A week of localized thunderstorms and persistent heavy rain at times resulted in a wildly fluctuating river and water than ran dirty and brown intermittently. Hardly conditions for good productive salmon fishing!
What also became very noticeable this week was that Loch Lochy and Loch Arkaig have now warmed up considerably relative to the eastern rain-fed arm of the system and unless there is some (clean) spate water coming out of the Roy and Spean the fish are very quick to go off the take in the predominantly stale loch water. It even started to look this week that fish were perhaps more reluctant to enter the river when the loch-fed conditions prevailed.
We did catch some fish this week, but it was certainly quieter than the previous fortnight. Some of the usual local rods scored again – showing that persistence pays off in these very hit-and-miss conditions. Robert Ralston, Steve Wellard, Chris Cairns and Ian Lamont all caught grilse and I even managed a fresh one myself from Lundy Mouth at the top of the tide one evening when the river was running clear and fining off after a spate.
But by far the best 2 fish this week were hooked by brother and sister double act Sam and Isla Allen, grandchildren of RLA member and Lochy stalwart Rodney Mann. While other beats were being thrashed (largely unsuccessfully) by some seasoned and experienced rods, Sam, aged 9, hooked a lively grilse in the Falls Pool which unfortunately eventually came unstuck after quite a tussle. But meanwhile further upstream his younger sister, Isla aged just 7, under the watchful eye of head ghillie Billy Neil, hooked and played out a cracking fresh grilse of around 5lbs in Upper Camisky. Well done Isla – you showed us all how to do it that day!
With slightly cooler temperatures forecast for the week ahead and (yet more rain) this may give us slightly better fishing conditions. What we probably need though is some fresh fish into the system to keep the sporting momentum up.