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 secure a week there with guests on this, the final week. To say that Arndilly lived up to its reputation as being one of the Spey’s top beats is a total understatement. Our guests were housed in the wonderful Tominachty house, a beautiful and extremely homely fishing lodge set high above the river and featuring panoramic views over the village of Craigellachie and Macallan distillery. The lodge, which sleeps up to 20 people, was the first part of a very special week, which, even during one of the rivers worst years ever, still provided our clients with 12 salmon with an average weight of around 15lbs (and as I write this, they have still one day to fish).
Looking after our guests in the house was Derek Conder, a cook and house- host second to no one I’ve ever came across in my 30 years in the business. A real professional to whom nothing was too much trouble and who’s food was simply amazing.
Add to this this three extremely attentive Spey Ghillies, professional in every way, and you have the perfect foundation to enjoy fishing some of the most beautiful fly water on the river. Just like the season, the week passed all to quickly and before we knew the final day of the season is upon us. Splitting the week into two ensured 14 of my good customers could enjoy the splendour of this 7 rod beat. The first group, a professional bunch in every sense of the word, catching 12 fish in difficult conditions, whilst the second group, although they had better water, had much brighter conditions which most salmon fishers know, tend to put the fish down at this time of the year. However, all very much enjoyed the “experience” that was fishing on the wonderful Arndilly and being looked after by some of the best people in their respective business. Having not fished this beat before 2017, not only was it a delight to finally do this, but I very much look forward to casting a fly here during 2018. It reinforced something I’ve always known, there’s no place quite like the River Spey!