Well you will never guess, but it has been a difficult week on Speyside! The river was a little to high on Monday morning but perfectly fishable, contrary to another less well informed reporter, it stayed dry all day, but the river was definitely rising. By Tuesday morning the snow-melt inundation had well and truly arrived, I think the river levels were not quite as big as last September but about the same as the November spate. The river was unfishable Tuesday, Wednesday and barely fishable on Thursday, although a few were “going through the motions”. Friday the river had fallen back, but it was still a big river and even on Saturday it was really too big for serious fishing. The diurnal effect was clearly visible this week especially on the tributaries which all rose in the evenings following the day’s snowmelt. Temperatures over the weekend were in the sixties, or high teens if you prefer, and freezing level was well over Munro height, I think it will be a while before the river level falls away.
There were a few fish caught on Monday morning before the rise really started, but it was Friday before there was much caught. Delfur finished the week with four, Rothes had at least a couple. Upstream Craigellachie only managed one, but it was a cracker, estimated at 19lbs. Wester Elchies had two, one at the start of the week and the other on Saturday. Over the water Delagyle finally caught their first of the season.
Laggan managed their usual two, the first was caught by David Gilchrist in the very very tail of Dalmonach on the Carron side, way down below where the boat is kept. After a titanic struggle the fish was eventually landed with a little help of Alan Williams who just happened to be there. Returning the fish proved almost more difficult than landing it and by some how David was so loath to part with his fish that he slipped when releasing the fish and ended up along side it, his feet could not find the bottom, but thankfully he too was safely landed and was none the worse for his dunking. Phones managed one on Saturday morning from the Whin Pool caught by Mike Brodie, Sandy Smith says that it is usually the summer before he gets a fish from the Whin Pool.
Fears were raised on Thursday when an upside down canoe was washed down the river and following the tragedies on the Coe and the Tay there were concerns felt for the former occupants of the craft. Happily no one was hurt in the accident which occurred in the “washing machine” at Ballindalloch and the canoe went right through the middle Spey.
Dougie Ross from Craigellachie managed to rescue the barrel of belongings. Things would be so much easier if canoeists and their organisations would put their contact details on the boats hulls as the Board, proprietors and anglers keep asking for, then a simple telephone call could reassure everyone concerned that no one has been injured or worse drowned.