High water and hard running fish

The week was characterised by the speed with with the fish were running off the tides and through the private beats. The turbine at Mucomir was generating hard through the week and this kept the river higher than we would have liked. There was no reason for the fish to stop. Just when the river dropped back to a level where fish might be expected to settle a bit more, the rain started and the river shot back up again.

You always know when fish are running hard with the amount of fish lost and tales of seemingly solid takes not resulting in hook ups. Unsettled and moving fish just do not take as well and are often lip hooked or they just brush the fly. No less than 5 fish, for instance, were lost at the lip of the Falls Pool – one of the classic running lies on the river. Hooks were straightened and 18lbs leaders smashed as fish could not be held against the force of the current and they headed back down over the falls.

Neverthless there were successful connections made during what was a fairly lightly fished week (only local fishing is permitted at the moment). Steve Wellard had a good week with a 10lbs bar of silver from Lundy Mouth straight off the tide and then a 12lbs solid early summer salmon from Upper Camisky. Perhaps more surprising though was the 6lbs fish (presumed to be a grilse) that Charlie Donaldson landed in Rail End on Beat 4 and the 5lbs fish (almost certainly a grilse) that Rab Lees took in the Castle Pool. Unfortunately no scales were taken for reading. It is normal to see a run of grilse (mostly males) that tend to follow the early MSW salmon into the headwaters – this run usually precedes the main run of grilse but is still a couple of weeks earlier than we might expect.

All in all though despite the conditions being against us it was good to see fresh fish running through the river on most tides this week. Realistically we need the river to start filling from the top and the levels to settle down before we can expect the fish to start resting in the private beats.

Steve Wellard 10lbs Lundy Mouth
Steve Wellard 12lbs Upper Camisky


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