We have landed over 30 fish since my last report on a fairly light fishing effort. This a most encouraging result especially as not all were ‘river residents’, with many amongst this total being fresh grilse and late summer salmon caught at the bottom end of the river. This is a big change from recent years when the run appeared to have largely dried up by the middle of August. Having fresh fish running into the lower river is a notable return back to what we always saw a few years ago.
The fish have been spaced fairly evenly over the 4 beats but once again it was the high water pools that did best as the river peaked at 7ft and has barely been down below 2ft. It really has been the most ridiculously wet summer here in Lochaber. We would almost certainly have caught a lot more fish had the river been at a more fishing-friendly height this season.
The club beats picked up a few and fairly steady reports are also coming in of catches on the upper Spean beats. Many of the local rods have been put off fishing the lower club beats on the Lochy this year due to the constantly high water (these beats traditionally fish best in low water conditions) but I was very interested and encouraged to hear the experience of new FWAA member John Cameron who has moved to the town in the last fortnight. Fishing before and after work, John has picked up at least 7 grilse in this short period and many of these have been fresh fish from the Sluggan Pool. Needless to say the Sluggan Pool has been a busier place these last few days!
Biggest fish of the last week was Rory Campbell’s 15 pounder taken on his first cast of the day on Croy Pool. This just beat a 14lbs salmon landed by Robert Ralston on Upper Camisky.
Other successful anglers are too many to mention but local rods Brian Tolmie and Terry Macfadyen did well on Beech Tree and Rail End on Beat 4 landing 4 fish between them. Ian Lamont had a good day with 2 good fish on the Spean followed by a grilse on Blackcairn Flat’s on the Lochy’s Beat 4. Ian Gregson’s visiting party had a couple of grilse on the private beats while Scott Henderson had a good day landing fish of 6lbs and 10lbs on the Falls Pool and Mucomir.
With (slightly) less rain in the forecast we might at last see the river come down to a good fishable height. If it does flies should be small and dark – although sometimes something quite large can be used sparingly to wake up resident fish in a pool. Successful patterns this last week were both Monkey tubes and a small black Francis. If the expected drop in river levels coincides with a further drop in air and water temperature then I am quite hopeful we should see catches remain buoyant.