(Last updated: Tuesday 16th September)
Lethen reports that last week got off to an excellent start for Andrew Legge who had a very productive Monday on Daltra with 5 fish. Andrew first fished the beats last year and caught 4 fish. This time the
largest fish was estimated at 20 lbs from the Loop and this was followed by a brace weighing in at around 18 lbs each, both from Miss Hunter's pool which has been much improved by the Bertha spate. The other 2
fish were one of 10 lbs from the Loop and one of 5 lbs from the Island pool. The water was a good medium height and all we know about the fly is that it was a size 10 self tied one. Then three blank days were
followed by a sea trout on Friday and that was it. The water dropped off to low during the week but the fish were just not interested any longer.
Meanwhile the Dunearn beat had newcomers Bryan Russell and Adrian Graves. Under guidance from Iain McLaren they both scored with a fish each on Monday and this was followed by another fish for Bryan on Wednesday. They then suffered the same fate of fish just not being interested in taking the fly. There were one or two encouraging instances on both beats when good numbers of fish were seen running through certain pools for an hour or so. They were mainly small fish, probably grilse and summer salmon, and most of them were coloured but with a few fresher looking fish amongst them.
The week ahead looks set to remain dry until midweek but there is a chance of some rain in the headwaters and more locally on Thursday and Friday. It may not be enough to put the water level up but a change in air pressure might see the fish getting snappy again. Floating lines, small flies and micro hitches could be the order of the day.
Ewen J Brodie
Altyre Report as follows for W/E September 13th. Ian Neale reports from Altyre Estate that river levels and conditions were in perfect order for the first half of the week and fishing sport was excellent. Huw
Thomas hooked and released a fresh fish of around 8lbs on a size 8 Purple Cascade, from Palamore on Monday morning. Shortly afterwards he hooked and lost another bigger fish in the same pool. On the lower beat,
Chris Blandford hooked and released another fresh grilse of around 5lb from the Garden pool, which was his first ever salmon.
On Tuesday morning, Chris Blandford went and made it 2 more fish, one of around 10lbs and a smaller grilse of around 3lbs, both released from the Upper beat. Later on in the afternoon, Huw Thomas caught another fish of around 9lbs, safely released, also from the Upper beat.
On Wednesday morning, Huw Thomas was in action again on the Upper beat, with his personal best ever salmon of around 17lbs, hooked on his favourite size 8 Purple Cascade and safely released. Later on in the evening, Leslie Tyson managed a 3lb sea trout from Roan pool and a fresh salmon of around 8lbs from the Roehillock pool on the Upper beat, both on a size 8 Purple Cascade and both fish released.
As we moved into the last three days of the week, the river fell away and the heat wave conditions made an unwelcome return! Therefore the fishing became rather slow and the river simply switched off. Mrs. Angela Williams hooked and lost a fish on Thursday afternoon on the Lower beat, but unfortunately no more fish were caught.
The river has now fallen away to a very low level and we really could do with more rain to lift river levels, but it is not looking too promising over the next few days unfortunately.
Low water remained all week, but some fish were caught at the start of the week before levels dropped away to nothing. Charlie Walker had 2 grilse both released, Kevan Mackay had a fresh grilse, Jimmy MacKenzie a grilse and Thomas Lobar on a day ticket, had a 7 lb grilse. Quite a few coloured fish are showing in the pools now and autumn is now here. Most of the above fish have been caught on fly. Best flies are Flamethrower, Willie Gunn, Allies Shrimp and Cascade. Little rain is forecast for the coming week and things are getting desperate now. Unless we get some fresh water soon the season will come to a disappointing end with no water, as there are only 3 weeks left now.
Ian Neale releases a really superb deep Spring salmon of around 17lbs from Palamore Pool on Altyre Estate in early June.
Ernst Schleipmann looking very happy with his first Findhorn salmon of around 10lbs, from the Princess Pool on Glenferness Estate in May
Peter Fraser casts a fly over the Roan Pool on Altyre Estate.
Lethen reports that the Dunearn beat was fished by mostly local rods but with a strong Ulster flavour after the middle of the week. Quentin Ballantyne and daughter Zoie were out on Monday and finished the day with 3 salmon, a grilse and a sea trout. In the early evening Zoie soon got to grips with the much improved Barclays Bank pool, one of Bertha's better results, and caught and released a salmon of 8 1/2 lbs and a 2 1/2 lbs grilse, both on a 2" Munro Killer tube. On Tuesday Chris Swift caught a fish estimated at 14 lbs in the Haugh Stream & 2 sea trout and Andrew Buckoke caught a 2 1/2 lbs grilse and a 3 1/2 lbs sea trout. The home team of the laird and the gamekeeper drew a blank on Wednesday just the same as the other beats did. Then for Thursday & Friday there was an injection of Ulster enthusiasm. They were new to the beat but got off to a good start on the first day with 2 salmon, largest estimated at 14 lbs, for Chris Adams, a brace of grilse for David Swain and a 3 lbs sea trout for Andrew Walls. Friday saw their expectations dashed with a blank day but that is the Findhorn for you! Saturday was the ghillies day and saw Iain McLaren out with Ewen Brodie. Iain caught a 4 lbs grilse in Green Bank. The weekly total for Dunearn was 6 salmon, 5 grilse and 5 sea trout. Apart from the Thursday & Friday the other days were fished by 2 rather than 3 rods.
The week was much quieter on the Daltra beat with Brian Emery fishing a single rod all week except when Jon Gibb joined him on Monday. Jon caught a salmon of around 8 lbs and a couple of sea trout were added to the bag. It wasn't until Thursday that Brian scored with a 5 lbs salmon. The Altnahara beat was only lightly fished but didn't score.
The August catch was 79 fish, just short of the 5 year average of 82 fish. It is thought that the Bertha spate washed a lot of fish right down the river and they then started making their way upstream again. All
the salmon caught since then have looked as if they had been in the river for a while. Grilse were generally in short supply but some of them were fairly fresh. To have caught 7 sea trout last week is something
of a record for Lethen but it is understood that there are a lot more than usual in the lower beats.
On Saturday we had some heavy rain and the river rose and became a little bit dirty. This will soon clear and the rise will freshen things up for the week ahead. It looks set to remain dry until nearer the end of the week when we might see a little rain.Ewen Brodie.
River Nairn. The river was very high most of the week with daily rises and falls in water levels. A lot of fish have run up to the top of the river, due to the big water levels, according to
reports, but the association still had a very good week. Some double figure salmon were caught with Gordon Rennie having the biggest at 18 lb, a red cock fish he released, Billy Milne a 14 lb fresh fish and
Charlie Black a 12 lb red hen fish he released.
Quite a few grilse were caught and Ian Maclaren had 5 releasing 4, Saul Mackay 4 all released and his dad Kevan had 3 released. Robin Mitchell had 3, 2 released, Billy Milne 1 released, Billy Maitland had his first grilse of the season as did David Wilson. Quite a few coloured fish are appearing now and autumn seems round the corner. Apologies to any catches that have been missed. Most of the fish have been caught on fly. Best flies are Flamethrower, Willie Gunn, Allies Shrimp and Cascade. Prospects look good for this week as water levels are still good, and catches should pick up even more as the river settles, as no rain is forecast.
Altyre (W/E August 30th). Rods enjoyed another good week, with several fresh fish still moving into the lower river. On Monday, Ian Neale caught and released a stale hen fish of around 10lbs, from the Garden pool, which was looking quite battered and bashed about. The fish may possibly have been a refugee fish from the middle beats that had been washed down through the gorge in the big floods! Lukasz Materek also enjoyed a good day of sport with 3 more fish hooked and released, all between 4lb-8lb from Clarks and St. John's pool on the lower beat. Leslie Tyson had a really memorable evening on Tuesday with 6 fish, including 2 fish estimated at around 15lbs and 22lbs, both from the St. John's pool, all caught and released on a Purple Cascade tube fly. Leslie was back again on Wednesday and managed another 4 fish estimated between 4lbs to 8lbs, all safely released. Finally, Leslie was back on the lower beat on Saturday and caught and released another couple of fresh grilse on a Pot Belly Pig Cascade. After further heavy rain upstream the river was rising again by late Saturday afternoon and getting a little dirty. Hopefully this will give the river a boost for the early part of the week, but it looks like we are to see a return of warm and dry weather, as High pressure is set to dominate the scene for the time being at least. (Ian Neale)