Spey Salmon and Sea Trout Catches

 

Recent salmon and sea trout catch statistics for the Strathspey Angling Improvement Association water of the River Spey at Grantown on Spey

by John Gray

The River Spey is justly renowned for the quality of its salmon fishing, the lower fifty miles or so below Grantown on Spey characterised by mile upon mile of some of the most sought after fly fishing water in the world. Famous beats such as Castle Grant, Tulchan, Ballindalloch, Pitchroy, Phones, Knockando, Carron, Wester Elchies, Craigellachie, Arndilly, Rothes & Aitkenway, Delfur, Orton, Brae and Gordon Castle produce the bulk of the total Spey salmon rod catch of around 10,000 fish per annum. The sea trout of the Spey are often overlooked by those paying to fish those superb beats, overshadowed in the grand scheme of things by their cousin, the King of fish. Nevertheless, although catches in recent years have declined somewhat, the river Spey still offers some of the best sea trout fishing in Scotland. Interestingly, the best of the sea trout fishing is generally to be found in the top half of the river, in the upper Spey above Grantown, and much of it on water managed by angling associations, in particular the Strathspey Angling Improvement Association, with seven miles of the Spey above and below Grantown (along with twelve miles of the River Dulnain) and the Abernethy Angling Association, with some excellent sea trout water above and below Boat of Garten. Each will no doubt claim to have the best sea trout fishing on the whole of the Spey, and with some justification.

To illustrate the potential of these association waters, I provide below some statistics, gathered from the recent records of the Strathspey Angling Improvement Association , showing salmon and sea trout catches from 2004 to 2009 on the association water.

Salmon (including grilse) Rod Catches on the SAIA Water, Grantown  2004 - 2009

  2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 average
Feb - 2 1 - - - 0.5
Mar 16 3 6 6 10 9 8
Apr 40 29 24 21 14 24 25
May 53 67 79 83 74 54 68
June 92 56 51 65 110 88 77
July 27 28 44 52 51 44 41
Aug 57 56 84 63 91 59 68
Sept 85 93 165 63 94 49 92
total 370 334 454 353 444 327 380
 

Sea Trout Rod Catches on the SAIA water, Grantown   2004 - 2009

  2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 average
Feb - - - - - - -
Mar - - - - - - -
Apr 4 1 2 5 7 2 4
May 19 12 27 75 11 23 28
June 129 119 180 176 150 118 145
July 85 96 183 87 90 39 97
Aug 37 35 61 50 61 55 50
Sept 34 45 83 34 19 26 40
total 308 308 536 427 338 263 363

 

Method of Angling - Salmon

2005 2006 2007 2008 total %
Fly 107 162 114 155 538 32%
Worm 57 100 109 196 462 28%
Spin 170 187 130 193 680 40%

 

Method of Angling - Sea Trout

2005 2006 2007 2008 total %
Fly 129 232 90 75 526 33%
Worm 106 187 176 177 646 40%
Spin 73 117 161 86 437 27%

 

Percentage of fish returned

2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
Salmon 63% 60% 67% 65% 69%
Grilse 67% 59% 62% 61% 74%
Sea Trout 8% 25% 47% 48% 61%

Note: Approximately 40% of salmon and sea trout on the Grantown Association waters are generally caught by local members, the remaining 60% taken by visiting anglers.

 
 

 

 

For a bit more on Fishing the River Spey, see:

Salmon and Sea Trout Fishing on the River Spey

Spey Sea Trout

Sea Trout Fishing

Fishing the River Spey at Grantown

 

 

 

 

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