River height : 4in-2ft 6

Water temp : 52-54 deg F

Air Pressure : 996-1006Hpa

Weather : rain-lots,  clouds-mostly, sun-infrequent 

Water – low and coloured to medium and clearing


As the title states, this was a week of fluctuations.  The river never settled and was up ands down like a yoyo…..but at least we had some needed rain on the west side of the catchment……more on that below.

The highs and lows were that of the anglers. Stories of fish on and off, hard fighting battles ending in tears and fish just falling off after, what seemed,  the perfect take.  Lots of opportunities but still a very respectable result with 20 salmon landed to 20lbs – with the majority being double figure fish. (No grilse arrived as yet)   Obviously the frustrating part of the week was the number of fish lost (again)  Last time I tallied this up it was 16.  This is not pulls and line straightening, this is fish on and played.  I know it’s part and parcel of our sport, but our numbers are high!

It’s therefore quite ridiculous to think that our river management decisions (centrally/politically) are based on actual catch figures while a much more accurate assessment would be based on number of fish connected with.   As you can see below, the difference is rather significant.

Fish landed todate – 101 – Fish lost todate – 82

Anyway, back to the action – Jesse James and party, who are new to the river,  had an eventful week. They connected with many salmon but Saturday was their lucky day with 4 double figure fish……. although they’d already had a 20lber on the bank at the start of the week.  The Shilling and Hurrell parties had 5 each and seatrout up to 4lbs.

Here’s Jess with a lovely fish from Beat 2 on Saturday night – he deserved this one!!!!


One (of 3) for Simon Geary  – again from Beat 2.


On the club beats more fish were caught including this lovely 16lber for Rab Lees….



Back to the rain in the catchment and why the the west side run off is very important.   Over the last 2 weeks the Hydro output (from Loch Lochy in the west) has been low – with Loch levels down below normal.   On the East side (Spean and Roy)we’ve had rain. The result is water that is coloured and more acidic and very little dilution from the Hydro- which is clearer water from Loch Lochy.   Spean and Roy salmon don’t mind this….its their water.,  Lochy salmon don’t like these river conditions and thus may not run and if they do are extremely hard to tempt to a fly.    So – Hydro water is very important to catching fish and this was reflected in the catches at the end of this week when the output was increased.


Prospects – Ive got to say good. River is still over 2ft and falling and weather looks favourable. Tides are building. The good signs are there!!!!


PS. Please can I have some nice fish photos (with anglers in them as well as fish)


The opening 6 weeks of the season has been extremely encouraging from many aspects.

The numbers of fish entering the river since Mid May has been excellent – 81 landed and 66 lost. (Beats 1-4)
The quality of the fish has been fantastic (again) – Average weight 14lbs
The biggest was 28lbs.
Most were sealiced or very fresh.
On the club beats the fishing has also been excellent with some club members having an average weight in excess of 16lbs for their tally. Equally as impressive is the numbers of FINCLIPPED salmon (our returning hatchery fish) on the lower river. Without exact figures I can’t be 100% accurate but I’d say that 40% of the club beat catch to-date has been fin clipped. This is very encouraging indeed. The biggest fin clipped salmon thus far is 15lbs – caught by Chris Cairns. Chris wins our box of Lochy flies, courtesy of Kola flies.


I do appreciate conditions are an aspect of our fishing that is completely outwith our control…….you take it as it comes. However it is a key aspect and it often dictates whether we have great success or not. So far this season I’d say that we have battled with the conditions – water levels have been low for most of the time and with north easterly winds prevailing throughout much of the period, rainfall and cloud cover were severely lacking. Quite simply, if you weren’t prepared to work around these conditions and fish outside the normal 9-5 hours then your chances were drastically reduced. It’s not unlike fishing mid-summer in Norway – early, late and siestas.



Spring 2016



As I mentioned above, the thinking angler who worked with the conditions and not against definitely had the advantage. Those who varied tactics also – fishing deep in the bright conditions, fishing the key intercepting lies in pools on a regular basis, scaling down the fly size in the gin clear water and fishing pools with pace………all this can increase your chances.

Sunday Shadows and my wee favourite fly in clear water – the Pink Panther worked well during first few weeks.  As the water coloured later in June (no more snow melt) brighter/bolder flies were working well.



Paul Hainey caught and released his biggest salmon today – 28lber from Beat 2.

Paul Hainey - 27lbs - Pollock

Chris Cairns wins biggest fin clipped prize for May-June – 15lber

Finclipped Cairns

Stuart Lang lands his 1st and 2nd Lochy salmon


And many more lovely fish landed…..

20160526_111634Canal10lbs19lbs stream_Fotortolmie-beat 2

River height : 3-14inch

Water temp : 54-57 deg F

Air Pressure : 1004-10016Hpa

Weather : rain, clouds and sun = fairly good overhead conditions

Water  – Coloured


This has been a very frustrating week!!!  After weeks of lowish water and dropping loch levels we all hoped for rainfall in the catchment. This we got, however it didn’t fall on the west side but more on the east side. The result was very coloured water from the Roy and Spean and very little Hydro water – water from the Hydro normally dilutes the more coloured and acidic water from our main tributaries.   So….although we saw levels go above 1ft on the Beat 2 gauge the fish did not respond in the usual cooperative way.  The Spean fish ran through and the Lochy fish became rather hard to temp.

Anyway it wasn’t all doom and gloom…… 5 salmon were landed but LDRS was spoiling the fun with almost 3 times as many lost.  The fish were just noncommittal in the take.

Stuart Langs party managed 3 up to 15lbs –

Stuart with his first ever Lochy salmon.


John Milne playing a good fish on Beat 1.

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The result!

15lbs Pile

Joe fishing carefully down Rock pool


Rory Campbell with his first ever Lochy salmon – well done!!


Prospects – As I write this the river is still quite coloured but if we get the rain that is forecast (and in the right area) then maybe the hydro will be kind enough to give us some water – and this may change things in our favour.   The fish are there to be caught!!!

River height : 3-8inch

Water temp : 54-58 deg F

Air Pressure : 1008-10016Hpa

Weather : mixed weather but prevailing winds still easterly.


I was fishing the other Queen of Rivers last week (Laerdal) so my account of events is all based on feedback from anglers, club members and ghillies…….however good news always travels fast!

Similar to Laerdal it would appear that most of the action was confined to the lower river, which is not unusual given the prolonged dry spell we have experienced.

The best news of the week was most certainly the return of our hatchery fish.   I am aware of 7 fin-clipped salmon caught last week up to 15lbs.  If anyone has any doubts as to whether hatcheries actually work, this is factual evidence that they do!!   How you then maximise these returns is the part of the process which proves to be more challenging, however we are working on that and hopefully we will continue to see positive results.

A total of 12 salmon were landed on Beats 1-4 with Hendrik Larssons party taking half.  The biggest was a lovely 19lber from beat 2.  David Snead also had a cracking 18lber from Beat 4.  Charlie Auld had a brace of 12lbers from Beat 1.

On the club pools Rab Lees had a great morning with 3… all around 11-12lbs.  Andy Burton had a memorable day landing 4 salmon up to 15lbs……..3 of which were caught on River Spean!!   Other club members also had some good sport.

Hendrik Larsson with a lovely fin clipped fish from the lower beat.


Brian Tolmie with a 13lb finclipped

sTolmie finclipped

Chris Cairns 15lb finclipped

Finclipped Cairns


Low water – a consistent theme this season so far.


Beautiful colours while fishing graveyard pool on Beat 2.



Prospects :  The forecast says RAIN!!  I hope they are correct this time. The river does need a freshen up.  The tides are building so this should help to push some new fish in.

ARiver height : 2-6inch

Water temp : 57-64deg F

Air Pressure : 1012-1018Hpa

Weather : mostly sun but rain and clouds later in week. 16-22deg C


It’s only a very brief update this week as I’m currently in Laerdal….

The tough conditions continued with low water and high river temperatures.

Lower Garden pool in low water..


A total of 6 fish were landed upstream but, as normal under these conditions, the Tail race Beat was the place to be.  Quite a number of good fish were landed including a few fin clipped salmon…..which was great to hear!!

Another big fat fresh fish for George Brogan….


Prospects – the weather seems to have changed a bit and some rain is in the air.  Lets hope we get some fresh water…the fish are waiting


River height : 3-6inch

Water temp : 52-60 deg F

Air Pressure : 1016-1022Hpa

Weather : mostly sun, North East Winds – 16-22deg C


Another week of hot and sunny weather and far from ideal conditions.   However, once again, this did not spoil everyones chances of catching fish.   Those that started early (4am) and fished until late (11pm) got there just rewards and more.  It’s never impossible to catch fish with the sun high in the sky but your chances are notably reduced. Even having tempted a fish to your fly the hook to land ratio in these extreme conditions tends to be much lower.  As was the case this week – we hooked 30 salmon and landed 14……most of those landed were before 10am and after 8pm oxycontin 15 mg.

The big highlight of the week was Paul Hainey’s 27lber from Beat 2. This is his PB and one he’ll remember for a long time.  Well done Paul!

Paul Hainey - 27lbs - Pollock

Not to be completely outdone, Paul’s dad managed this beauty also from Beat 2.



Once again our average size was a fantastic 14.5lbs with some lovely fish around the 18-19lb mark!! 

18lbs JG

18lbs pollock



Some other great news was the arrival of some our own hatchery(fin clipped) fish. 2 were landed, both around the 10lbs mark and in lovely condition.



My Fly of the week has been named the “Pink Panther”


It not only caught a few salmon, but also 4 brown trout, 4 seatrout and a herring gull…….

Prospects –  The forecast is predicting more hot weather but we may also get some cloud and rain. We need rain badly! With the current low water conditions the salmon will tend to run in the hours of darkness so best to adopt a more Scandinavian approach to your fishing days.

River height : 5-8inch

Water temp : 48-52 deg F

Air Pressure : 1012-1016Hpa

Weather : mostly sun, North East Winds – 10-18deg C


What a week!!!

It is often said that if a season starts well then it usually continues.  Of course there are many factors which can influence our success rate and ability to catch but first and foremost you need fresh fish entering your river.   Last week was a great example of this.

Conditions on the whole weren’t ideal……The weather did its uptmost to make life difficult with many sunny days and north-east winds.  However if you were prepared to get on the river for 6am and fish until 10pm (and pay attention to tide times) then you were rewarded with some stunning fish.   Quite simply, it was a week that required a bit more thought and planning.

A total of 20 MSW salmon were landed on the beats with an average weight of 14lbs.  Biggest was 18lbs but most were around 14-15lbs.  Many were sealiced and in the best shape and condition you could wish for.    A further 2 were landed on the club beats (by Iain Lamont) weighing 16 and 20+lbs.

This is salmon fishing at its best……..and for quality of fish- it doesn’t come much better

I have to mention Jason Thorntons party who were the top rods with 10 fish. Well done!


A lovely 14lber from Camisky pools

14lbs Camisky_Fotor

Another beauty from Kitten pool


Iain Lamont’s 20lber from Castle pool


Early morning under the shadow on ben Nevis – stunning

Cruive and Ben_Fotor


Prospects : I’d like to say more of the same please.   Clearly there is no reason why we shouldn’t see fresh fish continuing to come into the river, BUT the weather factor will be against us (see below) and with no rain forecast river levels may well start to drop.   Again some planning maybe necessary to organise your fishing day.



River height : 4-6inch

Water temp : 47-50 deg F

Air Pressure : 1006-995Hpa

Weather : some cloud and sun, ave 14 deg C.

Another week with 7 fish landed (with an average weight of 12.6lbs) and 2 lost.   With the water dropping and remaining extremely clear,  the fishing was slightly more difficult this past week.  In fact, the first 3 days produced very little to the upstream rods,  however the club guys were starting to pick away.    I know of 4 caught ranging between 16-19lbs.  With a change in weather mid-week the running behaviour of the salmon changed also.  Fish were seen going through the beats each day, even with the continued lower levels……  obviously knowing a change in river conditions was looming. Sure enough the river rose to almost 3ft on Saturday.

Best flies were once again The Sunray Shadow and this little beauty (un-named as yet)….see below.



Prospects : Dare I say “this coming week should be good”!!!


14lbs – Beat 3

14lbs Falls_Fotor

19lbs – Tailrace stream

19lbs stream_Fotor


River height : 1ft – 6inch

Water temp : 47-53 deg F

Weather – cloudless skies, North/East winds and 20+ deg C.

A total of 7 fish landed (with an average weight of 15lbs) and 4 lost …….which I’d say is an excellent start to our season given the reasonably light rod effort throughout the week and the prevailing weather conditions.

Beats 1 and 2 were the top beats as the fish migrated through the bottom river fairly quickly with the rising water temps.

As usual the Sunray Shadow was the best fly in the clear water.

All in all a very encouraging start and great to see some early fish splashing about in the pools.


Andy Burton – Beat 2.

Burton-Beat 2

JV – Beat 1



Brian Tolmie – Beat 2 (his 2nd on the season from the same lie)

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Prospects for coming week – Tides are building and rain is forecast…..we need it now.

With a bit more cloud cover and lower daytime temps, the conditions look more favourable however the low water will dictate a bit more thought and stealth to entice a springer to the fly.