As we moved into early July, river levels were reading 2’0” on the Forres gauge after a period of wet and windy weather. There were good numbers of fresh fishing running and David Tisdale got the month off to a great start with a lovely deep summer salmon of around 10 lbs. on 1” Altyre Dog tube from the tail of Roehillock Pool. A little later on in the day and he hooked and lost another fish in the tail of Palamore Island Pool.
By Monday, July 3rd, river levels had fallen back to 11” on the Forres gauge on the River Findhorn. It was another cloudy and overcast day and was feeling quite cool for the time of year! David Tisdale managed to hook and release another cracking summer salmon of around 16 lbs. from the Roan Pool on the Lower Beat, covered in long-tailed sea lice and just off the tide, great stuff! David Tisdale also hooked and released a lovely deep grilse of around 5 lbs. on a Purple Cascade tube, also from the Roan Pool.
Tuesday, July 4th, was another unsettled day, overcast and with some heavy showers. River levels were still at a good fishing height reading 11” on the Forres gauge. Leslie Tyson managed to hook and release another two fish of around 7 lbs-8 lbs. each, both from the Roan Pool on the Lower Beat on a small Altyre Dog tube.
By Wednesday, July 5th, river levels were falling away and reading 7” on the Forres gauge. There seemed to be fewer fish running and despite covering all of the water, there were no fish caught throughout the day! After further heavy rain falling over the catchment, levels were rising again over the last two days of the week.
On Saturday, July 8th, David Palmer, a newcomer to the River Findhorn was fishing on Altyre Estate for the first time, hooked and lost a fish from Roan Pool. Unfortunately, he had to leave for home early due to a family illness.
By July 10th, the river level on the River Findhorn had fallen back and was reading just 6” on the Forres gauge. It was another cloudy and overcast day with some rain falling later on in the day. Leslie Tyson was back in action and managed a cracking deep grilse of around 5 lbs. from the Meads Stream on the Altyre Lower Beat. David Tisdale hooked a grilse in William’s Run, which after a good scrap, finally threw the hooks.
On Tuesday, July 11th, river levels were rising again and were reading 6” on the Forres gauge and 1’7” on the Shenachie gauge on the River Findhorn. However, despite almost perfect water conditions, there seemed to be few fish showing and no fish caught for the day!
On Wednesday July 12th David Tisdale managed to hook and release a sea-liced grilse of around 4 lbs. from the tail of Palamore Pool on the Upper Beat of Altyre Estate. Over the last three days of the week, river levels started falling away and despite seeing some good numbers of fresh fish running on both beats, there were no other fish caught!
The Altyre Estate Beats on the River Findhorn were only lightly fished through the week commencing July 17th. However, with river levels reading just 3” on the Forres gauge, Lukasz Materek managed to hook and release a 3 lb. grilse on a Kinermony Killer size 10 from the St. John’s Pool on the Lower Beat.
A couple of days later on July 22nd, Andrew McInnes hooked and released another grilse of around 4 lbs. from the St. John’s Pool on the Lower Beat of Altyre Estate.
As we moved into late July, weather forecasters kept promising rainfall as low frontal systems moved across the country. However, the rain never really materialised and we seemed to be just missing out on the lion’s share. All of the West coast rivers were apparently awash and we were staying as dry as a bone!
On Monday, July 24th, I was joined by Tim Mountford and Peter Worthington, who were fishing the River Findhorn for the first time on the Monday and Tuesday. We were still feeling optimistic that we might get some rain and much needed fresh water, but yet again it never happened despite weather forecaster’s predictions. The River Findhorn water levels were reading 5” on the Forres gauge. I had been hearing good reports of fresh fish running through the Forres AA water a few days earlier and we certainly saw good numbers of fresh fish coming through the Altyre Beats. Tim Mountford was very unlucky when he hooked and lost a fresh fish in the Roan Pool on Monday afternoon.
By Tuesday, July 25th, river levels were steady and reading 5” on the Forres gauge. It was another good fishing day, overcast and cloudy and yet again many fresh fish were seen running, but they were not keen on taking the fly! Tim Mountford was determined to take a salmon, but unfortunately the fishing gods were not smiling upon him!
By Wednesday, July 26th, the river level had fallen back and was reading 4” on the Forres gauge. It was cloudy and overcast with spells of heavy rain falling, but there seemed to be fewer fish showing in the beats.
On Thursday, July 27th, river levels remained steady at 5” on the Forres gauge and the river was rising slightly by late afternoon. Leslie Tyson hooked and lost a strong fish in William’s Run, which eventually took him all the way down in to the Roehillock Pool. Just as he was getting ready to beach it, the fresh fish managed to turn and throw the hooks right at the crucial moment and it was gone! To say he was gutted was an understatement!!
Finally on July 29th, I was instructing Melissa Denecke from England, a newcomer to the world of salmon fishing and the art of Spey Casting. Leslie Tyson was also on hand to help out with some guiding and having a cast himself. Melissa soon got to grips with the double Spey cast and was covering the water with ease. It was another cloudy and overcast day with some occasional heavy showers. River levels were reading 4” on the Forres gauge. We saw some fresh fish showing in most pools throughout the day and I was disappointed that Melissa did not connect with a fish. On another note, Leslie Tyson hooked and lost yet another fresh fish on a small hitched tube in the top of the Scur Pool. It was a disappointing end to the week, which had initially shown so much promise! However as I write this report I am pleased to say that the heaven’s have opened at last and we may just get lucky with the long awaited rain!
I shall be updating my reports throughout the season as always. I also write up a regular weekly report, which can be seen on: www.fishfindhorn.co.uk.
We have some great fishing opportunities available through the season, so please do contact me, [email protected], to discuss your requirements and our availabilities.
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Ian Neale, known as the Speycaster, is a seasoned fishing guide with extensive experience in renowned global fishing locations like the Ponoi River in Russia and the Rio Grande in Tierra Del Fuego. A published author, he has written extensively on salmon and sea trout fishing, with his first book, “Shadows in the Stream,” released in 2000. Ian has also appeared on various TV programs, demonstrating his expertise in Speycasting and discussing the importance of wild Atlantic salmon stocks to local economies. His passion for fishing and respect for nature are evident in all his endeavors.