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 19th March 2018.

This coming week will be another change in the weather, the warm(ish) spell will disappear to be replaced with another cold one. Mid weeks temperatures will struggle to remain positive. There will be some precipitation, but whether it is rain or snow only time will tell. I predict the river will fall away with cold night-time temperatures. The tides are building all week. Hopefully there will be some more fish coming on the new tides.


Although the salmon are slow in returning the birds are already here. Both pied and grey wagtails are pairing up on the riverbank. I had an enjoyable morning at Delfur with the skylark singing away. The lapwings and curlews are pairing up around Aberlour.


Catches. Well there were a few, not as many as I would like.

I hear that Fochabers Angling Association had their first of the season.

Orton had a couple.

Lewis Thom and Richard Orton.

and Richard Maclean had one on Saturday.

Easter Elchies and Upper Arndilly got their seasons underway with one from the former and two from the latter.

Orn with Sandy Scott’s fish Easter Elchies

I hear Macallan had another, and that’s about it.


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SFB March Briefing

The first Spey Fishery Board Briefing for the 2018 season has now been published. The March Briefing is available to download and read here.  This month’s issue includes the following:

  • New Salmon Season Begins on the Spey
  • 2017 Season Report
  • Pupils Hooked on Salmon in the Classroom
  • Spey Catchment Initiative Project Officer
  • Scottish Invasive Species Initiative (SISI) Project Officer

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Week Commencing March 6th 2017

Well that’s the first four weeks of the season passed already. Last week was a good week on the river with fresh fish from Grantown to the sea.

Last week’s forecast was reasonably accurate. Wednesday was unpleasant, with a gusty downstream wind and snow or hail showers, although it produced some of the best catches of the week. This coming week is forecast to be fine at the start of the week becoming colder and wetter towards the end of the week. The tides peak on Tuesday and there will be no new water till the following week.

Whilst out fishing I noticed a Grey Wagtail for the first time this year, I also noticed some Dark olives and thought I saw two or three March Browns sailing majestically down the river on Saturday afternoon. This mild spell seems to have brought things on a lot earlier than usual.

Catches. As I mentioned earlier an excellent week on the river, with a good run of larger, three sea winter, fish.

Gordon Castle, Ian Tennant tells me Ronnie Fraser had a fish from Beat 4.

Ronnie Fraser 7lb Beat 4

Orton continues to catch fish Francie Watt had a fish from Cairnty on Thursday.

Delfur had a great week with eleven landed. Monday was a special day, I got my first of the season, Dicken Fawcett had his first from Delfur and Jan Rigden got his biggest salmon ever and a Delfur badge. The week continued well with Neil Cameron getting his Delfur season underway. Allan Rennie had a 20lb fish from Sourden but the technology department was missing so there was no photograph. Delfur can resemble Games of Thrones at times with heads or parts of heads being cut off right left and centre. Graham Ritchie had a couple on Thursday, Andrew Scott-Kiddie also had a fish as did Brian Shaw and I even managed a second.


Jan Rigden with his magnificent 25lb fish from Delfur

Dicken Fawcitt Delfur.

Neil Cameron Delfur

Graham Ritchie with a really solid fish of 17lb from Delfur

Graham Ritchie with his second of the day from Hollen Bush at Delfur

Jordan Henderson, the new Delfur ghillie with Alistair Scott-Kiddie’s fish

Yours truly and a band of chocolate cockers including a first photoshoot for Hector (on the left) (his posing abilities will hopefully improve as the season progresses)

Rothes also had an excellent week with eight landed. Ross Wood started with two on Tuesday, Tony Smith also had a couple one of which was weighed at 20lbs. Stan Baird had three, five for a day not bad for early March, especially when you consider Wednesday’s weather. Graham Ritchie managed to keep up his excellent record with another on Saturday.

Ross Wood’s fish Rothes

Stan Baird Rothes

Stan Baird with a quality Spey fish

They don’t get much better than this; Head ghillie Mike Ewan with Tony Smith’s 20lber Rothes

I hear Arndilly had three on Tuesday but have no more news.

I was pleased to hear that Craigellachie season got underway with a fresh fish on Saturday afternoon. I knew as soon as some rods were on the water a fish would be caught.

Steven Urquhart Craigellachie

Across the river Macallan also had a fish on Saturday.

The Macallan’s first fish of the season for Craig Wyness, pictured with Robert Mitchell, beat ghillie

Aberlour angling Club had three, Ken Davies had one and Jimmy Seivright the other two.

Ken Davies Aberlour

Kinermony had four I understand, and across the water Wester Elchies had two.

Delagyle two as well both to Veronica Slater.  Mondays fish was estimated at 24lbs.

Veronica Slater with a lovely big fish from Delagyle

Laggan had a fish from the Griggle on Friday.

Carron, Ian Borthwick had yet another from Delmunich.

A nice clean fish for Ian Borthwick Carron

I hear Tulchan have had around four fish, certainly one from A and D beat and I believe 2 from C beat but have no more details.

I am pleased to report that visiting angler Stewart Watson had the first fish from Strathspey Angling Association water at Grantown from the Long Pool, unfortunately the electrons were missing from the technology department but river watcher Sean Grant was on hand to witness the event. This is a few weeks earlier than the last few years, a situation replicted on other beats in the middle and upper river.

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Week Commencing 30th March.

The forecast was pretty accurate for last week, a little bit of everything. Tuesday was unpleasant for man and beast.

On Tuesday there was some snow!

On Tuesday there was some snow!

When the sun did make an appearance there were a few hatches of March Browns and the trout were waiting! The Chiffchaff has made it back after its winter away. I have not seen any hirundine yet but it should not be long before the Sand Martins, usually the first to arrive, turn up.

The forecast for the coming week is for some more settled weather with temperatures reaching the mid teens. There is no rain of any significance forecast this week but the warm weather will certainly keep the river up with some snowmelt. The tides will not peak till midweek.

Catches: I understand the lower river is still pretty quiet, but with the water temperature reaching 40f this is not really surprising. I hear Orton had at least of couple of fish but have no more details. Delfur started the week slowly but things picked up towards the end of the week, as usual I am grateful to Mark for his supply of photographs.

Mark Camacho Delfur

Mark Camacho Delfur

Mark Camacho Again Delfur

Mark Camacho Again Delfur

Jack Melville Delfur

Jack Melville Delfur

I was looking after my party of Vikings at Rothes. As usual they fished hard and finished the week with eleven, just two short of last years total. Hans had promised his workmates that the moustache would go if he landed a Spey salmon, a close look at these photos would show he was as good as his word.

Hans Stenrud Before!

Hans Stenrud Before!

Hans Stenrud After!

Hans Stenrud After!


Per Westmurland's fish Rothes

Per Westmurland’s fish Rothes

Craigellachie was quite lightly fished but when anglers turned up they were rewarded. Terry Geddes with his fish from the Garden Pool.

Terry Geddes Craigellachie

Terry Geddes Craigellachie

There were a few fish about at Kinermony, at least eight were hooked but amazingly they were all lost.

Carron eventually got their season underway, salmon at Carron appear a little like buses, none for ages then two turn up at once. The first was caught in the tail of the Stream, within half an hour Neil Borthwick had the second from The Bothy.

Carron's 1st fish

Carron’s 1st fish

I hear that the Ballindalloch estate beats are continuing to catch fish from both their beats. News in patchy from further up the river but I did hear of a few fish from the estates above the Avon.


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Week Commencing March 16th 2015

It has been a fairly successful week on the Spey, considering it is only the sixth week of the season and barely halfway through March. Last week was as forecast and Friday morning was mainly overcast obscuring the partial eclipse, although we did see it for a few seconds at Rothes. This week’s forecast is warm with a little sunshine on Monday, but getting cooler as the week progresses with some rain on Thursday and Friday. Following the eclipse the tides have peaked and there will be no new water all week. Before I move on to describe this weeks catches I would just like to say how disappointed I am that my weekly reports are being plagiarized by someone else writing a weekly report later in the week, although it might not always be obvious I do spend a bit of time trying to find out what is happening on the river and try to make my reports interesting rather than just a list of who caught how many, and where!

Catches: From what I can gather, there have been fish caught from on most beats from Fochabers to Grantown on Spey. Gordon Castle beats had at least five with Beats 2 and 3 being the most productive. I understand fish were caught from Orton but have no details. As usual Mark Melville at Delfur was good enough to send me a photograph, this time John Grant and the first of the season from Beaufort.

John Grant Beaufort Delfur

John Grant Beaufort Delfur

The Gordon Group have finished their early season let at Rothes and finished the let with just one short from last years total. I was pleased to receive these photographs from some of the members.

Tony Smith's fish Rothes

Tony Smith’s fish Rothes

Mike Ewan Rothes Head Gillie

Mike Ewan Rothes Head Gillie

Ross Wood Rothes

Ross Wood Rothes

There was a new party this season at Arndilly and I was invited to eat with them on Friday night, they were very impressed with beat and especially with the gillies. John Veitch kindly sent me a picture of his fish from Jock’s Tail.

John Veitch Jock's Tail Arndilly

John Veitch Jock’s Tail Arndilly

The beat below Craigellachie started the week well with two landed and at least two more lost on Monday but I have heard no more news. Craigellachie had another fish on Saturday.

Aberlour Angling Association is continuing to catch fish with at least 2 landed on Saturday.

Wester Elchies though still lightly fished managed four this week. Sam Bremner sent me the picture of Mungo Ingleby’s salmon from last week.

Mungo Ingleby Wester Elchies

Mungo Ingleby Wester Elchies

I was particularly pleased to hear from Steve Brand head gillie at Ballindalloch, Steve was keen to tell me about two large fish that his guests had caught this week. On Tuesday Mr Baxter had this 23lb cock fish from Aeyon and then on Wednesday Mr G Pincent had a 17lb salmon from Craigroy on the Pitcroy Beat. Both were caught on a Black and Yellow tube fly.

Mr Baxter Aeyon Ballindalloch

Mr Baxter Aeyon Ballindalloch

Mr G Pincent Craigroy Ballindalloch

Mr G Pincent Craigroy Pitcroy,Ballindalloch

It was gillies week on the estate above the Avon and I hear some fish were caught, but again no details were forth coming.

I received a couple of pictures from Castle Grant where local angler Bobby Hall had two fish from Beat 1 and Beat 2.

Bobby Hall Castle Grant Beat 2

Bobby Hall Castle Grant Beat 2

Bobby Hall Castle Grant Beat1

Bobby Hall Castle Grant Beat1

Grantown also had a second fish, this time local angler Cosimo Imperiale, landed a nice 12 lbs fish from the Long Pool. Photogragh attached.

Cosimo Imperiale's fish Grantown.

Cosimo Imperiale’s fish Grantown.

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