Fishing Reports - Castle Beat River Deveron
Hooked at dusk landed in the dark on the same small francis showing they are in the beat and can be tempted with a fly. Strong salmon jumped twice, but had the power to stay deep for a while until it came to the net, below.
A very lively salmon from Forsyth on a small heavy francis below. The fish are there just hiding in the faster deeper parts of the river, no doubt waiting for the water levels to rise like the rest of us, surely can't be that long now!
Another decent ST of 4lb+ to Colin in the pitchblack of the night proved to be a very lively mover on his 5 weight rod below.
Colin popped down to Castle yesterday for a cast and landed a 7lb salmon and a 3lb ST both from the same pool. These fell to a stoats tail with green butt tied by Sandy Howie. Playing the salmon stirred up many other fish in the pool, showing that there are few there in spite of the low water, but keeping their heads down. So the rain and impending water height rise has to really improve prospects. Colins 7lb Salmon below.
At last rain broke the seemingly neverending dry spell and the gauge went from -6cm to +1cm, not much but welcome especially with the colour and sediment from the Bogie brought on a good fishing day, 5 to the net and 2 other lost - 4 ST to 3lb and a 4lb silver grilse so fresh that I was surprised did not have sea lice, from Ringstone, see below. All fish kept in water and net and released quickly for best recovery.
A very jumpy 3lb'er from mid stream of Boundary below.
A 2.5lb'er from inside the big rock at Ringstone below.
A 1.5cm rise took the gauge to -5cm today! - still extremely low, but the drizzle gave the evening an extra freshen up, which did not dissapoint. After 5 mins at Meetings a 2lb ST landed, another 2 lost. Then another lost in Junction, and 3 lost in Aislinns. Four more lost in Forsyth, but then I left the black surface lure move more slowly and hey presto two more ST each about 2lb. Moving to Boundary, nothing until the last cast of the night connected with an extremely lively and jumpy ST of 5lb. Not bad for 2 hours fishing!
Bright silver fish are in the beat, 3 ST to 4lb from Kingsmill, Ringstone and Meetings, (and one threw the hook in Junction). All extremely lively and jumpy, and I failed to get pictures of these fish as once unhooked they flipped about and swam off before posing for the photo! ..but surely my catch of the month has to be a silver 12lb hen fish from Oak Run. I saw it move in the fast water, and was able to get a line over it. It smashed onto the lure and took off upstream, and after 10 mins and 3 tries I got it into my not quite big enough net. Water may be low but conditions about 10pm seem right!
Returning rod Mr Ironside had a good day with 4 brownies over 1lb with the largest being a 3lb'er from Black Duncan, but alas no pics. He saw 2 silver salmon on the move in Kingsmill and Meetings but despite fair efforts they were not intersted. Not bad for low water!
At last the rains came, and the gods decided to give most of it to the Bogie catchment as the graph below shows, and the picture below that shows the Meeting Pot with the Bogie pouring its sandy colour into the Deveron. Bound to move some salmon up and the times right for more ST to enter the river as well.
In spite of the sunny warm weather and with the water level dropping from the slight rise a few days ago Ray managed to temp a silver 8lb springer from Gauge pool near the fast water with a green and bronze lure. The lines across its back are where it wrapped itself in the line apparently! Good to know they are in the beat.
Who would have believed a silver Sea Trout would be in Forsyth in late March! Conditions on the day were mixed, always good to have decent water and 2ft at Castle is slightly on the High side and bright sunshine tends not to help, but in spite of this Robert Leitch from Falkirk connected with this fresh fish in Forsyth on a Park Shrimp fly. Great news to get the catching at Castle underway for 2018!
Preparation and Reflection
Tallying up the overall catches for 2017 was dissapointing. Plenty stories of lost fish, fish sightings but with not that many rods fishing overall the returns would be down. There were known salmon in the beat from April, accumulating through the year to a lot by Oct and some pushing 30lb seen too, but unfortunately they generally did not feature in the returns. Sea Trout numbers were down, and silver fish were arriving very late into October, but again not many rods targetting these. The Brownies though seem to be going from strength to strength with over 66 fish over 1lb caught for 2017. Good to see the river is showing how healthy it is.
I have a theory that nature works in cycles, and so after a poor year there has to be hope for a better next season. New Tariff for 2018 with lower prices and better weekly deals for more water should hopefully get more rods showing what the beat can do. And with improved access, covering more water should definetely help.
As a reminder below was my best clean fish from Junction in early Oct 2017. It was a good days fishing and a 12lb'er to remember.