Wednesday, 18 July 2012
Nice to be home on the Spey
It always feels good to be back on the river Spey; home turf is both familiar and reliable when it comes to salmon.
After nice week and one or two fish on the Monaltrie Beat of the beautiful River Dee, it was back to Guiding and teaching a few people on the Gordon Castle Water today, and like I say above, however nice the place I am fortunate enough to visit, the Spey always has that “special allure”! And, in July, no place more so than the Gordon Castle Water, a fine stretch of some of the best fishing and most easy wading, and with lots and lots of fish, if today, and I hear yesterday, running through. This said, beginners or not, we did manage a few contacts and a nice fish landed before the river begun to rise, spoiling the proceedings.
I also had a call from a friend fishing further upstream, where, it would seem, for the first 2 days of the week he could only lose them, one, a very good fish which played for 20 mins before the hook gave up. However, this was redeemed today when he landed 3 nice sized fish all in the teens. All those fish are caught by rods fishing between the hours of 9 and 5, something will write about in a later blog post.
Nice sized fish are the order of the day on the lower reaches of the Spey right now, the Ghillie on the Castle Beat tells me “it’s like it used to be in August”! “Hundreds of them, but all running through”! I saw, not as many as this, but a very good number of very good sized fish today, and when I say very good, I mean fish between 10 and 20lbs, very few grilse. This is being confirmed by some catches on beats slightly further up-stream with yesterday, the 5 rods of Delfur accounting for more than 20 fish before lunch. Sounds like the good old days! Well, at least for those beats below Craigellachie! When such numbers are being caught downstream, it must be sole destroying for those guests and ghillies hardly seeing a fish. I had my fill of this a few years ago and really feel for all those owners and ghillies who, after spending millions, have been let down so badly.
So, in the 21st century, knowing the river will be left to Mother Nature, pressures in both in fresh and salt water mean salmon runs will never be as they once were, the reason being, ultimately, both at local and national level, the management of our rivers is in the hands of politicians, none of whom have a hunger, desire, or, for that matter, a strategy to manage wild salmon as a food source, a simple thing, and the only thing that would ever get the public behind it.
So this is why those of us fortunate enough to be fishing on beats where fish are present, must enjoy the experience of watching and catching salmon because compared to most people fishing the river today, we are the lucky and privileged few!
Nice to see the rods bent, and, I ahve to say, blue sky. The middle picture above was a fish being played on the Avochie Beat of the River Deveron during April. I don't think Ive seen the sun since!!
Posted by Ian Gordon at 21:48