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Yesterday's Catches - Today's River Levels - Tomorrow's Availability

Newsletter No 36

October 2020 

With us heading fast towards the end of the season on many rivers although not all, Saturdays rain which was relentless for 30 hours or so over the country giving record rainfall in a day and certainly had rivers in serous flood like conditions, with ghillies having to rescue boats and huts as a result. Keith Cromar's hut on Park on Dee was again under water and Social Media was busy with videos of rivers in flood and rising all day.

Thankfully we seem to have peaked on most rivers with the river levels in the main now back steady or falling although some tributary rivers are causing issues on rivers like the Tweed in places. 

This will certainly freshen up the fishing as rivers get back to fishable conditions which in some cases has already happened and is good news. The legendary Neil French was out on Monday of this week fishing in 8 feet of water on Cargill on the Tay and incredibly, managed to get good fish as the photo shows - only Neil could work his magic and come up with a fish in these conditions! Well done Neil - incredible.

8ft of water and Neil still getting the job done in the Monday morning floods at Cargill.

The forecast does seem to be giving us some relief from the heavy rain with only showers in the forecast, although they may be heavy in some parts. The goods news is this fresh water really should help bring fish into the upper reaches of our rivers and hopefully well spread to give anglers some exciting fish to potentially look forward to towards the end of the week.

We are regularly asking owners to add their availability for 2021 and if you can't find what you are looking for please speak with a member of the fishing team in our Help Centre.

Tight lines

7th October 2020 

Marine Scotland

Marine Scotland has launched surveys to understand better the challenges faced by marine businesses, including recreational fisheries businesses, as a result of Covid-19. The surveys, which run until 12 October, asks questions about the financial and operational performance of businesses during the pandemic. The results will be used to help provide a snapshot of the situation in the sector and to shape future strategies and policies relating to the recovery response. 

It would be extremely helpful to have as many responses from the recreational sector as possible,  including for example fishery owners and clubs.

For further information or if you are having difficulties accessing the survey please email [email protected] and provide your company name and email address.

The survey itself is accessible via this link

River Esks report

FishPalCanterland Ghillie Stuart Paton week 28-9-20.

River levels varied from 0.2ft to 11ft on the North Esk Logie marker and from 0.1ft to 8ft on the South Esk Brechin marker. Lower river temperatures were recorded between 45F and 47F. There were 31 fish reported on FishEsks. For the week-ahead - After yesterday's exceptional water levels of 11ft and 8ft, the rivers have dropped back to what could be classed as major spate levels. Today's rain has slowed the rate of decreasing flows, but levels are still dropping.  Apart from some showers next weekend on the mountains at the very top of the catchment, there has been very little rain forecast in the district. Most beats will have good fishable sections by tomorrow and conditions will improve throughout the district day by day.

River Dee

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We are now in the last full week of the season and once the water settles, we should have a good week.


We began last week with the river at its lowest level this season and ended with it at its highest. A major spate at the weekend peaked on Sunday morning at about twelve feet on SEPA's gauge at Park. It has dropped back since and we should be back in business shortly. Catches were pretty good for all that and we finished the week with one hundred and seventy-one fish reported to the website. The bottoms beats picked up a few with Altries doing best with seven, including our largest fish of the year, a 25lbr. Ardoe had one and there were a couple landed at Middle Drum. Park had the best of it last week with forty-two in the book. Jenny Cooper and Steve Wellard shared fourteen to 18lb. John Macisaac, over from the Lochy, pitched in with seven. Anthony Wood had a couple of big fish at 20lb and 21lb from the Durris Stream and House Pool. Scott Turner had two to 16lb. Lower Crathes had four and Crathes Castle had seven. Both these beats should do better this week with more conducive water levels. Knappach picked up a couple and Invery & Tilquhillie had four including Les Barker's 24lbr on Monday.

Lower Blackhall and Banchory had a couple as did Little Blackhall and Inchmarlo where Derek Graham had a personal best.
Cairnton and Middle Blackhall had six including a 9lbr for John Thornley on an Usk Grub and Gary Lloyd had one from Middle Ferroch on a Willie Gunn. Over at Upper Blackhall, owner Simon Mitchell had one on the sunray, while Greg Lloyd fished hard for one out of the Corner Pool.

FishPalFlood - Little Blackhall & Inchmarlo

Woodend produced seven; Scott Turner had three of those on Monday to 15lb. and Lower Woodend managed three. It was quieter at Commonty with just the one, and over at Sluie, the rods had four. Ballogie had twelve. Eight of those were landed on Friday and Saturday by father and son Geoff and Jim Coates. Great to see Geoff back on the river. Kincardine had eight for their efforts and at Carlogie, Gareth Headland's team landed seven, doing well in the low water. It was good to see Gareth and the lads, but it was tinged with sadness as the team was missing long-standing member Wayne Napier-Gibbons, who passed away recently. Wayne was a fine and angler and anyone who knew him will testify that the was one of life's good guys and it was always a pleasure to be in his company. He will be sorely missed.

Dess and Birse were peas in a pod with four apiece. Aboyne Water had a better week with ten in the book. Aboyne Castle and Craigendinie ended their season with a few and at Waterside the season ended with a final two fish. Dinnet produced ten, including fish for Michael Carry, Amanda Humphrey and Iain Wood who landed six on Wednesday. Only one of Deecastle's fish made it to the website, but Jim Coates and Stuart Yeats shared seven between them on Monday. Scott Turner had one on Tuesday. Robert Paterson had all five of Cambus's fish, hooking but dropping several more. Crathie ended their season with a final flurry of nine fish.

As ever, listen to your ghillie!

Find Fishing.

Condé Naste Traveller UK Awards

Congratulations to Gleneagles Hotel named UK Hotel of the Year in the Condé Naste Traveller UK Readers Awards. Set in the beautiful rolling hills of Perthshire, the 850 acre Gleneagles Estate is a playground with something for everyone. Congratulations also go to Edinburgh which was named as City of the Year UK, whilst the best train IN THE WORLD was the UK's Belmund British Pullman. Restored to their former glory, the Belmond British Pullman's carriages are as famous today as in the heyday of train travel.

River Tyne 

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The Tyne is in spate after heavy rain yesterday but hopefully that will stir things up a bit when the levels drop and provide some fresh water over the next week for anglers to enjoy.  Recent catches have been steady, particularly from the upper main river, with a number of bigger fish starting to appear in returns. These include a 23lbs fish from Bywell this week as well as one at 25lbs for Josh Ystenes from Dilston. Malcolm Patterson from Tynemouth was also in the twenties with a 21lbs salmon also from the main Tyne. Other catches include Sarah Iveson with a 13lb salmon from the South Tyne on a Calvin Shrimp fly. Dave Barrett had his second Tyne salmon of 8lbs, whilst Ross Middleton returned five salmon in a day, also on the main Tyne. Catching their first ever fish James Stonell landed a 12lb salmon from the South Tyne and Tom Holland landed a 6lb salmon and a 5lb sea trout from the main Tyne. Read more.

Fish Cumbria

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Seventy six fish were reported on the Eden last week, with an early clear rise in water levels to one foot on the 1st of the month after rain the day before. Not as busy on the river as the last day of September was, one fish for Warwick Hall, one for Low House of ten pounds and a scattering of fish from the lower river to the middle. A few fresh sea trout came in on the tide, along with a couple of what looked like very clean fish. On Friday, some big salmon were caught on the river of twenty pound plus and a few in the teens of pounds, it makes you wonder where all these large fish have been laying up all summer before heading upstream triggered by the water temperature drop. Poor weather over the weekend scuppered the river by putting it up to 4 metres and it is only now starting to drop. 

River Annan

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Over the past few weeks it's been hard going with the conditions although after a small lift during last week there were fish running which gave anglers some good fishing on the middle and lower beats with Hoddom reporting seven fish on Thursday (biggest 15lb) and Shillahill reporting four fish on Friday with a further two fish lost.  Newbie reported four fish on Tuesday (biggest 15lb) and also had the largest fish of the week with Alistair Gammell's second fish at 22lb caught on Wednesday. On Thursday fish were seen running through the lower and middle beats and on Friday, Jamie Strachan caught a 15lb salmon from Poldean Pool on the Upper Beat. Saturday it was fairly constant heavy rain although the river didn't start to lift until late afternoon. The fishing was hard going although on Cleuchhead read more

Local angler Jordy Renwick with his first fly caught salmon on his 13th birthday".

River Tweed

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A very good week for catch numbers with the six hundred and ninety six Salmon landed being the best week of the season so far or the downside the vast majority of these were older river fish that came back on the grab towards the end of last week with the water temperature dropping in along with the first proper frost this week. Sport was good and with many days of double figure catches on individual beats there would be many happy anglers. Overnight into Sunday we have had the first decent flood for quite a while with it peaking around 9ft at Sprouston. This should give the river bed a much needed clean and then see if there are any fresh fish waiting to come or just move these old ones further up the river system only time will tell as this week progresses.

Above Kelso One hundred and fifty six fish were reported, Between Kelso and Coldstream two hundred and eight were reported and below Coldstream one hundred and nineteen were reported. With the best fishing being on the Birgham Dub where sixty seven Salmon were landed. Lees sixty one, Rutherford fifty four and Tillmouth forty three also picked away during the week. Six hundred and ninety six Salmon and ten Sea Trout were landed for the week with the best fish a 31lb Salmon caught on the Norham Castle Syndicate beat. Read more.

If you are looking to fish the river in October availability is limited. November is also starting to become popular with anglers booking days on beats that have not had availability until now. Find Tweed Fishing.   

Off to a lovely day at the start of October

Mark Cockburn had a day out on West Learmouth, Tweed. last week and says "You know - fishing is sometimes the most amazing and frustrating sport there is!!! I had a great day last week on West Learmouth on Tweed with the great help of Dean the new ghillie/boatman who tried his best to put me in the right spots all day. I have never seen so many fish showing with one actually landing on my line but could I get one to take - nope!! Francis red and then black, small flies big flies cascades then a monkey but you know - sometimes your luck just seems to be missing - or something - and I'll never know! I would like to be back on the beat once the frosts start proper as I am sure the cold will turn these fish on. The Lees on the opposite bank had fish, the same pools so maybe it's just me!! Love being out on the river - it's always a challenge but that's fishing!

Tay Fishing Report

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Neil French with a fish from Cargill. He keeps landing them!"

There was a big improvement in catches on the Tay system last week which was good to see and the catalyst for this seems to be the recent drop in temperature. It appears that that the fish have become more aggressive which is to be expected at this time of year following a sudden weather change and so more inclined into taking a fly or lure. The recent drop in temperature seemed to be just what the doctor ordered. In addition to the drop in temperature there was also a lift in water through the middle part of the week as heavy rain spread across much of Perthshire on Wednesday. As the day progressed on Wednesday the river became quite coloured. There was further heavy and persistent rain on Saturday and this has led to rising river levels over the weekend. There was success at Dalmarnock on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Mr Radomir Nosal landed a nice the ten pound cock fish on Monday. Mr Davie Wilson caught his first ever salmon on the fly from the Cotter on Saturday as did Mr Alec Rose. Well done gents! It was great to see the Murthly beats producing a few fish last week. There were a couple of fish caught at Glendelvine on Saturday. On Friday a nice twelve pound fish was caught from the Delvine & Burnbane Beat on a red and gold Vision110 lure. The fish was caught from the Sparrow Muir Pool. On Saturday Mr Grant MacIntyre had a day to remember at Delvine & Burnbane when he caught a cracking twenty pounder by the leaning tree. At Kercock Mr Robert McFarlane had a nice fish on Monday. This was one of two fish caught from the beat. There was also a fish caught on Tuesday. Mr Rob Hills enjoyed success at Kercock on Thursday when he landed a nice fish. It was a great end to the week at Kercock with a total of six fish caught on Friday and Saturday. It was good to see anglers at Meikleour & Upper Islamouth enjoy some decent sport during the first half of last week with a total of five fish landed including four on Tuesday. There were another three fish caught from the beat on Thursday and a couple on Friday. The week ended well with four fish caught on Saturday. At Islamouth Mr Roly Fisher's party were wetting a line. They enjoyed some great sport with a total of eighteen fish landed weighing up to eighteen pounds. All the fish were caught on the fly.  - read more.

We are quickly moving towards the end of another season on the River Tay so book a few days next week and catch a Tay salmon. Perthshire is awash with colour at this time of year and it provides a stunning backdrop to chasing the king of fish! Find Fishing.


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