As I type this report (Sept 30th) the river is sitting at 6ft on the marker at Colmonell. The forecast for the coming week remains unsettled. That is just music to the ears of the anglers who have just arrived for their long awaited, weeks fishing. I can’t help feeling this has been part of the problem that we have encountered this September. The river has been up & down like a yo-yo and catches have not been what we are accustomed to for September.
Contrary to what some anglers believe, there is a fairly decent head of fish in the river but for some reason they are reluctant to show. They are well spread out in the system with reports of fish off the very top of the river, 6 weeks earlier than usual.
Ballantrae beats haven’t been setting any records, although to be fair many of the tenants here are pretty relaxed about their fishing break, often combining a round of golf or two with the fishing.
Balnowlart syndicate rods are probably experiencing the leanest September for many a year with blank days common place. Successful rods were Ian Erskine, Jim Gruggan, Steven Holiday, Kenny Gibson, Kenneth Hyslop, Andy Ewan, Stuart Lang and myself.
On Knockdolian the last week was quieter with 11 for the week. Mr Cherry’s party caught 6, the biggest being 19lb from Corner Pool on the Thursday. Robert Straver caught a 9lb on the Tuesday from Corner Pool.
Paul Smith caught a 13lb on the Thursday from Blackstone. John Hall caught a 15lb from Kinning Parks (32″ long) on the Saturday and a 6lb from Shakiston.
Last year September’s total was 89 compared to 43 this year.
Colmonell Club had a few, Les Howarth 13lb, Alexander Wilson 12lb and his father Sandy had two small grilse and one estimated around 17lb.
At Kirkhill, Gilbert Brown said fish were about, but rods had to work hard for them. Steven Johnston caught his first double figure fish at 11lbs. A few smaller fish were also caught and both Gilbert and John McColm lost really big fish after having them all for some time.
Apologies to the rods on Bardrochat, Dalreoch and Almont as I couldn’t get hold of John for details of successful rods but the total for the month was 17, best 12lb.
Hallowchapel have been putting quite a few in the book including one over 20lbs returned.
The Wee Stinchar has produced fish all the way to the top. A 10lb fish was reported from Knockeen, which is well above Barr village.
Minuntion is still in the action with fish for Eddy Smith, John Scobie and a first Stinchar fish for Ian Bunch.
The prospects for the remainder of this season is difficult to predict, but unless we see a vast improvement in the Autumn run, it looks as if returns are going to be considerably down on last year.