Week Commencing 31st July 2017.

It has been an easy summer for weather forecasting, there will be a little of everything with may be more of this or that some days. Thursday forecast heavy rain pushed the river up and it is dropping away nicely and clearing. Next week’s forecast will be pretty similar to every other week, Thursday being the driest and Friday being the wettest.

The tides peak on Tuesday evening.



The Fochabers’ Angling Club continue to catch fish, many thanks to regular Tony Smith for a couple of pictures of his fish this week.

Tony Smith’s fish Fochabers.

Tony Smith’s fish Fochabers.

Gordon Castle. Ian Tennant tells me they finished the week with close to thirty salmon, Monday and Saturday were the best days of the week. Thanks to Ian and his team for the photographs.

Gordon Castle

Gordon Castle

Gordon Castle

Gordon Castle.

Orton David Wood was back at Orton and sent me his usual summery of the week.

Orton did not quite make double figures for the week. Unusually, Cairnty, one of Orton’s most reliable performers did not produce a fish. The smallest of the week was David Wood’s grilse on Monday of a little over 2 lbs. Host

William Haggas left it until late on Saturday afternoon to catch his only salmon of the week, 9lbs in House Pool. 12 year old Daisy Hall landed her first ever salmon, 6lbs in the Willows.

Thanks David for the report and photos.

William Haggas Orton

Daisy Hall 1st fish Orton.

Richard Hold Orton

Delfur just made it into double figures. Mark tells me it was hard going but Saturday’s rise stirred a few up to take.

Tom Mountain Delfur.

Rothes had half a dozen


The rest of the river was pretty quiet, hopefully the rise should bring a few more fish on the take.


Confession time I received this picture from Kinchurdy but after saving the picture I inadvertently deleted the message with the ladies name! Fat fingers and failing eyesight are my only excuses!



Mark sent me this picture of the second brood of swallows at Delfur, hopefully there are plenty of insects about to get them fit for their long flight south in a couple of months.

Second brood of Delfur Swallows.

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Week Commencing 17th July 2017

Again the forecast was reasonably accurate but perhaps I under-estimated how warm it was to be at the start of the week. Next week will again be changeable, starting the week sunny, with some rain mid week and overcast towards the weekend. It will be interesting to see whether today’s rain pushes up the river.

The tides continue to build till mid week, then there will be no new water till next week.


There was another Pink Salmon caught at Gordon Castle this week, again I suggest you follow the advice here,  http://www.speyfisheryboard.com/look-pacific-pink-salmon/


I received this interesting picture this week, I was asked what I thought the salmon had encountered. Looking at the picture it is clear it is not the usual seal damage, I believe the marks are too far apart to be a dolphin, so have come to the conclusion that this fish had a close encounter with an orca. I will be happy to be corrected.

Close Encounter with?


Atlantic Salmon Catches.

The Lower River continues to fish well. Tony Smith again was successful on the Fochabers Association water.

Tony Smith Fochabers.

Gordon Castle finished the week with around twenty fish, thanks to Ian Tennant for the picture.

Geordie Gordon Lennox.

Orton had around ten fish.


Delfur Mark tells me they ended up with over twenty for the week, and sent me these pictures.

Nathalie Mountain Delfur.

Charlotte Horn Delfur

Rothes, though lightly fish still finished with double figures.

Craigellachie, Wester Elchies Carron and Laggan all finished with a handful each.

Last week I hear that John Corrister from the Isle Of Man had a 22lb fish from Aberlour, this week , John continued his success this time with a grilse.

Grantown surprisingly was lightly fished and the catches reflect this.

Kinchurdy continued their excellent season with the sea trout landing over 60 this week.

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Week Commencing 10th July 2017.

Bit of a rushed report this week, I’m away back to Norway to see if the Salmon have arrived yet.

Again the forecast was fairly accurate. The rain early in the week pushed up the river and there was a little turbidity, but nothing too bad. Next week things will change with some sunny and hot weather to start the week, with perhaps some rain mid week and towards the weekend. The tides start to build from Tuesday onwards.


Catches, things are a little quiet but this is not unexpected and the grilse runs are in decline.

Gordon Castle finished with 45 for the week. There was a Pacific Pink salmon caught from the Association water. Thanks to Ian tenant and his team for the pictures and also thanks to Tony Smith.

Gordon Castle

Gordon Castle.

Tony Smith Fochabers

Pink Salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha).

For what to do if you encounter a “pink” see here.

Orton had a quieter week than of late, with around half a dozen. Not even an engagement to write about.

Delfur, were into double figures.

Rothes, ended in the mid teens, with a few more lost.

Craigellachie were close to double figures, the mid week rise seemed to suit.

Jimmy Jack kindly sent me some pictures of his Lower Wester Elchies fishing.

Jimmy Jack Lower Wester Elchies

Jimmy Again

and Again.

Carron were into double figures, Ian Boathwick kindly sent me this picture.

Judy Bragg Carron, her first fish.

Laggan finished with five, Mrs. Anna (Coco) Barker showed her husband how it ought to be done. Giles Bovill fished better in the semi-dark than during the day.

Anna Baker Laggan

Giles Bovill Laggan

Giles Bovill Laggan

Grantown were in double figures for salmon, the best a 15lb fish from Tarric mor. There were close to fifty  sea trout landed landed including a couple over 7lb. There are well over two hundred sea trout landed this season.

Kinchurdy had over 30 sea trout and a couple of salmon.

Edwin Whyte Kinchurdy



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Week Commencing 5th June 2017.

The trouble with writing a weekly report is that if something exciting happens mid week it is somewhat old news by Sunday. Anyway I will put up a few pictures that have not already been seen on Facebook.

Graph of the mid week rise.

High Water.

Keeping the boat safe.

Mess for the gillies to deal with.

Back down

The rain that was forecast certainly arrived with a little more! To try and explain it better, during May the catchment had a rainfall of around 2 inches. On Tuesday and Wednesday the rainfall was a touch under 4 inches. There is a little rain forecast for today (Sunday) and tomorrow but from Tuesday onwards the weather will be warm and sunny. The tides have peaked and there will be no new water all week.



The week was effectively reduced to four and a half days, as the river was certainly unfishable on Wednesday and possibly Thursday morning.

Gordon Castle finished with almost thirty, as usual thanks to Ian Tennant and his team for news and pictures.

Gordon Castle

Gordon Castle.

Gordon Castle.

Another from Gordon Castle.

I understand that Orton finished the week in the high teens.

Natalie Rodwell her first fish Orton.

And her second!

Delfur finished in the mid twenties, other anglers caught fish but Mr. Wilson Phillips seemed to have hogged the limelight.

Gregoire Devictor Delfur.

Wilson Phillips Delfur

Wilson Phillips Delfur again

Wilson Phillips Delfur and again.

Wilson Phillips Delfur for the last time!


Alan Williams team fish both Rothes and Carron, they finished with eleven at Rothes.

David Williams Rothes.

Craigellachie had a few fish and I am grateful to the “other” Douglas Ross for his pictures.

Danny Mcguigan Craigellachie

Mark Nesbitt Craigellachie.

Kenneth Neale Craigellachie.

Aberlour Angling Club finished in the high teens, many thanks to Ken Davies for keeping me in the loop.

Ken Davies Aberlour.

Steve Milne Aberlour.

Jim Seivright Aberlour

Kinermony were close to double figures.

Wester Elchies had a good week with sixteen landed and plenty more lost.

Carron ended up in the mid twenties,

Scott Mackenzie Carron

Alan Williams’ fish Carron.

Jan with another Alan Williams’ fish Carron.

I hear that Laggan angler Mr. John Oakes had this fin-clipped fish on Thursday morning, a chance to remind everyone to keep checking.

Fin clipped.

Fin Clipped

Grantown fished well not only with salmon but also plenty of seatrout including some into double figures.

John Gray Grantown

Kinchurdy again had a good week, with five salmon and nine seatrout, many thanks to Bobby hall for the picture and update.

Sue Wall Kinchurdy.

My blue tits did not enjoy the wet weather as much as the anglers, there was two deaths at the start of the week, I assume lack of caterpillars.
The remaining five are doing well, a couple of which are almost as big as the parents and should be fledging soon.

Blue tits



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Week Commencing 3rd July 2017.


Writing weather forecasts when it is to be changeable is pretty easy, difficult to get wrong. Next week remains changeable, some rain on Monday evening into Tuesday morning with possibly the sunniest on Wednesday. Thursday may be breezy.

The tides peak around midnight on Monday and there will be no new water till next week.


Catches. Again it was quite a quiet week, most beats caught fish but not in huge numbers. There are some grilse in the catches but not in any great numbers.


Gordon Castle finished in the high thirties, Ian Tennant thought to slow rise on Saturday morning put the fish off with only two landed for the day. Thanks to Ian and his team for the photographs.

Gordon Castle.

Gordon Castle.

Gordon Castle.

Jan Ridgen Gordon Castle.

Orton, David Wood reported, Orton finished the week in double figures after a slow start. Highlight of the week was the Engagement of Will Haggas and wildlife artist Clare Shaw on Wednesday. Catches were evenly spread between the Haggas party from Lincolnshire (successful rods Andrew Read, 8 and 12lbs, Will Haggas 4, and 8lbs and Jenny Baxter, 9lbs) and the other party from Lancashire.

Thanks to David for the pictures.

Will Haggas, Clare Short, gillie Richard Hold and a salmon!

Will Haggas Orton.

Andrew Read Orton.




Delfur finished in the high teens. Again just one picture this week.

Maher Altajir, Delfur.


Rothes had a handful.


I was pleased to receive a photograph from Easter Elchies owner Mr. Willie Robertson, of his grandson James aged 7 with his first salmon, he out fished some of his granddad’s friends.

James Robertson Easter Elchies.


Craigellachie had half a dozen as did Wester Elchies, the low water did not suit Aberlour Angling Club but they still managed a couple. I hear Carron had eight.


My Grantown correspondent is on holiday again but before leaving he told me that they were heading towards twenty for the week, the best in the 20lb class. Sea trout are again being caught with at least two over 5lb.


Kinchurdy continues to fish well, this week fifty sea trout were landed along with 4 salmon and a grilse.


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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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Week Commencing 19th June 2017.

Last week’s forecast was reasonably accurate, a mixture between sunshine and showers with a coolish wind thrown in for good measure. Next week will be overcast all week with a little rain, perhaps heavier towards the end of the week. The tides peak tonight and there will be no new water for the rest of the week.


It has been quite a quiet week on the river, although most beats having been catching fish, hopefully it just a lull between the spring and summer runs.

Ian Tennant tells me that the Gordon Castle beats finished in the mid teens.

Thanks to Ian for the pictures.

John Kitchingham Gordon Castle.

Gordon Castle

Gordon Castle

Delfur also finished in the mid teens, again thanks to Mark for his photographs.

Ali Cuthbert Delfur.

Mike Cuthbert Delfur

Guess what? Rothes finished in the mid teens.

Thanks to Dougie Ross for the use of his pictures.

Ian Henderson Craigellachie

Giles Catchpole Craigellachie

Wester Elchies had a couple. Davy Brand tels me Kinermony managed three and sent me this photo from the Little Turn.

George Pullen Little Turn Kinermony.

Carron finished just short of double figures.

Grantown had five salmon. Sea-trout numbers are good with one at 7lbs and two at 6lbs landed this week.  So far, about 110 sea-trout have been reported this season, including three fish at 10lbs.

Kinchurdy finished with three salmon and thirty-five sea trout with two into double figures.19th June Thanks to Bobby Hall for the pictures.

Sea Trout Kinchurdy

Sea Trout Kinchurdy.

Mark Melville sent me couple of pictures of the Delfur swallows, I had to check with him how many days there were between the photographs, I was amazed when he told me they were only three days apart. The parents must be making a great job of feeding them, and the insects must be very nutritious.


Swallows, three days latter.


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Week Commencing June 12th 2017

Can I start this weeks report with the tragic news of an angler’s death on the river on Monday? I cannot really write it better than the way Angus Gordon Lennox let me know.

You may have already heard, but if you haven’t I am writing to let you know that we had a tragic accident on the river on Monday. In full it is a horrific story but in summary one of our regular and experienced guests, from Germany, fell into the river in the Lord March pool, when the water was still quite high, and was swept away. Ian Tennant who was not close to him at the time jumped into a boat and with a Herculean effort caught up with him in the Pipe pool, managing to get him ashore in Lower Aultdearg. By this time he had been under water for a considerable amount of time and was unconscious. He was not wearing a life vest.

 Ian and Kevin gave him CPR for approximately 30 minutes before the emergency services arrived on site. He was taken by air ambulance to Aberdeen but was pronounced dead soon thereafter. 

 Kevin’s and in particular Ian’s efforts can only be described as heroic, but as you can imagine they are traumatised and deeply saddened that their efforts were not able to save him. This tragic event has had a huge impact on the whole gillie team and the rest of the estate and on many fishers up and down the river.

 Peter Kleine absolutely adored his fishing and was much loved by the team for his charm, enthusiasm, engagement throughout the year with gillies and office staff alike and for being a thoroughly wonderful man. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and particularly with his wife. 


The weather forecast I am told was pretty accurate with a mixture of sunshine and heavy showers. Next week is similar with some sunshine but some heavy showers mid week. The tides are building all week.


Catches, having returned eventually from a week on the Laerdal where the entire river’s catch was twenty-eight fish it shows what a classy river the Spey really is. If anyone is travelling to Norway avoid British Midland who treat their passengers with total disrespect, we found out the flight was cancelled as one of the party’s wives had phoned to find out why our flight was cancelled. BMI staff were in hiding and never showed their faces as we struggled to get a seat on the last SAS flight out tonight. A disgraceful way to treat anyone, livestock transporters treat the animals with more respect.

Gordon Castle finished the week in the mid thirties, it does not seem right to put up pictures this week following Monday’s tragic event.

Orton were in the high twenties and thanks to Richard Hold for this week’s pictures.




Delfur ended up with over thirty fish, I can only add David Wood’s comments.

The Wood party from Lincolnshire were fishing at Delfur this week. They finished the week having just got into the thirties. John Ketchingham, head Ghillie at Hendersyde on Tweed, who came up to have a day’s fishing on Saturday was successful with an 8 pound hen fish from Sourden. First Delfur fish were also caught by Stephen Wrisdale, renowned wildlife artist Clare Shaw, William Haggas and Rosie Sword. It was Rosie Sword’s first ever salmon after years of trying on different rivers. Rosie was presented with a coveted Delfur Badge by her ghillie Grant Morrison. 3 of the 4 Ghillie’s had a cast during the week and each caught a fish, with Davie Macintosh catching the largest fish of the week, a 21 1/2 pound sea liced salmon from Collie.

David Wood’s fish Delfur

David Wood Delfur.

Will Haggas Delfur.

Will Haggas again

Simon Caswell Delfur

Simon Caswell

Simon Again.

Paul Sardeson Delfur

Clare Shaw Delfur.

John Kitchingham (Ketch) Gillie’s day off!


Rothes had sixteen salmon and five rainbows, which must have been washed into the river following the high water. Pollution incidents like this should be dealt with, with much heavier penalties.

Arndilly also had over thirty fish for the week including their first grilse.

Craigellachie were around the double figure mark. Thanks to Dougie Ross for the use of his pictures.





Aberlour Angling Club were also around the double figure mark. Bruce Cameron had a fish measured at 42” and estimated to be around 29lbs.

Ross Meldrum Aberlour

Rob Morrison Aberlour

Jim Betts Aberlour

I will fill in some of the blanks when I am back in the loop!

Grantown was lightly fished but had at least five salmon the largest was 15lb from Tarric Mor. The seatrout numbers are still growing.

Des Duncan Grantown.

Freidrich’s salmon Grantown.

James Lang fishing Kinchurdy wrote he had 2 salmon of 8 and 11lbs and lost another. He went on to say how much he enjoys Kinchurdy with the company of Bobby Hall.

James Lang’s fish Kinchurdy


Many thanks to my youngest daughter Melanie for keeping the reports going and keeping an eye on my birds. The Delfur swallows are growing daily.



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Week Commencing 22nd May 2017.

Last week’s weather forecast was accurate and as I suggested the promised rain at the weekend failed to materialise. The temperatures reached the mid twenties, far too hot for Scottish People and way too hot for salmon fishing.

Next week temperatures are forecast to be more reasonable with only Wednesday being sunny, there is some rain forecast but the heavy rain is not forecast to arrive till next weekend. The tides have peaked and there will be no new water till next weekend.

Catches: Again catches were good considering the weather conditions, the water temperatures, and the low flow levels in the river.

Gordon Castle had a handful thanks to Ian Tennant and his team for keeping me informed.

Greg Dixon Gordon Castle

Alan Drury Gordon Castle

I hear Orton finished with seven, good going in the conditions.

Delfur almost reached double figures, Camilla Mountain was the star of the week, helped out by Jordan Henderson, the dream team caught half the catch.

Camilla Mountain Otter Delfur

Camilla Mountain and Jordan Big Haddie Delfur

Top team Delfur.

Christian Ward-Thomas Delfur

Rothes also picked away finishing again with a handful.

Robbie with a nice fish Rothes.

Craigellachie had a couple as did, Aberlour Angling Club, Kinermony, Delagyle and Carron.

Edwin Whyte Delagyle.

Rodger Hearn Carron 1st fish aged 74.

Grantown also had a couple of salmon, but the seatrout numbers are still climbing.

Philip Casey Grantown

Ian, Grantown

Kinchurdy had a least ten seatrout, all returned. Thanks to Bobby Hall for his pictures, enthusiasm, and updates.

Kinchurdy sea trout.

Bobby Hall’s sea trout going back Kinchurdy.

Blue tit news, the first of the eggs hatched on Thursday and they were all hatched by Friday, now both parents are busy feeding. The pictures should give you an idea, ugly little fellows only a mother blue tit could love them!

Blue tits

Family blue tits

Mark Melville kindly sent me a picture of his swallow’s nest.

Swallow’s nest


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Week Commencing 15th May 2017.

The weather forecast last week was wrong; the rain that kept being forecast never arrived. A commercial fisherman once told me that the North East of Scotland never gets any decent rain till the easterly wind goes, he must have known much more than the professionals. We did get rain on Saturday, just as the Gordon Castle Highland Games opened their gates the heavens also opened, perhaps Angus could organise his Highland Games earlier next year! Saturday’s rain has pushed up the river; it has gone from depressingly low to low! Next week starts much the same as this week with the continuing easterly air stream, but from mid-week the temperatures shoot up and there is supposed to be some heavy rain at the weekend, promises, promises. The tides are building all week, hopefully the fresh water and the building tides will bring in some new fish and re-distribute the older ones.


Catches, again I am surprised just how good the catches are considering the conditions.

Gordon Castle finished with almost twenty, thanks again to Ian Tennant and his team for keeping me supplied with pictures.

Oystein Hveding Gordon Castle

Gordon Castle

Stephen Slattery Gordon Castle

Stephen Slattery, again  Gordon Castle

I was pleased to receive a report from Orton, David Wood wrote, ” I understand that Orton were comfortably into double figures of sea liced fish for the week. The beat was fished by a combination of the Haggas’ Party from Lincolnshire and local rods. The Haggas’ party who had some elderly and less mobile rods were very grateful for the hard work of gillies Kevin Greenhill and Richard Hold who spent a lot of time in the boat with them to maximise their enjoyment of their fishing and their chances of catching a wonderful Spey springer. The rods reported that they had a very interesting week with Kevin and Richard. It was also great to hear how helpful our local Spey anglers were to the Lincolnshire rods. Much time was spent on the river bank swapping tales and our local anglers, especially Jimmy Jack and Ron Fraser were very helpful in giving the Lincolnshire team successful flies”. I also had some photographs from David and Stuart Yates.

Stuart Yates Orton

Stuart again

David Wood Orton.

Delfur finished with sixteen, starting and ending the week well. I am grateful to Mark Melville and his guests for his photographs.

Anne Cameron Delfur, Anne’s 100th fish.

John Grant Delfur

Allan Rennie Delfur

Ali Pearson Delfur.

Things were a little quieter the further upstream you traveled.

Craigellachie had three thanks to Dougie Ross for the picture.

Graeme Salisbury Craigellachie.

I hear Aberlour had a couple but have no details.

Wester Elchies finished with six; Jonathon Muir was the main man!

Jonathan Muir Wester Elchies

Jonathan Again

and again

Alan Brown Wester Elchies.

You just cannot get a decent photographer when you need one!

I hear both Carron and Laggan had four a piece.

Grantown surprisingly continued to fish reasonably well, Mr. Philip Casy landed a 17 lbs. fish from the Lurg, on Friday. On Saturday, he landed a 10 lbs. sea trout from the same pool. The sea trout fishing continues to improve many thanks to John Gray and Jimmy Mitchel for the information and photo.

John Gray Sea trout Grantown

Kinchurdy had two salmon and at least eight sea trout.

Kinchurdy Sea trout.


My blue tit is still sitting on her seven eggs; her husband keeps popping in with a caterpillar for her, always in and out in a flash difficult to get a picture. It must be a pretty boring job; perhaps I should install Satellite TV for her next year. Hopefully by next week the eggs will have started to hatch and the parents will be busy feeding them.



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