(Last updated: Monday 21st July)
Three catches were made this week amongst a number of sightings of fish in the lower river. Of the catches reported, two came from Linloskin, including an 11 lb salmon on Wednesday. This brings Linloskin catches to four salmon for the season. For Machermore on the lower Cree, a 6 lb grilse was caught and released on Wednesday. This week provided better conditions to fish, but for the River Bladnoch, there was little change in river height.
On Saturday, light drizzle throughout the morning turned to heavy rain from around 3pm and this held on into the evening. For the Cree catchment, this brought a good spate down on Sunday, which registered in Newton Stewart above the 4 foot marker - the highest reading for the river since early May.
The 2013 season was dissapointing in Galloway, as it was elsewhere on the Solway Rivers and across most of the country.
For the River Bladnoch, the 2013 season began very slowly with the first spring fish not reported until the 10th April on the lower Bladnoch. Things did improve in May and during the week of the 20th, a couple
of cracking 14-16 lb salmon were landed middle and lower river. Clugston Estate finally recorded their first catch of the season on the 20th May. Some nice 9lb salmon emerged the following week but overall,
spring catches were very poor this year.
Catches were sparse during the summer months – but the arrival of the first grilse by the end of June improved hopes. However, very low water and high temperatures throughout July scuppered any chances of landing a fresh fish and no catches were reported during the month. Thankfully, rain returned in August and fresh fish began to gather in the tidal areas – beginning on the 1st with a 10 lb salmon caught at Kirwaugh. Catches improved again around the 13th and for the final two weeks of August. During September, conditions were the best so far this season. From mid-month, the Bladnoch was fishing fairly well (always not quite getting the rise of the Cree) and 14 salmon were recorded on Clugston. The final week produced four salmon, including a nice 14 lb from Clugston. In October, early month catches included a 16 lb hen salmon at Mochrum Park on the 12th. Conditions improved again for the final two weeks and a reasonable head of fish were caught on Clugston and Mochrum Park waters.
For the River Luce, the river was on its bones for much of the June/July sea trout run and although a lot of fishing effort was put in on the lower beats of the main river, the sea trout catch was disappointing with only 25 sea trout recorded during the season. Most sea trout catches came from the Cross Water of Luce from August onwards. Salmon trickled into the river from June but there was no sport for these until better flows in August. In fact, the bulk of salmon catches were made during the week of the 16th September this season – when 37 salmon were recorded – including the largest salmon this season of 20 lbs. The tail end of the season saw the river in perfect condition but very few fish. Overall, catches this season were very disappointing to say the least with a noticeable lack of late running salmon.
For the River Cree, when rain eventually arrived in August, the fish did not appear in their expected numbers with one beat recording a salmon and grilse catch of less than half that of 2012. On a brighter note, sea trout numbers were felt to have been on the increase. On Glentrool Estates water of the Minnoch, returns of 61 salmon and grilse were made during the season which again, is almost half of catches made in 2012 but similar to the 2011 season returns.
On the Urr, the Dalbeattie Angling Association reported a dissappointing season with a rod catch of only 62 salmon and grilse - 64% lower than the 5 year average for this beat on the lower river. The August/September catches were significantly higher than the October/November - a finding starkly different to recent years in which late season returns have made up a much larger proportion of the annual catch. November returns were particularly poor with only four salmon landed.