River levels remained at a good fly fishing height throughout the rest of March with a mixture of rain and snow melt water keeping levels topped up.
The week commencing March 6th, the river levels were running 1 ft. 7 inches on the Forres gauge. Daytime air temperatures were also showing signs of improvement with the first real hint of Spring weather approaching.
However, by Wednesday, March 8th, heavy overnight rain put the river into spate and by Tuesday, March 9th, river levels were reading 2 ft. 3 inches on the Forres gauge.
By Friday, March 10th, the river levels were reading 1 ft. 10 inches on the Forres gauge and water clarity was perfect for fly fishing. Geoff Holloway hooked a cracking fresh Spring fish of around eighteen pounds on a 1”Tigre tube from the Roan Pool and was quickly released back into the river.
River levels continued to fall away over the next few days reading 1 ft. 9 inches on the Forres gauge by Saturday, March 11th. Geoff Holloway hooked and lost another big fish from the tail of Roan Pool. By late Saturday evening, river levels were rising again on the back of snow melting water, reading 2 ft. 8 inches at Shenachie and 2 ft. 7 inches on the Forres gauge.
By week commencing March 13th, levels were reading 1 ft 10 inches on the Forres gauge and looking in perfect order. Leslie Tyson and Ian Neale were fishing, however despite seeing fresh fish running through the beats, only three kelts seemed willing to take the fly.
By Wednesday, March 15th, the river levels were reading 1 ft. 5 inches on the Forres gauge. It was another mild overcast day and the river was in perfect order. Fresh fish had been seen running and Leslie Tyson and I.N. headed to the top of the beat to cast a fly over Soldiers’ Hole. At this height of water, this pool is perfect for fishing. I.N. waded carefully on to the ledge and started on a short line, gradually extending with each cast and retrieving the fly slowly. Within a short time there came a pull in the line, followed by a solid take and the fish was hooked mid-stream. It’s a tricky place to hook a fish and getting back off the ledge can be a challenge itself. The big fish fought hard and made some long runs towards the tail of the pool and was finally brought into the shallow water and was carefully beached. It was a cracking sea-liced fish of around seventeen pounds, which was quickly photographed and released back into the river. It was truly the most perfect Spring salmon!
By Monday, March 20th, river levels were reading 1 ft. 10 inches and after a brief spell of milder weather, a return to more wintery conditions and colder weather prevailed over the upcoming week.
Through the week, river levels started to fall away quickly and by Friday, March 24th, river levels were reading just nine inches on the Forres gauge. Having lost a good fish a few days earlier, regular angler, Lukasz Materek was finally rewarded with a cracking fresh Spring salmon of around fifteen pounds from the Roan Pool on the Lower Beat.
On Saturday, March 25th, river levels were reading 8 inches on the Forres gauge. It was a milder day and a small rise in water levels later in the day seemed to encourage a run of fresh fish into the Lower Beat.
Leslie Tyson had a red letter day on Altyre Lower Beat with three fresh fish weighing between seven to ten pounds. All three fish were hooked on a small monkey tube fly and released in Roan Pool.
By week commencing March 27th, river levels remained steady at 8 inches and it was feeling much warmer and Spring-like once again. Leslie Tyson managed to hook and release another couple of fresh fish of around 8 lbs. to 9 lbs. from Palamore Island on his monkey tube fly. By the end of the week, river levels were rising a little on the back of some rain falling over the catchment and snow melting water.
By Monday, April 3rd, river levels were reading 8 inches on the Forres gauge. Iain MacDonald enjoyed a great morning of sport with a sea-liced fish of around 8 lbs. from Scur Pool on the Meads of St. John Beat on Darnaway. He also hooked and lost another two fish, all on a small cascade double. River levels continued to fall away through the rest of the week and fishing became slow going on all beats.
As we moved into the week of April 10th, river levels remained extremely low at just 3 inches on the Forres gauge.
On Tuesday, April 11th, it was another cold and overcast day with heavy rain showers. I was joined by regulars David Clark, Peter James and Keith & Ros Clarke. David Clark managed to release a cracking fresh fish of around 10 lbs. from Roan Pool on a size 10 red Frances. Keith Clarke briefly hooked and lost a fish from the New Pool on the Meads of St. John Beat, Darnaway.
By Thursday, April 13th, river levels were creeping up a little, reading 7 inches on the Forres gauge. We were joined by Gunther Wimmer and Klaus Naumann from Austria, both fishing the River Findhorn for the first time. It was another cloudy, overcast and cold day. Just before lunch, David Clark hooked a cracking fresh fish of around 18 lbs on a size 8 Purple Cascade from Scur Pool on Darnaway. Gunther Wimmer was unlucky to hook and lose two fish in the tail of Garden Pool later on in the day.
By Friday, April 14th, levels were reading 6 inches at the Forres gauge and it was feeling a little milder. Gunther Wimmer was rewarded with a fresh fish of around 9 lbs. on a size 8 Cascade from Cothall Island Pool.
By Saturday, April 15th, levels were falling away and reading 5 inches on the Forres gauge. Peter James was finally rewarded with a lovely fresh fish of around 12 lbs. on a size 8 Red Frances from the tail of Palamore.
Considering the low water conditions, all in all, this was a good result for the week.
I shall be updating my reports throughout the season, as always. I also write 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.
- About the Author
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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.