The first salmon of the season was caught on the 29th May from the Scaur at Knockdolian by myself (Gordon Hyslop) It was late evening just after 9pm, the fish took a Stinchar Flamethrower Tube, it was around 11lbs, a hen fish, no lice but spanking fresh and after a quick photo swam away strongly. I have been out periodically throughout the month and have been encouraged by seeing a few fish. Most have been sea-trout and I landed and released a thumper close on 4lbs on the evening of the 16th. Two salmon have also been reported hooked and lost up on Dalreoch. It is still early days here on Stinchar but if we get the water, I get the feeling we will be in for some decent sport.
The Scottish Government has banned the killing of Salmon by rod and line and nets before April 1st. The law comes into force on Jan 9th 2015.
If a fish is killed accidentally it MUST BE RETURNED TO THE RIVER.
Many district boards are strongly recommending that this law should be extended to July 1st.
Ian Gordon has started a petition to try to encourage ministers to move the ban to July to try to protect the entire spring run.
If you wish to sign the petition, this is the link
At Ballantrae Bridge Robert Redhead’s party caught 9 salmon and four sea trout during the week beginning 6th October including an 18lb cock fish from the Lower Bridge Pool caught by Robert Stock. Following week, water level dropped to low summer height and the Bond party caught 1 grilse and 1 sea trout with Saturday unfishable.
Balnowlart had three for Kenny Gibson, Two for Jim Gruggan best 12lb, One for Hugh Mclatchie and I managed brace myself from the Tig pool just as the light went on the W Gunn, best 8lb
Knockdolian had a good week, landing 36. Swede Kent Hankasson and his 2 friends caught 16 between them. On Sat. 11th he caught an 18lb fish from McCallums. I had two from Dalni and Scaur. John Hall had four from Twins and Bank Wheel. Brian Wilson and Tony Coughlin had three from Twins and Bank Wheel
A. Cowan caught a 7lb on the 9th from McCallums and a 9lb and 7lb from Bank Wheel on the 10th.
Colmonell Club water had a few, Les Howarth had 5 for the week, Craig Hastings had one and Garry Burden also had one.
Kirkhill has had a number of fish, again as in the other beats most have been small and coloured and have been returned. The best fish was one of 11lbs
Dalreoch the Carney Party landed 3 fish, 2 for Dave Carney biggest from the Smiddy wheel at 8lb and Trevor Simpson had a 5lb fish from the Craig. On Almont Johnny Gaff landed 4 fish from the hut pool. Alan Robb also had 2 fish biggest 13lb from the flats. On Wednesday on Dalreoch the Carneys had 5 fish biggest by Dave Carney a 15lb fish from the Hairs took. On Almont Andrew Mc IIwraith had a 6lb fish from the flats. On Bardrochat John Paton had a 6lb fish from the corner pool. On Thursday the carneys had 3 fish on Dalreoch biggest landed by D Mitchell a 17lber from the Hairs Took. At Almont Alan Scott had a 6lb fish from the flats and Jim Hopkins also had 2 fish from the flats, on Friday the carneys had 2 fish D Mitchell with the biggest a 12lb fish from the Battery. On Almont Ian Kemp had 2 fish both around 6lb mark from the flats On Saturday the Carneys had 2 fish biggest a 20lber landed by Alan Box from the Craig. On Almont Jonny Gaff had a fish from the lairds run around 6lb.
On Hallowchapel, Kenny Gibson and Andy Ewing had bought the day at the Ayrshire River Trust auction and managed to land a brace apiece, all in the 5 – 7lb range, one of which was sparkling fresh. The Cree party had 6 on the Thursday and Andrew Cameron and his son had one each on Friday.
Up on the Wee Stinchar, Paul Parker and Douglas Faulds both had fish from Minuntion.
We have 10 days of this season remaining as I write, and a lot of rain is forecast for the week so hopefully if the leaves don’t have the water like pea soup we might get a few in the book yet.
The dry spell finally ended with torrential rain on Friday October 3rd. On the Saturday morning the river was just below 5ft on the gauge on Colmonell Bridge. Farther heavy showers all morning kept it running high and dirty and also full of leaves rendering it unfishable all day.
Sunday, the water had fined down and cleared and looked very good for the coming week.
Monday morning arrived, as did a storm with heavy rain and gales. The river rising to 10ft on the gauge at the bridge. So it was Tuesday morning before anglers finally got to wet a line.
At the end of the day it became clear there was no great run of fish heading upstream. It had been hoped there would be a large number gathered up in the sea, waiting for a lift in water but it looks as if this was not the case.
That said, a reasonable number were encountered throughout the remainder of the week. The downside is most were small and coloured. We did have a few double figured fish and the occasional fresh one.
I will have a more detailed report next week as to who caught what and where. Meantime I can confirm Knockdolian landed 26 fish for the week, Dalreoch had 28 including a 20lb fish on Sat.
Les Howarth had 5 from the Colmonell AC water, Johnny Gaff 4 from Almont, John Hall 4 from Knockdolian and I had 4, Two from Knockdolian and two from Balnowlart.
As I say a more detailed report to follow when I receive individual beat reports.
River Stinchar report, week ending 17th August 2014
The season so far on Stinchar has been a non-event really. It seems so long ago, Les Howarth got us off the mark with his fish on May 8th then again on the 20th.
Since then we had an incident of fish dying in the river. A few were noticed above Colmonell towards the end of July during the hot weather, and by Fri the 25th there were many fish dead. Hundreds of Parr, numerous Whittling, mature Sea-Trout and a few Salmon.
SEPA were informed along with the biologists from Ayrshire Rivers Trust and they were in attendance on Friday and Saturday to try to establish the cause. As it happened at the weekend, no water samples were taken until the Monday as they wouldn’t have been analysed until then and the samples from Friday would not be of any use by Monday. So much for their emergency procedures!
The findings were oxygen deprivation due to the hot weather. Water temperature was 23 degrees on the Friday when SEPA arrived. The report is on the Ayrshire Rivers Trust web site if anyone wishes to read it. I would have liked to have had the water sampled straight away as it rained all day on the Sunday no doubt cooling and introducing some fresh water to the sample to be analysed.
I also find it very strange that only the section from the middle of the Dalreoch beat down to the bottom of Knockdolian seemed to be the area affected. I would have thought it would have been the whole of the system, if indeed this was the problem. One thing is for sure, the river has lost valuable stock, both for the present and the future.
On to the fishing now, and currently things are very slow. We had two feet of water on Monday August 4th and a few fish were encountered, mostly coloured.
Robert Dalrymple landed a small Grilse struggling to be 4lbs at Ballantrae, Almont & Dalreoch had 3 between them and one small grilse at Hallowchapel.
Week beginning 11th we had good water all week and catches didn’t really improve greatly.
Ballantrae had 4, Balnowlart 2, Knockdolian 2, Bardrochat, Dalreoch and Almont 10 between the three beats, Hallowchapel 2, Minuntion 1 and Knockeen 1.
A poor return for the time of year. What’s gone wrong? Where do I start!
Firstly (and this is only my opinion). It is really only the first spell of water we have had and it has been heavily peat stained with lots of “froth” on the surface (like sweetheart stout) the fish never really want to play in these conditions. Many anglers on the lower river are convinced there are very few fish about. This would appear to be the case as I have fished most evenings and have still to see a splash never mind get a pull. However I think it is still early days to be declaring the disaster many of the prophets of doom have already succumbed to. There is no doubt in my mind we no longer get the runs of fish seen in the past and the last few years seem to have dipped considerably.
I recently attended one of the round table meetings organised by the Wild Fisheries Review chaired by Andrew Thin (retired chairman of SNH). I suggest you Google the above and read their monthly bulletins and see what they are proposing for the future of our sport. I also suggest you write to him with your concerns for the migratory fish or rather the lack of them before they start introducing their national levy (rod license) and also a local levy which no doubt can only push up the already expensive Salmon fishing. One thing which really concerns me is the abolition of the district salmon fishery boards. Love them or loath them, no one is going to convince me a “local” fishery organisation made up of a number of people who have probably never even heard of the river Stinchar is going to improve anything on the fishing front for our river.
Hope to be wearing my happy face by the next report
Fisherman’s MapA beautiful art print of the River Stinchar, showing all the beats and main salmon pools, is available to buy for only £20. Order your copy here.
River Cam at Colmonell