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(Last updated: Tuesday 3rd May)
Ian Neale reports from Altyre Estate for week ending April 30th as follows: As we went into the last week of April, winter returned with a vengeance in this part of the Highlands! It was bitterly cold with
strong Northerly winds blowing and some heavy snow falling over the hills through the first few days of the week. However, despite the weather, fish just kept on running into the lower river Findhorn!
By mid week, although it was still bitterly cold river levels started creeping up a little as some of the snow started to melt away from the Dava Moor giving the river Divie a rise in water. River levels had risen to 1'1” on the Forres gauge and Lukasz Materek braved the cold weather on Wednesday. He was rewarded with two spring fish of around 7-8lbs from the lower beat and lost another in the Tail of Meads.
On Friday Leslie Tyson enjoyed another great day of sport with a total of three fish of around 7lbs-8lbs and a sea trout of around 3lbs, all from the lower beat. Ian Neale went down to the lower beat later on in the afternoon and managed a fish of around 8lbs from the Roan pool on a ½” Purple Cascade.
On Saturday April 30th, Sean Mclean and Alistair Taylor fished in the morning, with Alistair hooking and releasing a fish of around 7lbs and lost another fish of a similar size a little later on. Ian Neale had a really great afternoon on the lower beat with another three fresh fish of around 7lbs, 8lbs and 10lbs. Leslie Tyson came down for a cast in the evening and managed a cracking sea liced fish of around 14lbs from the Roan pool on a Sunray Shadow, caught and released in the gloaming!
Robin Birkbeck managed to hook and release a sea liced fish of around 6lbs from Palamore Island pool. Alison Alston also caught and released another two fish of around 10lbs and 12lbs, both from the Roehillock pool on the Upper beat, later on in the evening.
That gave a final count of fourteen fish and one sea trout for the week which was really a great result. There were certainly some good numbers of fresh fish seen running through both beats over the last couple of days of the week. Hopefully, these fish will soon push on up river towards the middle beats over the forthcoming weeks and I am looking forward to hearing some good reports before too long. I did hear from Julie Balgonie that Glenferness caught their first fish of the season from the Long Tail pool on Levrattich beat last Wednesday.
Paul Kelly had good news to report when he was out the Dunearn beat last Wednesday. He landed a magnificent fish in extra time in the evening. After a heavy snow shower at about 6pm he was half way down the March Stream and got a seriously strong pull and after a few heart stopping moments and a tough tussle a very fresh 20 pounder came to the net. He estimated it to be certainly of no lesser weight and it was perfectly proportioned deep bodied fish. He caught it on a Green and Yellow 2'' tube with a quick sink tip. Despite the four seasons weather it was a very decent day to be out and the water was in good order albeit a bit cool in the morning at 39℉. By mid afternoon it reached 42℉. He didn't see any other fish move having covered most pools.
The same day Glyn Phillips was out on the Daltra beat and very unfortunately he lost a good fish after a 5 minute tussle in Dalnashaugh pool when it twice ran down to the tail of the pool. Otherwise the week was fairly quiet. A kelt was caught on Altnahara which is a very rare event on our beats. David Midwood who was supporting Salmon & Trout Conservation Scotland through a very generous auction bid was out on Dunearn and had a good tug in Gaffers on Saturday afternoon.
We now just need to see a general improvement in temperatures and that should encourage more fish to leave the lower river where by most accounts they have had very good April results.
Perfect water levels once again all week with small rises most days. The water temperature is still cold however, with 6C to 7C the maximum. This is still very cold and not conducive to good fishing but the forecast is for things to warm up. Catches were not as good as they should be however, with only 2 caught for the week. The lucky anglers were Charlie Black who had a 10 lb salmon on friday from Green Road on his Willie Gunn and Hughie Fraser who had his first fish as well 10 lbs on saturday, on his Fraser Shrimp at Kildrummie. Willie Gunn, Cascade and Allys are all recommended.
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Ian Neale looking delighted with this cracking fresh spring fish of around 14lbs, hooked and released from Cottall Island pool on Meads of St John, Darnaway, on April 11th.
Leslie Tyson looking delighted with the first Spring salmon of the season from Altyre Estate. The big fish which was estimated at around 18 lbs and released, was caught on February 23rd from the Roan Pool on the Lower Beat on a Black and Yellow tube fly of Leslie's own tying. Hopefully this bodes well for the forthcoming weeks and months ahead and a good spring run moving into the River Findhorn
Lukasz Materek holds up his first spring salmon of the season, a lovely fresh fish of around 14lbs from the Soldier's Hole on Altyre Estate.
A Full report will appear soon.
Catches reported to us were: