Season 2010
Please click on a date for the latest fishing report.

  • Total Catches for 2010

    Now that all the beats along the River Spey have declared their catches for 2010, the Spey Fishery Board can announce that a total of 9,231 salmon and grilse were caught during the 2010 season, slightly more than in 2009. The River Spey’s successful voluntary catch and release policy has also continued to prosper, with 81% of salmon and grilse being returned.

    Sea Trout numbers in 2010 were also significantly up on previous years with 3,290 caught, of which 68% were voluntarily returned. The Spey Fishery Board is most grateful to all the anglers, gillies and proprietors for their continuing support for this policy.

    The Board is also delighted to congratulate Huston McCollough from East Sussex, who caught and released a 36lb fish at Delfur in May, on becoming the winner of the Savills Malloch Trophy. This Trophy is awarded each year for the biggest Salmon caught on a fly from a Scottish River and subsequently released to spawn.

    We now look forward to the opening of the next season on the 11th February 2011.

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  • Season End 2010

    Well that is the end of the 2010 season, not a classic by any stretch of the imagination but a bit like the curate’s egg it was good in parts!

    The Spring is best consigned to history but the grilse run was much better than of late and being a salmon angler I’m an optimist and I believe that next years Spring run will be good.

    I would just like to take this opportunity to thank all those who helped me with my reports especially the gillies who bothered to reply to my texts requesting their catches over the week-end at a time when they were probably enjoying a few hours well deserved rest.  I would like to give a special mention to Mark Melville, Delfur Head Gillie who kept me supplied with photographs when I was not on the riverbank myself.

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  • Week ending 26th September 2010

    Well it has been a long season and I was about to write about the last full week of the season but the weather some what spoilt that story as the week was only really three days long as the last three days were really a waste of time, I’m sure a few fish were caught on Saturday, but you needed to be keen to stick at it.

    Over the season I have noticed that the weather forecast is as often wrong as is it is right and this week was one of the ones that was wrong, the heavy rain forecast for the start of the week did not arrive till Wednesday when almost two inches fell. For what it is worth the forecast is for sunshine on Monday and Tuesday with rain on Wednesday becoming heavier on Thursday.

    Catches, for the second time this season Grantown was the top beat on the river with probably close to one hundred fish landed, probably challenging some of the big Tweed beats for numbers caught in the week, not bad for an Angling Association charging £50/day great value for money. Wester Elchies, again lightly fished managed five. Craigellachie had another good week getting into the mid teens.  I have not heard from Mark, since he was washed off the Tweed, perhaps he should have gone to Grantown, but he told me they had started the week well with five by Monday lunch time finishing the week with thirty-one with the biggest at  twenty -two pounds.

    My constant requests for photos is paying off and Mr. C Harman sent me these two from a beat above Rothes.

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  • Week ending 19th September 2010

    It was another difficult week on Speyside, the river appears to have developed yo-yo tendencies and this appears to unsettle the fish.  On Wednesday the river was high with some turbidity but even so there were some fish caught.

    This week’s weather forecast is for heavy rain for the first half of the week with some lighter rain later, not ideal when the river is already at three feet with a fair bit of colour. Keats described Autumn as being the “season of mists and mellow fruitfulness” and these images reminded me that the Autumnal equinox is only a couple of days away but on the bright side the usual gales do not seem to be forecast.. The tides are building all week but whether there are many more fish ready to run the river is debateable.

    Catches, Quentin Ballantyne sent me this picture of a fresh fish he was lucky enough to land from Brae five last week.

    Delfur had another good week with forty landed including six “first fish”; Mark tells me it was a mixture of fresh fish and some that had been around a while.

    I understand Rothes had a reasonable week although I have no numbers for this week. Immediately upstream the regular  party finished the week with thirty which is the second best total since they started taking the fishing, interestingly 6 were bright fresh fish all taken on Saturday.

    Craigellachie had another good week and should easily pass three hundred for the season, on of the best seasons for a few years, Wednesday was the best day of the week. Wester Elchies though lightly fished managed six, and Mr. Akira Egami from Ichinomiya City, Japan was pleased to land his first Spey Salmon. Further upstream things are pretty quiet with the salmon settling down for the spawning season to come.

    Running the risk of boring everyone can I again ask anglers to return all coloured fish, large red cock fish do not make good smoked salmon and are much better returned to the river to spawn and once again, ( I know I go on but there are only two weeks to go), can I ask if anyone has any information or pictures please get in touch with me at malcolm@speygillie.co.uk

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  • Week ending 12th September 2010

    It has been another week of fluctuating water levels and days lost because of turbidity. Rain on Tuesday to the south of the catchment pushed the river up a couple of feet but below where the Avon comes in the river was the colour of cocoa.  Next weeks forecast is for some rain towards the start of the week with some of it heavy. At this time of year the trees are taking much less water and any rain will push the river up. The tides peaked this weekend so there will be no new water this coming week. With there being a lot of stale fish in the river it might prove productive to vary the tactics, the salmon have probably seen every variation of a size 10 Cascade and can probably tell who tied them.

    Catches, I hear that the Brae and Castle Beats are catching around ten fish daily but have no accurate information, I wish the estates would keep me better informed. Delfur managed thirty five with a mixture of fresh fish and a few that have been in the river longer.

    Upstream Rothes had close to twenty again a mixture of old and new. Craigellechie managed ten for their week and I notice they have already passed their five year average. Wester Elchies started the week well with three on Monday but Sam tells me they finished with only four for the week.  The Hosker party at Carron could only manage two but I always feel this is treated as a social week rather than a serious fishing party. I know I always go on about this at this time of year but  can I take this opportunity as we approach the end of the season to remind anglers to return all coloured fish, large red cock fish do not make good smoked salmon and are much better returned to the river to spawn and once again can I ask if anyone has any information or pictures please get in touch with me at malcolm@speygillie.co.uk

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  • Week Ending 4th September 2010

    It does not seem long since I was writing about the leaves appearing on the trees and the swallows appearing back on the river, today the swallows seem to have left and the lawn has a  smattering of yellow leaves lying there.

    The week started with the river around the two foot mark with the appearance of Irish Stout, black with a white head, by Tuesday it was more the colour of a good Speyside malt and by the weekend more like a cheap Russian Vodka. The latter part of the week conditions were difficult bright sunshine and few clouds. The forecast for next week predicts sunshine at the start of the week, clouding over and becoming wet with heavy rain on Thursday. The tides are building all week and hopefully this should encourage a few more fish to run.

    Catches. Delfur were around the sixty mark with the start of the week being best. Rothes had a reasonable with Mrs. Liza O Brien’s party landing twenty-four. The Gordon Angling Group had their last week of the season on the Spey at Easter Elchies the week started well with eleven till Wednesday but slowed towards the weekend with only a handful more.

    Upstream Craigellachie followed a similar pattern getting into double figures by Wednesday then just a handful more to finish the week.  Wester Elchies followed the trend with fourteen by Wednesday and only one more the rest of the week.  Carron had twelve for the week whilst across the water Laggan managed five but I understand most of these were “first” fish.

    Again can I take this opportunity as we approach the last month of the season to remind anglers to return all coloured fish, large red cock fish do not make good smoked salmon and are much better returned to the river to spawn and once again can I ask if anyone has any information or pictures please get in touch with me at malcolm@speygillie.co.uk

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  • Week ending 27th August 2010

    It was a very changeable week on Speyside, heavy rain in the catchment caused the river levels to change on a daily basis. These changes seem to make the salmon keener to take and most beats had some memorable days. There is less rain forecast for the coming week and on the tidal front there is no new water till the end of the week. With the overcast conditions fishing should be reasonable.

    Can I take this opportunity as we approach the last month of the season to remind anglers to return all coloured fish, large red cock fish do not make good smoked salmon and are much better returned to the river to spawn.

    Catches. Delfur had over fifty fish for the week with two days into the mid-teens. Mark tells me they were a proper mixture with some fresh grilse, some summer salmon and a few large coloured salmon, with a few damaged by the seals.

    Rothes I understand were around the thirty mark with another large salmon over twenty pounds. Craigellachie had over fifteen fish with Saturday being the best day of the week.  Wester Elchies had thirteen by tea-time on Saturday so the final total might be a little higher. Carron also finished around the mid-teens. Laggan had their best week of the season with the new owners, the Spence party getting close to thirty. Again I get very little information from further up the river, if anyone has any information or pictures please get in touch with me at malcolm@speygillie.co.uk

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  • Week Ending 20th August 2010

    It has been a tragic week on Speyside. Widower Dr Bill Richmond, 68 lost his life whilst fishing at Tulchan Estate. His body was found at Blacksboat following an extensive search by Police, coastguard, Glenmore Mountain Rescue Team and an RAF Lossiemouth helicopter along with local gillies and estate workers. Clinical biochemist Dr Richmond grew up near Cupar, Fife, and went to St Andrews University. He first worked at the Victoria Hospital, Kirkcaldy, but later worked in hospitals in the London area, and became head of the department of chemical pathology at St Mary’s Hospital. He was well-known for inventing the cholesterol test, called the Richmond process. Dr Richmond was a keen fisherman and enjoyed his regular trips to Speyside.

    Catches, Delfur had forty-five by teatime on Saturday. At Rothes Dan Drew’s party had twenty-five including a 25lber caught by Roger Ward. Craigellachie again had over twenty.  Wester Elchies managed 12 At Laggan Mr. Gilchrist’s party started the week with 9 on Monday with Mr. Gilchrist having 4 to his own rod.  Over the water Carron started at a much more sedate pace but finished the week with nine.

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  • Week Ending 14th August 2010

    The weather forecast was particularly accurate last week and the heavy rain at the start of the week made the river virtually unfishable on Thursday. Some fishermen ventured out at Delagyle but I’m not sure what the fly was called!

    The forecast for next week is for the fine weather to start the week followed by heavy rain towards the end of the week. Temperatures are expected to remain in the high teens. Tide wise there will be no new water all week. Hopefully there will be plenty fish moving up the river.

    Catches, as I said Thursday was almost a total washout and Wednesday afternoon was not great as the levels were rising pretty quickly. Delfur finished the week with forty including five first fish for some lucky anglers. On Friday sixteen fish were landed including two over 20lbs.

    Upstream at Rothes the Fletcher/ Jack party had another good week with over fifty fish landed. Again Friday was the best day of the week with seventeen landed including a twenty-five pound fish for Mr. Bill Jack. Craigellachie started the week well and finished strongly with over six on Friday.

    Wester Elchies had the second best week of the season with twenty –seven fish landed.  Will Weaving had his first ever salmon from the Brock, his host James Carr insisted that it had to be released.

    Dave Sadowski managed three for his two days including this one from the Rhynd.

    Carron enjoyed the higher water and had sixteen by Saturday teatime.  Grantown have reported fifteen though I expect they will have had plenty more on Friday and Saturday. Again I will be grateful for more information and pictures from other areas of the river.

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  • Week Ending 7th August

    It has been another reasonable week on Speyside.  The weather forecast was reasonably accurate and the localised heavy showers kept the water levels up. This week is forecast to have heavy showers at the start of the week and lighter showers towards the weekend. The tides are building all week, and hopefully this coupled with the fresh water will encourage more fish to run.

    Catches, Delfur had a good week with forty two fish landed. The week started and finished well with a slower middle. What was really pleasing was the number of first fish landed.  Four beginners all got there first fish and continued to catch afterwards. Rob Allen caught his first fish and six others and his twin Richard caught his first and three others. William Bromfield caught his first fish and his second and his younger brother, Theo, caught his first and two others. I hope to get some photos of the happy anglers. Rothes had a quieter week with just over twenty landed.  Craigellachie also got over twenty and seems to be having a reasonable spell. Wester Elchies had a poorer week with just eleven caught. Carron did slightly better with a baker’s dozen by teatime on Saturday.I recieved this picture of Mrs Gwyeth Jack and her salmon from last week.

    Grantown Angling Association also had a reasonable week with over twenty salmon and as many seatrout caught. Can I again ask for any stories and pictures from the Avon and above, contact me at malcolm@speygillie.co.uk

    Can I just remind you that some of the grilse being caught have the Red Vent Syndrome which is caused by the Anisakis Larvae, remember that it can be passed to humans unless the fish are frozen for 24 hours or cooked for at least one minute at 60 C. See picture below.

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  • Week Ending 31st July 2010

    Once again it has been a good week on Speyside; most beats have been getting good catches of grilse with the odd better sized fish just to spice things up. The showers on Saturday afternoon arrived as forecast and were particularly heavy, around four-o-clock getting into the Coop in Aberlour required Wellington boots as the drains were unable to cope with the deluge. This of course was not unexpected as it was Dufftown Games day, and as everyone knows it always pours with rain on Dufftown Games day. Next weeks forecast is for rain showers at the start of the week and sunshine later. Tidal wise there is no new water till the weekend.

    Catches, as I said earlier there were plenty of grilse on the go, Delfur finished the week with fifty-eight mainly grilse but with some better sized fish earlier in the week.

    Rothes finished in the mid thirties with the end of the being quiet. Craigellachie had another good week with 27 again the start of the week being better than the end. Wester Elchies had the best week of the season with thirty fish landed the majority coming from the top off the beat.  Carron had a reasonable week nudging into the mid-teens. I heard that the Knockando fishers were having some success using quite large Green Highlander tubes, you can never tell with grilse.

    Some of the grilse being caught have the Red Vent Syndrome which is caused by the Anisakis Larvae, remember that it can be passed to humans unless the fish are frozen for 24 hours or cooked for at least one minute at 60 C.

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  • Tuesday 27th July 2010

    Sorry this weeks report is a day or two late but I’m just back from the CLA Gamefair which was held in Warwickshire, the organizers seem to be keeping them in the south of England and not venturing north at all. The Speycasting event was won by Andrew Toft (Carron Rod & Case) who has featured a couple of times in my reports this season. Blair Banks the gillie on Brae 1 made a brief appearance on Sunday but the wind was against him and he was unable to qualify, it is a shame he could not be down when conditions were better earlier in the weekend, it would be nice to see a Spey gillie winning an international Spey Casting event.

    It was a reasonable week apart from loosing two days due to high coloured water following the heavy rain on Tuesday evening.  This weeks forecast suggests there will be more heavy rain at the weekend. The tides are building all week which should hopefully keep the runs of fish coming.

    Catches, Delfur had thirty-two for the week and considering they lost two days because of the high and coloured water, it was a respectable total. Mark tells me that the grilse out numbered salmon by two to one. He also told me that his daughter Molly had her first salmon on Saturday night having been given an evenings fishing by Mr N Mountain.

    Craigellachie had another good week with thirty landed, Mr Frank Whitley 89 years young was again in among the fish.

    Wester Elchies had 14, both Ed Sharply and Will Agnew both caught their first fish from Delene.  Upstream Mrs Gwyneth Jack had her first two fish from Carron with a grilse on Friday and a salmon on Saturday, the salmon was caught on a Carron rod and line a Carron fly and of course from the Carron Pool.  I have it on good authority that a pike was landed at Ballindalloch which normally would be one of the most unusual catches but I also heard that a sheep was hooked near Craigellachie but managed to free itself before being “landed”.

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  • Week ending 18th July 2010

    Well at long last it has been a reasonable week on Speyside, it is rumoured that some gillies were even smiling, I hope it continues. The forecast predicts more heavy rain, but I’m starting to take this weather forecasting business with a large pinch of salt. The tides have peaked and there will be no more new water till next week.

    Catches, I’ll start this week with Craigellachie as it appears to be the top beat on the river with thirty three fish, of which thirteen were caught on Friday! I understand there was roughly a fifty percent split between salmon and grilse.

    Downstream again Delfur were close behind with almost thirty fish, again Mark tells me the split was almost 50/50. Things might have been better had not most of Thursday been lost to turbidity.  Just upstream Rothes managed into the high teens. Another beat which seemed to be fishing well was Kinermony which had the best week of their season with close to twenty by Friday night. Across the water Wester Elchies could only manage seven.

    Upstream Carron struggled at the start of the week with just a fish a day; it was not till I left on Saturday that the fish arrived with seven taking the total to twelve, I understand than Laggan had maybe a couple more.

    Josh Walker was the star at Ballindalloch catching at least 50% of the catch. I also heard an even younger lad was doing well at Knockando but I have no more details. If anyone has any more stories or pictures, please email me at malcolm@speygillie.co.uk Next weeks report will be late as I’m attending the CLA Gamefair.

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  • Week Begining 12th July 2010

    I have just returned to Speyside from the south of England, I see the weather conditions up here were totally different from down there where the sun shone the entire time. The rain here has freshened up the river and it is looking in good shape for the rest of the week. I see there is some more rain forecast for the rest of the week; hopefully this will continue to encourage the fish to run.

    Catches, I am a little short of information this week, but I hear Brian Reid’s party had twenty six for the week. Richard Found took to salmon fishing like a duck to water having four in two days, the best at 16lb hooked in Pettycoatlane but landed in Holly Bush.

    Rothes managed to get into the mid teens but I have no other details. The low water conditions do not really suit Craigellachie but they still managed 5. Carron had three, Huston McCollough who landed the 36lber from Delfur earlier this year  returned to the Spey at Carron, unfortunately he did not catch a fish but managed a hole in one whilst playing golf!

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  • Week Ending 3rd July 2010

    The long forecast rain has not yet arrived on Speyside, as I write this the sun is shinning although there are some clouds, let us hope some rain falls in the catchment area even if it just freshens up the river a little.  When I have been out and about I have noticed that the Bird Cherry trees have a very eerie appearance. I have discovered that it is caused by the caterpillar of the ermine moth (Yponomeuta evonymellus).

    Every now and then there is a population explosion and almost all the trees are affected, I now just need a fishery scientist to write a paper showing how the population explosion of the ermine moth is mirrored by a strong grilse run!

    Catches, back to reality, I hear that the Castle Water though lightly let managed a few at the start of the week. Upstream Delfur had a dozen including a superb 20lber covered in sea-lice. Rothes also had a dozen, most caught towards the start of the week.  This week Craigellachie had a lean week but I have received some photos from last week and the week before.

    Wester Elchies started the week well with four on Monday but were unable to keep it up and could only manage seven for the week. At Carron new tenants Mr and Mrs David Bate introduced a few of their family and friends to salmon fishing. Their youngest son Tom managed his first salmon from Delchapel late on Tuesday evening. Sarah Cowcricke also had her first salmon from the neck of the Carron pool on her second ever cast!

    There were a few fish caught a Knockando including this one caught by Alan Williams from Pol Arder.

    Again I’m struggling to get stories and information from above the Avon if any one has information, pictures or stories please get in touch with me at malcolm@speygillie.co.uk

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  • Week ending 27th June 2010

    Well it has been a dry week on Speyside, the predicted rain for the middle of the week failed to materialise. Next weeks forecast is much the same. I would suggest that the best of the fishing is going to be morning and evening with the afternoons spent relaxing or sleeping. The river is remaining around summer level with the little snow melt just keeping the flow going, most but not all gillies are preying for rain.  The tides are at there largest just now with no more new water all week.

    Catches, I had the pleasure to fish with Mr Sadowski’s party at Gordon Castle the beat certainly has suffered in the last 3 spates but Euan has everything tided up and in good order. Euan is one of the few gillies preying for a long dry spell to keep the fish in his beat for as long as possible. Mr Sadowski’s party finished the week with ten with Dave being the top rod with four.

    Upstream things were quite difficult at Delfur but a late flurry at the week end brought up the dozen. Rothes did slightly better with fourteen till five o’clock on Saturday night there might have been a couple more later. Craigellachie had a good week by this seasons standards with fifteen. Wester Elchies were just short of the double figures again. Carron were just a little better with ten salmon though some of the younger members of the party fished long into the night.

    I understand the beats above the Avon were catching salmon and grilse covered in long tailed sealice which just shows even if you are not seeing fish they are certainly going past. Grantown could do with some rain but are still catching salmon and seatrout.

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  • Week ending 20th June 2010

    It was another mixed week on Speyside, some beats preformed well whilst others returned to the doldrums of previous weeks. For a change we have not had rain this weekend, unlike a lot of other rivers the Spey is remaining above summer level with the continued snow melt keeping the river topped up. The forecast predicts some heavy rain for the middle of the week and hopefully this will keep the river freshened up and encourages more fish to run. The tides are the smallest this week but they are building as the week progresses.

    I received an email from Jan Sjåstad, who had just returned home to Norway after an enjoyable week on the Spey, Jan wrote, Thanks for some good fishing days at Spey, once again. Especially thanks to Aaron, a bright and entertaining young guide that netted the fish that was bigger than the net. He also included these photographs of Aaron Ewen and a fish estimated at twenty pounds that Jan landed at Rothes. Aaron is Mike Ewen’s grandson and spends his Saturdays helping out on the beat.

    I understand that Gordon Castle managed a few fish this week. Upstream Delfur had their best week of the season with twenty two landed and another large fish lost on Monday. Rothes for some reason did not fish as well as previous weeks but were just short of double figures. Craigellachie managed eleven. Wester Elchies had eight.  Carron had a poor week with only three landed, but Andrew Toft seems to be lucky at Carron this year, not only did he get the first of the season but he managed this one on his second day at Carron.

    Across the water Laggan managed half a dozen. I hear Ballindalloch got into double figures. Whilst above the Avon I heard there was a fish estimated at around thirty pounds landed, that will be a nice tie for someone! Grantown were again in double figures with around three times as many seatrout reported.

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  • Week ending 13th June 2010

    At last it has been a better week on Speyside, I’m bearing in mind that one swallow does not make a summer but I’m the most optimistic I’ve been all season. As usual it has rained this weekend and I hope it will just freshen the river up without causing it to colour up and become unfishable. It was a new moon at the weekend so the tides are the biggest; hopefully this coupled with the rain will encourage even more fish to run.

    Catches, I understand that the bottom beats finished the week with a few fish which is really good news both for the gillies and anglers which who have had a hard time this season. Upstream Delfur were again into double figures with Saturday being the best day of the week. Rothes had a wonderful week with eighteen salmon including one over twenty pounds and another over 30!

    This fish was caught in the Long Pool by David Williams (Alan Williams’ younger brother) and netted and weighed and released by Robbie Stronach. This is the second fish over twenty-five pounds that David Williams has landed in the last 2 years.  Upstream Craigellachie had a better week with seven fish including one over twenty pounds.  Wester Elchies managed nine and Sam was telling me they were all from the top off the beat with very few fish stopping. Carron had their best week of the season with twelve fish landed. Including the first fish of the season by Spey Board Chairman Mr Alan Williams whose season started on the 11th of June rather than February!

    Over the water Laggan went one better with a bakers dozen. Knockando also had a better week with close to twenty coming off all three beats.  I was pleased to hear that Mr Sandy Smith’s heart operation was very successful and hopefully Sandy will be back on his beat in a week or two. Again I’m struggling to get information from further up the main river. I have heard that the Avon has started to fish well this week as well. Anyone with any information or stories please contact me at malcolm@speygillie.co.uk

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  • Week ending 6th June 2010

    Well I was wrong last week the big runs of fish did not turn up, the fishing improved a little nothing dramatic, very disappointing.  It rained again last night not quite as heavy as the week before but enough to lift the river and freshen everything up, let’s hope the fish turn up this week. At least my prediction that the Grantown angling Association would fish well proved to be accurate they ended the week with at least 15 salmon and almost twice as many seatrout making Grantown probably the most productive beat on the river, it is not very often I get to say that!

    Moving downstream this week for a change Laggan had six and Carron five. Wester Elchies was lightly fished and managed just two. Over the water Kinermony had at least five when I last spoke to Jock.  Craigellachie were disappointed with two. The Gordon Angling Group had their late May week at Upper Arndilly and though their catches were down on previous years they managed a few including this nice seatrout that guest George Meachie  caught  and released from the Heathery Isle.

    I managed this fish from the same lie the following night.

    Alex Robertson had this one from the Red Craig. Alec told me it was a grilse, but I’m not so sure but we probably will never settle the argument unless we get the scales read. Talking of which the scales of the 36lb Delfur fish came back as a 2 : 4 two years in the river and four years at sea. I understand the both Rothes and Delfur were around the double figure mark.

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  • Week Ending 30th May 2010

    Guess what? It has been another difficult week on Speyside!  Again some beats are picking away whilst beats very close are struggling it just seems to be a matter of luck whether the fish and the anglers bump into each other. This week the heavy rain came on Saturday night with almost an inch falling overnight, today the river has risen over two feet and is sitting close to the three foot mark. There is a little colour; I would best describe it as the colour of a Speyside malt matured in a Sherry cask.

    Hopefully this rise in the river coupled with some warmer and more settled weather should encourage some more fish to run. The tides are at their largest at the start of the week so this should help as well. I will stick my neck out and predict that the run will show a definite improvement this week.

    Last week Delfur did better than of late ending up just short of double figures. The fish again seemed to be stopping at Rothes and they were in the mid teens.  I even managed to catch one myself fishing at Inverfiddich.  Craigellachie had six, with Wednesday being the best day of the week with four landed and as many lost. Dougie was telling me about a big fish which was hooked in the Bridge Pool and was played for almost half an hour, Dougie was standing by with the net and the fish was just feet away when it saw the net, shook its head and broke the cast, disaster!! Wester Elchies ended up with seven landed, it could have been double this if James Carr was not so keen on his long distance releases. Over the water the French party landed 5 at Kinermony. Laggan had four, the best at 14lbs, whilst Carron had five including one which was measured at 25” and estimated to be around 22lbs.  The low water has not suited Grantown but I would expect them to start next week with a bang.

    I’m short of photos this week with only this one of David Somerville with a fish from the Fiddochmouth. Can I please ask anyone with an interesting photo or story to email me at malcolm@speygillie.co.uk .

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  • Week Ending 23rd May 2010

    As usual it has not been an easy week on Speyside; the fish are just not there in any numbers. Some beats are picking away but then others are struggling. The water levels stayed up most of the week with the warm weather increasing the snow melt in the Cairngorms.

    On Friday night there were several heavy thunder showers and the Avon rose very quickly and was very coloured the main river became unfishable on Saturday because of the turbidity. Dirty River

    Whilst working on the river on Thursday I came across an oystercatcher nesting in a tree, something that I have never seen before. I am not sure she decided on this unusual site for her nest because of the floods or the heavy snow this year!

    The new tenants at Delfur had a very difficult time but managed to avoid a blank week, perhaps when they get to know the beat better they will be able to catch a few more. The fish seemed to be stopping at Rothes this week and they managed to get into double figures for the first time this year. Craigellachie managed six including this one from Champrach.

    Dougie Ross was very disappointed with Mike Broadley’s decision to curtail his fishing trip to return home to celebrate his wedding anniversary; Dougie expects more commitment from his fishers in this difficult season! Wester Elchies managed 6 whilst across the river Kinermony had at least 2. Carron and Laggan had three apiece, including this one that Ian Gardner caught on Friday evening.

    I hear that the beats above the Avon have been quite productive and one of them is probably the top beat on the river with over fifteen fish landed. I was pleased to hear of a 27lb fish caught and released on the Grantown Association water by visiting angler Mr. Philip Butcher. And I believe they have had around half a dozen for the week.

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  • Week Ending 16th May 2010

    The weather on Speyside is still unseasonable, on Sunday night there was snow and frost and it was if anything colder on Monday night.  It is fairly unusual to see blossom on the trees and snow on Ben Rinnes. Snow and Blossom

    Towards the end of the week it warmed up a little but in the wind and out of the sun it could still feel more like March than May. The water levels dropped steadily all week and are now sitting at somewhere between 6” and a foot. Water Temperature is still low for May, definitely not full floater conditions.

    Catches remain slow. Delfur got into double figures for the first time this season. On Saturday afternoon Huston McCollough a member of Olivier Devictor’s party hooked into a large fish whilst fishing Twa Stanes with Grant Morrison, after a titanic struggle the fish was eventually landed. The fish measured length 46inch and girth 23inch and when weighed in the net was 36lb. The photos do not really do the fish justice.

    I have been trying to find out how long since a fish of this size was landed on the Spey but I certainly cannot remember one. As usual I would be grateful for any more information. Upstream Rothes found conditions difficult. Craigellachie had four for the week including this 13lber by Mike Gibson.

    After being the best beat on the river last week Kinermony struggled this week. Over the water at Wester Elchies five were landed with as many lost. Carron managed just two which I understand was one better than Laggan. Upstream I hear that one of the Beats above Ballindalloch had seven on Monday morning. Grantown Angling Association is now starting to get regular catches now on a daily basis.

    Hopefully the big tides of this weekend will encourage some more fish to run and the weather forecast looks a little bit more settled with temperatures reaching the mid-teens although there is some rain forecast at the start of the week.

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  • Week Ending 9th May 2010

    It has been a patchy week on Speyside and yet again some beats fished well whilst others struggled. The water levels fluctuated a little but most beats should have had conditions near enough perfect at some time during the week. The leaves are starting to form on the trees and now the valley has more of a green hue rather than the colourless look of the weeks before.
    There was at least one fish caught from the Brae Beats, John Harris got his first ever salmon a cracker of 14lb from the Rock Pool on Beat 2.

    Upstream both Delfur and Rothes were a little disappointed with only 4 and 5 fish respectively. Craigellachie managed 2. Frenchman Guy Nardin’s party fishing Kinermony had ten and Kinermony must be the most productive beat on the river this week.  Across the water Wester Elchies managed eight, Mike Shaw got his first ever salmon, veteran Frank Whitley in his 90th year managed another Spey salmon and Mark Hanson had a good week with 5 to his own rod.

    I understand the Belgium party at Delagyle had 6 which show that those 2.5 miles of the river, shared by Kinermony, Wester Elchies and Delagyle was relatively productive. Upstream Laggan managed 5 but across the water Carron could only get 2 though one was estimated at 21lbs from the Big Griggle. At Phones Dr. L. Falk had a nice sealiced fish from the boat in the Station Pool. I have had no reports from further up the river, can I please ask for information and stories, please email me at malcolm@speygillie.co.uk

    The weather forecast is not very spring like with sleet, snow, and heavy rain forecast for the next few days. The tides are building all week with the Spring tides next weekend again I hope this encourages more fish to run. I would finally just like to remind you of Alan Williams’ comments of last week. (See below)

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  • Week Ending 2nd May 2010

    Again it has not been an easy week on Speyside, and again some beats fished well whilst others struggled.  The water levels were on the high side which suits some beats more than others. Water temperatures were around the mid-forties but dropped to the low forties on Saturday, ironically the 1st of May. Today the frost alarm is still showing on my car. The daffodils are still out and there are plenty of trees still not showing leaves, but hopefully spring is not too far away.

    I heard that the Brae beats were beginning to get a few fish which is encouraging. Delfur struggled but the high water does not really suit them, Mark told me he was seeing plenty of fish, and they had a few encounters but overall the catches were disappointing. Rothes did better with I believe about 8 fish landed.  Craigellachie had a patchy week but finished with 2 on Saturday, four for the week. Aberlour Angling Association had had ten by Friday. Kinermony had 5 by that time as well. Wester Elchies started the week poorly but managed three by Saturday. Across the river Delagyle had only 2 but with one weighing 28lbs and the other 22lbs someone must have been happy.  An experienced team had Carron’s best week of the season with eight. Including this one with gillie Ian Borthwick about to return it to the Carron Pool.

    Across the water Laggan managed four with Pru Herd out fishing her husband Charlie yet again. Pru had the best fish of the week from the Bothy Pool. The higher water did not suit Knockando but Andrew Dennis managed to land one from Lower Pitcroy on Friday. Upstream I hear most of the beats were catching small numbers of sealiced fish showing just how hard they are running. I still struggle to get information from this part of the river; I would be grateful if someone could give me more information to malcolm@speygiillie.co.uk .

    Alan Williams, Chairman of the Spey Board, has asked me to include the following in this Weeks Fishing Report.

    Fortunately this week a few more fish have been caught  than in the previous two which themselves were the first weeks  that serious fishing could be undertaken on the river. However it is already clear that we are not experiencing a strong run of two Sea Winter Fish which are so important for spawning later on in the year since so many of them are female. This follows on the poor Grilse numbers of last year and the situation for both years is one which is reflected in other Rivers in Scotland. The Board has a Conservation Policy which is well respected by Anglers and Ghillies alike to the extent that in 2009 77 per cent of all fish that were caught were released. It is obviously even more important in a year in which returning fish are scarcer that as many as possible are released to spawn and I urge everybody to show the maximum possible restraint and to allow the River to produce the optimum number of Smolts which will for the most part go to sea in the Spring of 2013.

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  • Week Ending April 24th 2010

    Well it has not been an easy week on Speyside. Some beats seemed to fish quite well whilst others never saw a fish. The river started the week on a fine height and it gradually dropped off as the week progressed, Saturday saw a rise, perfect conditions. Temperatures dropped rapidly from last weeks high and the frost alarms were going off again in the cars. On Friday there were light flurries of snow.

    Catches can be best described as patchy. Delfur had their customary 8 whilst upstream Rothes found the conditions difficult again. Craigellachie got a couple; Wester Elchies had three, including a cracker estimated at 21lbs. Over the water Kinermony had a better week with half a dozen. Delagyle had at least 1. Laggan had there now usual fish but Mike says it is hard work.

    Carron, Knockando and Phones were fished by Alan William’s party, slightly diminished in size due to volcanic problems, could only managed one. Colin Yellop bumped in to it from Carron on Monday morning.

    Upstream Jon Veitch’s party had a great week with seven from Lower Pitcroy including this fish which erupted to the surface to take a stripped Sunray Shadow. Further up I hear that Ballindalloch managed one and the beats upstream all picked up at least one fish.

    The volcano is still causing travel problems, the Northern Constabulary joined in the fun by placing a speed camera van at Ralia catching at least one angler that I met. Hopefully the spring tides and the the warmer weather will encourage more fish to run, up to now April has been more like March!

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  • Week ending April 17th 2010

    Well at last for the first time this season we have managed to fish all six days this week.  The river was slightly on the high side but it suited some beats more than others. The diurnal effect was quite noticeable especially at Kinrara see http://www.sepa.org.uk/water/river_levels/river_level_data.aspx?id=234257

    Temperatures remained high for April most of the week and some days it was very pleasant to fish in shirt sleeves and wellington boots. By Saturday temperatures started to drop and there was snow in the hills on Saturday night.

    Catches reflected the increased, normal, fishing effort. David Wood’s party at Delfur managed 8 salmon and quite unusually 3 decent seatrout. Just upstream, at Rothes the fish did not seem to be stopping but through hard work two fish were landed at the end of the week. Dougie Ross at Craigellachie was slightly happier with his seven for the week though I think he would still like a few more. Kinermony eventually caught on in the Boat Pool a nice fish around 10lbs which fell to a Collie Dog fished by Mr. Graham Ritchie of Fraserburgh. Wester Elchies managed 2 on Wednesday one hooked just before lunch on Wednesday and estimated at 18lbs. Carron had 2, this one I caught having a cast with Mr. Alan William’s rod, sometimes a week can seem a long time when someone is not speaking to you! Dorothy Wickson got the other on Tuesday just above the bridge. Laggan had a strange week with nothing till Saturday afternoon when one was caught and another lost in the space of half an hour. Mr. Wills’ party fishing Phones had a couple and I hear fish were caught on the beats al the way up to Grantown although details are sketchy, if anyone has any more information please email me on malcolm@speygillie.co.uk .

    Next week could be interesting; the local forecast will be overshadowed by events in Iceland. Already I am hearing of fishing party numbers being curtailed as members cannot get here from abroad and other people are having to make the long drive North rather than the usual hop on an aircraft. For those who manage to get to Speyside I would suggest that the river will remain on the high side with water temperatures around the 40 mark. I would suggest an intermediate with a Willie Gunn tube will suffice but the gillies will keep everyone right.

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  • Week ending April 10th 2010

    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.

     

     

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  • Week ending April 4th 2010

    I’m beginning to get repetitive but it has been a difficult week on Speyside! Monday was fine but conditions changed dramatically on Tuesday, Aberlour had about 18” of snow in 24 hours and the A95, A96 and the A9 were all blocked, there was an unconfirmed rumour that the A9 was blocked by a Delfur boat but I cannot really get to the bottom of this story.

    Some of the side roads remained blocked for the rest of the week. The river was unfishable on Wednesday because of the frazil; the river looked as though there had been a giant snowball fight somewhere upstream. By Thursday things had settled down a bit but even getting to the beats could sometimes be a bit tricky. On Tuesday the sand martins returned after wintering in Africa, I cannot imagine what they thought after flying 6000 miles to be confronted with a blizzard, poor wee things.

    Delfur managed 2 including this cracker from the tail of Sourden.

    The fish was hooked by Neal Cameron in the tail of Sourden and netted by gillie Davey Mackintosh.Rothes also had 2 but they also had a superb 7lb seatrout. Both Craigellechie and Wester Elchies started the week well with a fish each on Monday but the snow seemed to make the fishing difficult, certainly the banks were very slippery making fishing quite dangerous.

    Laggan managed 2 both caught by Chris Bedford-Russell and strangely both from the Bothy, the bank repair must have made a new lie that only the Laggan rods can find. Carron had another blank week.

    Hopefully things will pick up this week as long as all the snow which fell melts slowly. I think however that there will be some days lost next week to high water. I hope that the slightly warmer water coupled with building tides will encourage more fish to enter the system.

     

     

     

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  • Week ending 28th March 2010

    Again it has not been an easy week on Speyside, the river levels have been up and down and I have not been convinced that this change was caused 100% by the diurnal effect of the Alpine regime; I think it was probably just rain in the catchment! Again below Rothes there was a  marked increase in the turbidity whether this is coming from the flood defence works at Rothes or the bank above Bluestone it is hard to say, but it certainly does not seem to be helping the fishing in that area.

    I hope today’s rain does not cause the river to rise too much and spoil the fishing next week. I see that the weather forecasters and talking about snow at the start of April, I thought we were rid of all that!

    Delfur seem to be going for quality rather than quantity this season, with just 2 for the week but both in double figures.

    Rothes I believe had about half a dozen. Duggie Ross tells me that they had a fish from the Bridge Pool just before lunch on Tuesday. Aberlour Association had a hand full, and over the water Wester Elchies managed 4.

    I was pleased to hear that Kinermony got their season going with a small fish from the tail of the Rhynd. Laggan guest Mrs Burnett landed a nice fish but across the water at Carron nothing was landed, though I did hear complaints of lack of water! (Ian assures me that the electrician will have the pump at the hut going again early this week.)

    I understand that the beats above the Avon have got their season underway and I am also pleased to report that the Strathspey Angling Improvement Association at Grantown has also landed their first fish.

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  • Week ending 21st March 2010

    It has been a difficult week with the snow melting and making the river very high and almost unfishable. Monday saw the river at over five feet and Tuesday was not much better, but by Wednesday conditions had improved enough for people to fish sensibly. Alec Robertson had a nice fish from Junction at Rothes.

    Jack Fryer and Dr Mellor had one a piece from the Boat Pool at Wester Elchies. I understand the Aberlour Angling Club had two this week from their water. Upstream Laggan had their first fish last week and I hear that Phones had a fish this week. I thought this was the highest fish so far but I have learnt that Ballindalloch safely returned their first fish this week.  Details are still very sketchy and I would be grateful if estates and angling c

    lubs would update me at malcolm@speygillie.co.uk or by text on 07967970704.

    Hopefully the coming week will be better, most of the low lying snow has already melted although there is still plenty lying on Ben Rhinnes.

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  • Week Ending March 14th 2010

    It has still been fairly quiet on Speyside, somewhat disappointingly so. I would have expected the rise in water temperatures to bring in some more fresh fish.  On a positive note Wester Elchies got off the mark for 2010 with Norman Morrice from Torphins, landing a nice fish from the Boat Pool on Tuesday.

    Dr Rob Masson caught the second from Delene on Wednesday.  Willie Mair from Portsoy returned from off shore and was rewarded with a fresh fish from Delfur. Graham Ritchie from Fraserburgh landed a fish from Bluestone Rothes on Saturday despite the river starting to rise and discolour.

    It has rained almost non stop today and conditions for the start of the week do not look good below Rothes. Although high above Aberlour the water is fairly clear but the turbidity below Rothes is much worse, I am not sure whether this is coming from the Rothes flood defences or the bank above Bluestone.

     

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  • 2010 Season: Week Ending March 7th.

    It has been a mixed week on the river, Monday and Tuesday were relatively grue free and anglers were able to cover the pools with perhaps the odd clearing of the rings. Under foot conditions were still difficult and felt soled boots could prove “interesting”.

    Wednesday proved impossible with wall to wall grue, Thursday proved only a little better with the lower river becoming fishable by late afternoon.  B y Friday temperatures had soared to 5C and the river was grue free and starting to rise. Cold overnight temperatures are keeping the rise in check and looking at the forecast this, hopefully should continue next week.

    On the downside the Lower River below Rothes is becoming unfishable with a lot of sediment coming in from the Rothes burn and at the pipe drain at the top of the Long Pool. If this is coming from the flood alleviation scheme hopefully the contractors will be able to control this sediment before the fishing on Lower Rothes and Delfur is ruined again.

    On the catch front the river was quiet, Delfur got off the mark with Michael Ritchie from Fraserburgh getting a 14lber from Sourden and Anne Cameron bettered him on Tuesday with a 17lber from Beaufort, both returned. Upstream from Rothes Stuart McKay from Craigellachie had three to his rod, again all returned.

    The Craigellachie beat got off the mark on Thursday when Gordon Nuttal caught a 15lber from Broom Isle, his first fish from the Spey in six years, worth the wait, (returned).

     

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  • 2010 Season: Week ending 28th February.

    Well if a picture is worth a thousand words, these should save me a bit of typing.

    As can be seen the river has been virtually unfishable this week, Saturday was probably the first day sane people would have tried to fish! I hear that Ernie Rodgers had an 11lb fish from Junction Pool at Rothes, stand-in gillie Mike Latey was at hand to net it.

    I have not heard of any more fish caught but please correct me at malcolm@speygillie.co.uk

    Hopefully the grue and ice have now finished, after all March 1st is meteorologically the start of spring. The river remains low, summer levels, but is still very cold. I would suggest tactics of deep and slow and hope that you bump into a fresh fish.
    I thought it might be useful to put up a few pictures of kelts and springers to try to help anglers tell them apart.

    above is a kelt, the tell tale signs of a soft body and the head appears too big for the body.

    Below a fresh fish, certainly no doubt.

     

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  • Week Commencing 27th February 2010

    The weather forecast for the next few days is unusual for early March,daytime highs of 7-8C and night time “lows” of  5-6 C after tonight’s slightly more normal -1C. I’m not sure what has happened to the snow they were talking about last week. The tides are building so hopefully a few more fish will be encouraged to run the river

    Catches were far from prolific but as it is only the first week of  March so I was not expecting much more. News as usual is difficult to find; I gather the Gordon Castle beats though lightly fished landed another two since I last reported. I also heard Orton have had a couple more. On Thursday a couple of well known Ness fishers graced Delfur and managed a fish apiece, well done Ryan Rutherford and George (Darkie) Skinner. Upstream Alex Robertson landed his first fish from Rothes with their first from Junction. Alex kindly sent me this photo, the fish appears to have had a narrow escape from a dolphin before it encountered Alex.

    The beat above started the week well with three on Monday.  Wester Elchies also had a fish on Monday taking the February total to three, the best for a good few years. I heard of a fish from Pitcroy last Saturday the furthest up the river so far.

     

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