(Last updated: Friday 5th April)
Despite a vast covering of snow that fell across Galloway during the weekend of the 22nd March (producing complete chaos on the roads), river levels failed to rise as had been expected because of a gradual rather than sudden melt that ensued the following week. Never the less anglers were hopeful and fishing the Cree, the rivers first fish of the season were landed.
Denis Dyson, who had taken a weeks fishing with Mochrum Park, claimed the first Cree salmon of the season, caught and released below the A75 road bridge on the 25th of March. Jamie Hyslop released the second reported Cree salmon of the season, at Linloskin two days later, weighing 7 lbs.
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The Bladnoch opened on the 11th of February and two days into the season, the river was a colossal size - a combination of enduring rain and snow melt. A few anglers did brave the first week of the season but only kelts were caught and this situation was mirrored on the Cree which opened on the 1st of March.
March saw dry and very cold weather engulf Galloway - snow lay on the ground right up until the end of the month but a slow melt failed to produce much water for the rivers. On the 25th, Denis Dyson had the first spring salmon to be reported locally - a 10lb beauty that he returned below the A75 road bridge on Machermore water. Jamie Hyslop caught his first spring salmon at Linloskin two days later, of 7 lbs in weight. Altogether, winter gripped the region during March and little was seen entering the rivers by anglers that braved the extreme cold.
By the end of the first week in April, water temperature is finally starting to improve to around 5 degees celcius. The River Bladnoch has just recorded its first spring salmon of the season - on the lower river at Kirwaugh - weighing 10 lbs, caught and released by Leo Connolly.