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(Last updated: Monday 26th June)
Conditions so far this year have been challenging. There were several weeks of very low water during late May and early June that made fishing fairly difficult. Despite this the number of fish caught to date is fairly even with the previous two years which indicates a strong fishing effort from anglers.
Occasional sea trout have been appearing in the system some between 3lbs - 5lbs and this has provided some additional sport for Downie and Home beats. while some grilse are beginning to make their way in to the river we have yet to see any significant pods moving through. It is expected that grilse will begin to start running in greater numbers as we start to move through July.
While the Upper Beauly season has not started in earnest, ghillie Hugh Matheson reports that early fish have been running through the system when conditions have been favourable.
Fish Count Data up to 24th July 2016 are given below.
Dam 2017 5 year average
Kilmorack 417 339.6
Aigas no data 0
Lower Beauly - 2016
September- Some potential good news arrived in the form of Marine Scotland's draft proposals for 2017 salmon conservation measures. These are currently out for consultation, but the proposal is for the River Beauly system to move from Grade 3 in 2016 to Grade 2 in 2017. A conservation plan will be required, but mandatory catch & release will no longer be imposed as a matter of course.
July and August typically see peak grilse run on the Beauly. This year was no different with plenty of fish coming into the river. The fishing however was hindered by water levels throughout the period. Low water through July kept things a little static while august suffered from daily fluctuation in the river level as water was let through the Kilmorack dam. The ghillies report that the dam releases have been a little less predictable than in previous years and that constant fluctuations in river levels have kept the fish less active. Nevertheless, anglers have made the most of poor conditions and still managed to return some spectacular results.
June - June was a difficult month for the Beauly. In the middle of the month there was a significant flash flooding event in the upper catchment of the Beauly, an incredible amount of surface water flooding washed into the system bringing with it a lot of suspended sediment. Surprisingly this did little to raise the water levels, which remained near compensation level, but did put a lot of colour into the water. Despite this the fisherman persevered and managed to land plenty of fish in what were very challenging conditions.
May has been a good month on the Beauly. Good numbers of salmon made their way into the river and there has been plenty of activity when water conditions have been right. This has kept spirits high and fishers keen.
The river levels have fluctuated a bit throughout the month and it was always felt that a little more rain could have have improved the fishing; however when the levels were good there was plenty of sport to be had. Head ghillie, Willie Matheson, reports that all the fish that were caught in May were in excellent condition with larger fish up to 15lbs.
April Conditions were far from ideal this week with the weather staying relatively dry and river levels at an unseasonably low level. Despite this fishing effort was been strong, and a good number od salmon were moving through the system. In the early part of April there was an abundance of sea trout and finnock with over 70 being caught in one week.
Upper Beauly - 2016
The Upper Beauly has got off to a strong start this year. we are seeing more fish in the system and some good catches so far; hopefully things will continue to improve as we move through the season.