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Newsletter May 2019 - No. 58

Salmon smolts migrating down river were thick in some pools and anglers were forced to fish their fly deeper to avoid them. Local angler Alistair McEwan said "I gave up fishing by lunchtime. I have never encountered so many smolts!" River Don, 3rd May.

The number of salmon parr caught in the Tommore trap this year is four times higher than when the trap was installed in 2015. Spey Fishery Board, 30th April.

Tay have been trapping big salmon smolts.

This year the Tay have been trapping some very big salmon smolts. Smolts of this size have made up a large proportion of this year's catch. The fish are 150mm and weigh 37g. This has been most pronounced on the Upper Garry. Tay District Salmon Fishery Board, 1st May.

The Tweed Foundation have tagged 60 salmon smolts as part of the Tweed study on smolt survival. So far 33 have already dropped out of the Gala Water where they were tagged. Most of these smolts are now somewhere between Galashiels and Kelso. Super Smolt, number 4, has made it out to sea. 19th April.

Ness District Salmon Fishery Board. Good numbers of salmon smolts in the Garry trap again today (30th April). Seems to be a particularly strong migration this year with some really large individuals. A proportion of the salmon smolts are being retained as brood fish for the 'Upper Garry Salmon Restoration Project'. 30th April.

That's the last of the Missing Salmon Project Ness smolts tagged and released on the Garry today, (100 in total) 26th April. It's been great working with such a professional team from the Atlantic Salmon Trust, University of Glasgow and University of Durham.

The 100th Deveron smolt is tagged and en route to the sea as part of the The Missing Salmon Project. 1st May.


Since the 12th April The Missing Salmon Project has tagged 800 salmon and 50 sea trout smolts. They have positioned 358 receivers in the rivers Deveron, Spey, Findhorn, Ness, Conon, Oykel and Shin as well as the inner and outer Moray Firth ready to detect over 850 smolts as they begin their migration to their marine feeding grounds.

It is of course important to note that the Missing Salmon Project couldn't do what they are doing without the people who know the rivers best; the ghillies, bailiffs and fishery managers. Their local knowledge has been so important for this project, particularly for finding the best locations for the receivers in freshwater so they can answer river specific questions.

This would not have been possible without the joint collaboration with the Deveron, Bogie & Isla Rivers Charitable Trust; Spey Fishery Board; Findhorn, Nairn & Lossie Fisheries Trust; Ness District Salmon Fishery Board; Cromarty Firth Fishery Board and Trust and Kyle of Sutherland Fisheries. A huge thank you to everyone who has donated money, raised money and given auction lots. Without a joint collaborative effort from everyone this would not have been possible.

We will keep you up dated on the latest news from the Atlantic Salmon Trust and partners who are working together to understand what is causing this decline. Theories abound, but this work will help us all find out what is really happening to the salmon and then target what we can do to better to look after them for future generations.

If you are out and about this week keep sending in your photos and fishing news. If you like to speak to a member of the team about where to fish, please give us a call on 01573 470612.

Tight lines


9th May 2019

Latest Fishing Added This Week

During the last week availability has been added for the following rivers and beats.

Lower Itchen trout permits have been added to the site. The fishery offers excellent and challenging dry fly fishing for brown trout over 5 beats. They all have different qualities offering a good variety including white water pools, faster riffled stretches and deep pools, providing excellent sport for the visiting angler - read more.

Ronny Backstrom from Norway caught a 13lb fish on Newtyle beat on Tuesday 7th May.

Newtyle Beat on the River Tay can comfortably accommodate the novice and more experienced angler on its 2 miles of prime double bank fishing. Tackle hire is also available and Spey-casting tuition - read more.

Knockando Estate on the River Spey offers three and a half miles of prime double bank fishing on the River Spey, split into three adjoining beats - read more.

Laithers Estate on the River Deveron enjoys two miles of the south bank of the lower Deveron. This most attractive stretch of river offers excellent salmon, sea trout and brown trout fishing. Two cottages are available to let - read more.

If you are a beat or angling club and would like to speak to a member of the team about adding your fishing please give the office a call on 01573 470612 or email

Chasing Silver Magazine


If you're passionate about fly fishing anadromous species like Atlantic salmon, Pacific steelhead, sea run brown trout or Pacific salmon, the latest edition of Chasing Silver magazine is now available to buy in digital and paper copy - read more.

Fishing Events For Everyone

Peake Twins hosting an introduction to fishing on the River Dee.

Introduction to Dee salmon fishing, open to everyone, on June 8th. Booking is essential, for more information and to reserve a place contact Ross Macdonald on

Family fly fishing day Saturday 11th May at Artloch Trout Fishery in Aberdeenshire. This is a FREE event and booking is essential. For details and to reserve places contact Al Reeve, email

Introduction to salmon fishing and conservation for young anglers on Sunday 9th June on Meikleour Fishing, River Tay. This FREE event includes tuition, equipment, trout fishing, and lunch - read more.

The Salmon and Trout Conservation Northumberland branch are holding a beginner's day at Farnley and Grey Court Fishings on the main Tyne on Sunday May 19th. This FREE event includes tuition and equipment. Interested parties should contact the secretary at

Salmon and seas trout fishing 3 day courses on the River Tweed at Lower Pavilion during August. There are only 4 places available on each course which include tuition, fishing, lunch and equipment hire - read more.

Orton Fishing Now On FishPal


FishPal have recently added new availability on the Spey for Knockando beats and hot off the press we now have availability about to be released for Orton. Short term dates for May have gone onto the site and others will follow shortly.

The Orton Water on the River Spey is one of the more prolific beats on the river in numbers of fish caught, and in size.

Two miles of double bank fishing for salmon, grilse, sea trout and brown trout, accessible from both banks of the river on two beats. The fishing includes accommodation which varies from a Scottish farmhouse sleeping up to fourteen to a grand riverside country house sleeping up to ten guests - read more.

St Marys House on the Orton Estate.

May Bank Holiday half week let is available on Orton Fishing. The fishing is for 3 rods which includes St Mary's House, which can accommodate up to ten guests - read more.

Up To Date Fishing Reports

Meikleour Fishing success for John Millington, 8th May.

The Tay. Perseverance was the key on the Tay system last week with 45 fish, the biggest at 30lbs caught on Dalmarnock Beat last Wednesday, from the Clackentaggert Pool. The fish measured a whopping 108cm and was a bar of silver. This shows the size of fish the mighty River Tay is still capable of producing. Further downstream on the Newtyle Beat there was no Monday morning blues for Mr Phil Bissmire from Wales. He started fishing in the Steps Pool and after only a few casts landed a fine twelve pounder on the fly. Shortly afterwards, whilst fishing the Trap, Mr Bissmire went on to hook and land another spring salmon, this time fourteen pounds. A day fishing in May starts from £25. Find fishing.

Arunas Urbikas fish caught on the 6th May.

Earlier this week Mr Arunas Urbikas set off from London during the night and drove 7 hours to fish Edradynate beat on the River Tay. Later that day he was rewarded with a 12 pound silver cracker on the fly!

The Tweed. The majority of fish caught below Kelso still appear to be sea liced going by reports. The river finished on 100 fish, the biggest at 18lbs caught on Tillmouth beat. Above Kelso 32 fish reported. Between Kelso and Coldstream 37 fish with Hendersyde 12, Sprouston 9 and Junction 7. Below Coldstream there were 20 fish reported with Ladykirk 5 and Tillmouth 8. A day salmon fishing starts from £20 and trout fishing is £10. Find Fishing.

Sean Tighe fishing Park on the Dee, 7th May.

The Dee. A better week last week finishing on 73 fish. The fish have been running hard with the upper beats picking up liced fish. There have been a few landed this morning, so fingers crossed the rods and ghillies get the sport they deserve. Dess had a visit from Mikael Frodin, who landed five of their six fish - all on his Dee Sheep. Arni Baldursson had one on Monday at Lower Crathes. They finished on six. A day salmon fishing for May starts from £30. Find fishing.

The Findhorn. Paul Kelly and Jack Christison had a great Spring day on Dunearn on Saturday landing four fish. Paul managed three with a 9lb fish and two at 12lbs and Jack also had a 12 pounder. They had two from Morgan's Haugh and two out of Lady Mary's. A couple of the fish still had sea lice and the others were very fresh. Paul confirmed that the fish seemed to be on the move and any they managed to cover were very keen to have the fly. Read more.

Fish number 3 for Brian Shaw fishing the Spey.

Congratulations to Brian Shaw who caught his first fish of the season yesterday on the Spey. He went on to catch a further three fish.

For reports on the Nith, Don, Esks, Spey and others please click this link.

Give Tom a call in the office on 01573 470612 if you would like more information on beats across the FishPal system, along with places to fish for all abilities and budgets. Or visit our find fishing page.

Places To Fish Next Week

May is the peak month for Spring Atlantic Salmon on the fly for many rivers. Below are our picks for the coming week.

Henri Agren with his 9lb fish caught on Banchory Beat on Monday.

River Dee. May sees the main body of Spring fish passing through the middle beats into the upper river. The Banchory Fishing Beat lies in the heart of Royal Deeside where the river Dee flows through Banchory and is met by its biggest tributary, the River Feugh. The beat welcomes guests of all abilities and can help arrange tuition and equipment hire - read more.

The Tweed so far this year has consistently performed better than many rivers in Scotland. Beats below Kelso and Coldstream have so far been catching the greater number of fish. West Learmouth and Upper Hendersyde have rods available for the coming week starting from £100 and £155 - find fishing.

Fish have been caught on the main Tyne near Corbridge up to 20-22lb. The upstream movements for April were 161 and we should see this increase significantly during May. Main Tyne beats Styford Beat and Dilston Beat are worth considering - find fishing.

Fishing the River Tay offers a great fishing experience for every angler, whatever your age or ability. Murthly 1 is one of the best fly fishing waters on the Tay and has some availability for next week - read more.


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