Tuesday, 25 November 2014

2014 Salmon Fishing Highlights

Despite the obvious lack of salmon running many rivers in the Northern Hemisphere this year, my catches have been reasonably good considering. I had a few Spring fish which was very pleasing, not so much luck during the summer months but I finished my season off with a number of fish which I was grateful for. I did however, have to put in the hours for my fish as the blank days by far outnumber the successful ones.

One pleasing aspect about my 2014 season has been catching fish from several beats I had never fished before. These included a cracking Springer of around 8lb from the Castle Forbes beat on the River Don in April. Then I got two fresh, back end fish of 4lbs and 15lbs from the famous Ballogie beat of the River Dee in September and I fortunate enough to land two fish in October weighing 5lbs and 9lbs from the Don on my first ever visit to Semeil Farm.

Spring

The Spring for me was very good in terms of fish caught considering the Spring run was well down on previous years. I managed to catch salmon in February, March and April. Not landing a fish in May prevented the full house.

A particular highlight for me was landing my first February Springer from Carlogie on the River Dee. I had lost a good fish not long after starting on the Thursday morning and hardly had a touch, even from a kelt, until 4pm on the Saturday when I landed an 8lber from Fraser's Pool which was the perfect way to end my 3 days there for anther year.

My first February springer from the River Dee at Carlogie.
In March, I was lucky enough to get an invitation to fish the River Dee at Inchmarlo and was delighted to land this sea lice Springer of around 6lb in a very high water.

A nice sea liced springer from Little Blackhall & Inchmarlo in March
Another highlight was hosting a Salmo Proboards Forum Meet on the River Don at Castle Forbes along with my friend Bill Cook. We booked the whole beat for the day and there was 8 of us fishing which included some rods who had never fished the Don before. Despite low water, we landed 3 springers for our day which was a fantastic result. I got 1 and Bill got the other 2. We took a bit of stick as we were local lads and the ones who got the fish but we had a great couple of days. Good company, good craic and good fishing. What more could you want?

A cracking River Don springer from Castle Forbes in April during the Forum Meet.

Summer

Summer salmon fishing for me was almost none existent in terms of catches. I spent more time fishing for Brown Trout on the Don than anything else and landed a few good ones along the way. I did however, land a salmon from the River Don at Manar on the 23rd August in a high water. A coloured fish around 7lb came to the net after losing a bigger and cleaner fish just a few minutes earlier.
Summer Salmon from the River Don at Manar.
A sea liced grilse from the Don caught by my pal, Charlie Robertson in August.
A nice sea trout from Headinch and Cambus O May which got a good tune out of my Uncle's old Sharpes Aquarex reel.
A nice sea trout from the Spey taken on a small Monkey tube..

Back End

The back end of the season was very kind to me this year and I had a several good days on the river. A small clean Grilse and a cracker of 15lb from the Dee at Ballogie on the 22nd September is a particular highlight. Both taken on small Red Francis double.

A wee grilse from Ballogie in September.
A cracker of around 15lb also from Ballogie.
During October my catches seemed to come in pairs and I landed another two fish on the 11th October, again from the Dee, but this time at Inchmalo. These were both coloured fish which were estimated at 5lb and 14lb. 
A coloured Grilse from Inchmarlo in October.
14lb hen Salmon from Inchmarlo also during October.

A few days later, I was out for an hour or so after work on the 16th and was lucky enough to land a nice, clean fish of around 5lbs from Lower Fintray. My first salmon off the ADAA water this season. Better late than never I suppose.

A bright October Grilse from the Don at Lower Fintray.

Later in the month, I booked a last minute outing on the Upper Don at Semeil Farm and was rewarded with two fish which were roughly 5lb and 9lb respectively. It was my first time on the beat and I really enjoyed it.

A coloured fish about 5lb from Semeil.
My second fish from Semeil. A heavily coloured hen of around 9lb.
My friend, Bill Cook's 13lb Salmon from the Don at Kemnay.
I am just in the process of booking up my fishing for the Spring and I'm really looking forward to it. Hopefully it will be a better year for the Salmon this time round and we see decent runs through-out the season.Whatever happens, I'll be out on the river in the search of Silver!.

Roll on 2015!

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