Many moons have passed since I began working as a Ghillie on the #RiverSpey, in fact 35 years to be precise. Looking back, one of the things I remember was, most guests were much weaker fly casters than today’s guests. In fact, most couldn’t handle a sinking line and heavy fly at all. But to be fair, this was down to the fact that all they had was a fast sinking double taper line. 4 - 6 hours of lashing this around each day was more than enough for anyone. Most would resort t
Below is a blog I wrote in 2013 but I found interesting given the initial findings of the Missing Salmon Project. Why can I not find salmon fishing on the River Spey? An interesting question and using the River Dee as an analogy, one that’s fairly easy to answer! Prior to the “perceived” collapse of rivers run the 1990s, irrespective of social background, or anything else for that matter, the chances of fishing those classic beats of the River Dee during prime time, at best,
The end, or a new beginning for the “Business” of salmon fishing in Scotland!? Back in the 1990s, I began to see the decline in salmon numbers having an impact on the people who fished for them here in Scotland. Factors such as the growth of Salmon fishing in unspoiled places like Russia, greater disposable income, less holiday time, and cheaper travel began to have an impact, so gradually, potential income began haemorrhaging from the economy of Scotland. Turn the clock forw
What makes a good fishing holiday? Plenty of fish? Good company? Nice beat? Relaxation? Good service? So, given the numbers of fish we have at the moment and will have in the next years. As a salmon angler, what would you say is the most important of the above ? Plenty of Fish – Given the information we now have courtesy of the internet, everyone knows that 98% of salmon fishing is now very similar, I.e. outside the 2% of generally inaccessible beats, The chances of catching
The middle week of March is often “Ghillies Week” on Tulchan, so the week is given by the estate to the Ghillies to invite their friends for a cast on those fantastic beats. Although the first main run of fish seldom appears here on the Spey until nearer the end of March, there are always a few fish running the river at this time. Interestingly, when I began ghilliying in 1985, many of those early fish would run the river and be caught on the middle and upper Beats, however,
A lovely day with friends on the river yesterday and a conversation with a certain estate factor yesterday, reinforced to me the need for me to get my book written and another film made. With so much changing in the world of salmon fishing I believe I owe it to my friends, the salmon fishing community and wider public to tell the story of what's really happened here of the past 40 years. As a hint to part of the content, I’ve found this lovely little film on Steelhead fishing
A recent comment left on one of my film clips on You Tube interested me greatly as to what exactly it is people are looking for when visiting the Spey and other Salmon Rivers. In relation to the River Spey they wrote - "Overpriced and over-rated river like the Tweed, that sucks your money dry"! I found myself thinking, Is the Spey over-priced and over-rated? Well, I'd say that it really depends on your own personal expectations. Personally speaking, some of the best days fish
2017 season comes to an end on the Spey.
They say the older you get, the quicker time seems to pass! Not that I’m too old yet, but my god, 2017 seems to have been the quickest season ever!
My final weeks fishing this year was spent with some really good friends on what must be one of the most prolific and well known salmon beats on the entire river, a beat which prior to 2017 was the only one I’d never fished, but was fortunate enough not only to fish it in the spring, but
13th – 18th March 2017 The second week of March turned out to be quite a nice weeks fishing for those fishing on beats fished by, and offered to, my customers. “Ghillies week” on Tulchan meant that fishing here was by invitation of the Ghillie in what is a really nice social couple of days with friends. The first saw My some and I fish A Beat on Tuesday, which weather wise, was the worst day of the week, with storm force winds sweeping the country, not the best for fishing bu