The season opens on the 11th February and runs until 30th September. Anglers can expect to catch fish from the opening day onwards throughout the river, depending on the temperature and river heights.
There is something really special about the first spring fish of the year, after the long absence of catches during the winter, the line tightens and the heart races. Spring salmon have a special beauty that other fish just cannot match. The early fish are not usually very big, averaging around 10 pounds, but as the spring run increases the fish get larger, with 20 pounders expected in May.
The ghillies on Speyside maintain the grilse always arrive during Wimbledon fortnight which usually starts during the third week of June. From then on, the runs of these small 5-7 pound fish slowly build in numbers. The beat can be quiet one minute, then suddenly burst into life as a run of grilse enter the pools.
Towards the end of the season many beats have their own residents, but these fish can still be tempted into a rash move. There are usually still some fresh fish entering the river right up until the closing day on 30th September
Gilly Bate fishing the Castle beat on Gordon Castle.