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(Last updated: Monday 17th August)
The Galloway rivers fished best at the very start of the week and by Wednesday, levels were dropping away to summer low. Never-the-less, a good number of fish were seen but unfortunately weren't on the take! Amongst those that did take, 8 salmon and grilse were recorded between Cree and Bladnoch waters.
From the Cree, only 3 salmon and grilse were recorded this week (largest of 7 lbs caught and released at Linloskin by Jamie Hyslop). From the Bladnoch, 5 salmon and grilse were recorded including the largest fish this week of 8 lbs (caught by Dennis Dyson) and 10 lbs (caught by Derek Morris at Nutbank). Paul Greasley also caught a nice grilse up the Palnure Burn which has only recently started catching.
Following a terrific 7ft spate, Jonny Haley caught and safely returned this year's first Cree salmon (a 9lb springer), beneath the A75 road bridge (Machermore beat) on Tuesday 10th March. Jamie Hyslop added a further 9lb salmon to the Cree catch on the 18th March at Linloskin.
By April, another nice lift in water at the very start of the month brought fresh fish to Galloway Estates on the Cree and the first reported springer to the River Bladnoch - caught and released at Barhoise falls by Graeme Parks. River levels fell away quickly as longer and warmer spring days commenced but with cold, showery weather (even some snow) returning across the weekend of the 11th April, catches were not far away and three salmon were recorded on a small rise on Monday 13th April - including the first springer for the Minnoch (tributary of the Cree) and two salmon from within Newton Stewart Angling Association water and Galloway Estates water. River levels dropped from herein and it was not until Wednesday 29th April that a good rise provided some sport. On this day, Richard Bellamy recorded a small salmon on the Minnoch - his first April catch since 1965!
By May, more regular small freshets appeared to spur fish on and Colin Richardson landed his first springers on the Bladnoch - of 10 and 11 lbs in weight across the 6th/7th May. At the same time, Jock Rennie reported an 8lb springer at Barhoise Dam, upper Bladnoch. A good spate across the weekend of the 9th May produced a couple of really good fishing days on the 11th and 12th May when 6 salmon were recorded - mostly from the lower Cree (including a cracking 12 lb fish on NSAA water) - but also one for Mochrum Park at Crannas on the Bladnoch. Mr Watson added a 9lb fish to Mochrum Park totals on Friday 15th May. By Tuesday 19th May, another flush of good water through the systems brought fish to anglers on the Cree and the Minnoch at Glentrool Estates reported four springers, bringing the season total to 19 salmon for this productive Cree tributary. The Bladnoch also faired well during this week and three salmon of between 7lbs and 9lbs were reported from Mochrum Park landed by Alex Keachie, Euan Keachie and Malcolm Adkin. Newton Stewart Angling Association recorded a salmon of 10 lbs on Wednesday 20th. Regular showers kept conditions favourable, particularly towards the end of the week beginning 25th May and ten salmon were reported to the website - four from Mochrum Park on the Bladnoch (including Georgie Botham's 12 lb springer) and six from the lower Cree (including the largest fish of season so far of 15 lbs from Galloway Estates).
In June, an astonishing amount of rain fell on Monday 1st, registering over 5 ft on the Cree SEPA gauge by Tuesday and over 8ft on the Urr! The middle and upper catchments benefitted most from the sudden rise and Jamie Ribbens landed 4 salmon at Glentrool Estates during the evening of Tuesday 2nd. Upon the rise, Galloway Estates recorded 3 salmon (including a 13 lb beauty) and were to gain the best weekly catch by a single beat, totalling 6 salmon by Friday. On the Bladnoch, Malcolm Adkin and Mr Watson landed an 11 lb and 14 lb salmon respectively at Mochrum Park on Thursday 4th bringing the weekly total to 14 salmon accounting for a 10 lb salmon recorded at Killiemore and a single salmon recorded on the Dalbeattie Angling Association beat of the Urr. Low water during the week of the 8th-13th June provided a single salmon for Machermore (of 12 lbs) and Galloway Estates. Newton Stewart AA also recorded 4 sea trout. Low water remained in week three and four, in which time a further 5 Cree and 5 Bladnoch salmon made the catch records along with 2 sea trout for NSAA beat on the lower Cree. By Monday 29th, good water on the Cree brought better fortune and NSAA were able to add 2 salmon (including a 17 lb bar of silver) and 4 sea trout to their returns.
July was a very unsettled month with regular rainfall often colouring the water but overall, providing a good number of fishing days. The month began in low water with only the lower Cree producing catches (2 salmon at Linloskin and 1 on the towns stretch) but by Tuesday 7th, some really good water produced a weekly return of 19 salmon and grilse for the Cree and Bladnoch beats. Sea trout catches were also on the up with 9 recorded from NSAA water. During the week 13th-18th July, 24 sea trout and 4 salmon were recorded on NSAA water, 2 salmon on Galloway Estates (including the weeks largest fish of 13 lbs) and 3 salmon from the Bladnoch (Mochrum Park and Torhouskie). Localised flooding between the 17th and 20th July marred fishing effort but on the 20th, conditions were better than ever and grilse finally started to pick up in numbers. 21 salmon were recorded this week - 18 of which came from the lower Cree (NSAA, Machermore and Linloskin). 15 sea trout were also recorded - all from the lower Cree.