This last week was largely hampered by water temperature. For the first 3 days most of the flow came from Loch Lochy, which has been gradually warming up all summer (and never actually got properly cold last winter) and the river temperature was around 62F. Anything above 60F is never desirable for good fishing.
This was demonstrated on Monday as the only catches came from the tidal beat where the smelter water injects a significantly cooler flow down the Tailrace. Fish will often be held here in these conditions as they become reluctant to run the warmer water of the Lochy upstream. Local rod Chris Cairns scored here with two sparkling fresh grilse of 5lbs and 7lbs.
Midweek saw the arrival of some weather fronts which supplied some slightly cooler water into the Spean headwaters waters, but not as much as what was really needed.
Nevertheless persistence paid off – since there are quite a few fish now holding in the pools there is usually a taker to be found somewhere. And a few fish kept running despite the unfavourable conditions.
Michael Mann took a brace – from Garrabouie Stream and Upper Camisky, both at 6lbs. Billy Neil landed two grilse in quick succession in Rail End on Beat 4 at 5lbs and 6lbs. Mike Barker took an 8lbs fish from Golden Burn, a pool that has yet to come into its own this season. The Carver and Harris party also recorded other grilse landed.
Heaviest fish of the week fell to Ian Lamont with a stunning 15lbs salmon from the Castle Pool. And last fish of the week was a solid 2sw fish from Rock Pool on Beat 1 landed by Jonny Taylor.