The final return for Season 2018 was 300 salmon and grilse at an average weight of 4½ lbs. 105 fish (35%) were caught on the lochs. 280 fish (93.5%) of the catch was returned voluntarily.
An estimated 48 salmon were recorded, (16% of the rod catch), all but 3 were returned. 10 fish were caught pre-main season. The two biggest fish of the season was a 16 lb. cock caught by Mr. David McRobbie from the Kelt pool and a 15 lb. cock from the Ford Stream caught by Dr Keith Williams.
Additionally, there were 104 Sea trout, slightly down on last year, and 404 Brown trout – significantly down on previous years.Five- year averages are now: Salmon and grilse: 266, Sea trout: 200, and Brown trout: 682.
Water levels stayed high in to October, with the gauge rarely dropping below 4'. Fishing was patchy and unpredictable but occasionally very good. The fish seemed to have run out of the river which is unusual, with only the occasional fish being seen and caught there. The First Stream has had good numbers of fish showing in it and fished very well at times. As the season drew to a close most of the fish caught were from the Little Langavat stream. We had 22 Salmon and grilse for the month, giving us a seasons total of 300.
September began much as August had left off, with fish showing throughout the system in good numbers but proving hard to catch. Heavy rain came in the second week of the month and continued for several weeks, with the gauge rising to over 5' by the 19th. This rise also brought with it better fishing and the last two weeks of September were very productive, with several larger fish being landed including a 16lb cock fish from the Kelt Pool caught by David McRobbie, and a 15lb Cock from the Ford for Dr Keith Williams. Several other fish of 8 – 10lb were also landed.
The months total of 77 Salmon and grilse makes it one of the best Septembers for some time.
Water levels remained steady throughout August at between 2' and 3'. The first week of the month produced a very respectable 33 fish, mostly from the lower river and in particular from the Kelt pool although fish were seen and caught on all beats. Conditions as the month went on were very variable, with lack of wind making fishing difficult at times. Fish were showing on the lochs in decent numbers at times but proving very difficult to tempt. We finished the month with a fairly respectable tally of 94 Salmon and Grilse. Sea trout have been very scarce this season and for some reason our Brown Trout numbers are also well down.
We began July with hot and dry weather in firm control making fishing a challenge. Water levels were low and slowly dropping. Despite this fish were steadily entering the system and building up in the Kelt Pool and Loch One. As the month went on it stayed dry but more windy and overcast weather allowed the water to cool down. This resulted in steady fishing on Loch One with a few fish being caught on the lower river.
Large shoals began to build at the river mouth, providing quite a spectacle, but most were reluctant to enter the river due to the low water.
Loch one continued to provide good sport at times throughout the month, and given the low water and the fact that most fish remained at sea the July total of 75 fish is fairly satisfactory.
The rain finally came at the end of the month and we enter August with a much healthier water level and steady catches.
June began with water levels quite low after a long hot spell but some heavy rain early in the month freshened things up and lifted the level to 2' 1” on the gauge.
Fish were in evidence from early in the month. The ghillies managed to catch a few before our first party arrived on the 14th. This first week produced 15 fish, extremely good for this time of year with fish being caught from the Sea Pool to the Ford Stream. Conditions early on were variable, with winds reaching gale force at times but this brief spell of low pressure soon gave way to more settled conditions with high pressure and hot sunny weather for most of the last week of June. This meant water levels began to drop and fish were more difficult to tempt but we still managed to pick up the odd ones and finished with a total of 29 for the month. Most were grilse around the 4 – 5lb mark but Fraser Lawrie landed a nice 8lb cock fish from the tail of the First Stream.
PRE SEASON SUMMARY
The river and streams were fished regularly from opening day this year by local anglers. Water levels were pretty good on the whole but cold Easterly winds prevailed for much of March and April. Conditions in May were more favourable and our local fisheries trust biologist Paul Hopper opened the account with a nice 9lb Hen from the Kelt Pool on the 4th May, losing another shortly after. There were several more fish connected with and lost over the next week until Donnie Whiteford landed the second, a 7lb Cock, on the 9th from the First Stream.
A few more fish were touched and lost as the month progressed and grilse began to appear towards the end of May. Grimersta senior ghillie Peter Ratcliffe landed a nice 5lb cock fish in the Sea Pool on the 23rd.
A spell of very warm and bright weather has seen water levels dropping but it remains high enough for fish to run the river as we enter June. Several more fish have been seen and a few lost before local angler Andrew Smith managed to land a 4 ½lb hen from above the First Stream on the evening of the 4th June. Peter Ratcliffe added to his tally with a 4lb Hen from Macleays stream at last light on the 6th June and two more from the First Stream on the 11th. Shaun Molloy managed to entice a 4½lb hen from the sea pool on the same day. The first stream produced another two on the 12th.
There have been encouraging reports of good shoals seen off Barvas so hopefully we are going to see some decent numbers of grilse arriving soon. A change in the weather and some rain is now on the way so we greet our first guests with high hopes.
First reported salmon for the Hebrides this season and a first Grimersta Springer for Paul Hopper, Outer Hebrides Fisheries Trust Biologist. 9lb salmon on a size 6 Tosh just before lunch 4th May 2018.
Previous Season's Reports