River Information 2004
Information on river conditions, catches etc.
Welcome to 2004
Opening Day 2004
The season opened with the river running at around three feet 4 inches above normal and the weather mild and bright.
Afternoon temps reached 14 degrees.
Many kelts were taken some in double figures.
However a fresh springer of 8lb 2 oz was taken off Marnoch Lodge. The first opening day springer in many a season.
Water levels have fallen away to around normal as we have had a dry spell of weather.
However we are now under a blanket of snow and it is forecast for more up until the 1st March. This will rise levels when it thaws.
Many kelts have now made their way to sea but a rise in level will probably bring some more down from the upper reaches. We should see some fresh fish coming off the river around mid March.
Some 80 000 sea trout eggs have hatched and 1500 salmon eggs are due to hatch mid March. These will be released into the river around October to give them a better chance of survival. This must be good news for future catches.
Update 4 March 2004
No more catches to report and we have now had some heavy rain,which has triggered our thaw of up to 12 inches of snow.
Water levels were at +2 ‘ 6” this morning and rising.
Update 13 March 2004
Water levels rose from the 5th onwardsand peaked at just over 4 foot on Monday 8th. Levels then dropped to 1’6” by Friday but it has been bitterly cold with easterly winds.
However Brian Johnston came up trumps with a 7 lb 8 oz springer off Inverichnie on Friday 12th.
Forecast is for more rain so levels will rise next week.
Update 20 March 2004
Temperatures rose to 12 degrees at the start of the week and snow melt rose levels to 2 feet 6 inches above normal. As levels dropped some colour came into the water and Two fish came off Laithers 7 and 12 lb on Thursday. Friday saw another fish come off Forglen of 8 lb.
Today Sat has seen heavy rain and snow on the high hills so levels will rise again.
Update 27 March 2004
Levels rose over the week as we had some heavy rain at night during the week. Levels peaked at 3 feet above Normal on Friday. It was fairly dirty for most of the week and not many anglers ventured out as it was still cold for the first half of the week.
However another fish came off a lower beat on Thursday bringing the total to 6 – one better than this time last season--- indeed we were stuck on 5 until April 24 th last year. But levels were at normal or below in 2003 where as this year we are well above normal. Milder weather at the end of the week should help water temperatures so hopefully more fish to report next week.
Update 31 March 2004
Total now standing at 12 . David Watt had a 10.5 lb sea-liced fish off Avochie today and I had one of 7,5lb off Carnousie. Water level around 1’6” but mighty cold with easterly winds.
Update 3 April 2004
Friday produced very heavy rain and levels rose to 2’ 9” on Saturday and it was dirty. Two more fish were taken in the week. Jim Smith had a 7 lb fish off Kinnairdy Castle water and Mark Robertson had an 8 lb fish off Lower Mountblairy.
Update 8 April 2004
The April showers keep coming and levels have risen again this week and standing at +2 ‘ today.
Five more fish have been reported this week with the biggest one of 14 lb taken on a fly. Hopefully with a few more anglers out over Easter we might see some more catches.
Update 12 April 2004
Another six fish to report since last Thursday.
Two off Marnoch Lodge one a 10 lb sea liced fish and Turtory 1, Dunlugas 1 and Carnousie 2 .including one to Ian Masson of 7 lb
Water has dropped back to + 10 inches and anglers report seeing fish moving up river. Also a few flies hatching and a small trout rise in the warmer weather.
Update 17 April 2004
At least 14 fish have come off the river this week, 5 from Avochie 2 from the Corniehaugh area, 1 from Marnoch lodge, 1 off Inverichnie and two from Lower Netherdale. The level has dropped back to +6 inches but fresh fish were seen steaming through the lower beats this afternoon off the tide. I have also a report of a 7 lb brownie but have no confirmation yet.
Check out the availability page if you are looking for some fishing.
Update 24 April 2004
Water levels peaked at 4 feet above normal on Monday so the river was out of sorts for a couple of days. Wednesday saw better water but gales made fishing very uncomfortable. Avochie yielded another on fly late evening and David Plumpton took a sea liced specimen of 8 lb off his Castle Water on Friday and a 14 lb fish was taken off a beat quite well up. Levels today (sat) are back down to +6 inches and milder weather might encourage the trout to rise.
Update 27 April 2004
Further reports of fish at the end of last week include Upper Netherdale 1 Inverkiethny 1 Inverichnie 1 and Lower Netherdale 2 best 13 lb.
Monday saw Lord Morison take a 12 lb fish off his beat at Montcoffer as well as a 3 lb Brownie and Tuesday saw Richard Breakell take a 113/4 lb fish off Carnousie on a yellow ally’s.
Water levels have risen today and seem to have peaked at 1 foot above normal this evening.
New beats with availability have been added on the Fishing availability page. We are now well over the 50 fish mark and a few sea-trout are putting in an appearance on the Banff club water.
Update 30 April 2004
Levels are up to over 4 feet above normal so it looks like Monday May 3 rd before the river will be back in condition for fishing.
Update 5 May 2004
Water levels are running at just below 1 foot above normal with a peat stain. Three fish have come off the river to my knowledge one at Kinnairdy and one opposite at Marnoch Lodge and one off Carnousie.
All were taken on the fly. Check out availability for Forglen and Muiresk on the availability page.
Update 7 May 2004
Levels rose on Thurs to one foot 6 inches but are now down to 14 inches. Two more fish to report – one off Dunlugas 7 lb sea –liced and another off Marnoch Lodge art 10 lb
Update 10 May 2004
Levels are at plus 10 inches to start the week but the weather remains dull and misty with max temp today of 10 deg C . The weekend saw A. Murray take a 9lb sea-liced fish off Turtory, another sea-liced fish came off Inverkiethny and Laithers took another 9 lb fish. A bit of heat might help us get a few of the sea-trout now in the river.
Update 13 May 2004
Levels now at +6 and holding with some sunny spells warming things up a bit. Fish off Euchries, Laithers and Lower Inverichnie so far this week.
Update 18 May 2004
After a few days of sun and heat we are back to cloudy and chilly. Levels have held up at around +6 with a wee tinge of colour—infact perfect conditions. Fish off Glennie and Avochie with many more lost up and down the river. Sea-trout are now putting in an appearance in the lower beats. Total salmon catch is now over 100—the best spring in many a year.
Update 23 May 2004
Things have gone a little slow with the lower levels although a small short lived three inch rise took place on Friday. Turtory had a lovely 10 lb fish and the party fishing at Netherdale had at least 7 for their week. Two seatrout were taken just off the tide and although the catches have slowed plenty fish have been seen coming off the tide making their way up river.
We are now into the sea-trout time so lets hope it is as good as the spring salmon run .
Update 27 May 2004
Catches have picked up again as levels hold steady at around +4 inches. The water is now clear.
I Masson took a 8.5 lb sea-liced fish off Carnousie , Colin Anderson had a cracking 15 lb sea- liced fish above the tide and Montcoffer had one at 12 lb.
Inverkiethny , Lower Netherdale and Laithers have all had fish between 7 and 13 lb and Avochie saw N.Mchardy and R.Fraser take a fish each at 9 and 12 lb. Sea-trout are now spread through out the river but not in any numbers yet. Beats being fished by weekly guests are reporting that fish jumping and fish are seen running through most days.
Update 3 June 2004
The Sea-trout have now arrived and are well spread out through the river . Montcoffer Inverichnie, Forglen, Turriff, Muiresk and Upper Netherdale have all encountered sea-trout. Salmon continue to run and weigh between 8 and 11 lb.. We have had a little rain and levels have risen a couple of inches Wednesday and today Thursday but fall back by nightfall. Levels are still at +2 inches and reports off the river tell of seeing plenty fish.
Update 11 June 2004
The river is running at around 3 inches below normal although heavy thunder showers today may induce a rise over this weekend.
I must say that being on the river in the late evening is like old times. The pools are full of Salmon and are now being joined by the sea-trout. These have been caught from Montcoffer to Avochie at Rothiemay so are well spread out up the river. We have also had a couple of Grilse off the river which is very early.
Beats fishing well include Forglen ,Muiresk, Carnousie, Glennie and Netherdale. Many lower beats do not see any weekly visitors until next week so pressure has been light lower down.
However middle to higher beats are mostly either full of fish or at least seeing fish run through.. I fished Carnousie on Wednesday and the beat opposite had a fish in the morning but had not seen any fish and thought there was very little doing. At 11.30pm when they were all away the fish went on the move and the place came alive with big double figure fish but would not look at anything I had to offer.
There are three rods available on the Wrack w/c 21 June (a prime week)- please ring me if anyone is interested. Tight lines if you are on the river.
Update 18 June 2004
Levels have kept up again this week and heavy showers have added a few inches for a few hours until the rain stops filling the ditches.
Sea-trout have been caught in reasonable numbers around the Turriff area with beats picking up between 5 and 10 up until last night..
Sea-liced salmon have been taken off Lower Mountblairy and Ardmiddle as well as Forglen.
Lower beats are not seeing any of these fish as they run straight through their beats and higher beats are not seeing the same fish numbers as they were. However next week should be a prime sea-trout week for mid beats and as a few grilse have appeared from Mountblairy to upper Netherdale things should be buzzing.
Update 20 June 2004
After heavy showers Friday and Saturday the river has peaked at 18 inches above normal and running dirty. This should bring ideal conditions for the start of the week as the water fines down.
Update 24 June 2004
Monday saw levels at 12 inches above normal.
Fish this week until today are as follows.:-
TAA- 3 sea-trout, Laithers 1 salmon 5 Sea-trout, Carnousie, one salmon 12 lb (Robbie Henderson) Inverkiethny 1 salmon two sea-trout, Avochie 10lb salmon, Eden 17.5 lb salmon 2 sea-trout, Upper Netherdale at least- 3 salmon to 16 lb and four sea-trout. Muiresk 4 sea-trout Lower Netherdale 4 salmon and four sea-trout (salmon to 13.5 lb) and Mayen beat at least 30 (a mix of salmon and sea-trout).
The rise obviously helped the higher beats but fish ran through the lower and mid beats quickly. It has rained heavily from 5 pm last night right through until 7 pm today.
The river stood at 5 foot this morning and was rising at 15 inches per hour and was at about 13 foot above normal at 5 pm but still rising.
This makes the rest of this week except sat a wash-out but as long as we do not get too much bank damage and a large fry kill we should be set for an excellent spell as levels will hold up well now that the ground is saturated.
All beats the whole length of the river will now have fish either holding or running through.
Next week looks like being a corker !!!
Update 28 June 2004
The river was barely fishable below The Isla after the spate of last Thursday. Some Salmon were taken on fly around Huntly but only the worm managed some sea-trout lower down.
With things looking set for Monday – heavy thunder storms left the river at around four feet above normal and very dirty on Monday but by 10 pm it was down two feet.
Again only the worm has had any success with the TAA taking numbers in double figures.
Funnily enough it is all sea-trout – no Salmon to be seen. The rest of the week looks good as long as we have no more rain.
Update 1 July 2004
The river continues to yo-yo and it is dirty in places dependant on which burn is in spate.
Fish continue to run the river off the tide in large numbers but with coloured water they are running hard. The whole river is producing fish with around 60 sea-trout reported since Monday and Salmon in fewer numbers but ranging from 4 lb Grilse to a 28 lb fish. Most are around the mid teens in poundage with the best reported being a 20 lb sea-liced fish off upper Netherdale. Some beats are having red letter “hours” when the fish stop for a breather.
Gordon Dublonski at Lower Inverichnie took 5 and lost four sea-trout in two hours on Wednesday and 9 fish were lost in three hours at Carnousie on Monday evening. They obviously missed the 15 .75 lb fish taken off the beat on the Tuesday. As levels are up slightly today it will stay up this week as we continue to have very heavy showers.
Levels are at +18 inches at Turriff this evening.
Update 4 July 2004
Levels have dropped away to +8 inches and the clarity has cleared . All in all it is just perfect.
Salmon , sea-trout and grilse continue to come off the whole system- with most beats picking up two or three of something every day.
Sea-liced grilse have fallen to K Kesterton at Turriff and R.Henderson at Avochie so they are well spread and running hard. Light showers are forecast with no real rain until Thursday so prospects are mouth watering.
Update 8 July 2004
Again levels have been up and down- even within 12 hours- up 3 inches at noon from 8am and down again by 6pm. This has unsettled the fish and the colour has been black- too black for the fly and spinning, the worm has accounted for sea-trout but the salmon and grilse have headed up river. Huntly area is producing good numbers of fresh fish. Lower down Dunlugas had an 8 lb sea-trout and a 17lb Salmon on Tuesday although the first few beats are not seeing any fish as they run through. Turriff, Forglen, and Laithers continue to fish well. No rise in levels today so with the water clearing things should improve for the fly fisherman by the weekend.
Update 12 July 2004
Fish , fish everywhere. !!!
The last few days have seen large numbers of grilse arriving and heading straight for the headwaters. Many anglers have had red letter days. Murdo Watson on a beat above Turriff hooked fifteen fish on Friday and landed four, whilst another angler at Kinnairdy hooked 18 for his week and landed six.
T .Lawson took four sea-liced fish at upper Netherdale, best 11 lb and took another fresh 5 lb grilse for his morning, whilst Turtory had nothing all week until Friday when they had 6 sea-liced grilse.
Although levels rose about 5 inches over sat into Sunday Sea- liced fish have been picked up all over the River today. I Masson had two at Carnousie at 4 lb and J Gardiner had a sea- liced 7 lb fish at Turtory.
The colour is peaty but not black and although a little rain is forecast for Wednesday things should remain in top condition for the rest of the week.
Update 15 July 2004
Fish continue to run the river in large numbers. Anglers out early around 5am are picking up fish.
John Wittet had a 12 lb sea- liced fish off Lower Mountblairy and T Lawson had four best 7 lb - two within half hour of Starting at 5am. Dunlugas and Lower Inverichnie have both had fish over 15 lb this week. As the water drops to 5 inches above normal today and clears out – the lower beats are now getting a few fish. Many beats are reporting weekly totals well into double figures. Anglers hitting pockets of fish are asked to bear a thought for future stocks.
3 days fishing have become available on The Wrack beat on 22nd, 23rd and 24th July.
Please ring me if you are interested.
Update 20 July 2004
The numbers of fish running continue. It would be fair to say that around 200 fish per week are currently being caught off the whole system. Many beats are taking between 10 and 30 fish for a week. However some are not seeing fish stop and are having difficulty catching any number. Levels remain just above normal and clarity is very clear.
Cascades and silver ally’s are taking most fish.
The majority of fish caught are also sea- liced.
Beats fishing well are Lower Mountblairy, Scatterty, Dunlugas, Turriff Angling Association, Muiresk, Both Netherdales, and most beats above the Bridge of Marnoch. Carnousie yielded a 14 lb Salmon to Richard Breakell as well as a 5 lb grilse and the loss of two others.
As stated before please bear conservation in mind if you have a good week. Fish stocks will only remain healthy if we leave some to breed.
Update 25 July 2004
People fishing this week have been a bit secretive over what they are catching!!. Maybe it is because they have been told to say nothing or are embarrassed at the numbers of fish they are catching.. I have reports of some beats last week taking over 50 fish and others in the thirties. This is not good news if they are all kept.
However the river is now around normal level and the weather remains bright with temperatures around 17 to 20 degrees. There is no rain forecast for the following week so lower beats should start to keep hold of the fish.
Mr. Calvert fishing Turtory has had several grilse and a 16 lb Salmon at Turtory whilst Robbie Henderson managed an 11lb fish there on Thursday. Colin Innes has had several Grilse and sea-trout off Euchries and lost a fish after 50 minutes - estimated at around 25 lb.
Lower Mountblairy has seen sea-liced grilse come off with all anglers getting some action whilst John Brock continues to do well at Forglen and Muiresk is consistent with grilse and Salmon catches.
Scatterty has seen one rod take 28 for his fortnight – with all sea-trout catches returned- but the rod had lost the last six he has hooked, so thought his luck had changed--- majority of fish fell to the Silver Ally.
Update 29 July 2004
With levels around or just under normal things have cooled a little the last few days . Day temperatures have hit the 20 degree mark and it has been very humid.
Grilse have come off Scatterty , lower Mountblairy , Forglen and Dunlugas.
Infact a large run of grilse went through low beats on Monday Morning.
Scatterty have had a 13 lb fish and Eden a 19lb fish this week.
Fishing Euchries on Tuesday evening a run of Sea-trout went through just before dark- so they are there just harder to catch this week.
Forecast for tonight and am tomorrow is rain , a little rise would help us no end at the moment.
Update 5 August 2004
Thing have continued to be on the slow side Despite lower beats seeing plenty of fish coming off the tide.
Scatterty and Lower Mountblairy have picked up grilse as have the lower beats. Mr Planis has had 5 grilse and a salmon this week and the Hanson party have all had fish – even a few first caught salmon.
The Scatterty total is now in double figures.
Our rain did not last long BUT we did get a 2 inch rise for the Wednesday this week. However between leaving the river at 5 pm on Wednesday and returning at 8pm it had risen nine inches. This will freshen things up and bring us some more fish off the high tides this week.
Update 7 August 2004
The rise on Wed/Thurs turned dirty during the course of Thursday pm and the river is now heavily peat-stained. Many low beats are reporting loads of small grilse running up river.
Montcoffer has had 16 up until Friday which is better than most but reports suggest that Lower Netherdale have had an exceptional week with near 50 fish caught.--- The majority returned in the interests of conservation. One rod caught 10 for his day whilst his fishing partners blanked—that’s fishing!
Prospects look good for next week especially if we get the forecast rain on Monday- although the web forecasters do not tell of rain.
But with levels back at normal the fish will still run.
Update 14 August 2004
The rain never arrived this far north so the river has struggled this week as the level fell to around Three inches below normal.
We had mist early and late but temps around 18 to 24 degrees in between.
Forglen saw a few grilse on Monday and Wednesday but most other beats have been very quiet.
Forecast rain for Wednesday night again never hit our corner but must have hit the high Cabrach as the river rose about a foot in a short space of time Thursday. As it dropped it became very black and peaty on Friday.
This stirred a few fish and Beats around Marnoch saw a few fish.
A large run of grilse was reported going through beats below Turriff on Friday evening but would not look at anything anglers offered.
By Today Saturday the river was at Normal level and a fine colour. Next week looks a little duller with some rain. Let us all hope this is the case.
Update 17 August 2004
Monday saw the river open at normal level for the lower half but +12 inches for the upper half. This eventually made its way downstream during the day and as it was clear at first a few fish were taken up and down.
Simon Stephen and his brother had a few grilse off Lower Mountblairy and a 17 lb salmon in the morning, K.Murray took a 6lb fish off Avochie and K.Dyer took a grilse off Euchries. As the day progressed the water got very peaty and things went dead.
Looking forward to Tuesday anglers woke to find that the lower river was running at +7 inches at 7.30 am. By 8am it had risen to +17 inches and was very black again.
Turriff had three grilse for the day – all on flying “c”s but a few fish were seen running in pockets but were not very interested.
Talk of floods for Wednesday—we will wait and see.
Update 19 August 2004
With heavy rain on Wednesday pm and severe thunder storms overnight into Thursday the river has yo-yoed between 7 foot to 4 foot and back to 7 foot above normal. It is now dropping and standing at 5 foot at 8pm tonight.
Before this rain came S .Stephen and brother Willie have had 24 fish off Lower Mountblairy- many to the fly – best I believe at 16 lb with long tailed sealice. Other beats below are also in high figures as the rise on Monday and Tuesday has encouraged fish to come off the tide.
I had two in successive casts at Carnousie on Wednesday- 4.5 lb and 6.5 lb and a few fish have come off beats at or above Marnoch.
Today has been a wash out but Turriff Anglers have managed around 7 on worm although they were mostly sea-trout and all returned.
Reports of very large fish running this week have been borne out by Mrs. Webb loosing a fish estimated by the Keeper at Netherdale to be 26 lb.
As we drop in height next week could be another exceptional week.
Update 21August 2004
The river fell on Friday morning only to rise again just before mid-day. It then fell away again during the afternoon to be around the four foot mark by Dark.
Saturday morning saw levels at two and a half feet above normal. Turriff Anglers again saw over 12 fish but only took one Salmon at 7 lb and Ian Masson and D.Alexander had a grilse each. The afternoon saw no catches and anglers became despondent. I have no reports from other beats as most anglers went home on Saturday –but beats below Turriff that allow all Methods seem to have been just below or into the 20’s on numbers of fish caught for their week. Turriff Angling Association have had over 30 since Wednesday but all Sea-trout have been returned.
Monday looks like the best day next week as heavy rain is forecast for Monday and it will not take much to put the river in spate again.
Update 25 August 2004
The river was at 1 foot above normal on Monday and peaty. Most
beats got off to a good Start
with most reports indicating many sea- liced fish.
All beats below Turriff took between 3 and 7 fish for the day. Tuesday saw levels at +10 inch but some localised heavy rain resulted in a rise of 2 to 4 inches depending on where you were. Again most beats reported fish with R Breakell taking two at 9 and 12lb off Carnousie , with T Lawson and F Watt taking fish at Netherdale and S McLean taking a 13 lb sea-liced fish.
Today Wednesday sees heavy rain and the water up 8 inches on yesterday at around the +15 inch mark first thing. No doubt it will rise and the forecast is for more rain.
Lower Mountblairy has 1 rod available w/c 6 September at £360 for the week- please contact me if anyone is interested…… it should be a good week.
Update 26 August 2004
The river rose steadily on Wednesday and saw levels peak at 6 foot above normal by 8 pm.
This fell to 2 foot 6 inches for Thursday morning and the river was alive with fish again.
Turriff Angling Club managed 12 for the day – all clean fish and the biggest a 13 lb fish.
The only thing with the levels up and down is that there are no fish stopping in the pools for any time- you have to be fishing as the shoal goes through or you miss out.
It is now raining heavily and the forecast is for it to produce local flooding.
The river will be well up by Friday I suspect.
Update 30 August 2004
Surprisingly levels did not rise after the rain .
Fish continued to run in large numbers and most beats recorded figures in the twenties for the week. Heavy rain overnight on Sunday saw levels open at +13 “ on Monday but this steadily rose to 1 foot 9 inches by tea-time.
Reports indicate again many fish on the move and with levels taking time to drop we should again see many fish as this high water coincides with a full moon and a high tide this week
Update 3 September 2004
Levels went up to two foot on Tuesday although we had no rain !! This put some dirt in the water and most beats ended up spinning where allowed.
After using the fly all day to no avail on Monday George Wilson had to spin due to the water clarity on Tuesday and took two fish in twenty minutes 15lb and 22 lb. Scatterty have had 14 up to Thursday – largest 14 lb sea-liced.
I lost four and then finally kept one on all in 15 minutes on Thursday- it was 17.5 lb on a bottle tube.
As you see some beats have had a great week but not so many of them this time. Although the average poundage is up. R.Henderson R. Breakell and I Masson have all had fish at Carnousie this week and Upper Netherdale is fishing well as is Euchries, Five on Monday and an 18 lb fish on Tuesday.
Levels are now dropping slowly and with no rain forecast for a few days the river is in fantastic ply for fly fishing.
Update 4 September 2004
I have seen a few anglers today as they head home and for most it has been a fantastic week.
Numbers of fish caught and returned are too embarrassing to mention. It has become to easy for some of them and now return of clean 15 lb fish and upwards were common on a few beats as they were not sea-liced!!!! .
It looks like a dry and warm week in prospect with levels falling to normal by mid week I would think. This will favour beats below Turriff so lets see what happens to catches this week
Update 7 September 2004
Levels are still at +5 inches today but day temperatures are between 18 and 23 degrees and not a cloud in the sky- too bright for fishing. Night temps are as low as 4 degrees and although most pools are full of fish they are not suicidal like last week. It is a hard slog and looks like it will stay this way for the rest of the week.
Update 10 September 2004
Levels today are at Normal..
The last few days have been difficult as pressure has been around 1038 millibars and there has not been a cloud in the sky.
Early and late has been the order of the day and a few fish have been caught. A fair number of fish have been running though.
My father Frank Snr lost two last night and today Friday hooked eleven, landed nine and returned seven of them- all of them fresh grilse of between 5 and 8 lb. All in the space of one hour. I followed up by returning one of 5 lb in my lunch break and Carol lost a double figure fish tonight ( her first ever ).
The keeper on the beat we were fishing returned a fish of around 11 lb with long tailed sea- lice so the fish are still running through the river. Most beats have now got pools full of fish- and I mean full – so hopefully the duller weather will help catches.
Forecast for next week is of rain and gales- we will have to wait and see.
Update 13 September 2004
Once again we have missed out on any great rainfall and the river stands at +2 inches this morning.
It is however very , very clear but there are still plenty of fish and they are showing in the pools.
There have been a few fish taken off lower beats this morning and the grilse are still running.
The forecast continues to tell of rain so we will pray we get a little to freshen thins up a bit.
Update 16 September 2004
The rain never really hit our corner but we did get another 2 inches to add to the 2 on Tuesday so all in all Wednesday and today we are at +4 on the gauge. It is still quite clear from just above Turriff down to the sea but has a hint of peat further up. Most beats are absolutely stuffed with fish on the middle to lower river.
It has been difficult to tempt them into taking anything but if you persevere you usually connect with at least one
R Breakell took an 8 lb fresh fish at Carnousie and lost a further two, the Griffith party at Mountblairy have had several fish with two over 18 lb included. I only managed an hour at Carnousie this week but pulled one and returned a fresh 6 lb fish for my limited time and the beat was full of clean fish as well as the odd red fish..
A little rain would help stir things a little and move some of the fish holed up in the lower beats.
Please show a little restraint on keeping hen or red fish- it will help to ensuring we have future stocks.
Update 19 September 2004
As levels remain around normal we are looking for a little rise to freshen things up.
Many beats below Turriff have had another good week with a double figure tally and some large fish amongst them.
David Griffiths had twenty to his own rod with seven between 18 and 21lb off Mountblairy.
This is in contrast to the higher river where things are very dour.
Forecast for next week is not encouraging but then again they got forecasted rain wrong this week. We might settle for a little cloudy weather and hope we can entice one of the many fish in the pools to take.
Update 20 September 2004
Especially for the Ipswich two at Mountblairy this week here is an update.!!
The river is around Normal today and it has been bright but a few showers pm.
Turriff Anglers had an outing today and seven salmon were taken on fly. I had the biggest at 7 lb. Fish were returned at Turtory but as I was out for most of the day I have not caught up with any others – yet. It is raining heavily tonight – where I stay but not raining in Turriff. The way the rain has come along the moray coast and then down towards Aberdeen I suspect that any beats below the King Edward Burn might see a lift in the water height am tomorrow.
Update 23 September 2004
The river has risen four inches today but remains clear. Anglers from Muiresk to The Wrack report good catches of fish with only a few exceptions. The largest reported so far is 17.5 lb on fly , closely followed by one of 15 lb which melted the chaps trout fly reel and he ended up having to hand line the fish !!
Upper beats are struggling although Euchries has reported five so far this week to 13 lb.
The fish continue to come off every tide and hole up down river so a rise of water would be of great benefit to those beats above Forglen.
However conditions are the best in many a long year so we should not be to downhearted, the rain will come to give the higher beats some more sport before too long.
It would appear that some fish have started to spawn and Anglers are asked too look out for Reds and not to trample over them.
Update 25 September 2004
The river peaked at around +9 inches and coloured up with algae yesterday which put the fish down but as it fell today and became peat stained fish began to move and several have been reported up and down the river.
The Jungle drums tell me that a fish measuring 51 inches was taken on a red Ally today .
This fish at that measurement would be around FORTY POUND + !!!!!!. It IS to the anglers credit that this fish was returned.
It looks like next week is going to be fine and sunny- so early am and evenings will be in order and probably Monday will be the best day with the fish moving again tonight- they will be fresh in the pools and likely to grab a fly.
Update 28 September 2004
The sunshine has not appeared and we have had rain overnight on Monday which has given us a rise of 8 inches today.
Plenty of fish have moved and amongst them are some good sea-liced fish. Turriff Anglers had 7 on Monday and one today. J Whittet has had six off Lower Mountblairy ( 4 returned) and some lower beats reported a good start with many having five or more on Monday.
The water is still clear but should colour up as it falls- as it has done this season and maybe some of these fish will be more receptive to the anglers offering.
Update 03 October 2004
The water went up a couple of times last week but not by a great deal. The last lot of heavy rain we were forecast came and went and only gave us two inches.
However there are still plenty of fresh fish running although the upper beats are not seeing many. The lower beats continue to fish well with most well into double figures for their week.
A substantial amount of these are now colouring up or are hen fish and are mostly being put back to allow them to spawn.
Although a few fish are coming off to small flies the majority are falling to large flies fished deep.
I have had five fish in five outings and only one on a spinner, the rest to bottle tubes fished on a sink tip. Others are fishing intermediate lines with a sink tip. Please remember that you need to roll the cast to the surface before casting this combination – otherwise your rod will not take the strain..
Forecast is for a storm with heavy rain tonight and it has started to rain as I type so fingers crossed for if you are fishing higher up the river.
Update 04 October 2004
Heavy rain overnight and up to mid morning today have seen levels rise through today. The small burns are really dirty but the Deveron has been much slower to rise and cleaner.. Levels tonight stand at + 11 inches and rising.
This has encouraged fish to move and I saw plenty of red fish running hard tonight. Some fish have been taken today although most were red..
Scatterty . Turriff and Netherdale all had clean fish so they are mixed in with the red fish.
Two rods have come available at Dunlugas for next week at £240 per rod (no daily tkts) .Please call me on 01888 562428 if you are interested
Update 06 October 2004
Tuesday saw levels at 15 inches above normal and still very dirty. It was too dirty for some beats and very little was taken.
However Turriff Anglers managed around 7 and some of these were fresh fish.
Wednesday saw levels at six inches above normal and peaty. Again many beats struggled for any numbers of fish. I saw plenty of red fish at Carnousie and managed a fairly fresh fish of about 6 lb which was duly returned.
Scatterty managed one as did Lower Mountblairy. But Turriff Angling Club struck it lucky again and had around 20 for the day – most were very fresh and several were sea-liced.
All visitors on the beat today had fish -one had 4 to his rod. We have had heavy showers today so levels should not drop too dramatically in the next few days.
Update 07 October 2004
Levels have opened today at 1 foot 2 inches and risen to over three foot by 5 pm. The colour is filthy- virtually un-fishable today.
Next week is the last week that tickets are available for the Turriff Angling club and there are only three left per day or the week.
Dunlugas has two rods available . Likewise Avochie has 4 weekly rods available at £241 per rod.
Nothing is available the last week- so take a rod next week if you want to get in on the best action the river has seen in years.
Update 10 October 2004
We will be looking forward to the new week as levels now settle down although we are very peaty . Fish have been running hard the last few days and are now spread right up into the headwaters. Sea- liced fish have come off the Turriff water on Saturday so fresh fish continue to run. Some very clean and fresh sea-trout have been returned and a number of finnock have been caught which is a healthy sign
The forecast is excellent for fishing so lets hope for another exciting week
Update 11 October 2004
Levels opened at + 9 inches and a wee bit of colour which run itself out during the day..
Most beats had some fish . P Huntly had two at Dunlugas whilst his young son (12) lost one , H Phillip had a clean fish of 6 lb at Carnousie and Turriff anglers returned a couple of fish today after their great week last week which saw over 60 fish caught. Most were returned but a few sea-liced ones were kept.
Update 14 October 2004
Heavy showers yesterday and overnight rain added 10 inches to the stick this morning.
Levels peaked at 18 inches above normal and the colour came in about 11 am and began to leave at around 5 pm. The middle part of the day today was too dirty and only the Turriff Club have posted some returns for today so far. Most were returned but P Smith had a lovely fresh 9 pound fish.
So far this week many beats have again been into double figures for the first two days with only Wednesday being a slow day. I saw over 40 fish for my few hours at Carnousie but only managed the one 5 lb hen fish duly returned—on a small loop tube- these have been very good takers of fish for me this year and also some other users- L McTavish was convinced by me to try them and took two fresh fish on his first outing with them and asked me to make some tied as he wanted and they took him a 12 lb and 15.5 lb fish one evening last week- Even Ian Masson converted and took fish.
A fly only beat below Turriff have had 25 so far this week – including a 28 lb fish—all have been returned.
Fish are now being caught for the Hatchery and Turriff Anglers will be joining in this next week. A full time person is now looking after the project and seems very committed- lets all hope the thing is a great success.
Update 16 October 2004
Heavy rain over Thursday night pushed levels to peak at 5 foot above normal and conditions were un-fishable. Rain again on Friday night has today pushed levels to around the eight foot mark- so again no fishing. With the ground now sodden it will take time for this to clear out and any more rain will see things soar again.
Let us take it with good grace as the season
Has been fantastic. We have to be happy that the water will let the fish get right up into the highest burns and allow spawning to take place for the good of the future.
Update 17 October 2004
Levels are up again today to over 6 foot.
This will mean a wash out for Monday and more heavy rain is forecast for Tuesday. If this happens it looks like we may loose the whole week to high and dirty water.
Update 18 October 2004
Levels opened at 3 foot 11 inches above normal. The bulk of the dirt had washed out and by 5 pm it had dropped another 11 inches to three foot.
The wrack lost a fish and Turriff Anglers returned two and had two fish of 4 .75 lb and one of 10 lb – both fresh fish.
Levels look to be perfect for Tuesday but the forecast is for heavy rain Tuesday pm.
Update 20 October 2004
Thankfully the very heavy rain has missed the headwaters and we only got a rise of 3 inches today. Levels were 2 foot 6 inches this morning and dropped the three inches by tonight.
Catches are patchy as high water allows fish to scoot through. Turriff Anglers had only one on Tuesday but six today of which two were clean fish. I managed to loose two before landing a small cock fish of about 5 lb today at Carnousie- duly returned. Highlight this week is of a weighed, photographed and returned fresh hen fish of 30 POUND off Lower Mountblairy
The Lucky angler Des Wood also caught and kept a sea-liced 15 lb fish.
Laithers also had a sea-liced fish of 10 lb today.
I have been busy these last weeks off to all the tackle trade shows. Product Highlights for next season include Ian Gordon Partridge Spey Fly lines at £57. Demonstrator lines will be available for you to try. Daiwa have replaced the whisker Rods with new excellorators- these look superb and cost the same as the old Whiskers .They also have a new range of waistcoats and fishing bags. Shimano have a new range of spinning reels including a new Baitrunner and the shop will have a new range of Shotguns and rifles in mid November.
Hopefully I will be able to upgrade this web site in the close season but keep it simple and retain this all important page.
If you have any suggestions please e-mail them to me and let me know if you would like a photo page where I could post your pictures of your fish.
Update 22 October 2004
Well- it rains all day Tuesday and nothing happens – then it is nearly dry all day Wednesday and the river opens at 2 feet 3 inches and ends up rising to over five foot last night. This obviously put paid to fishing, but Ted Wherry managed an 18 lb fish of lower Mountblairy. Marnoch Lodge have had 16 clean fish so far this week and Mr. Poulton had a 20lb fish of Turtory today. Peter Smith (17) has had a fantastic season off Turriff Angling Club and took another three today (levels are down to 2.5 feet tonight) – one at 14 lb and a spanking clean fish of 8 lb. Colin Prise also managed a sea-liced grilse. John Brock and Nephew had 4 each off Forglen on Wednesday and G.Wilson has had three off Dunlugas – best 18 lb whilst Upper Mountblairy have had plenty fish with 5 on Wednesday. The weather outlook is dry for next week so we may be looking great for the last week.
As I was off on my show travels Thursday- I have a new range of clothing available . Some will be in stock but it is a huge range and I will be able to order items quickly. The prices are unbelievable—a wind / waterproof and breathable fleece for less than £50. For a look of the range visit www.seeland.dk . Also for all you shooters a few shotguns and rifles will be arriving in the shop in the next few weeks- along with all the usual cammo gloves, tape and masks. If anyone wants any geese decoys get your order in ASAP to ensure supply.
Update 24 October 2004
The week ended with levels at 2 foot above normal. Reports reaching me on Saturday suggest that many of the upper beats have had a fantastic time of it. All report catching fish although half were past it and were returned.
Marnoch lodge had over 30 for the week- its best ever week of which 9 came off Sat am before the guests left at noon. including a 20 lb fish to a young lad of 12.- fantastic.
Scatterty were well into the teens and many fresh fish were lost. Nick Bartlett had his first salmon at 6 lb then took his second at 20 lb – despite falling in whilst chasing it downstream when it took off .
We have some rain today but nothing like what the south of Scotland has had today – lets hope it misses our corner for the final week.
Three days might be available on the Wrack for Thursday to Saturday- please ring for details.
Update 25 October 2004
Levels opened at 3 foot at 7 am reached 3 foot 9 inches by 8am and held until 11 am when they went on the up and have peaked at over 4 foot.
Things are on the drop slowly at 5 pm and frost is forecast for overnight. Needless to say today was a washout
Update 28 October 2004
Tuesday saw levels still around three foot but plenty fish were taken up and down the river- even on fly- R Breakell had two and lost 4 – one of which was a big fish over 20 lb am off Carnousie and then pm on another beat hooked , played for an hour and landed another fresh fish of 20 lb in the dark.. Wednesday saw better conditions and Carnousie saw three to K Hunter and Two to me—all returned and other beats picked up between 3 and 9 for the day. There are some clean fish amongst them if you are lucky to hook one.
Early morning rain lasting till lunchtime gave us a dirty 4 inch rise today so put things off- but still plenty of fish moving- with no more rain forecast and the river clearing again tonight the last two days look promising- as the river is really stuffed with fish.
Final update 2004
If you managed a rod on an upper beat then you should have had a fantastic end to the season.
Many anglers hooked into over 10 fish per day despite the high water conditions. Many were lost but a plenty saw the net and most were returned. The middle to lower river struggled a bit as the water went up on Thursday fell during Friday but was dirty and then it went up again Friday night to give us 3 foot three on the gauge—just about the same as opening day!!!
The colour was ok and despite plenty of fish – they were reluctant to take.
I fished the Wrack and it was hard going- Thursday saw plenty of fish but no takers- Friday was a wash out and Saturday looked perfect despite the high water. My father and I shared a rod and managed one clean hen (returned) and lost 4 all in an hour before it went dead.
Avochie had a fantastic week and the total catch- up until Sat am was an amazing 40.
Six were kept and the rest were donated for brood stock or released.
All in all an absolutely superb season and if next year is half as good we will still be delighted.
Anyone looking for fishing can let me know over the next few months and will be given notice before I post it on the letting page.
Please take care over the winter and I look
forward to keeping you all up to date next year.