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Newsletter March 2019 - No. 52

Little pools of flowering crocus and bright yellow blooms of dancing daffodils are a wonderful sign that spring is in the air!

On the banks of many a river, including the Findhorn, you will see rhododendrons starting to flower as well.

We were chatting to Ian Neale from Altyre Beat on the Findhorn this morning about fishing in Spring.

He said "March and April are my favourite time of the year to fish. It does not matter about the size or quantity, they are just beautiful fish at this time of the year!" "Fishing in Spring you need persistence, perseverance and endurance as the weather can be unkind at times".

This month's edition of the Trout & Salmon magazine has a seven page feature on Ian's beat. Andrew Flitcroft fished the water for three days and the party caught three springers.

We caught up with Andrew Flitcroft at the London Fly Fishing Fair last weekend. He shared his thoughts on salmon, including his favourite flies - read more.

FishPal catching up with Mark Bilsby of the Atlantic Salmon Trust at the London Fly Fishing Fair.

We would like to thank everyone who came to say hello. Another excellent show organised by Fergus Kelly with lots to see and do.

This week, our newsletter includes the latest news from the Atlantic Salmon Trust. The Moray Firth Tracking Project is now underway with the deployment of receivers that will shortly listen for salmon smolts tagged with acoustic tracking devices. You can see what they are doing in this short video.

Please keep supporting this Missing Salmon Project and consider bidding on the Atlantic Salmon Trust 2019 annual auction. You can view lots and bid via their dedicated auction site.

Tomorrow Mark Cockburn will be attending The Fisheries Management Scotland annual conference ‘Salmon and People in a Changing World'. The FMS have also been working with partners in the Missing Salmon Project. The Conference will focus on how key pressures on wild salmon are being addressed and prioritised, drawing on international best practice. We will update you next week.

If you are out and about this coming week, please keep sending in your photos and fishing reports. If you would like to go fishing and you are looking for places to fish, please give Tom a call in the office on 01573 470612.

Tight lines


28th March 2019

New Availability

Preston Childerhouse fishing the FishPass pool on the Tyne last week.

This week the following beats as well as others have added availability onto the site.

Holylee beat in the Scottish Borders offers one and a half miles of River Tweed fishing. Fishing is all bank or wading with some interfering trees, therefore the ability to roll or spey cast is an advantage. The beat is approximately one mile east of Walkerburn and is easily reached via the A72, the main Peebles to Galashiels road. A day's fishing starts from £50 - read more.

Milne Graden beats are situated approximately two miles downstream of Coldstream in the Scottish Borders. Both upper and lower beats extend to about one and a quarter miles of left bank fishing at the centre of which lies the stunning policies of Milne Graden House. The beat benefits from its proximity to the tidal waters resulting in a reasonable run of spring fish in addition to the late summer and autumn runs. Fishing permits start from £50 plus vat. If you would like to stay in one of the beautiful cottages within the estate, you can find everything you need on the Crabtree & Crabtree website.

Grantown Association A visit to the Scottish Highlands is not complete unless you've fished Speyside. The association water at Grantown offers you six miles of double bank fishing on the Spey and twelve miles double bank on the river Dulnain. There are stunning views of the Cairngorm Mountains from Dulnain Mouth. You will fish the majestic, classic highland river tumbling through Clach na Strone down to Big Stream then under Grantown-on-Spey Old Bridge into the Lurg. This is an opportunity to encounter a Spey salmon in a little bit of heaven, at a price that does not break the bank. A day fishing starts from £55 and a 7 days inclusive permit is £215 - find fishing.

Brownie caught 21st March on the Spey.

Chesters on the river Tyne is a popular double bank beat with good fly water. These highly regarded beats are downstream from Chollerford Bridge and past the Roman Baths on the North Tyne. The lower beat suits low water, the boat pool offers a variety of fishing and can hold good numbers of fish. The upper beat's ideal height is nine inches to one and a half feet, when fish tend to hold up in the island pools and the pipes opposite the Roman ruins. This area is perfect for those wishing to go fishing and also enjoy the rich history of Northumberland. A day fishing starts from £40 - read more.

Upper Bolfracks on the river Tay is set in a picturesque and tranquil spot, just above the confluence of the rivers Tay and Lyon. The beat offers three quarters of a mile right bank fishing with five major pools. A track extends the length of the beat and there are paths alongside much of the river. A day fishing starts from £35 - find fishing.

If you are looking for advice on where to fish this year please give Tom a call in the office. The team have a wealth of knowledge and are speaking with ghillies, boatmen, owners and angling clubs on a daily and weekly basis.

A day salmon fishing during the next few months can start from as little as £20 a day - find fishing.

Mark's Blog

I had the great fortune to be fishing one of my favourite beats on the Spey last week at Wester Elchies with some good friends. The river was high on arrival and proving to be difficult to fish with us really not wading at all, but there were a few pools that fish well in the higher water, The Brock and Delagyle in particular where I fished hard with my favourite black and yellow flies and a compulsory cast with a Gold Bodied Willie Gunn - read more.

With a settled weather forecast in the main for the coming weeks and rivers dropping nicely, it is an ideal time to be getting out and about. Give me a call on 01573 470612 if you would like to go fishing during the coming weeks.

Fishing Reports

Celebrating in the boat on Meikleour Fishing .They are having an excellent month on the Tay.

With conditions improving and fish arriving in larger numbers anglers who are out fishing during the coming weeks have a good chance of connecting with fish. Tom is fishing West Learmouth today and news just in is that he caught a 10lbr this morning.

The Nith. The river is at a good height and offers a good chance of a springer. The Annan picked up their first salmon of the season last week at Newbie and Jamie Hyslop caught a cracker from the Cree at Linloskin. Tom would expect a salmon or two in the river Nith. Dalswinton on the Nith is worth a fish this coming week - Find Nith fishing.

The Tyne. When levels have been kind some really nice fish have been landed. Most recently Styford reported a 10lb Spring fish yesterday. Recent warmer temperatures and low flows have seen some catches above the fish pass. Fresh fish have been spotted in the lower South Tyne at the weekend so they are moving through. Find Tyne fishing.

The Findhorn. Although there were not many fish seen, it was apparent that there seemed to be a reasonably good run of early Spring salmon moving through the Altyre beats, with a total of ten fish hooked and just the four fish landed, up to a very respectable 17 lbs. Find Findhorn fishing.

Dee Springer being returned.

The Dee A better week on the river with thirty reported to FishDee and a few others landed. It's a step in the right direction and with favourable conditions on the river this week, Ross Macdonald is confident they will match or exceed last week - read more.

The Tay system enjoyed its most productive week of the season so far. Hopefully, this is a sign of things to come in the weeks ahead. After a difficult season last year, it is great to see the loch producing more consistent catches in recent weeks. It was a good week for Dalmarnock Beat with fish up to twenty-three pounds. Meikleour and Upper Islamouth have produced some lovely springers so far this season and also caught fish last week up to 23lbs. Find Tay fishing.

Jamie Hyslop fish from the Cree at Linloskin.

River reports are uploaded by reporters nominated by the relevant river or area. You can find every river report under the section latest on the FishPal homepage page.

With conditions improving and rivers dropping give Tom a call in the office if you would like to discuss the best places to go fishing or visit our find fishing page.

Tweed Trout

Tweed's fame as a salmon river has meant that it has often been ignored for its other types of fishing. This is quite wrong, as both its brown trout and sea trout fishing are excellent and too often underestimated.

Peebleshire Trout Fishing Association has twenty three miles of the Tweed and five miles of the Lune Water. They fish for trout on some of the most scenic countryside in the south of Scotland. You can purchase a 2019 season permit for £33 - find fishing.

During April the Tontine Hotel Peebles are offering 3 nights B&B from £35 per person per night.

Missing Salmon Project


Matt Newton of the Atlantic Salmon Trust gets the Moray Firth Tracking Project underway today with the deployment of receivers that will shortly listen for salmon smolts tagged with acoustic tracking devices - watch the video.

Over the course of three years this project, the largest of its kind ever undertaken in Europe will help to find out where and why Atlantic salmon are dying as they migrate down seven major rivers in the Moray Firth, out through the estuaries and for up to the first 100 km of their oceanic migration. In 2019 the work will tell us where these fish are dying, so that we may focus our attention to find out what is killing them and how we can practically help more survive.

The Atlantic Salmon Trust 2019 annual auction is now live and you can view lots and bid via their dedicated auction site.

Mackenzie Rods


Fin and Game have a fantastic offer on the Mackenzie G2 range with 35% off G2, DTX Shooting Head Fly Rods and G2 Fly Lines. The two rods have a different action meaning there is something to suit everyone. The Shooting Head rods are a middle to tip action making them perfect for modern casting techniques and lines. Whereas the G2 range loads a bit deeper, giving the angler more feel and a smooth casting stroke, making them more forgiving and suitable to a wider range of casting styles and lines.

Visit their website and grab yourself a bargain.

Please mail your fish photos to with your name, where you caught it and what fly/lure you caught it on.

Please note we are not in a position to post your photos if the fish is on the bank, grass, stones etc. Ideally keep the fish in a net, in the water or as near to the water surface if possible.

Cheers tom@fishpal



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