It was a reasonably consistent week for fishing height, although levels which barely dropped below a foot still made it all too easy for fish to move through the beats. Fishing effort remained light – as it has for much of the season so far – and only 1 or 2 rods were fishing beats that usually take up to 4. We did land a pleasing number of fish, although one felt it could have been many more with more rods out fishing.
Charlie Donaldson kicked us off on Monday with a 7lbs sea liced fish from the Tailrace – but it has been noticeable that fish on the tidal beat have been few and far between this season, a sure sign that fish have had plenty of water to run on. It was perhaps telling then that two other fish were landed on Monday – 2 fresh grilse for Billy Neil – and both were caught up on Mucomir Pool up above the private beats. The fish were not hanging around.
More grilse were then landed through the week, almost all split fresh and liced. Local rod Rab Lees had a 5 pounder from the Castle Pool and then Ian Lamont took another one the same day in the same pool. Lochy stalwart Emma Jackson, on a flying 3-day visit, had a lively little 4lb fish in Graveyard as well as plucks and pulls elsewhere. Emma also banked quite a few sea trout during her visit which was encouraging. Visitor Geoff Adams fished for a day under the guidance of Lochy Fishing Coordinator Billy Neil and landed a fine 5 pounder from Drainpipe on Beat 3. Later that day Billy the ghillie added to the tally with one of 6lbs from Falls Pool as well.
Fish of the week though was John (big fish magnet) Mcisaac’s 20lb fresh salmon from Mucomir Pool. It was a stunning specimen and our heaviest fish of the year so far. It’s great to see these heavyweight summer salmon accompanying the grilse on their way upstream.
Special mention this week however goes to 9-year-old Freddie Spencer, who accompanied his father – Lochy regular Charlie Spencer – on a 3-day trip north. It goes without saying that Freddie, under the tutelage of local instructor Andy Burton, out-fished his father completely landing several trout and hooking a lively grilse in Croy Pool that decided rather unsportingly to part company with Freddie’s fly. Better luck next time Freddie – you have lifetime of excitement and fun ahead of you now that you’re hooked on salmon fishing. You certainly have the enthusiasm it takes – dad Charlie told me that his protégé woke him up at 6am on the first morning asking to borrow his phone…..’what the hell do you want it for?’, he grunted…….seemingly he wanted to get online and look at the river level on the SEPA website!
With an unsettled picture forecast for the week ahead we may see more of the same – most tides producing pods of grilse and few summer salmon but plenty of water to take them upstream fast. With tides building towards the end of next week we are hopeful that numbers may also increase as the month goes on.