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(Last updated: Friday 20th October)
The weather has been very unsettled lately with testing conditions for anglers and fish rarely hanging around in the high waters. A break in the weather on Thursday did allow the rivers to settle down and 12 salmon were reported into the weekend, bringing the week's total to 18 salmon and 3 sea trout, spread across Cree and Bladnoch beats as well as the Dalbeattie Angling Association water on the lower Urr which secured three salmon during the week.
Dalbeattie Angling Association recorded a salmon of 18lbs the week previously - the largest salmon recorded on FishGalloway this season (a number of 15 and 16lb salmon were recorded back in July on Cree and
Bladnoch waters). Sea trout up to 6lbs have also been recorded recently on the middle Cree (Galloway Estates, week of 28th August). In other news, Glentrool Estates water of the Minnoch are up to 101 salmon
for the season which is terrific news for this tributary of the Cree!
The river Bladnoch opened on the 11th February 2017 - a Saturday - with a surprise 7lb sea-liced spring salmon for Jock Rennie on his second cast at Barhoise Dam near Kirkcowan! Apart from kelts, nothing else was turned during February.
The Bladnoch faired better at the start of March with the first catches reported on Clugston Estate water for Chris Hockley and Paul Greasley at Mochrum Park. On the Cree, Peter Woodfield landed the rivers first salmon of the season on the 6th, upon Galloway Estate (weighing 13lbs), whilst Murdo Crosbie secured an 11lb fish at Linloskin on the 24th. By the very end of the month, the Bladnoch had a small run of fish with Jonny Haley securing a springer on Kirwaugh and Barry Strachan landing two salmon at Barhoise near Kirkcowan.
Apart from the very start of April, there was not a lot of water to speak of for both the Cree and Bladnoch during the month. Newton Stewart Angling Association water had their first fish on the 4th and Linloskin, a day later. Elsewhere, Mochrum Park secured an 8lb salmon at Nut Bank, some time before the next fish came around on the 17th for Dennis Dyson. On the 22nd, Duncan Baillie landed the Minnoch's first fish of the season on Glentrool Estates water before the final week's tally of three salmon - two for Jamie Hyslop at Linloskin and one for Chris Atkinson upon Mochrum Park.
The first half of May was exceedingly dry and it was not until Monday 15th that the pattern broke. Six springers came off the Minnoch and three for Mochrum Park (one to the delight of young Annabel Haley and all fresh and sea-liced). Into the final week in low water and bright sunshine and four salmon came from the lower Cree (mostly from Linloskin) and one from Kirwaugh at the bottom of the Bladnoch for Paul Greasley.
The first week in June produced good water and three salmon were recorded on NSAA water, six from the lower and middle Cree and three from the Minnoch. Into week two and two decent rises of 3 to 4 foot brought fresh fish to rods on the lower Cree. Nine salmon and five sea trout (including a 15lb beauty from Galloway Estates water) were recorded, with the Minnoch fairing well, on 8 salmon by Thursday. Meanwhile, the Bladnoch produced a couple of salmon for Mochrum Park and Clugston. In week three, 11 salmon (eight for the Cree, two for the Bladnoch and one for the Urr) were recorded, most upon a small rise on Friday 16th and weighing between 10 and 12 lbs. Seven sea trout were also recorded on NSAA water of the Cree. Testing conditions during a dry and bright week four turned little until a very small rise on Saturday 24th when two salmon were landed on Mochrum Park and 3 sea trout on NSAA Cree beats. The final week of June was more lucrative, with 16 salmon recorded on the lower Cree (nine for NSAA and Linloskin and seven for Galloway Estates, including a 15lb beauty on Saturday) and five for the Bladnoch. 14 sea trout were also landed on NSAA water of the Cree across Friday/Saturday whilst the Urr returned two salmon.
In July, conditions were fairly unsettled, particularly towards the end of the month. By now, many more grilse were showing in the catches alongside a couple of nice 15 lb salmon for Clugston Estate on the Bladnoch and the towns water on the Cree. In total, week one produced 13 salmon (9 salmon for NSAA water and Linloskin, two for the Bladnoch within Cluston Estate and Kirkcowan Angling Club water and a single fish for the DAA water of the Urr). 9 sea trout were also recorded - all but one for NSAA water. Catches dropped to four salmon (all Linloskin fish) and two Cree sea trout during a dry and bright week two before a good rise on Saturday when 5 salmon and 7 sea trout fell to NSAA rods on the Cree. From here in, rain was never far away and week three turned around 30 salmon for the Cree (8 for NSAA, 1 for Machermore, 4 for Linloskin, 1 for Galloway Estates and at least 12 for Glentrool Estates on the Minnoch). 16 sea trout came from NSAA water during the week. A very good rise on Sunday 23rd provided nice flows for the following week, topped up by large downpours on Wednesday. 30 salmon were recorded this week (eight from the Bladnoch, 21 from the Cree and one from the Urr) as well as 28 sea trout (all from NSAA water).
Rain did not let off into August and unsettled conditions prevailed until week two when a short reprieve from high water gave way to some of the highest river levels recorded this season around the 17th! Catches recorded in week one totalled seven salmon. Sea trout anglers on the Cree faired better with 23 sea trout on NSAA water. A fairly average week two with 13 salmon and 7 sea trout gave way to a much better week three, when 30 salmon and 12 sea trout were recorded. A further 20 salmon fell to rods on the Minnoch, bringing the Glentrool Estates water to over 80 fish for the season. Unsettled conditions into week four produced only 5 salmon and a single sea trout.