Week ending 21st September

With my apologies if the fishing reports this year are becoming somewhat repetitive…….but once again we had a week that was largely spoilt by constantly high water. It doesn’t take much to switch fish off at this time of year (especially as the bulk of them are resting at the bottom of deep pools conserving energy prior to spawning) but having the hydro dam at Mucomir spilling out its ‘stale’ loch water at a constant 2ft down the river pretty much puts the kybosh on any productive salmon fishing.

For some reason the generation department in SSE seem to be hell bent on generating as hard as possible these last 2 years since they installed a new turbine at the dam. Other catchments, such as at Loch Morar on the western coastline of our region, are seeing a similar pattern. We have raised this with SSE on several occasions and have yet to receive a satisfactory answer – but we will persevere. There is definitely the perception on the river and by those that know it well that in the past the water would have run off from the loch much more gradually, thus mixing the ‘fresh’ spate water from the Spean with the ‘staler’ loch water from Mucomir. Of course it doesn’t help that it has been one of the wettest summers on record too.

Nevertheless there were some successes in the week, even though fishing effort was notably light through the whole week. Andrew Shaw had an early fish with a grilse from Beat One and his party had some near misses through the week as well with fish hooked and lost. Well done to Susie Oliver though who landed a cracking wee 5lbs grilse from the Fence Pool and I am told it made very fine eating (the River Lochy allows limited taking of grilse in line with its conservation policy and its status as one of the few Grade 2 rivers on the West Coast of Scotland).

Brian Tolmie landed a 7lbs fish from the tail of Beech Tree on Beat 4 – fish are lying this year at the rocks that we put in the river way back in 2002. It is interesting that these three huge boulders are the only ‘artificial’ lies that have worked in the river (with every other stone or croy added either filled in or washed away) and it is perhaps telling that the river here is at its widest and least powerful point where we put these boulders.

James Wills also landed a 5lbs grilse in Upper Camisky and encouragingly I heard of fresh fish being seen and lost in the same pool on Saturday. Andrew Shaw’s party reported that there appeared to be a fresh run of fish going through the pool. The run has certainly been noticeably more extended this year and it would be great to think that there are more fresh fish to come. If we get some fresh water in from the Roy to counteract the less attractive water from Mucomir then there could be some good sport to be had. The forecast is unsettled so rods this week may be in luck.

Susie Oliver with her grilse from Fence Pool on Beat 3