The final return for Season 2017 was 260 salmon and grilse at an average weight of 4¼ lbs. 72 fish (28%) were caught on the lochs. 228 fish (88%) of the catch was returned voluntarily.
An estimated 39 salmon were recorded, (15% of the rod catch), all of which were returned. 5 fish were caught pre-main season. The two biggest fish of the season, both returned, were caught in October, a 12 lb. Hen from the Ford Stream caught by Rene Faber and an 11 lb. Hen from Benjie’s for Tobias Park.
Additionally, there were 93 Sea trout and 768 Brown trout.
Five- year averages are now salmon and grilse: 278 (previously 321); Sea trout: 240 (previously 278); Brown trout: 716 (previously 672).
After a slow start to the Spring fishing four nice Springers were landed in late April. Unfortunately, the water dropped away rapidly thereafter and May was disappointing with only one fish caught late in the month.
Water levels were low as our first guests arrived in early June but grilse were beginning to appear and the fishing was good for the early parties. The fish continued to run steadily in to July but not in huge numbers and although the fishing was steady with all weeks producing fish we didn't have any really big weeks as we often do in July. The water stayed low until late July and when it did come it didn't cause on the fish on loch to run further up the system as has happened in previous years, and they seemed content to stay put in the lower system.
Fish were in evidence on Loch Four from early on and were seen and caught fairly regularly. Loch Three was disappointing all season, occasionally fish were seen but never in great numbers and the catches reflected this.
The pattern of steady but unspectacular weeks continued right through the season with all parties managing to catch a few fish. A late season rise in water brought the fish on and the last couple of weeks were as good as any.
It was a frustrating latter part of the season on the lochs. Although fish continued to show, often in very good numbers, after mid-August they were incredibly difficult to tempt.
In common with all fisheries in the Hebrides and many elsewhere in the country it was not a very good grilse run and the final tally of 260 is quite satisfactory after the relatively poor July.
October began much as September had ended, with high water and fish being caught mostly on the river but still proving hard to tempt. The picture changed during the last week of the season however, with fish taking more readily and the final monthly tally was a respectable 36 salmon. In a season where the average size of the fish has been smaller than normal there were some better fish taken during the last week. Although the bulk of Octobers fish were cocks, there was a lovely 12lb hen fish caught by Rene Faber from the Ford Stream and a 10lb hen from Benjies pool, caught by ghillie Tobias Park.
September was a very mixed month in terms of conditions, varying from flat calm and midge to good strong westerly winds. Water levels remained high throughout and the bulk of the fish again came from the river and streams with the fish remaining largely unwilling to co-operate on the lochs. Several first-time visitors to Grimersta managed to catch their first Hebridean salmon. Occasional fresh fish were still being caught and seen.
August began well with good catches early in the month. The high water meant Fish were caught throughout the system, although mostly on the river and streams. Fish were showing in reasonable numbers on lochs Faoghail an Tuim and Airigh na h-Airde and provided some good sport, but became increasingly difficult to tempt as the month went on. Water levels continued to rise as the month progressed, but fish were reluctant to take despite favourable conditions. Nevertheless, all parties managed to catch fish and the monthly total of 73 is reasonable if not exceptional.
Steady but unspectacular is the best way to describe the fishing in July. Fish were running in throughout the month and seemed to be settling mostly in the lower beats, although loch Airigh na h-Airde (Loch Four) has been producing a reasonable number as well.
Rain came towards the end of the month with water levels rising and as a result most of the pools in the river began to produce fish. Thankfully the fish that are in loch Faoghail An Tuim (Loch One) were settled enough that the higher water didn’t encourage as many to run as happened last season, and fishing remained steady on the loch when conditions allowed. Loch Faoghail Kirraval (Loch Three) remains disappointing, and there have been no Salmon yet caught on Loch An Easa Ghil (Stewart's Loch)
While we have not had any really big weeks in terms of catches, every week has enjoyed sport and the numbers have been remarkably steady for July, marred only by three days of very hot and still weather during which only one fish was caught.
June has been a very good month this year, steady numbers of fish running in and being caught throughout the system from the Sea Pool to Loch four. Intermittent rain has kept the water levels at a very steady 1’10” – 2’4” which is ideal for this time of year. A few days of East and North East aside the wind has also been favourable with moderate to strong Westerlies.
Sea trout are just beginning to appear and although not many have been caught yet, those that have are in very good condition.
31 Salmon and grilse were caught, and we had a nice finish to the month with two first ever fish on the 30th for Steve Buckby and Richard Waite.
Our usual die hard local anglers began fishing as soon as the season opened in February. Despite regular outings in pretty good conditions, it wasn’t until the 14th of April that the first Salmon was caught by local angler Roddy Gomez. This was followed by another three April fish, one for Philip Blair and two for Howard Maciver, carrying on where he left off last season.
Unfortunately, we then had a prolonged dry spell and water levels plummeted, meaning a difficult May. The gauge was down to 1’7” for a while, and while we have had some rain and it came up an inch or so it is still low. It wasn’t until the 30th that another fish was caught, new Ghillie Tobias Park with a lovely 6.5lber from the tail of the first stream, ably ghillied by Peter.
There have been fish seen in the sea, and we have had reports of fish caught on Langavat so they are running the river despite the low water. The seasonal staff are all here now, and boats out on all the lochs so hopefully there will be a few more in the book before the first guests arrive.
... a wonderful 2017 Grimersta springer before release
...and Jubilee Pool with Island Bothy. Snow on the hills in April. Cuckoo arrives and makes himself known timeously and without fail on the 28th.
Previous Season's Reports