I am delighted to report our first and second salmon of the season caught from Altyre Estate on the River Findhorn.
For the week commencing February 27th, river levels had been running at around 1’11” on the Forres gauge and continued to fall away throughout the week. River conditions were looking spot on for fly fishing and hopes were running high of catching our first fresh fish. There were plenty of well mended kelts to be caught throughout the the week, always a good sign of a successful spawning winter and which always give some good sport.
By Thursday, March 2nd, river levels had fallen away and reading 9″ on the Forres gauge. I was joined by good friends Leslie Tyson, Tom Brown and Ian Gordon for the day. It was a cloudy and overcast morning as we set off to start on the Lower Beat, in the Roan Pool, which was looking in perfect condition. Whilst Ian, Leslie and myself stood blethering on the bank and enjoying the craic, Tom went fishing and it was not long before he hooked into the first fish of the day, and the season, right in the hot spot in the Roan Pool.
It was a good strong fish and gave Tom a solid fight. As we gathered nearby and watched him, we were all hoping for that first bar of silver! After about five minutes, Tom was able to get the fish close and safely beached. There before us, sure enough, lay number one Spring salmon of the season, a cracking plump sea-liced salmon of around 8lbs.
What a fantastic sight. Tom hooked the fish on a 1″ Blue Angel tube fly, which he had apparently borrowed from someone else’s fly box!! After a couple of photos were taken, the fish was quickly released back into the river. After lunch, we moved up to the Upper Beat, fishing through Soldier’s Hole Pool, which was also looking in perfect order, but nothing doing. A little later on in the afternoon, Leslie Tyson managed to hook a well mended kelt in the tail of the Roehillock Pool and that was it for the day.
Over the next three days, river levels remained at around 9″ on the Forres gauge. On Saturday, March 4th, weather conditions changed and had become pretty wet and miserable. However, persistence paid off for David Tisdale who managed to hook and release our second fresh salmon of the season from Roan Pool. It was another classic deep Spring fish of around 10lbs and hooked on his favourite Willie Gunn tube fly. The rain continued to pour for much of the day and by mid-afternoon he decided to call it a day and went home for a hot bath and a well earned dram! What a great start to our salmon fishing season! I shall be updating my reports monthly 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.