2008 River Reports
Kinermony 2008 End of Season Report
Opening day was once again a fine occasion and the ceremony was conducted by Alan William, Chairman of the River Spey Fishery Board. The Grants of Glenfarclas once again kindly provided a dram for those in attendance and Walkers of Aberlour were on hand to offer their finest shortbread. Aberlour AA managed a fish on opening day but alas was caught on the spinner – Perhaps one day they will cotton on to the fact that to win the Quaich and 30 year old Glenfarclas Malt that you need to use a flee! Winner of the 2008 Spey Quaich was Mr Muir from Perthshire who caught the fish at Easter Elchies with Ghillie George Michie in attendance.
First bent rod of 2008 - alas a 2007 model
The water was running pretty high for most of January and what was clearly noticeable was the lack of Kelts. Last season there were rods bent from top to bottom on opening day but perhaps due to the higher water, there were no such tight-lines. Eventually the Oyster Catchers arrived at Kinermony which historically brought a few fresh fish along. Looking at the photo below, it appears that the odd Walrus also tagged along!
Last see well above the arctic circle !
Our first fish was caught by Kinermony regular Ian McKay from Elgin and a real beauty it was too. The fish fought magnificently and was duly returned to the water. We had a new party of guests from the North East of England in mid-Feb ably led by Mike Broadey. They were indeed a crack team and although the river level fluctuated during their week, 2 fresh fish were accounted for when others would have toiled. I’d like to see this crowd at work in May! With conditions improving, the last week of March saw Jim Fulton from Culloden landing 3 Springer’s in 2 days, the largest of which was approx 20-21lbs. I caught my first of the year on the Dee at Craigendinnie on the 28th and we ended the month with 10 fish which wasn’t too bad at all.
First of the season
The number of large fish were clearly evident and on the 12th April Mike Ritchie caught what I think is one of the best looking fish I have ever seen. Proportionally perfect, it would have made a great trophy, however Mike, an excellent angler returned the fish; the party led by Mike’s brother Graham caught 6 for their week and all were released without question. I thought that I was passionate about fly fishing until I met Graham !! Again, the last week of the month was the best and Guy Nardin and party had 9 of which 2 were over the 20lb mark.
Michael Ritchie with a cracker.
May, traditionally the best month of the season in terms or quality didn’t let us down and we ended the month with 51 fish with an average weight of 11 lbs.
The highlight of 2007 for me was ‘Ladies Day’ when Elizabeth Rowley and Isobel Edge caught their first Kinermony fish, this year it was the turn of the men and between them, Jonathon Rowley and Howard Edge shared 9 Salmon on the 14 May, the Executioner being the most successful fly.
Mr Jeremy Wade with a bar of silver. Before shot above.
As you can see below, clearly best dressed guest of 2008 has to go to Mr Ian Pawley and the fish agreed.
River levels once more throughout the summer, we continued to catch through June and July. Fortunately this year we had a few more Sea-Trout and it was well worth fishing the last hour of light as many guests proved. Tim Pullen had 3 crackers in an hour from the Little Turn along with more Salmon than hosts Robin and Fiona Taylor care to remember! Following on from a great year in 2007, the Newcombe party had an exceptional week in June. Their total was 15 Salmon and 7 Sea-trout capped by a fantastic 18 pounder by Mark Newcombe. Spoils were shared throughout the party with Mark just ahead at the end of the week.
The Newcombe Party
Marjorie Walker landed her first Kinermony salmon as a guest of Mrs Ishbel Grant. I have never met a pair such enthusiastic anglers, where every day on the water is a sheer delight. Mrs Grant ended the week as top rod with 4 fish and continued her form down river at Easter Elchies. Old campaigner Dick Oldfield’s party followed on and fished very well indeed. Dick landed the fish of the week, a 17 pounder from the Little Turn – On his own !!
Dick Oldfield in control.
Like the past few years, the Grilse didn’t arrive in numbers until August, but boy did they arrive! James and Julia Smith shared a record week and we have yet to trace back a week to better it. They ended with muscles that would put an Olympian to shame and one more than one occasion, I didn’t know which fish to net first. What a wonderful couple of such highly proficient anglers they are and I will most certainly remember their week for many a year. With a mixture of 29 Salmon and Grilse for the week, only 1 was kept – now that’s what I call fishermen.
James and Julia Smith - A lovely couple
The Brown family week followed and although Davina tried so very hard all week, almost getting washed a way in a freak flood, she failed to land her first Salmon. Her casting skills have progressed to a level where she can confidently fish unaided and it’s clearly only a matter of time until her first Salmon is caught. We had another superb week and were well over the 20 mark by Saturday. In fact on the 20th, we matched the 9 fish of the Rowley party, with Shaun, the Ballindalloch Gamekeeper landing the last of the day. Saturday saw the arrival of Scottish Team-mates Paul Garner and David Bonnington, also joined by Quint Glen, manager of the Lake of Menteith. Quint had a fish before the other 2 were set up but Davie levelled the score before adding a further 3. Like his rainbow fishing, Paul needs to try a wee bit harder………
Ghillies can ocassionally catch too....
September can only be described as dour. The fish more or less switched off entirely and I had to applaud the efforts of the guys fishing during this period. We ended the season with a record catch and with a rod average of over 75 Kinermony has to be one of the highest above the Craigellachie bridge. Our 3 year rod average is now close to 200 and 5 year around the 175 mark with our release rate also over 80%. I’d like to take this opportunity on behalf of all at Kinermony in thanking you all for your friendship and support over the past season; our catches are simply down to your professional approach and a wee bit of luck - many thanks.
I can’t finish without mentioning the passing of Charles Brown on the 30th May. The majority of our guests have been returning to Kinermony for many years and I’m sure you will all have many fond memories of Charles. On a personal note, it was my great pleasure to work for him and I respected him from the very first moment of my interview. He was a great man and will be sorely missed.
Kinermony report Mid-September
I must apologise for the delay in updating the River Reports but have just recently returned from my Competitions sabbatical. As far as our part of the River is concerned, the fish have most certainly switched-off and even a few of the lower prime Spey beats are struggling to keep the fish interested. With high water last week, let’s hope a good number of fish took advantage of the conditions and headed for their spawning grounds. I'm afraid that the reality is that the beats above Craigellachie very rarely catch a fresh fish in September.
Fortunately by the end of August, Kinermony had already landed more fish than any season since the very early 80’s therefore it allowed our September rods to take it easy!! With most beats enjoying increased catches, I’m sure the River’s total catch will be well over last years 10,000 total and hopefully also with an increase in the release rate.
I will compile an annual report following the seasons end with a more accurate update on statistics, but at this stage, I’d just like to thank all our guests on a fantastic season and for their support of our admirable conservation policy.
Kinermony Report Week ending 23rd August
This past week was retained by the owners as their annual week, entirely for their own pleasure and that of their friends, and what a week it was!
The water level fluctuated again, especially so on Tuesday when the river rose by 18” in 40 minutes, something you may expect from the Findhorn or Deveron but certainly not the Spey. Davina was merrily fishing the Little Turn whilst the Aeroplane almost slid out of sight. Fortunately Rinnes was on hand to guide her to safety – amid the shrieks!
Davina Brown before the deluge, full of anticipation.
The fish certainly sensed the rising water and we had great sport for around an hour, landing a Salmon, 3 Grilse and a Sea-Trout – a fisherman’s Macnab perhaps.
The water dropped slowly throughout Wednesday and the Boatpool was the place to be, with just under 3’ on our gauge. 8 Salmon were caught, all coloured I have to add, ranging from 7-15lbs. Shaun Emmitt the Gamekeeper from Ballendalloch came down for a cast on Wednesday evening and added a Sea-trout to the total, proving that he’s as handy with a rod as he is with a gun.
Thursday was dominated by very heavy rain and a pretty miserable fishing day. Rinnes Brown did however catch a real beauty before the water rose; a very fresh fish estimated around 13lbs.
Rinnes Brown releases another of around 8lbs.
On Friday we were greeted with almost 5’ on the gauge and although the water dropped back slowly, it was very coloured. After lunch the sport began and we added a further 4 Salmon to the weekly total.
Saturday was very kindly donated by the family and auctioned as a fund raiser. Great Pals, team-mates and Scottish International Fly Fishermen Paul Garner and David Bonnington, travelled during the early hours along with Lake of Menteith manager Quint Glen.
Scottish International angler David Bonnington with one of his 4.
Quint wasted no time and was into a fish before Paul and Davie had got a line in the water. Furthermore, this was after drawing the ‘short straw’ of where to begin. The guys had a memorable day landing 5 Salmon, bringing our weekly total well over the 20 mark. They were than invited to the Brown family BBQ and an excellent evening was had by all. The 106% Proof Whisky even led to some ‘wedding dancing’ All 3 commented that this would be a day that they would remember for many years to come, such was their delight.
A very happy bunch and that's before the BBQ !
2 excellent weeks for Kinermony Fishing’s, bringing our annual catch over 70 fish per rod, and with still 5 weeks of the season remaining, our numbers may well compare to that of ‘days of old.’
One more week for me before 10 days of Competition fishing. During the first week of September, I will be representing Scotland in the Autumn Home International match in Wales, accompanied by fellow Orvis Alba team-mate Davie Bonnington, pictured above. Following the International, Dave and I will be travelling directly to Rutland Water, where we will meet up with our other Alba Team-mates and fish in the Lexus International Final, a 6-man team event considered as one of the top 2 major annual Fly Fishing events. Released 95%
Kinermony Report Week ending 16th August
I had wondered due to the excellent spring run whether the numbers of Grilse would be a bit lower this year, however this week was to prove that there was absolutely no shortage of Grilse or Salmon in the river.
The tenants this week were James and Julia Smith, great friends of the late Mr Charles Brown. James and Julia have many, many fond memories gathered over years of friendship with Charles and Diane and it was in my opinion very fitting that a new Kinermony Record was made this week; just such a great pity that Charles wasn't here to share the occasion in person.
With a tricky wade out to the Little Turn on Monday morning, Julia was first off the mark with a lively Grilse of around 5lbs. This was followed by a Salmon from the boatpool after lunch and due to the excellent conditions, I added another couple of Salmon to the total in the evening, again from the boatpool.
Not to be outdone, and following a good nights sleep, James was on fine form on Tuesday, landing a cracking Salmon from the boatpool and another 3 on Wednesday morning.
Above and below, James Smith in action in the Rhynd.
The sport was hard and fast and on Friday, I didn’t know which to net first as they both played fish in the Rhynd, clearly seen below.
It’s amazing how freely these fish rise to the fly when they are on and during the week, we quite often caught fish one after another. A clear example of this was in the Rhynd when between 2 Wester Elchies anglers, James caught 3 fish, to their none. Was it the fly or was it the way it was presented ? The Rhynd did however have some revenge when we had a swimmer mid –week. Fortunately it was a ‘good’ drying wind and with plenty fish to be caught, no time was wasted.
Ishbel Grant visited on Thursday and again on Friday. She was under no pressure having caught 4 fish at Easter Elchies last week and was content to try out here new line. Surprisingly all her radiant smile brought this week was a torrential downpour!!
After 30 years on Salmon fishing. I thought that I had seen most things but never an angler giving fish the opportunity of swimming away. Julia maintains that her reel was ‘sticky’ and was seen on several occasions pulling line off her reel during the fight. A sight to believe indeed and even brought tears of laughter to her following a lengthy debrief.
A couple from the Ghillie.
An exceptional week for all and personally speaking a real delight to see 27 of the 28 fish being returned to the water without any word of encouragement. James and Julia are a wonderful couple who absolutely love their fishing and travel the world in pursuit of their sport. With guests like these, it is little wonder that we have a rod average to match any beat above Craigellachie and with luck, our record catch of 2006 will soon be overtaken. No pressure those still to come !!
Very Happy Kinermony Record Holder James and Julia Smith.
Kinermony Report Week ending 9th August
Our rods were greeted with a timely rise of water and the level continued to suit us throughout the week. I have yet to fish a pool on the Spey which is more enjoyable to cast a fly on than the Rhynd at this height.
The Rhynd on Monday morning - worth a cast ?
Kinermony regular, Tom Dunn began the week with a brace from the Rhynd and could have added a further 3 had they stayed on. Both the fish he landed were very fresh and clear evidence of sea-lice around the gill cases. Davie Leith caught a cracking Grilse from below the Dykie and like Tom lost 2 more; very promising to see such a good number of fish.
Tom Dunn with a lively Grilse
The team continued to fish well throughout the week, regularly picking up quality Grilse around the 4-6lb mark and a few larger Salmon.
Professional and extremely talented artists Sebastian Letelier and Sarah Briston joined me on Friday for a walk along the banks and a cast. Sarah had recently organised a conclave to welcome Sebastian, a world class Tyer, to Scotland. A good mixture of professional tyers and fishing folk gathered at Drumuir and had a great time together; let’s hope it continues in years to come.
I managed to catch a couple of fish to keep them amused, Sarah in particular who ably played 2 of them, the second a fish of around 12lbs. Sebastian ‘raced’ up and down the pools covering every inch of water but unfortunately couldn’t connect – next time Sebastian!
Sarah Briston playing a Salmon in the Boatpool.
Sarah joined by Sebastian with some timely advice.
I have added links to both Sebastian and Sarah’s web sites below and will in time transfer them to my links page after a learn how! For those interested in a very special gift, I’d certainly have a look.
The week ended on Saturday with all 3 rods catching, 2 Salmon and a Grilse, the largest a very fresh 16-17lb cock fish to Jon Sheard. Jon forgot to pack the digital camera and ended up measuring the fish by hand-spans, 6.5 to be precise. We did suggest that method was best kept for the horses but hey, each to their own!!
Finally I have to add that on the opposite bank Malcolm Newbould put together a very capable bunch. Their etiquette and fishing skills were collectively as good as I’ve seen and their catch rate was very admirable. Around 40 fish for 6 rods and at least 3 of the fish around 20lbs. Having said that I believe slightly further down river at Rothes, they had that amount in 2 days and were certainly heading for the 100 mark for the week. Who says catch and release doesn’t pay!!
In conclusion an excellent week with all 3 rods adding to the total.
Let’s hope the 2’ rise in water on Friday didn’t send all the Grilse up river and that we can look forward to some similar sport in the weeks to come.
http://classicflyart.com/ ( Sarah Briston who specialises in painting fully dressed classic salmon flies )
http://www.sebastianletelier.com/inicio.html ( Sebastian Letelier, Fly Tyer and artist of World Class )
Kinermony Report Week ending 2nd August
With an average of a fish-a-day, this week’s party seemed pretty content, however once again had they fished in the evenings then I’m sure they would have added to their total.
Below Mike Sutton displays a Grilse from the Little Turn. He needed no prompting to hold it as close as possible to the camera; a
bit of a giveaway when Mike is only 4’6” wet through!
The sun shone very brightly until interrupted by rain on Friday. The river rose by 6” on Saturday and I’m sure we will see a few more Grilse on the go on Monday.
Without doubt, the highlight of the week was the ‘ Head Shot’ of my son’s first Rabbit, especially considering it was at 45 yards. Lachlan was joined by his friends Shaun and Jasmine Gregory and Shaun also shot his first Rabbit, again and excellent shot. You will see from the photo below that all three were very pleased with themselves.
Released Salmon and Grilse 100%
Kinermony Report Week ending 26th July
This week would have been listed as ‘prime time’ on any mid-Spey beat as it historically fell directly in line with the major Grilse run. Unfortunately the fish don’t know that and recent trends have seen the Grilse arrive around mid-late July and the main run not normally until around the beginning of August.
The fishing conditions were pretty reasonable during the past week, with sufficient water but very bright sun overhead during the day. Our party didn’t really take full advantage of the fact that the Grilse were running, concentrating on fishing during the day, and leaving the evenings for a ‘little’ socialising rather than taking advantage of the fact that the sun was off the water. However, Jim Patterson from Denny had quite a successful, yet frustrating day on Tuesday, hooking 5 fish and losing every one of them at different stages of the fight – fortunately for me, none at the net!!
My predecessor, Geoff Harris had a cast on Tuesday night and had a Salmon and Grilse from his beloved Rhynd. I also had a couple on Friday evening, one from the Little Turn and another from Pol Shuan.
Robbie Bremner visited us from Inverness on Friday and demonstrated his ability gained as a youngster on the Ness – Home of many a bonny caster. Robbie had a Grilse on briefly and fished very well throughout the day. He also recounted the tale of the Ness Monster caught last year by Donald Milne. Robbie was coincidentally fishing the beat below when Don hooked the fish, and was in attendance during the landing of the specimen. As Don had earlier stated, Robbie was also confident that the fish was 60lb +
As you can see from the photo below, my time was spent keeping an eye on the opposition, in this case, ‘Perks of the job’. I don’t think she caught much apart from my attention from ‘time to time’ and as a gentleman, I took the liberty of preserving her anonymity by removing her face from the photo, but lets just say she was rather pretty. It’s good to see that finally new blood is arriving on the river at long last. Let’s hope it continues and spreads across the water!!
Waiting for the right moment.
In conclusion, this past week would be one I’d have to suggest as ‘A week of missed opportunities’ however it’s very easy to appreciate that old and new friendships have to be renewed and consolidated during the more sociable hours. Perhaps the fact may be that ‘Old Stories’ are often easier to recall than leaving the comfort of the bar to create a few new ones. All I have to say is ‘ Whatever the story, don't worry too much about the facts, especially amongst fishermen!! ’
Kinermony Report Week ending 19th July
Mid July and still no real sign of the Grilse run. We did catch 2 this week, both in excellent condition but it appears that as last year we will be into early August before they arrive en-mass.
Tennant for the week was Andy Stephen, a BP man based in Russia. He was joined at the beginning of the week by 2 friends recently converted to the world of Salmon fishing.
Nick Ridout was successful on the Tweed last week and joined us for 2 days. He caught a very fresh 15lb Salmon on his ‘toothpick’ 13’ Greys Rod and has promised to bring a man’s rod back next year.
Jon Davison displays a nice fish from the Rhynd and below his fly!
Jon Davison had a remarkable few days landing 5 Salmon on what can only be described as ‘weird’ Fly selections. His first was caught on a size 2.0 Fully dressed Salmon Fly which would have been better suited on a Lady’s Broach! My laughter was heard in Aberlour as I unhooked and released his first fish – who needs a Ghillie!
Jon releases our first Grilse of 2008
Jon landed 3 on Wednesday on his much favoured ‘Stoats Tail’ – Yes it was blackish but had a dyed olive Bronze Mallard tail amongst other ‘features’ Perhaps we do give these fish far too much respect.
Donald Milne, captor of the largest fish in British waters, perhaps ever, fished for 3 days but although a very experienced and able fisher didn’t manage to get his name in this years return log.
The Ness Monster caught last year by Don Milne.
Mr Milne has kindly given me permission to add a few photo's of his fish to my site and over the winter months, you'll find a whole page on what I believe is a fish larger than that caught by Miss Ballantyne. If you ever get the opportunity of meeting Mr Milne, you will agree.
Ian Hutchison, captor of our largest fish on 2007, a 23 pounder, was on song again and caught this lovely fresh11-12lb fish from the Boatpool on Saturday. Note the net marks which may have been from a lower spey beat - who knows. If it was, it certainly proves the benefit of catch and release.
Unfortunately no fish for Andy and instead of breaking his duck, he broke his Loomis, adding a new 4” mid-section.
Good fishing conditions throughout the week and with the Grilse absent, a respectable catch for the week.
Kinermony Report Week ending 12th July
One of Kinermony’s longest standing tenants, Mr Dick Oldfield led a very able party last week and duly opened his account with a very lively Sea-Trout from the Little Turn on Monday Morning.
Guests Mark Freeman and Terry Tyrrell were not left behind too long and both caught their first fish on the week on Wednesday morning, Mark’s from the Upper Rhynd and Terry’s from the Boatpool.
Let's see who's in charge....................First stop - Little Turn !
Dick landed the ‘Fish of the Week’ on Wednesday, a lovely sea-liced 17 pounder, caught again in the Little Turn on the Old Faithful Munro Killer. Much debate ensued over which was the oldest, Dick or the Munro. Alll I can say on the matter is that both look pretty well used!
Another fish for the 'Old Guard'
Following heavy rain on Thursday, the river rose 3’ and was very coloured on Friday. Fortunately, timed to perfection I was fishing in a 6-man Team event on the Lake of Mentieth and therefore didn’t have to watch those dreadful spinning metal lures being chucked around the Boatpool !!
Mark was suffering from the old rubber hook syndrome and lost 5 fish on the trot. Thankfully, I had a spare Kinermony Killer in the box which didn’t take too long to prove it’s mighty power. 4 cracking fish were landed with a couple lost and Dick was so laid back by it all that he played one from the ‘Armchair’
A great week again, where I squeeze every bit of information from experienced shots Mark and Dick. All advice on correcting my shooting technique and how to get the best from my Shoot are gratefully appreciated. Let’s hope the advice pays off.
Kinermony Report Week ending 5th July
A week of dropping water, bright conditions and with many of the fish of last week now well on the way up river, things didn’t seem very optimistic to our guests. Fortunately, they were a very experienced bunch and fished the water very professionally, catching well above our expectation.
Party host Ishbel Grant had an exceptional week landing 4 fish on her favoured ‘Editor’ Her largest, a very fresh fish of 12lbs was landed on her own, ‘without the aid of a landing net’ and I’m sure a battle she will remember for many years.
Mrs Grant is one of the ‘bonniest’ fishers on the Spey both in appearance and casting ability and most certainly brightens up the banks of any beat with her infectious enthusiasm and radiant smile.
Michael Trafford from Norfolk was second off the mark with a 8lb fish from the Rhynd, which certainly put a bend in the 13’6” ‘rod with no name’
Pat Menny from Elgin was hoping to add to his first fish this time last year but although he tried very hard both day and night, it just wasn’t to be. A fine example of age being no barrier and his casting ability would put many more experienced anglers to shame. I look forward to reading about future results in dispatches.
Marjorie Walker also entered her name in the Kinermony book for the first time with a fish estimated between 6-7lbs. Her Grandson Josh came along on Saturday and demonstrated with ease how to ‘chuck out’ 40 yards and I’m sure he has an long and distinguished fishing career in front of him. Great to see such skill from a 17 year old.
David and Ella Egan from Deeside joined us on Saturday and it was great to hear the opinions of a Trout & Salmon reporter are exactly as she quotes them on her Dee reports. Keep at em Ella !
Ishbel Grant brings another to the net.
A great week, with great guests and with a party of this quality, life as a Ghillie simply gets no better, well other than by Mr John Grant picking up a rod one day!!
Kinermony Report June
Thankfully we're back on-line, thanks to my great pal Lindsay Simpson who has re-installed all the necessary software on my new hard drive. Cheers mate, we will get you a Salmon one day - honest !!
With the computer out of action for the entire month, resulting in the deletion of the web-site software, I thought it prudent to consolidate the weekly reports for the month of June. I must apologise to those publicity seekers amongst you and will make amends next year – be warned!
Following this update, I have just noticed that the report begins below with the beginning of June and ends with the last week of June. Once again I do apologise and hopefully I can get back into the normal routine sometime in the near future.
The first week of June had it usual low water and although the guests fished very well and hard, there was little reward – apart of course from the legendary B-B-Q’s. Ralph Green was host and provided an outstanding feast for his many guest throughout the week. Peter Kenyon and David Leggat were amongst those fortunate enough to catch something and both released very fresh fish on the same day.
This was however, a very sad week and will be remembered most by the passing and funeral of Mr Charles Brown, owner of Kinermony Fishings. Mr Brown managed to get the balance absolutely right was very highly respected by his many faithful guests as well as the entire local community. One of life’s ‘Real Gentlemen’ he will be sorely missed by all and I find myself most fortunate to have been his Ghillie and to have shared a few special moments with him over the past couple of years.
Kinermony faithful David Hart was next up and began the week with a cracking 12 pounder from the Boatpool. Partner in ‘Crime’ John Grant carried on the good form from last year with a nice brace and not to be outdone Mike Godson had 3 on Friday. Tony and Pam Dunn were a real delight to look after and we shared many tales from the river bank.
Lady Fiona Taylor with a recent (BSc Hon) in Cribbage had to revert to the fishing at the beginning of their week and caught a lovely 12 pounder whilst husband Robin was concentrating on the finale of the US Open. Tiger had to wait on this occasion until the fish was landed but as we know duly went on to win the tie-break. Robin however didn’t have to wait too long before his own line slid away with a lovely 9 pounder.
Tim Pullen had an excellent start to the week with a brace on Monday and followed on with a fish every day, fantastic angling by a 'reel' professional.
Tim Pullen with a wee bar of silver.
A most enthusiastic and delightful party, I look forward to their return with eager anticipation. Nothing to do with Cribbage, although M’Lady could do with a little more tuition, after her defeat by 'Parker' !!
The last week of June finally brought the Newcombe party and that much-needed rise of water and although we had bad clarity on Monday, I was fairly confident that one day lost would be little penalty. 10 fish were shared on Tuesday with the water sitting at 2’ on our Gauge; a perfect height for all the pools. No 8 Munro Killers and Silver Stoats were the best patterns, all on a floating lines. We continued to consistently catch more fish throughout the week, with Mark Newcombe landing 5 to his Rod. Again a lovely party of guests and although they found the wading very challenging, they all stuck to task, all caught fish and most importantly all thoroughly enjoyed their week. I have ordered a few hundred tonnes of shingle for their next visit and it is due to arrive some time after my Private Jet !
A 17lb fish prior to release - photo messed about with quite nicely !!
Kinermony Report Week ending 31st May
For the second week in a row, our guests were greeted with a river in much need of water, well, at least as far as Kinermony was concerned. A strong Easterly breeze made casting pretty challenging however, this did not dissuade rods who fished very well.
‘Local’ angler Peter Kyte was first off the mark with a fish from the neck of the Boatpool on a fly he has made his very own ‘The Executioner’ Fortunately his outlook on conservation is entirely opposite to the name of his favoured fly and the fish, along with all Salmon caught this week swam away strongly. Now with ‘Game On’ Ian Pawley was next off the mark with a fish, caught around 22:30pm. This was however after Dave Johnson had released 3 at a much longer range than he would have preferred. Dave was finally rewarded by our first Sea-Trout of the season as midnight approached.
Dave Johnson into a lovely fish.
Peter had an interesting half an hour in the Rhynd on Friday, hooking no less than 4 fish. Two were certainly Salmon as the photo and video footage on my blog clearly show but the jury remains out on the remainder. Peter deserves the benefit of doubt, so let’s say they were certainly game-fish! Ian again closed the gap late in the evening, this time 23:00 but his photographic skills don’t quite match his angling skills as you will see when the photo arrives. He has however become very astute at measurements unless of course it comes to his own waist…………34” indeed!! I must add however, his dress sense is quite outstanding, as you can see!
What can you say, apart from YES !
Peter landed another on Saturday morning in a lie believed to be ‘dug out over the winter months’. The fish had been in the water for a good couple of weeks but gave up a strong fight nonetheless, again on the Executioner. Peter, having been a regular visitor to Kinermony for over 20 years, and really part of the ‘Old Furniture’, was certainly reminded of one salient point. The Ghillie always knows best!!
The Spey in May - Simply Brilliant.
Kinermony Report Week ending 24th May
Unlike last week, our guests were greeted with low-water conditions. Monday morning however, was nicely overcast and as Monday mornings normally are – always an excellent opportunity of surprising a fish, especially first thing. Well, that’s exactly what Mr Jean Pucci did in the Rhynd catching 2 fish on a size 10 Jeannie behind a bemused Wester Elchies angler.
Aurillian Perez developed his love for the Little Turn during the week hooking 3 fish on separate occasions on his first cast. He landed 2 of them out on the Aeroplane stone and had an epic battle on Saturday morning with a fish in the high teens. By the time I arrived, the battle had already lasted 35 minutes and the fish was around a large stone at the end of the pool. We eventually freed the fish but it made straight down the Rhynd and around another large boulder. This time the hook hold gave way but not before the fish rolled above the water sticking both pectoral fins in the air!!
Aurillian Perez wading deeply in the upper Rhynd.
The third member of the French party Mr Philippe Berge had a very frustrating week, loosing 5 fish in play and every one was on for a minimum of 5 minutes. A quite extraordinary set of circumstances as he did absolutely nothing wrong but was simply unlucky. He remained upbeat with the view that he must have been doing something right in the first place and had the best part being the initial take.
Philippe Berge fishes the Rhynd.
With 4 fish on Saturday we reached double figures for a third consecutive week and are still catching fish with long-tailed sea-lice which is very encouraging.
This low water certainly suits Wester Elchies as the fish are all lying on their side of the streams. This was reflected in their catch of slightly over 20 this week. Hopefully we’ll get a little rain in the forthcoming week as fishing at Kinermony is certainly slightly restricted with the lower water.
Kinermony Report Week ending 17th May
A timely 4” rise in water greeted The Rowley party on Monday morning and although the water had a peaty tinge, they were full of optimism and enthusiasm as always. A stiff South Easterly breeze and bright sunshine made conditions slightly challenging but the cobwebs were blown off and the serious fishing began on Tuesday evening. Staffordshire farmer Howard Edge was first off the mark with a lovely 9lb fish from the boatpool just after 8pm. Jonathan Rowley quickly added another slightly larger fish within an hour and both boys certainly deserved their dram, as did ‘Ghillie’ Liz Rowley and photographer Isy Edge, whose radiant smile still alights Speyside on a dull evening.
Mrs Elizabeth Rowley was also in amongst the action.
A year ago on Wednesday Isy caught her first ever Salmon, and Liz also caught her first Kinermony fish. This year again, the day began well again for the ladies with Liz catching a very fresh fish from the Rhynd. This day however developed into one that Howard Edge will never forget. By 10:05pm he had landed 5 fish, 3 in double figures and all on a size 8 Executioner. Jonathan also added his weight to proceedings with another 3 – Total for the day 9 fish. The ‘Ghillie’ again did an excellent job, especially considering she landed the last 2 in the dark !
Reinforcements arrived in force on Thursday and it certainly didn’t take long for Simon Rowley to make an impact. Simon caught 2 fish in the first hour and as I write this, I’m sure if he could turn the clock back, he’d have rather spaced them out a wee bit! Jeremy Wade, fished down his beloved Little Turn without a pull, however once the Kinermony Killer was tied on was into action in the Rhynd landing a cracker of around 8lbs; little did he know more was to come. At 9:50pm had Jeremy’s reel had a ratchet on it, I was reliably informed that I’d have heard his fish’s first run from Elgin – such was the power. A momentous battle ensued and finally at 10:20pm a large bar of silver was pulled across the net, with a size 8 Kinermony Killer neatly is the scissors. The fish weighed roughly 19lbs and I’m sure Jeremy lost around half of that amount in sweat.
With a wedding in London on Saturday Jonathan and Liz departed on Friday, but not before catching a lovely fish from the Little Turn amid stiff opposition. Son Simon was on hand to net and unhook the fish, always a special moment. Their departure offered Simon’s girlfriend Claire Roberts the opportunity to brush up on her casting prowess. I have to say that on leaving today, she would put many of our male guests to shame and it’s such a pity that the fish that rolled over her fly in the Little Turn missed it. This young lady had never held a fly rod before last year and it certainly won’t be too long before she adds the first entry in her game book.
A lovely party enjoying the Spey at it’s best. Perhaps this doesn’t happen every year but when it does, you just have to make the very most of it.
Prospects for next week – I have to say that I think our guests are going to struggle unless we get a rise of water. Let’s hope I’m proved wrong!
More photographs to follow.
Kinermony Report Week ending 10th May
A rising river temperature and a dropping river level were the conditions greeted by our guests on Monday and it wasn’t long before Roger Fearnley was off the mark with a brace of fish, one from the Boatpool, followed by another from the Dykie. Sport continued throughout the week with Brian Holden and his son-in-law Richard Anderson catching one each, again from the Dykie in the space of 20 minutes on Tuesday.
Brian Holden, a Spey visitor for over 40 years owns a clothing manufacturing business in Yorkshire and is in my opinion the finest designer of fishing attire in the country. The Aberlour Tweed is both hard wearing and very smart in appearance, especially when worn by such a Good Looking Ghillie – Just see Willie Mearns at Delegyle !!
See this site for further details -www.brianholdenltd.co.uk
Back to the fishing - Not to be outdone, this year’s slow starter Colin Hayes caught up and overtook the others with 3 fish near the end of the week, before Roger evened the scores making it a close-run event. Richard had the largest at 14lbs, covered in Sea-Lice, on his first cast in the Little-Turn.
Neil Cowie from Buckie was seeking a bit of fine tuning to his single Spey off the left shoulder on Friday evening. The outcome was a much more proficient casting style and a 7lb Salmon. Not always guaranteed on a lesson I assure you but, it’s great when a plan comes together.
Local painter George Mackenzie was also lucky on Saturday night with a fish from the boatpool following renovations in the Top Hut. I also had 3 fish on the Kinermony Killer/Executioner size 8.
Numbers wise, this was the best week to date with 17 fish but unfortunately the camera was out of action. Fear not, it will be back in operation next week, and in the meantime for a few of you longer-serving Kinermony guests, I’ve added a photo of Andrew Grant, the Kinermony Ghillie before Geoff Harris displaying a fine Spey Salmon, in February 1984
Kinermony Ghillie Andrew Grant with a February fish - 1984
(Photo Courtesy of Des Colhoun)
Kinermony Report Week ending 3rd May
Our anglers were greeted on Monday with excellent fishing conditions – dropping river level with gently westerly breeze. Robin Gillespie kicked things off with a lovely fish or around 19lbs but this was soon bettered by French angler Guy Nardin who landed the larger twin at just over 20lbs. Guy’s fish had to be retained due to the fact that it had engulfed the Collie-Dog and was bleeding heavily when in the net. Fellow French angler Jean-Paul Coeuret, younger member of the ‘task force’ was also lucky with a 9lb fish from the Rhynd.
A perfect Springer caught by Guy Nardin on a Collie-Dog.
Our anglers continued their sport throughout the week and the Championship Crown was handed over to the 'Task Force' on Saturday. 82 year old Robert Vannier, accepted the trophy as 'Top Rod' for the week, an excellent achievement for a man of his age.
Robert Varnier aged 82 with a quick photo, prior to release.
Guy Nardin has been a faithful visitor to Scotland for many years, regularly fishing the Dee, Tweed and Spey, in fact he has fished Kinermony every year since 1981 and due to his excellent Spey casting skills has had more than his fair share of our fish.
Guy Nardin displays another angle of his 20 pounder.
Kinermony Report Week ending 26th April
It’s never a good beginning to a week when the Ghillie’s new Pup chews it’s way through a brand new Fly-Line owned by a guest that he’s never met before. Good job it wasn’t a good one !! ( Fair comment I thought, but it did cost me £40 nonetheless)
With 2 fish caught on Monday morning things finally seemed on the up, but alas, that was only the water level. Another Groundhog week of treading the boatpool banks loomed but fortunately the water dropped by the end of the week making wading manageable. There was certainly no shortage of fish running through with excellent reports of fish being caught a few beats below. We ended the week 1 short of the Wester Elchies total so the rods were happy and justifiably so.
Tony Hutley playing a 12lbs bar of spring silver, caught on his own fly.
Andrew Hudson, a Kinermony visitor for many years, brought up some excellent old photographs and shared some wonderful fishing stories from his exploits on the majestic Spey. With Tony Hutley and Billy Payton heading off to British Columbia later in the year, we’ll hopefully have a few more photo’s for the site, although preferably hooked by the mouth !! Good luck lads.
The Hutley Special did the business this week and when Tony sends up a photo, I’ll load it on this page. Don’t hold your breath !
I was invited to fish at Easter Elchies on Saturday night and on arrival was informed that the total so far for the week was 39 – Wow, now that is spring fishing at it’s very best. I caught No. 40, a very fresh 9lb fish and lost a further 2 all in the space of 3 hours. With such wonderful pools, it’s little wonder that their numbers are so high – a very productive and scenic beat.
Kinermony Report Week ending 19th April
A frustrating week with a good number of fish running through. High easterly winds made fishing in the boatpool very challenging and higher water prevented us fishing the top pools once again.
Steve Mannion from Butterstone, a recent celebrity on ‘The Post Code Challenge’ caught the first fish of the week in Pol Shuan. The fish was estimated at around 7lbs and was duly released, as was Steve’s team on a free transfer from ‘The Post Code Challenge’
Murdo Mackenzie from Perth had 2 fish from the boatpool, both again around the 7lbs mark. Alan MacLean had a strong fighting fish on a Black and Yellow tube on Thursday, and a video of its release has been added to my blog.
Murdo Mackenzie with a bar of silver.
Saturday was a day of Big Fish on the town water with 6 coming off around the 18-23lb mark. With only 1 retained, the local guys are certainly enhancing the reputation on the association water, now all we need is to convert them to the fly !!
Local angler Bruce Cameron with a beauty, his second of the day.
Another cracker being released from the Town Water.
Just as a note to all our guests, The Kinermony Fishings policy will be modified next year.
Spinning will not be allowed after the 1st April.
Fly Fishing will be strongly encouraged again this year, but we will continue to allow spinning, but only if the water is above 2’ on the gauge.
Saturday was a very special day for 12 year old Robyn Wilson from Aberlour, for after almost 2 years or trying, she caught her first Salmon, a beauty of 16lbs. Robyn had already lost a fish of similar size during the afternoon and was finally rewarded at 6pm. Her proud father Stuart is a stalwart of the Aberlour AA and is very much conservation minded, having returned all 5 of his fish this year.
Kinermony Report Week ending 12th April
The week began with mixed conditions both in terms of water and air. I knew that if we had fresh fish running through that this week’s team were more than capable of catching them, in fact they are as close to Professional Salmon Anglers as you can get. The fish initially seemed reluctant to stop due to fluctuating water levels but by Wednesday we had a gradually dropping river and began to get a bit of action. A few fish were hooked, pulled and lost but eventually Brian Garden, just back from Malaysia the previous night caught a very fresh fish of around 8-9lbs.
Brian Garden with his first of 2 springers.
We continued to catch more fish throughout the remainder of the week, capped by the Ritchie brothers, Graham and Michael catching a brace of 20 pounders. Both fish measured just over 35’’ and were very deep, measuring 19’’ girth. Graham’s was slightly longer and Mike’s deeper so we’ll have to call it an honourable draw.
Graham Ritchie's fish and feet !
Almost ready to go - a fine specimen.
A very successful week for Kinermony and with guests of this quality, I can only imagine what our annual total would be if they fished every week!
Most successful methods – Multi-Tips or extra fast sink tips combined with floaters. Flies – 1’’ tubes of various colours, black/yellow/orange combinations.
Just as a footnote, we had the River Deveron’s premier beat (Forglen) Ghillie, Robert Cardno fishing today. For those of you interested in buying a quality gift for that special occasion, have a look at his web-site added below. He comes very highly recommended and having seen his hand-crafted work, I assure you it is of the utmost quality.
Kinermony Report Week ending 5th April
A very frustrating week in term of river conditions. Without even beginning to describe the treacherous wind, the water rose on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, dropped overnight on Wednesday, then rose again on Friday and Saturday – Not Good !
Our faithful rods did fish very hard; restricted to the Dykie and Boatpool they now know every blade of grass by name. We also have a friendly kelt by the name of Rusty who, retired surgeon John Cockburn has developed quite a friendship with. He caught Rusty on consecutive days; same place, same time and same result.
The ladies out-fished the men by far and I have added a couple of action photo’s below. Marjorie Walker fished very well indeed but just couldn’t quite catch a 2008 model; hopefully next time. Effie Cockburn also caught a fresh-water mussel on a cascade - not an every day occurrence!
On a slightly more positive note, we did see a number of fish moving through, but most had the ‘First Stop Grantown’ clearly displayed. If we can get some continuity to the level next week, I am confident that we will have a few more in the book.
Kinermony Report Week ending 29th March
We were greeted on Monday with 2” of Snow and scattered wintry showers spread throughout the day. Not to be deterred too much Kinermony spring regular Jim Fulton from Cawdor headed up to the top half of the beat, whilst I awaited the arrival of other guests. At 10:30 I arrived to find Jim fishing the Little-Turn with a broad smile. Knowing him only too well, I knew he had a story to tell and it didn’t take too long for him to come up with the goods. His fish had been caught just below the ‘Big Pig’, our first from the Rhynd this season. Jim caught another at a similar time on the following day, again from the same lie.
Later on Tuesday afternoon whilst ‘going through the motions’ Jim hooked what I have to say is the best fighting fish I have seen for many a year. He struggled for almost 20 minutes before we got it in the net, and a real beauty it was too.
The water continued to drop and was just above the 2’ (no- spinning marker) on Wednesday when retired dentist and another member of the Kinermony faithful, Jim Tait caught a fish estimated at 7lb from the tail of Pol Shuan on his favourite Yellow belly minnow and Silex reel. This fish had similar luck to a bottom hut mouse, which had a luck escape, as I had forgotten to set the trap.
Thursday saw Ian Mackay from Elgin add to his early March 18lb fish with another prime Springer of around 12lbs. Anglers like Ian are always welcome back with open arms, as he seldom has a blank day. The bottom hut mouse didn’t have similar luck!
The 12lb bar of spring silver caught by Ian Mackay.
I had a day on the Craigendinnie beat of the Dee on Friday and caught my first of the season, a fish around 7-8lbs. I really enjoyed my busman’s holiday and would have landed 2 if I had invested in some quality hooks. The second fish snapping off 1 of the barbs on my treble hook!
The snow melted over Friday-Saturday with a 9” rise in water. We now have a good height for the entire beat so let’s hope that there are a few more fish keen to stop off at Kinermony.
Kinermony Report Week ending 22nd March
Our guests on Monday arrived with the water is great condition. 2’8” on the gauge and fining down nicely. Overhead conditions were also favourable; all we needed were fish. 2 Jim’s and Wilson from the Denny area were the team for Monday, with Jim Colley keen to get to grips with the dreaded Speycast. Wilson led the way and was soon into a fish, yet another one of those 2007 models but food for thought.
Following an introduction to Speycasting, Jim Colley began his adventure in the Boatpool. He was consistently casting 20-25 yards of line using a double-spey with a favourable downstream breeze. Half way down the pool, the water erupted, as a Springer on 14lbs grabbed his cascade. The battle commenced and with 3 voices all giving him different advice, he eventually made his way to the steep bank where Jim Forbes grabbed the rod (only briefly). Jim C regained control and the fish was eventually brought ashore. Although it was Jim’s first ever Salmon, he was more then happy to comply with Spey Fishery board rules and return it, however once in the net, it was clear that the fish was very deeply hooked and blood was oozing from the gills – these things happen.
As far as Salmon are concerned, you will never get a better tasting fish than a fresh Springer and I’m sure whoever gets the middle cut will agree!
Although most beats have had a few fish, they don’t seem to be here in any numbers yet; however it still is early days. Hopefully things will pick up in the next month and with a day on the Dee at Craigendinnie next Friday, I’m looking forward to getting off the mark myself.
Kinermony Report Week ending 15th March
The week began with over 4’ on the gauge and a strong, gusty, easterly and upstream wind making casting very testing indeed. Our guests were a party from the Tyne ably led by ‘Tynespeycaster’ Mike Broadey.
Regular guests to the Spey, they took no time in settling in and almost immediately had a few kelts interested in their mobile and innovative fly patterns. Father and son team, John & Nigel Arthur fished very hard over 3 days before departing to fish the Tay on Thursday. They left the glory to Expert Fly-Tyer Tom Robinson, who caught and released a fine 7lb fish on his own creation of the Ice Maiden tube on Wednesday and a fish or similar size was caught across the river on Wester Elchies.
The water was reluctant to drop therefore the guys spent most of their time on the Boatpool where many rod and line combinations were tested throughout the week. I have to say that these Tyne boys certainly can fish. Innovative fly-tyers, thoughtful anglers and with bags of enthusiasm; it’s very easy to see why they catch more than their fair share of fish; luck has very little to do with it. Hopefully in May and June they’ll oblige us by letting a few up past.