Week Commencing 26th March 2018.

Last week’s forecast was accurate. The precipitation was of snow on higher ground. The river level fell away nicely as the week progressed. Next weeks forecast is to be another chilly week with temperatures struggling to reach above 4C. There will be some rain midweek. Thursday is forecast to be the sunniest of the week, but still chilly.

The tides peak on Monday evening and there will be no new water for the rest of the week.


I wonder if the sand martins will turn up this week, or will the cold weather keep them away? No sign of an osprey on the river either though they have been seen locally.


I am pleased to be able to report fresh fish from Knockando to the sea. I am fairly sure that this week doubled the Spey’s 2018 catch.


The Knockando fish was caught by one of the instructors helping with the RSAA ladies two days.

Gordon castle had a fresh fish from Beat 4 caught by Alex Robertson the new beat 4 gillie. Well-done Alex.

Gillie Alex Robertson Beat 4.

I hear that Orton had a couple of fish early in the week and were seeing plenty of fish running through.

Delfur finished with seven, though Wednesday was special with five landed. Mark tells me the east wind and cold weather made the end of the week difficult.

Jamie Hammond Delfur.

Alasdair Bell Delfur.

Rothes had six and a seven-pound sea-trout. Thanks to Robbie Stronnach for the pictures.

Gus McCrae Rothes.

Graeme Davies Rothes.

Ed Rennie Rothes 7lb Seatrout.

Robbie with Andrew Robertson’s fish Rothes.

Author Iain Ogden’s party had six from Arndilly . Iain kindly sent me a couple of pictures.

Malcom Smith Arndilly.

Gerry Kelly Arndilly.

Aberlour Angling Club had a couple, Jim Sivewright and Stuart Wilson. I heard Lower Wester Elchies had their first of the season and Macallan had another but have no more details.

Jim Seivwright Aberlour Angling Club.

Kinermony had three, Mike Broadey showing the way as team leader.

Tom Robinson Kinermony

Mike Broadey Kinermony.

Mike Broadey Kinermony Again

Wester Elchies also had three, starting with two on Monday and another on Saturday.

Delagyle fished by the Gordon Angling Group could only manage one.

Christain Christensen’s party had three from Laggan.

Steiner Chrisensen Laggan.

Tomas Larsen Laggan

Jon Asle Sjolli 1st ever salmon Laggan.

I was disappointed that Grantown have yet to have a fresh fish but heard rumours of a fresh one lost at Kinchurdy.

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Week Commencing 26th June 2017.

Another reasonably accurate forecast last week, the rain towards the end of the week pushed the river up a couple of feet. Unfortunately this small rise coincided with SEPA having communication problems so the gillies could not inform their guests on the expected trends. Next week the forecast is for more unsettled weather, Monday and Tuesday will have a few showers, Wednesday will be brighter and Thursday showers again. The tides are building all week, an excellent fishing forecast.

Catches were fairly good with Saturday’s rise helping finish the week with a flourish.

Gordon Castle ended with forty-two, the majority salmon but with a sprinkling of grilse. Many thanks to Ian Tennant and his team for the photographs.

Derek Wiseman Gordon Castle.

Gordon Castle

Gordon Castle.

Gordon Castle.


Orton had an excellent week, the Reeve party finished the week with almost thirty salmon and a handful of seatrout.









Delfur were again in the mid teens, just one picture this week.



Rothes had a bakers dozen, mostly salmon with a solitary grilse.


Craigellachie, Wester Elchies and Kinermony all had around half a dozen.


Aberlour had a successful week, thanks to Ken Davies for keeping me informed and providing me with pictures.

John Trodden Aberlour Angling Club.

Steve Grant Aberlour.

Steve again.

Carron had an excellent week ending up with fourteen.


Grantown started the week slowly but the lift in the water brought a lift in the catches. There was close to a dozen salmon landed the best a 21lbs fish from Tarric Mor by Craig Carswell. Again the sea trout catches were over fifty for the week including two over seven pounds. Pictured below John Gray’s seven pound sea trout.

John Gray’s sea trout Grantown.


Kinchurdy had yet another good week with over forty sea trout and four salmon landed. Regular tenant’s Kevin Shanks and his son were pleased with their catch, Kevin wrote, “What a week, 43 sea trout and four salmon for four rods. As normal great advice from gillie, Bobby Hall, his help and advice is second to none a fantastic place to fish” Thanks to Kevin for the following pictures.





Nature notes, as expected from the spectacular growth the Delfur swallows have fledged.

Almost there.

Swallows fledged.



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Smolt traps update 26th April

It has been ten days since the last update so apologies for that. The numbers of smolts caught in the Avon traps increased greatly last week with the water temperatures increasing in the lovely sunny weather. This weekend it has turned a lot colder with snow falling down to below 500′.

The total catch in the Avon traps to date is 2647 salmon and 166 trout. The trout numbers this year are similar to 2014 but on this day last year we had caught 4543 salmon. We are expecting a lower smolt run this year due to the impact of the big August spate but with the exception of last week the winter of 2014/2015 and the spring of 2015 have been more normal compared to the exceptionally mild conditions pertaining last year. So the catch is lower so far but the peak of the run is likely to be later this year.

The catches in the Tommore Burn trap have been steady at a low level over the last two weeks although the 13 salmon smolts caught today was the best daily catch since the 9th April. The burn has been low so we may well see another burst of fish if the level rises again. In total we have caught 296 salmon and 32 trout in the Tommore traps. The vast majority of the salmon have been fin clipped but there is a proportion which have intact fins and may be wild smolts produced in the accessible part of the burn above the trap.

Salmon smolt catch at the Avon traps related to 9am river height

Salmon smolt catch at the Avon traps related to 9am river height in cm! Smolt number are the black bars, river height the blue line. (ingore the fact it says trout on the y-axis, that is an error)

Tommore salmon catch related to burn height (cm)

Tommore salmon catch related to burn height (cm)

Avon salmon smolt catch related to river temperature.

Avon salmon smolt catch related to river temperature. Temperature is a realy important factor for smolt migration. This week the numbers of salmon smolts captured increased on the back of a rise in temperature despite the river height falling.

Tommore Burn trap salmon catch related to burn temperature

Tommore Burn trap salmon catch related to burn temperature. In the Tommore Burn the water level appears to be a more important migration cue. Not surprising considering the small size of the burn. This may also explain why the migration appears to have been a lot earlier in the burn than in the river; the fish may take advantage of the higher early spring water levels.

We have undertaken a number of recapture trials in the Avon. I don’t have the results at hand but the recapture rate appears to be similar to those obtained in 2014. We also monitor the Avon traps for fin clipped fish and yesterday there were 6. Again I don’t have all the figures available but that was the highest daily catch of fin clipped fish. The recent catches in the Tommore Burn have been low so these fin clipped fish may have been earlier migrants that were waiting in the Avon until ready to move further downstream. Alternatively they may have been fish that left the Tommore Burn as autumn parr. Without applying a further mark to the Tommore fish we won’t be able to establish that.

On this date last year we had caught 146 salmon parr in the Avon traps. These are generally smaller fish in the 60-85mm range which will not smolt this year. Steve and I mentioned that we had caught comparatively few so far this spring; probably in the order of 30-40. Not sure what the implications are of that, if anything.

The forecast is for the colder weather to remain this week so we are expecting steady catches in the Avon traps.

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