My 1.500 hundredth salmon caught on 28th September

04/11/2018

An update now that the 2018 season has ended I have had time to reflect on my own fishing season, it was a pretty strange season mainly due to the effects on river and fishing conditions that the weather had. In the early spring and through out the summer, we had both ends of the weather spectrum very cold with snow and snow melt water in the spring and basically a long very dry period of approx 10 weeks throughout the summer with the odd slight rise but no significant rain with periods of very high temperatures. On Feb 19th i managed to land a fresh 9lb salmon in the McKenzie pool this was the first salmon off the River Carron and the second salmon caught on the kyle rivers. I was plagued with terrible back pain throughout the season that was chronic throughout June July and August, I managed 24 springers in a couple of superb weeks fishing in the spring, the spring fish were in very good condition and in general were of the usual average size. Thanks to a truly very generous invite i had a superb fishing holiday in Iceland at the end of July. I was pleased with the salmon i had from the Kyle considering the limited amount of times i fished it. I managed a couple of big salmon during the last week of the season at 20lbs and 22lbs just to round off the season it was noticeable  that there were more big salmon coming into the river just as the grilse runs were ending and as the weather broke and we began to get more frequent rain these big salmon continued to come in through till the end of the season, In fact last week i had a walk down river at Cornhill and saw a very big salmon of at least 25lbs show in the Gledfield pool it was only slightly coloured 4 weeks after the season closed!

My total seasons total was  Salmon 51 Grilse 26 Giving me a total of 77 I was absolutely delighted with my 76th Salmon a 9lb salmon caught in the March pool on September 28th as it turned out to be my 1.500 hundredth salmon in my fishing lifetime.  When the really low water took  hold back in June the river dropped very quickly and it was accompanied by very high temperatures on the fourth day after the river had dropped i spotted five salmon lying at the very head of the McKenzie pool they were not their the night before when i spotted them they stayed their most of the day till the warmest brightest part of the day had passed before they moved on, I am a great believer that the salmon know what the weather conditions ahead will be and act accordingly and they ran in on the bare bones of the river and moved on upstream, that was the forerunner to a spell of very warm weather and the river dropped quite a bit lower. An update for the Cornhill beat is that the most productive pool on the Cornhill beat was McKenzie pool, followed by March pool, then on equal status was Lairds cast, Clump pool, & McGregor pool.   I reluctantly came to the conclusion my back problem was being aggravated by fishing so I can only hope that over the closed season it will greatly improve

September

09/09/2018

 

Week beginning September 24th Hamish McFarlane & party.

 

 

Mon 24th. The water level today started out at 2ft. Allan Donaldson landed a 5lb and a 3lb grilse in the March pool, the river stayed pretty steady only dropping back an inch before lunch  just before lunch Allan caught a 20lb salmon in the Raven pool this one fought well and was landed and measured against my net at 37 inches so a good start to the last week of the season. there was a fair bit of activity today Allan lost one other in the Clump pool and pulled 4 others.

Tue 25th.The river showed 1foot 3 inch on the gauge a pretty quiet day sport wise Allan Donaldson briefly had a hold of a fish in the Lairds cast but it threw the hook after about 30 seconds, in late afternoon Allan got into another salmon in the Lairds cast and immediately new it was a good salmon after a good battle where the salmon put up a great battle in a pool that in my opinion is the most difficult place to land a fish on the beat, It was safely landed and measured and it would tip the scales at 22lbs 38.5 inches but very deep and fat so a tremendous start to the last week of the season.

Wed 26th. The river was down to 11 inch today I fished with Hamish McFarlane today but it was a very quiet day we both touched absolutely nothing we did see a couple of little flurries of activity obviously some fish moving through the beat.

 

Thur 27th. The Steady over night rain put the river level up to approx 1ft5inch but the heavier rain from the early hours would soon take effect and around 12.00hrs the river went up about 2 feet in just under an  hour and it continued to rise this put an end to the fishing for the day Alf Gambin & Innes Rankin were fishing today.

Fri 28th. Water level today 2ft. Allan Donaldson landed a couple of Salmon in the March pool, at 9lb and 8lb in the afternoon Allan caught another at 6lbs in the Clump pool in what was a very short afternoon. George Probert was fishing with me today i left him at the Raven pool about 12.30 to head back up to the hut for lunch i met Hamish McFarlane who had arrived for lunch no sign of George after 25 minutes we headed back down to look for him being by now a bit concerned, only to find him at the tail of the Raven pool playing a salmon that was now in the Whirl pool we arrived in time to see the second half as George told us he had already been playing it for 45 minutes and he was knackered. The salmon was now playing George expertly from the middle of the Whirl pool with Hamish and myself giving George moral support George battled on for another 45 minutes when thankfully it came to a successful conclusion the 12lb Salmon that would have been a fresh fish when George first hooked it was landed and returned leaving George no worse for his ordeal of being towed around the Raven and Whirl pools George was left safely on the bank at the head of the Whirl pool and free to make his way upstream again. All credit to this feisty hen Salmon that throughout the long battle it played George brilliantly it was only fair that after it was released we measured George!

Both Hamish and myself were delighted to have witnessed the second half although as Hamish was coming to my house for dinner we were rapidly running out of time. It was great George got his salmon as it made his year it was absolutely Brilliant!!!!!!!!!

Sat 29th  The water level today 1ft 2 inch the noticeable thing today was it was much colder it was basically very quiet with just the odd fish showing.

Total 8

 

 

Week beginning September 17th.

 

Mon 17th.  This week started out with the water height at 1foot and after last weeks continually fluctuating water levels which always has a detrimental effect on the fishing it looks as though with a storm forecast for Wednesday we are in for the same again. Graham Grant caught two grilse landing a 4lb grilse in the McGregor pool, and a 3.5lb grilse in the McKenzie pool,  Allan Donaldson landed a 4lb grilse in the March pool, and followed up with a 3.5lb grilse in the Lairds cast. the river began to rise slowly and by the evening the water level was up to 2 ft 8 inch.

Tue18th. The water level was 1ft 3 inch one salmon was caught Ian Ross caught an 8lb salmon March pool. the river slowly rose to 1ft 5 inch.

Wed19th. Water level 2ft the storm came in giving us a constant rain but fortunately not the promised gales, Allan Donaldson caught a 10lb salmon in the Gledfield run before the river began to rise quickly around mid day and the winds began to pick up i had already packed in by then.

Thur 20th. River 2ft 4inch Allan Donaldson caught a tiny little grilse in the tail of McKenzie pool it would have been no more than 2lbs!! Allan briefly had a very good sized salmon on in the McKenzie stream today was much much windier than yesterday by early afternoon the wind blowing and gusting from all directions.

Fri 21st. A day when the river level stayed pretty steady at 1ft 3inch Allan Donaldson caught a 12lb salmon in the Clump pool, and a 5lb grilse in the McKenzie stream the grilse was very fresh and silver, Allan pulled a salmon in the Raven pool.

Sat 22nd. River height today started out at 1ft 6 inch Allan Donaldson landed a 5 lb grilse in the Clump pool the river was slowly rising all day 2ft at 14.00hrs.  Colin More landed a 2lb grilse in the Raven pool I should have said to Colin to kill this small one and take scales from it, I did not get the chance on Thursday as the one i caught jumped out my hand as i lifted it!  I have seen these tiny little grilse over the last three weeks and Colin and myself saw about four of these tiny little grilse showing as running fish today.

Total 11

 

 

Week beginning September 10th.

 

Mon10th.The water level today was 1foot5 inch at 09.00hrs but after a couple of hours it began to rise slowly Allan Donaldson landed a very small grilse in the McKenzie pool. at 2 lb 8oz the smallest i have landed this season, Allan then followed up with a 4lb grilse in the March pool one other salmon was lost in the McGregor pool.

Tue11th. Today was lightly fished and was blank.

Wed12th. Today a big river after heavy overnight rain 3ft 3 inch  rising to 3ft 7 inch Allan Donaldson landed a 5 lb grilse in the Clump pool, Allan briefly hooked a good sized salmon of 15lb approx in the Gledfield run.

Thur 13th.The river level today was 1ft and half an inch George Probert fished today this was George’s first days salmon fishing since his triple bypass operation back in June George got up and down the beat well and enjoyed his day out on the river George brought me a sack of apples from his large garden so it will be apple crumble and apple pies for me till about Christmas!

Fri 14th. The river had settled back to 9.5 inches but it would not stay that way for long   Allan Donaldson landed a 4lb Grilse in the McKenzie pool, and followed up with another 4lb grilse in the Lairds cast, The river began to rise again at approx 11.45 and by 13.00hrs the river was up 7 inches to 1ft 4and a half inch,

Sat 16th.The river was showing 10 inch on the gauge this morning we had a bit of action today Colin More briefly had a hold of a salmon in the Raven pool, Allan Donaldson briefly had a salmon on in the McKenzie stream, other salmon were moved to the fly in Little Falls, & McKenzie pool Allan Donaldson pulled a salmon in the Lairds cast Allan then landed an 8lb salmon in the McKenzie pool.

Total 6

 

Week beginning September 3rd. Douglas Chalmers & party.

 

Mon3rd. Unlike last week we were back to starting the week with the river showing its bare bones we had just 3/4 of an inch showing on the gauge and no fishing was done.

Tuesday through to Thursday saw the golf clubs in action as the river continued to drop 0″ inches Zero. Heavy rain overnight Thursday saw the river up to 1ft 7 inch on Friday after the very welcome rise it turned out to be a very quiet day.

Sat 7th. The water level today was 7 inch we had a bit of sport today a salmon was pulled in Whirl pool and another good salmon of approx 15/16lbs was moved to the fly also in the Whirl pool, Salmon were also moved to the fly in McKenzie pool. Highlight of the week was Douglas Chalmers fish in the Raven pool as soon as Douglas hooked it we realized it was a good fish it played strong and hard and was safely landed it was measured against the net and later was confirmed that it was around 17 /18lbs. 36 inch confirmed it to be 18lbs our heaviest fish so far this season.

August

12/08/2018

Week beginning August 27th. Graeme McPherson & party.

 

Mon 27th. We had some rain over Sunday so unusually this week we started off on Monday morning with the river level up and reading 1 foot on the gauge. three salmon were landed today Graeme McPherson landed a16lb salmon in the Whirl pool, Ernie Mackay landed a 10lb salmon also in the Whirl pool, & Paul Cuthbertson landed a 5lb grilse in the March pool.

Tue 28th.  We had 5 inch on the gauge today nothing was touched

Wed 29th.  The river level was down to 3. 5 inch today Graeme McPherson landed a 4lb grilse in the McKenzie pool.

Thur 30th.The river continued to drop ending the week with one and a half inches on the gauge  nothing else was caught.

 

Week beginning August 20th.  Mr Orr Ewing & party.

 

Mon 20th.  Another week of predominantly dry weather with low water levels absolutely nothing to report until Saturday we had some pretty localised rain overnight Friday which subsequently put the river up to 1 foot on Saturday morning. Sarah Parker landed the only salmon of the week when she caught a 9lb salmon in the McKenzie pool, another salmon was briefly hooked played and lost in the Clump pool.

 

 

 

Week beginning August 13th.

 

The river was basically low most of the week and was not fished, the river started out on Monday at 2 inches, Dorothy Kirkwood  the owner of Cornhill was up but did not fish

I was strimming the river banks and taking longer than normal limiting it to a couple of hours a day as my back is still not right and is still giving me a bit of trouble. On Friday 17th i was up the river early 07.00  the river level was  2 and a half inch but noticed about 07.30 the river was rising by the time i was finished the river was up to 9 inch and level i decided after i was  home for a shower i would to come back later for a cast I got back at 13.00hrs and the river had already dropped back 3 inches now showing  6 inch on the gauge i fished till 17.00hrs to my great surprise  after the way the fishing has been since late spring I was delighted to have a lovely afternoon, i landed a cracking 16lb salmon in the McKenzie pool, and followed up with a couple at 7lb and 6lb from the McGregor pool, the big one was a bit coloured, also the 7 pounder was slightly coloured, they could have coloured up in Kyle or perhaps been in river the six pounder was fresher and was a very deep and fat grilse.

Sat 18th. After yesterdays super afternoon i fished from 9.00 till 12.30 pleasantly surprised the river level was 5 inch i managed to land a 10lb slightly coloured salmon in the McKenzie pool, and then landed a 3lb grilse very fresh sea liced in the Little Falls pool.

I pulled one other and rose one other so all in all it turned out to be way above what my initial expectations were, I had in mind just to cast a fly and have a relaxing few hours walk down the beat and see how my back reacted.  So a great afternoon and morning was had.

 

Week beginning August 6th. Stephen Gilchrist and party.

 

Mon 6th. The river went up overnight due to heavy localised showers this would run off very quickly as the ground is desperately dry and any chance of a fish would be in a very small window of opportunity, And that’s exactly what happened Stephen said he does not know who was the most surprised, himself or the 4lb grilse that he subsequently landed in the McKenzie pool. The river had went up to approx 5 inch on the gauge on Monday before dropping back rapidly the same day, and by wednesday it was back to level and Friday Saturday the week ended at the usual minus 1 inch.

July

19/07/2018

Week beginning July 30th   Jason Chick & Chris Lacey.

 

Absolutely nothing to report another week of bare bones drought conditions i was away this week. I saw Callum when i came back and he confirmed it was another week of little change weather wise.

 

Week beginning July 23rd   John West & George Probert.

 

Once again another dry sunny week however the forecast is for the weather to break and rain promised at the end of the week Monday saw the river at minus 1 inch Friday was particularly bright sunny and very warm and extremely humid. The rain did come in the very early hours of Saturday morning torrential downpours at times but the ground has been so dry and the rain coming in mainly east has done very little to the water levels by early evening Saturday the river level is only up approx 1 and a half inches

 

Week beginning 16th July.

 

It will come as no surprise i am sure that we have had another week of zero water and zero fish. The beat was not fished and we have had the grand total of 1 salmon in the last 8 weeks!

 

Week beginning 9th James England & party.

 

Just another week of the continued drought conditions with the water gauge stuck below zero needless to say blank again

 

Week beginning July 2nd. Peter Hodgson & party

 

The river again was running or should i say not running between 1 inch and minus 1 inch and again not surprising that this week ended blank.

 

 

June

11/06/2018

Week beginning June 25th Miss Pilling & party.

 

The river again was running or should i say not running between 1 inch and minus 1 inch and again not surprising that this week ended blank.

 

Week beginning 18th June Dorothy Kirkwood & party.

 

Mon 18th. The river level was 2 inches on the gauge, This was the owners fishing week but Dorothy did not come north as she is recuperating after a recent Op.

The river dropped to 1 and a half inches then on Thursday the river went up to 1foot on the gauge obviously heavy rain up in the mountains overnight as we had very little rain low down, the ground is that dry that it stayed at exactly 1 foot with a very slight tinge of colour to it, the river stayed almost exactly the same height till late afternoon before dropping very quickly  Next morning the river was back down to 3 inches! and dropping. Allan Donaldson managed to land an 8lb sea liced salmon in the Lairds cast, this fell to a half inch Kyley, I followed up with a one and a half pound Sea Trout in the Little falls pool it took a small hitched fly. The problem catching a salmon in early morning is i spent the rest of the day fishing and saw not a fin and touched absolutely nothing rlse.

 Earlier this season i caught 24 salmon in two weeks and very welcome as it was this salmon is the first salmon i have landed in 7 weeks! that’s fishing for you. The beat was not fished other than the Thursday the day the river went up. I began strimming the river banks Friday and Saturday and done my back in so i have been in agony most of the  time for the last  10 days it seems to be improving last two days.

 

 

Week beginning June 11th. Mark Shirley & party.

 

The week started out with pretty gimm conditions the river level was sitting at minus 1 and a half inches on the gauge and basically it stayed about this level going up an inch or so i spent the early part of the week on the river with them it was good crack good fun and they certainly put the hours in very difficult circumstances. The anticipation of rain coming in with storm Hector amounted to practically nothing  a small lift in the water level on Friday when the river  went up to 4 and a half inch it then almost immediately went back down again. over the week Mark moved a fish in the Whirl and also pulled a fish in the Whirl, Andrew Sayer moved a fish in the Whirl pool, and had an offer in the McKenzie pool and a pulled a Salmon in the Bridge pool,  The week ended with the overhead conditions once again becoming very bright subsequently we ended with a blank week.

 

Week beginning June 4th.

 

The week started off with the  water level showing minus half an inch on the gauge the lowest it has been so far this season and by Friday 8th it was even lower registering minus one and a half inches. On Tuesday i spotted a salmon in  one little area at the head of a pool on closer inspection i could see five salmon three in a group and slightly ahead another two smaller grilse amazing they were not there the day before and by early evening of the following day the were away just shows you fish moving through in the very bare bones of the river.

In a pool further down the beat also spotted another salmon appearing to have the start of Furunculosis no doubt made worse by the very low water and rising water temperatures. The beat was not fished.

 

May

20/05/2018

 

 

Week beginning   May28th. Ruaraidh Macmillan& party.

 

Another week of dropping water levels very warm weather, and again we ended up registering another blank week.

 

 

Week Beginning May 21st Graeme McPherson & party.

 

 

Mon 21st. Graeme McPherson got the week of to a good start by landing a 10lb salmon in Little falls pool.

Tue 22nd. Fairly steady localised rain finally put the river up it went up to 1ft 4 inch no soon  peaking than it was dropping back during this lift in water levels Graeme lost a good sized salmon estimated 14or 15lbs, Ernie Mackay then lost two salmon in quick succession, all three losses were in Lairds cast so this phenomenon of losing fish that plagued us a few weeks earlier is continuing

Wed 23rd. The river level today was down to 6 inch Ernie Mackay landed an 8lb salmon in the McKenzie pool and by evening the gauge sat at  4 inch. The river continued to drop rapidly. The trout rods then came out and a few trips to the trout lochs were organized .The week ended with the water level sitting at 1and a half inches.

 

 

Week beginning May 14th. John Betts & party.

 

Another week of dropping river levels, however two salmon were landed on  Tuesday 15th. John Betts landed a 7lb salmon in the Little falls pool, and on Thursday Duncan Betts landed a 5lb Grilse in the Litlle falls pool.

 

Week beginning May 7th. Mrs Milne & party

A week of  continuing dropping river levels the river mainly around 4 inch mark some days of very bright and warm conditions although the east wind had not gone completely and it would become quite chilly if the wind got up. The only success of the week was when Derik Smith landed a sea liced10lb salmon in the McKenzie pool

April

15/04/2018

Week beginning April 30th. Chris Higham & party.

 

Mon 30th. This week started out with the river running at 4 inch one salmon was landed today Robin Minter Kemp landed a really lovely shaped  8lb salmon in the McKenzie pool, Chris Higham had a bit of activity in the Raven pool unfortunately  after approx three minutes the salmon threw the hook and another salmon was lost an all to common occurrence so far this season.

Tue 1st. The water level today was 5 inch we have pretty much lost all the salmon that have been held up  in the lower beats last Monday Tuesday 23rd,24th,April  there was a mass exodus upstream Chris Higham’s party are also fishing Braelangwell and they are confirming that there is now a good stock of salmon in the Moral pool and the pools just below on the Braelangwell beat

Wed 2nd. The water level today was 6 inch the morning was very warm and bright and also very quiet on the fishing front. the afternoon was certainly more active Paul Norman briefly had a hold of a salmon in the McKenzie pool, Jonnie Flower had a fair bit of activity  moving several salmon to the fly in the Little falls pool Jonnie moved a couple of salmon in the Gledfield pool the second one he turned was a slightly bigger fish.

Thur 3rd. We have been getting the odd shower of rain but not enough to do any good at all, first thing this morning within 10 minutes of starting Dick Threlfall hooked and landed a sea liced 8lb salmon in the Clump pool later dick turned a salmon in the Raven pool but that was the sum total for the day Interestingly Dick’s Grandfather Richard E Threlfall wrote the angling book “On a gentle art ”

Fri 4th. Again a very quiet un event full day we are needing a influx of salmon off the tide, as our pools are needing restocked hopefully there are in fact salmon waiting  to run the river who knows?

Sat 5th The the water actually went up two and a half inches today showing 8.5 inch on the gauge, the beat was hard fished but all to no avail it was extremely quiet. I received e mail on Saturday evening from Chris Higham to let me know he had finally landed a salmon on a collie dog Chris had heard of the explosive takes that the Collie can induce and had tried hard when with me at Cornhill, So I am delighted Chris landed one on the Collie dog, from the photo it appears to be in the Washerwoman pool Braelangwell and looks about 9lbs Well done Chris I am sure he will put me right on the details.

 

Week beginning April 23rd Hamish McFarlane & party.

 

Mon 23rd. This week started out with the river running at 1ft. later it went up to 1ft3 inch Andrew Burrell caught an 8lb salmon in the McKenzie pool.

Tue 24th. The river was running at 1 ft 1 inch dropping to 11inch.

Wed 25th. Bob Clyde had extremely bad luck today losing three salmon one was in the Lairds cast, Bob lost two others in the McGregor pool one almost as it was beached, I said to Bob and it would be little consolation at the time but it was a frustrating feature of this season so far the amount of salmon lost and it would continue over the rest of the week. Allan Donaldson landed a 9lb salmon in the evening in the McKenzie pool.

Thur 26th. The water level today started out at 11inch by early evening it had went up to 1ft 2 inch Alf Gamblin landed a 9lb salmon in the McGregor pool, John Ligterwood was the unlucky rod today John lost a salmon in the McGregor pool, then John played for a while a good sized salmon which was up in the teens before it threw the hook.

Fri 27th. The river level today was 10 inch, I fished with Hamish today and Hamish got of the mark by landing a 7lb salmon in the Little falls pool, Allan lost a salmon in the March pool, in the afternoon Allan then landed an 8lb salmon in the McGregor pool.

Sat 28th. The water level today started out at 8 inch and dropped to 7inch  i was delighted that Colin More landed a 7lb salmon in the Little falls pool, the salmon was carrying long tailed sea lice which is encouraging that salmon are still running the river off the tide Well done Colin.

Total  for week 6 Salmon

 

Week beginning April 16th Ann Cleverly & party.

 

Mon 16th. The week started off with the river running at 1ft 8 inch the wind swung into the south a welcome break from the constant east winds, we ended up having a great day Ann Cleverly caught a 7lb salmon in the McGregor pool, and followed up with another 7pound springer in the Raven pool, Allan Donaldson caught an 8lb salmon in the  McKenzie stream, and also landed an 8lb salmon in the Gledfield pool,and a 7lb salmon in the Gledfield run, another salmon was lost .

Tue 17th. We started out with the river showing 2ft5 inch on the gauge, it was a very warm day probably the warmest day of the year so far. Just the one salmon was landed today but it was a good one Allan Donaldson landed a lovely deep shaped 14lb salmon in the Clump pool, one other salmon was briefly hooked before it threw the hook.

Wed 18th. Again we had a super water level of 1ft 9 inch it was very warm today and we had prolonged  very bright periods Allan Donaldson landed five salmon Allan landed a 9lb and a 7lb salmon in the Lairds cast, and a 9lb salmon in the March pool, and followed up with a 10lb and a 9lb salmon in the Raven pool. Ann Cleverly had bad luck losing a salmon in the McKenzie pool.

Thur 19th. The river up a little over night and running at 1ft 11inch Allan Donaldson landed a 7lb salmon in the Gledfield pool.

Fri 20th. This morning the river was sitting at 1ft 2 inch the lowest the river has been for about two and a half weeks are we running out of snow melt water ? even so it was a very good height, Ann Cleverly caught a 9lb salmon in the McGregor pool Ann also hooked and lost a salmon in the Raven pool. Allan Donaldson caught a 8lb salmon in the McKenzie pool It was to her great credit that Ann would get down to the Raven pool at the bottom of the beat twice each day and fishing the likely spots on the way down the beat a marvellous feat at her advancing years.

Sat 21st. Well we do seem to be running short of snow melt the river level this morning was showing 11 inch but still a very welcome height It was very bright sunny and warm although at lunch time the wind once again swung around east again, we ended the week with one salmon today which was a real bonus as Ann and myself took it easy today enjoyed the weather and enjoyed just being on the river bank told stories and reflected on a great week Allan Donaldson caught a lovely shaped 9lb salmon plastered in long tailed sea lice in the Lairds cast it fought extremely well and gave a very good account of its self before it was well netted by Ann. Over the week 5 salmon were lost and we ended up with   15 springers for the week. 13 of the Salmon were caught on Kyley’s

 total for week 15 Salmon

 

Week beginning April 9th Colin Campbell & party.

 

Mon 9th. The water level was 1ft8 inch today jenny Gardiner landed a 7lb salmon in the Clump pool.

Tue 10th. The water level today was 1ft6 inch.

Wed 11th.  The water level today was 1ft 8 inch Patrick Gilmour landed a12lb salmon in Cormack’s,

Thur 12th. water level running at 1ft10 inch and dropping Malcolm strang Steel landed a 10lb salmon in the March pool. Maggie strang Steel landed an 8lb salmon in the McGregor pool.

Fri 13th. An 8lb salmon was caught in the Clump pool.

Sat 14th. Water height today 1ft 3 inch Peter Crawford landed a 6lb salmon in the McKenzie pool

Total for Week 6 Salmon

 

Week beginning April 1st.  Alison Galloway& party.

 

We had pretty good water conditions the levels were around 1ft up to 1ft 8 inch with the river rising on Saturday to a bigger river. The weather over this week was what as been the usual for the last few weeks the predominantly east winds bitterly cold at times, one salmon was caught on Wednesday 4th Ian Galloway landed a 7lb salmon in the Gledfield pool.

March

25/03/2018

Week beginning March 26th. Peter Rea & party.

 

Mon 26th. The week started off with the river level running at 1ft 6 inch it was bright and sunny with the wind in the west it was a really nice fishing day probably the nicest day we have had this year so far Allan Donaldson landed a 10lb salmon in the March pool, the salmon was a lovely deep shaped fish and was sea liced .

Tue27th. The river today was down to1ft 3inch. it was the complete opposite of yesterday the wind was back in the east and it was bitterly cold and nothing at all was touched.

Wed 28th. The river was back up over night to 1ft 5inch. Allan Donaldson landed a 12lb salmon in the Lairds cast usually not an easy place to land a fish as proved today ! again this was a cracking deep lovely shaped salmon also sea liced  these new fish coming through the beat are off a bigger class than the last ones being caught, In the afternoon Allan very briefly played a salmon in the Lairds cast for approx a minute before it threw the hook.

Thur 29th.  The water level was sitting at 1ft today and again bitterly cold east wind nothing at all was seen or touched.

Fri 30th. Bright periods but the wind now seems set in the east and when the wind got up particularly in mid afternoon it was really bitterly cold, Just before lunch Allan Donaldson caught an 8lb sea liced salmon in the McKenzie stream other than that nothing was seen or touched in fact i have only seen one salmon show this season that was in the Gledfield pool last saturday.

Sat 31st. Bright periods today but we still have the continuous  cold east wind. Peter did not fish an awful lot over the week its a long old walk up and down Cornhill as there is no access other than at the top and bottom of beat, I can testify that its a fair old slog back up the beat with waders on. Peter fished hard when he was on the water and we recounted old stories and had a good laugh, I fished from time to time over the week and thanks to Peter for the fishing all three Salmon were taken on a Kyley tube, Nothing at all was seen or touched today.

 

Week beginning March 19th.

 

Mon 19th. The week started out with the river low approx 4inch it was very bright and we still had a bitterly cold east wind.

Tue 20th.  River up a few inches to 7inch with the wind still in the east.

Wed 21st.  The first time i fished this week I managed to fish for an hour and a half before the river began to rise very quickly in the time it took me to walk from the McGregor pool back up to the car the river went up 9 inches! the wind now in the west hence the big and rapidly rising river.

Thur 22nd. The river down overnight to 3ft8 inch the water level only dropped about two inch all day i was fishing with Graeme McPherson, the only pool we had that was fishable was the Gledfield pool and we were opposite Callum Beattie when he landed a 6lb salmon, later Callum had another at 7lbs also in Gledfield pool, and shortly after Allan Donaldson landed a 7lb salmon also from the Gledfield pool i jokingly shouted to Callum saying i would get one for good attendance The river again went very big over night.

Friday23rd. The river level was already big Graeme again fished today we literally had 40 minutes fishing before the river took off again and began to rise rapidly which put an end to the fishing for the day.

Sat 24th. The water level 2ft 2 inch to 1ft 9 inch, bright sunny spells at times wind still in the west but wind much colder late afternoon. The morning was quiet but we had bit of activity in the afternoon but we ended with no more fish on the bank, Allan Donaldson lost a salmon in the McKenzie stream Allan got a good look at it and once again this was a small fish 6 or 7lbs. Allan later rose and pulled a fish in the Gledfield pool, Allan told Colin More who was fishing today  Colin gave it 20 minutes and tried the same spot and had a strong pull that again did not connect, we saw a couple of salmon show which interestingly appeared to be smallish salmon.

           February 19th Cornhill first salmon

I am really delighted to report that i managed to land a lovely fresh 9 lb salmon  in the McKenzie pool on the Cornhill beat on Monday 19th February at approx 11.30hrs  the water level was 1ft 8 inch and rising slowly at first with snow melt. The salmon was very fresh with no sea lice a guesstimate would be that it’s been in the river about a week which is good i quite like the fact the salmon are not sea liced very early in season as they are liable to creep through the beat if the guesstimate was about right the salmon took approx 7 days to travel to the McKenzie pool which is approx 2 miles from the estuary, bearing in mind when the water temperature heats up a salmon running hard straight off the tide could be right through our beat in 45 minutes  pretty much walking speed.

I am really delighted to report that i managed to land a lovely fresh 9 lb salmon  in the McKenzie pool on the Cornhill beat on Monday 19th February at approx 11.30hrs  the water level was 1ft 8 inch and rising slowly at first with snow melt. The salmon was very fresh with no sea lice a guesstimate would be that it’s been in the river about a week which is good i quite like the fact the salmon are not sea liced very early in season as they are liable to creep through the beat if the guesstimate was about right the salmon took approx 7 days to travel to the McKenzie pool which is approx 2 miles from the estuary, bearing in mind when the water temperature heats up a salmon running hard straight off the tide could be right through our beat in 45 minutes  pretty much walking speed.

September

13/09/2017

 

Week beginning Sept 25th. Hamish McFarlane & party.

 

The first couple of days of the week the river was 4 inches down to 3 inches and the beat was not fished, Hamish’s fishing was restricted this week as he was suffering from a back problem and i know myself how debilitating that can be. On Thursday the water level went up to 1ft 1inch Alf Gamblin and Stephen Urquhart fished it was very quiet some fish were seen in the afternoon.

On Friday 29th. the water level was down to 8 inch and dropping Allan Donaldson and Graham Grant fished the morning very few fish were seen, Allan managed to hook and land a 4lb grilse in the Lairds cast, this is where i saw one of the few fish i saw showing and i possibly caught the one that was showing!  I was glad to round of the season landing a fish at Cornhill all be it small and well below the quallity of last weeks Salmon on the Tyne, but as they say they all count as one in the game book.

Sat30th. Water down to 5 inch today i fished with Colin More till Mid Day and that brought Cornhill’s and my season to an end. An update of season catches at Cornhill will follow.

Total 1 Grilse.

 

 

Week beginning Sept 18th.

 

The beat was not fished at all this week, and i did not fish it as I was down south fishing the River Tyne at Bywell. subsequently the week ended blank.

 

Week beginning Sept.11th

 

Monday11th. The beat was not fished today as it was supposed to be let to Derrick Blake but as no one appeared on the river all day i phoned the factors at 17.00hrs and was told it was in fact not let. The river was 10 inch and went up to 3ft 5 inch before dropping back to 2 ft 10 inch.

Tuesday 12th.The beat was not fished today the river started out at 2 ft 2 inch going up to 2ft 10inch before settling back to 2ft4 inch.

Wed 13th. The water level today at 09.oohrs was 11 inch it stayed pretty steady all day dropping only 1 inch before going up half an inch. Graham Grant caught a 5lb grilse in the Clump pool. Allan Donaldson landed a 5lb grilse and a 4lb grilse both from the March pool, Allan also caught a 3lb grilse in the McGregor pool, and very briefly had a hold of a grilse in the Lairds cast.

Thur 14th The river went up over night and was registering 1 ft 10 inch on the gauge at 09.00hrs it only dropped about 1 inch by 14.00hrs reasonable for fishing but the river naturally should have dropped quite a bit more and was due to rise again which unsettles the fish and puts them off as in my opinion they certainly know if a rise is coming Allan Donaldson landed a 4lb grilse in the March pool early on in the day it was then very quiet there after.

 Friday 15th Water level today 2 ft 4 inch the beat was very lightly fished in morning nothing was touched and very little seen.

 

Sat 16th. The water level today was 1ft 1 inch dropping back to 1 foot, Colin More landed a 5 lb grilse in the March pool. and Allan Donaldson  landed a 6 lb grilse in the Upper March pool, the afternoon was quiet we packed in at 17.00hrs interestingly again a rise in the water was coming on in early evening and would probably hit Cornhill again at approx 18.00hrsthe periods between red dots is when we caught or pulled fish and saw most activity. The period after the very large peak rise in water around 03.00hrs in morning at Cornhill probably just unsettled the fish and moved them up or down river the water was quite coloured and this period was very quiet with no fish seen at all (as seen on water data chart )

Total 7 grilse

 

 

Week beginning Sept 4th. Douglas Chalmers and Party.

 

Mon 4th. The water level today was 2 inch and the beat was not fished.

Tuesday  The water level bumped up a little and quickly dropped back again  for the first part of the week until Friday 8th. We had better water conditions today with the river up to 10.5 inch on the gauge, The beat was covered completely we saw very few fish and some were very very small grilse around 2lbs! I thought it can’t get much worse than it has been in recent weeks but it is.

Sat 9th.  The river today was running at 8.5 inch we must have had some over night rain as the river would have naturally have dropped more again a few fish were seen the beat was fished till lunchtime  and Douglas did move a fish to the fly in the McKenzie pool but that was as close as we got and the week ended blank.

August

14/08/2017

 

Week beginning Aug28th. Graeme McPherson & party.

 

Mon 28th. Today saw the highest water level of the week we started out at 7.5 inch. but it ran off fairly quickly, Graeme McPherson made the most of it and landed a 5 lb grilse in the Lairds cast.The prospects for the rest of the week water level wise did not look good and subsequently the river continued to fall down to 4 inch by Wednesday.

The week ended with the gauge showing 2 inch on Friday and Saturday, The beat was very lightly fished with no fishing done after Wednesday. very few fish were seen another very disappointing week.

 

Week beginning Aug 21st. Orr Ewing & party.

 

We had a couple of significant lifts in the water level this week in midweek the river was up to 2 ft 10 inch it had been much bigger over night around the 5 foot mark. the river was up again on the Friday& Saturday, During the week two grilse were hooked briefly and lost in Clump and McKenzie pools and the week ended as another disappointing blank week.

 

 

Week beginning August 14th.

 

Mon 14th. This week started off with the water level sitting at 4 inch. the beat was fished for a couple of hours at most with absolutely nothing seen or touched.

Tue 15th. The water level went up 4 inches overnight to 8 inches it fell back to  6.and a half inches by 16.30 hrs. Allan Donaldson managed to land two grilse at 4lbs and 3lbs in the Raven pool, and another 4lb grilse in the March pool, Allan also lost a grilse in the Lairds cast, & Raven pools and pulled another grilse in the Raven pool. All this activity happened in the late morning prior to this nothing was seen or touched and likewise after approx 12.45hrs nothing was touched in fact all i saw in the afternoon was one grilse, during the activity this morning there were a few grilse showing and as a small bunch of grilse moved through the beat.

Wed 16th. The river today was showing 5 inch on the gauge. Allan very briefly played a grilse in the McGregor pool before it threw the hook the beat was only fished for a couple of hours.

Thur.17th. The river level was 4.5 inch, the beat was not fished today.

Fri 18th. The water level was 4 inch the beat was fished for an hour or so and nothing was seen.

Sat 19th.  The heavy rain forecast for yesterday never materialised however the river was up 4 inches today to 8 inches and there was heavy rain in the early hours of saturday  morning which saw the river slowly rising to 11 inch, by 14.30 it had steadied and was dropping slightly. It was a very disappointing day with the water up on a slow rise only four grilse were seen all day Alan Donaldson did manage to land a small 3lb grilse in the McGregor pool.   I can only assume very few grilse have been coming in to the river for quite a number of weeks and those that are coming in are very very reluctant to show and particularly loathe to take.  One very common grilse trait still very much in evidence is their ability to throw the hook at some stage during the fight.  its been a very strange and poor season with i think a number of quite complex factors.

 

TOTAL   4 Grilse.

 

 

Week beginning  August 7th. Stephen Gilchrist & Ian Colquhoun.

 

 

 Mon 7th. The water level was 6 inch today and the week started out very quietly with few fish seen and nothing moved or touched.

Tue 8th. We had 6 inch on the gauge and again very quiet with just the odd grilse seen.

Wed 9th. The river went up to 1ft 2 inch and dropped back to 1ft and steadied this is the highest the river reached all week and during this period Stephen Gilchrist landed a 7 lb salmon in the McKenzie pool. and Ian Colquhoun landed a 9lb Salmon in the Clump pool, three other grilse were played and lost and exactly the same as last week when i was fishing Friday and Saturday the activity just stopped like flipping a switch.

Thur 10th. 7 inch on the marker today Stephen Gilchrist played a grilse in Little falls unfortunately it threw the hook, Ian Colquhoun had exactly the same outcome in the Lairds cast after hooking and playing a grilse for a few minutes. Allan Donaldson also had the same experience briefly hooking a small grilse in McGregor pool before it almost on cue threw the hook and was gone.

Fri 11th. river down again to 5.5 inch, Another very quiet day with little to motivate the two  experienced expert rods  fishing.

Sat 12th. The water level was 7 inch at 10.00 dropping back to 6 inch in late afternoon, Stephen and Ian decided to end their week early and the beat was not fished during the day. Stephen gave me a cast in late afternoon early evening i managed to rise a grilse to the fly in the Little falls  other than that it was desperately quiet i saw nothing at all, even the grilse that came to the fly in Little falls was a lethargic kind of rise and he would not come again.

Salmon 1. Grilse1.  TOTAL 2

 

July

23/07/2017

Week beginning July 31st.

 

The first couple of days of the week was fished from time to time by James Speirs son of  the Cornhill beat owners and James’s brother in law it was not heavily fished at all.

Friday 4th. The river was sitting at 2ft 1 inch at 9.00 hrs 20 minutes later it was up 10 inches to 2 ft 11 inch a quick rise i decided to wait till it peaked probably late afternoon. i came back at 17.00 hrs it had peaked at approx 3ft 3 inch and had been on the drop for about an hour and was showing 3 ft and dropping i saw some grilse showing in the Gledfield pool which is the  first real movement of grilse i have seen so far this summer! I managed to land a couple of sea liced grilse at 5lb and 4 lb and lose another one almost at the net, and pull three others all in Gledfield pool all the activity was in about an hour and a half.

Saturday 5th. The water level today was 1ft 7 inch at 09.15hrs  Allan Donaldson landed a 3lb Grilse in the McKenzie pool and a 1.5 lb sea trout. Allan landed a couple of 5 lb Grilse in the Lairds cast and lost a grilse in the March pool and pulled three other Grilse in the March pool typical grilse behaviour before all went quiet just like the Gledfield pool last night, just like flipping a switch still at least their was a small movement of grilse into and through the beat. It will  be interesting to see what the next week brings.

Total for week.        5 Grilse & a Sea trout

 

 

Week Beginning  July 24th. John West & George Probert and party.

 

It is getting pretty monotonous but another week of virtually the same desperately low conditions. On Monday the river started out at 1″ inch mid week it hit zero 0″ for a couple of days in mid week the river bumped up to 2.5 inch and finished off the week sitting on 0″ inches. I will be brief as their is nothing at all to report except that John West was in good form and upbeat considering the desperate conditions on the river, and George Probert is on the mend after his recent operation George would have been unable to fish this year and i called in to see George in Dingwall he was in good form and is hoping to have a cast before the season is over.

 

Week beginning July 17th.

 

Another week of desperate conditions with one small lift in water levels with east winds which were dominant over the week only add to making fishing  conditions more difficult as if the were not challenging enough also the east wind never brings serious rain unless it is very prolonged, not like rain from the west the week ended with the gauge showing 1.5 inch.

 

Week beginning July 10th James England & party.

 

More of the same another desperately dry week with one short lived lift in the water midweek with the added factor its not just rain we need its fish there seems to be a distinct lack of grilse, the few little lifts in water we get seems to bring in practically no grilse the ground is so dry that localised torrential downpours will put river up anything from 4 to 9 inch it will almost immediately drop back to bare bones.

 

Week beginning July 3rd Peter Hodgson & party.

 

Another week of very low water conditions with overhead mostly bright and warm with the added disadvantage of a stiff east wind at times.

June

11/06/2017

Week beginning June 26th. Miss Pilling & party.

 

Monday 26th.  Again the water level was low and basically it stayed low even with frequent showers of rain  a lot of the time the rain was coming in east not as good as rain from the west for the Carron.  On Thursday night and the early hours of Friday the rain became heavier and more steady the river went up quickly and by 09.00hrs the river was at 2ft 4 inch approx by 13.00hrs it was falling the river was back down around 8 inch on Saturday one sea trout of 2lbs was the catch for the week.

 

 

Week beginning July 19th.  Mark Shirley & party.

 

This was basically another week of low water conditions the week started out with the water gauge showing 4 inch it ended the week sitting on 1.5 inches. One salmon was moved to the fly by Mark Shirley on the Tuesday.

 

 

Week beginning June 12th.

 

Mon 12th. The river level started out at 11.5 inches, by the late afternoon the water level was up to 1ft 6 inch.  Graham Grant had the only fish of the day landing a 5lb Grilse in the Raven pool the grilse was carrying long tailed sea lice.

Tue 13th. The water level today was 1ft 3 inch, Allan Donaldson landed a 6lb sea liced grilse in the McKenzie stream, Allan also caught a 10lb salmon in the Gledfield run, that was landed in the Raven pool, it jumped several times and unfortunately wrapped the nylon around its self and had a hitch knot at its gills so it was not at all easy to get it in and it took off down the fast water into the Raven pool where it was landed.

Wed14th. The river today was running at  1ft 2 inch. Allan Donaldson landed a couple of Grilse a 6lb grilse in the Upper March pool, & a 4lb Grilse in the Gledfield run, both grilse were covered in long tailed sea lice by 17.00hrs the river was down to 10.5 inch.

Thur 15th. The water level was down a good bit overnight to 8 inches and with only showers forecast i expect the river to drop further. Allan Donaldson landed a 3lb grilse, as they say small but beautifully formed carrying long tailed sea lice.

Fri 16th. The water level 5 inch.

Sat 17th. The water level 5 inch.

Over the last two weeks it has been very noticeable how few fish have been showing as they move through the Cornhill beat obviously a nice run of fish has entered the river and fortunately we have done relatively well

Total for the week 6.     1 Salmon /  5 Grilse.

 

 

 

Week beginning June 5th. 

 

Tue 6th. Yesterday the river level was sitting on zero however steady rain from the early hours of this morning that lasted all day was destined to put the river up the river did not properly start to rise till around 18.00hrs around mid day there was a very slight rise starting around 2 inches always a good time as the salmon will sense the rise coming and whether it will be a significant one. Allan Donaldson landed a 9lb salmon in the the Little falls it took a small hitch fly the bonus was it was an absolutely super take.

Wed 7th. The river was approx 6ft in the early hours of the morning, at 9.00hrs the river was at a fishable 3ft 6inch. Allan Donaldson landed a 6lb grilse in the March pool, a 7lb salmon in the Gledfield pool, and a 9lb salmon in the McKenzie stream. all three were covered in long tailed sea lice two to others were lost.

Thur 8th. At 9.00hrs. the river level was 1ft. and produced four salmon Bob Townend caught a 9lb salmon in the McGregor pool. Allan Donaldson caught a 5lb grilse in the Whirl pool, a 5lb grilse in the Raven pool. and a 6lb grilse in the McKenzie pool. several other salmon / grilse were moved to the fly which was quite encouraging that the big water from yesterday did not take all the fish up river after the 5 weeks of low water. All three of Allans salmon today were caught on a Collie dog.

Fri 9th. Unfortunately the river was back up to a big river, normally you are always grateful for water but having caught and moved fish in so many different pools yesterday i would have preferred if the river had not risen. At 9.00hrs the river height was 4ft. Graham grant was fishing with me today and Graham almost got us off to a good start by hooking and playing a salmon in the Gledfield pool unfortunately the  salmon threw the hook a after a few minutes, just minutes later Allan Donaldson had a similar experience this one was a really heavy looking salmon, Allan did land an 8lb salmon in the Gledfield pool.

Sat 10th. The river level today was 1ft 2 inch. Colin More hooked and played a salmon in the McKenzie pool i was with Colin at the time it was a strong fish and looked to be a decent fish when it threw the hook very frustrating but we have been losing fish, I was delighted when Colin did land a lovely fish in the Lairds cast, it weighed in at 11lbs and again sea liced, Allan Donaldson lost a salmon in the March pool, before Allan landed one a sea liced 7lb salmon in the Raven pool. It was a good enough week for 5 days as we did not fish the monday with several fish lost and a lot of salmon pulled.

 

Total.   11 for week.    8 Salmon & 3 grilse