SEASON 2017 REPORT
The season got off to an encouraging start in April with the first fish being caught on the 4th by Adrian Ormerod. The total for the month came to 20 good MSW fish and was the best catch since April 2005. Fishing pressure was very light, probably averaging 1 rod per day as opposed to an average of 6 rods from May onwards.
May proved to be most disappointing as the water levels dropped and fish got infected with Saprolegnia, an infection that produces white fungus and can eventually kill them. This is a pathogen that is in the water and is exacerbated in low water conditions at this time of year. Then towards the end of the month we were hit with a heat wave and water temperatures rocketed and there was a further mortality rate even amongst the fresher run fish.
On 7th June we had a massive spate and thankfully that washed away the corpses. Fishing prospects improved but we had lost quite a lot of fish by then. From then on through the summer there were no more blank weeks but with one or two exceptions catches were well below average.
July and August saw a healthy grilse run but they proved difficult to catch as they sped through the beats with too few resident salmon to hold them up. The result was a grilse catch just under the 5 year average but it could have been higher.
September with the grilse run tailing off it was looking like a lean month but staler fish started to move up from the lower beats and this provided some reasonable sport at times. It was encouraging to see some fish had avoided the disasters of May and that there should be a reasonable spawning stock.
There were red letter days for some parties including:-
5 salmon/sea trout for Richard Brown and his party on 10th June on Dunearn
5 salmon for Nick Jeffrey and his party on 13th June on Dunearn
5 salmon/grilse for Ed Player and his party on 12th July on Dunearn
7 grilse in a day for Simon Evans and his party on 27th July on Daltra
Best weekly scores included:-
11 fish for Simon Evans and his party in July on Daltra/Altnahara (2 rods)
11 fish for Ed Player and his party in July on Dunearn (3rods)
First ever fish included:-
Jamie Thomas with a 15 lbs salmon on 14th August on Dunearn (with broken rod!)
Will Moir with a 5lbs grilse on 29th August on Dunearn
Ian Gough with a 7 lbs salmon on 1st September on Dunearn
Bill Black with a 12 lbs salmon on 6th September on Daltra
Tilo Passler with a 10 lbs salmon on 13th September on Daltra
Alfred Herdman with an 8lbs salmon on 18th September on Dunearn
William Dobbs with a 3.5 lbs grilse on 19th September on Dunearn
Larger MSW fish included:-
1 x 20 lbs for Iain McLaren on 21st April on Daltra
1 x 20 lbs for C Sommer on 27th April on Dunearn
1 x 20 lbs for Frank Kennedy on 18th September on Daltra
1 x 20 lbs for Adrian Ormerod on 28th September on Dunearn
1 x 18 lbs for Mathew Dobbs on 20th September on Dunearn
1 x 17 lbs for Paul Kelly on 9th June on Altnahara
1 x 17 lbs for Adrian Ormerod on 1st July on Dunearn
1 x 16 lbs for Martin Dingermans on 19th May on Daltra
1 x 16 lbs for Jason McCruden on 11th July 0n Altnahara
1 x 16 lbs for John McDowall on 15th August on Dunearn
1 x 15 lbs for Alastair Mackellar on 14th April on Altnahara
1 x 15 lbs for Glyn Phillips on 22nd April on Daltra
1 x 15 lbs for Adrian Ormerod on 15th April on Dunearn
1 x 15 lbs for James Finnis on 19th June on Daltra
1 x 15 lbs for Sue Thomis on 4th August on Daltra
Findhorn veteran Adrian Ormerod has been fishing the river for 42 years and not only did he catch the first fish of the season but also the last fish at the end of September.
We achieved a wonderful release rate with salmon at 98%, grilse at 89% and overall 95%.
So after all is said and done there were some cheery moments during the 2017 season.