It’s been a fortnight since my last report and we have landed 15 salmon and grilse. Probably three times that have been hooked and lost.
I would love to say that we have enjoyed a prolonged summer spate during this time but the reality (at the danger of sounding like a long-playing record) is that the river has largely been in prolonged drought condition save for a single and sudden flood from the Spean catchment following some thundery showers last week.
This did little for the fishing conditions except to move some fish that had been held up in the tidal reaches, but as the river droppped rapidly away again to minus 5 inches within 2 or 3 days, the fish were probably more ‘catchable’ where they were in the tailrace outflow water than upriver where they rapridly disappeared deep into the very shrunken pools.
So it is probably no surprise then that the lion’s share of the catch once again came from the tidal beat. Local Inverlochy AC rod Paul Machugh was never far away from the action and he had a really good spell landing fish of 4lbs, 4lbs, 5lbs, 6lbs and 7lbs between the Tailrace and the Castle Pool.
Other club members to score with fresh grilse from the same area were Rab Lees (6lbs, 5lbs) and Mark Ward (6lbs).
It was good to hear that the ‘upriver’ rods were also in on the action in spite of the conditions and those that ventured down to the tidal beat were sometimes rewarded – Greg Newton-Jones for instance had a 6lbs grilse at the Tailrace (and lost another). But most of the action seemed to come from Beat 2 after the short-lived thundery flood. Hugh Rose landed fish of 6lbs and 6lbs from Graveyard Pool and Will Mansfiled had a 5lbs grilse from Pollock. But easily the heaviest fish of the week was a cracking 16lbs salmon for Sam Salt from Graveyard Pool. I also heard that the Macdonald party had another fish of around 10lbs from the same pool a few days later. And finally Colin Henderson had a 5lbs sea-liced grilse in Larch Tree on Beat 4.
So all in all a continuation of the frustrating season that we are having this year – there are fish around but conditions have barely once been favourable since the start of May.
Nevertheless the river is rising slowly tonight and rain is forecast next week – what we really need is a proper deluge for a few days to fill up the lochs again. We can only wait and see….