famous Gordy shrimp, thanks to Gordon Young for that one!
Being a flytyer it would be nice to see a picture of the Gordy Shrimp so if Gordon Young is reading this I would welcome a look at your successful fly.
Heading upstream, Kenny Davies at Aberlour Angling Club confirms a number of fish taken this week including the following fish by Scott Mellis.
Kinermony ghillie David Brand reported 7 salmon/grilse fore the week, biggest being 12lbs with no fresh fish amongst them, anglers also got a couple of fresh seatrout.
As we continue our journey along the Spey, David Smillie at Delagyle advises that 10 grilse and 5 salmon were the total for the week.
Mike Murdoch at Laggan, advises the week started slowly as it did on many Spey beats but they picked up and finished with 16 fish evenly split between salmon and grilse. Best fish of the week was 16lb and it was a first ever fish for Nigel Allam.
Knockando Home Beat, ghillie Archie Baillie confirms 14 salmon/grilse and two seatrout for the week with an even split of salmon and grilse.
At Phones, Euan Clive reports 9 fish for the week, mostly grilse along with a couple of salmon.
Andrew Hall at Lower Pitchroy advises another lightly fished week on the beat which started slowly but picked up as the week went on. Andrew finished with 16 salmon and grilse in an even split, along with 6 seatrout. Saturday was the best day with 7 fish. Best of the week was 19.5lb and a seatrout of 9lb.
On other matters, the River Spey Anglers Association have a couple of events coming up aimed at getting kids into fishing. We have a day at Wardend Trout Fishery, Fogwatt on 29/8/2021 for 15 juniors. Each junior will be accompanied by a coach/mentor on the day, helping them with casting, flies, fish handling etc. A well attended and popular event.
On the 29th & 30th of September, the owners of Easter Elchies and Upper Arndilly have kindly donated the two days for a Short fishing and Rural Skills course. I will provide more detail on what looks to be an interesting two days once details have been firmed up.
Weather prospects for the week ahead seem settled with temperatures in 15-17C bracket and not much rain forecast so we will hope to see continued catches on the beats.
Tight lines to all