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Classic Atlantic Salmon No pursuit rivals salmon rivers, flies & legacy

Thread: River Spey 2002 Opening Day Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
05-10-2002 02:07 PM
pmflyfisher Malcolm,

Thats it, our motto is "Never ever ever give up" !

It is just a matter of time until you encounter one of those memorable days when the fish cannot resist your

Each new cast and step, "its a whole new ball game" presenting new possibilities of encountering a salmon on the fly. (the quote is a american saying usually referring to when the score becomes tied in an athletic event or a dramatic play occurs changing the momentum of the athletic event, etc.. from one side to the other)


05-10-2002 01:27 PM
Willie Gunn Hal.
I don't know about one of the top rods certainly the most persistant, I have only missed one weekend since the season started.
I have ba weekend off then back again next Satyrday.

05-09-2002 04:01 PM
pmflyfisher Malcolm

Sounds like you are one of the top rods on the Spey.

In most great lakes tributaries the steelhead fishing is over by early May, only few secret rivers go to end of May. The winter steelhead which entered the rivers last fall and through out the last winter, spawn from March through April and leave the rivers by May.

Summer steelhead start arriving in late June or July. But it depends on the weather to a great degree. If we do not have some rain they may not enter the rivers until September like last year. That does not make for a happy steelhead river angler.

Since the great lakes are so large, they say you can find steelhead some where in the rivers 365 days a year. I fish primarily Michigan and Wisconsin and I would say you can find them with some degree of confidence in the rivers 10 out of 12 months. The other 2 months are a low probability of success.

Many of the rivers are open 365 days a year except for the upper tribs which are considered nursery water to protect wild steelhead stocks in selected rivers which have wild reproducing fish.


05-09-2002 03:38 PM
Well . . .

Hi Willie Gunn,

I just wandered over from the PNW Steelhead board to enjoy this thread.

In most of the Washington waters, the Spring run of Steelhead is spawning/spawned by May. Many of the waters close at the end of April and open June 1 for early Summer fish.

There are several streams that normally stay open year-round, but the main one in the Puget Sound (Washington) region is the North Fork Stillaguamish and it's been closed since Feb 28 as part of the emergency closures due to depressed wild Spring Steelhead runs.

I usually take a break after an intense March/April Spring Steelhead fishery until summer fishing begins to pick up. This usually happens late July (or whenever the runoff starts to slow).


05-09-2002 02:18 PM
Willie Gunn Hi Hal
Yes the Spey is fishing pretty good (certainly better than my english). I have had 5 for the season 4 returned and one which was seal damaged kept. This is about 20% of what the beat has taken I'm quite pleased. I have lost a couple which was becoming a worrying trend.

Why do you all stop Steelhead fishing n May? I have been dying to ask but the thread wandered off into pinkworms? what ever they are.

05-08-2002 06:19 PM
pmflyfisher Malcolm,

You have been awful quiet lately, that probably means the Spey AS fishing has been very good.

Hope all is well.


03-03-2002 07:13 AM
Willie Gunn The River Brora is at 1'9" and about 1-2 C in temperature so there should be no excuses.

I do not fish it till mid June usualy there is no water and a hot baking sun. It does not stay dark very long but it is good fun.

03-02-2002 01:30 PM
Per Stadigh Thank you, Malcolm!

Ha, that sounds slow... I guess one would have been in for an ideal situation last March, with a fine head of fish and low&cold water that kept the fish reluctant to move up through the loch. Then the darn F&M disease put a halt to it......

Thanks to great friends on the Dee we could get some early days just above Banchory - I had two spingers in heavy snow. That was quite wonderful!

Might well have been Brian Stubbs who was lucky - he knows those miles wonderfully well, and also ghillies for my host's party. When are you going there?

03-02-2002 12:58 PM
Willie Gunn
Spey Ghillies

Yes most of the beats have a resident ghillie who watches over the anglers, puts the fires on in the hut, cuts the grass as well as netting the fish for you. It is traditional to give these gentlemen a gratuity, £10 / day + £10 for each fish. I also leave a bottle of Glen Deveron.
03-02-2002 12:53 PM
Willie Gunn Per
As far as I know there has been only one fish taken from the Brora, South Bank Rallan Pool on a 3" Willie Gunn ( What Else)
The fish was caught on Feb. 13th by Brian Stubbs and was covered in sealice. To be fair the river has not been fished much as the lets have just started this week.

03-02-2002 10:30 AM
Per Stadigh Dear Willie Gunn,
Have you heard anything about the first weeks on the Brora? I am to fish the lower river/south bank early next week (Mon 11-Wed 13).
It will be my first go this year so both me and the rods are starting to rattle.....:eyecrazy:
"Tight loops"
03-01-2002 10:13 PM
pmflyfisher Juro,

I agree 100%, it is sickening what has happened to the atlantic salmon in Maine and the PNW wild steelhead situation continues look depressing. Thought they were going to fix the salmon issue in Maine 20 years ago. Beleive it is not salvageable now.

Greed and politics are the greatest threat to our fisheries, maybe also technology making information now so available on the fisheries.

We do not have inexhaustible fishery resources as so many Americans believe.

I myself am ready for more controlled fishing to protect important wild fisheries as Europe has. I will pay for that.

Unfortunately, I donot see it happening in America in my life time due to our Constitution and Bill of Rights.

Lets pray for the best.

03-01-2002 09:28 PM
juro Hal, et. al. -

The real thing is well worth it for some people. The exclusivity is part of the allure for me. In fact if one looks deeply into situation this is what has preserved their fishery for so long; where in our young country we have trashed atlantic salmon already and had to supplement what we destroyed with artificial fish populations. What there was of a legacy died with the indigenous fish, and a put-and-take mentality has taken over in the name of plentiful and free fishing not just for salmon but virtually every species.

What was once a huge population of wild US atlantic salmon now tethers on the edge of extinction in the last stand streams of Maine. It's pitiful really, salmon rivers that have been dammed and exploited to the point of bursting into flames or running in bright colors from the raw dyes dumped into them. All in the name of "free" enterprise and capitalism. Child laborers filled the factories along these rivers, some without fingers and hands from the textile mills that shaped the banks of these rivers into stone walled corridors of putrid water truncated by dams. It's money that killed these rivers and it's salmon - and ironically it's money that has kept the Spey alive.

Of course the best fishing to me is free fishing practiced in a fishery whose legacy is so rich and deep it permeates every rock and riffle. Second best is one that humans have protected with currency. If beat fees and ghillies are the cost of sustaining the legacy, then so be it - I'd pay to play no problem.

Maybe here in New England (where the only atlantic salmon runs in the union occurred) we should've adopted paid fishing for salmon a long time ago. Maybe then they'd still be around!

03-01-2002 08:38 PM
pmflyfisher Malcolm,

Do those prices include the cost of the ghillie (aka guide) ?

My understanding is that you must also have a ghillie to fish on most or all salmon rivers in UK ?

Beat + Ghillie = Total Daily Fishing Cost

03-01-2002 01:47 PM
Willie Gunn [QUOTE]Originally posted by pmflyfisher

What is the average price in pounds for a day of fishing on the Spey during peak and non peak times ? Do they take American Express also ?

Off peak, just now £30/day ie $45 US
Peak £200/day ie $300 US

Which is why I do most of my fishing early or late, clear of peak season
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