The Nairn Angling Association AGM will take place on Tuesday 10th December 2019 at 19:30. The venue will the usual place at St Ninian Bowling Club, Viewfield Drive Nairn. All club members are strongly encouraged attend, this is your chance to air your views and listen to the what work the committee have been and are carrying out to benefit your club.
At last we got some rain and the river rose to a fishable level again. Monday Marcus Conway a grilse, Tuesday and Mr Brano had a big 16 lb salmon spinning, Davie Mackintosh a 12 lb salmon and Billy Milne had a grilse. Wednesday and Charlie Black had a 10 lb salmon from Jocks on his Flamethrower fly and Gordon Rennie had 3 grilse on fly. Thursday and Charlie Black had a small grilse on fly. All these fish were released safely. It was apparent that the rise in levels had not brought in any fresh fish. The river rose on Sunday and was a good height for the last day of the season only problem was the wind had deposited a large amount of leaves which as all anglers know makes for very frustrating fishing. In the afternoon the conditions improved and David Johnstone returned 3 grilse. Anglers will note the new plaque next to the Gardners tea hut, i am sure it would bring a wry smile to the face of the late James Mackenzie thanks to Davie Mackintosh !
On reflection I would say its been a good season, but until the permits are counted it is just a guess. Members are reminded to put in their catch returns at the end of the season and also to complete the section with the number of days fished each month throughout the season. This is a Scottish Government requirement.
This was a pretty disastrous week for fishing, as the river continued to drop away to below summer level. Only 1 fish was caught for the week, by Roddie Macleod on tuesday evening, with a fresh grilse. With only 2 weeks of the season to go, lets hope the showers forecast for the coming week cause some fresh water, and catches can pick up once again. Alistair Skinner the water bailiff has completed his electro fishing for the year, and the results were good. This is a very time consuming job with the fish caught all being measured, identified as trout or parr, DNA and scale sampled, and the samples being sent to Pitlochry for analysis, so well done Ali, who was assisted by his sons and NAA members, Les Stuart and Charlie Black. NAA members have also been busy clearing paths as we have experienced a larger than normal weed growth.
After last weeks great fishing it was back down to earth with a bump as the river continued to drop away all week and finished up at summer level. A small rise at the start of the week however did give some catches. The previous week, and day ticket angler from Dingwall Mark Czerniakiewicz caught 2 grilse. Monday and Willie Wallace had 2 grilse. Tuesday and Willie Wallace had another grilse, Billy Milne a grilse, Marc Macmillan a sea trout and his friend day ticket angler Brian Thursby-Pelham a 6 lb grilse, Davie Mackintosh a grilse and Gordon Rennie a grilse. Wednesday and Gordon struck again with a large coloured 20 lb salmon that put up a long fight and he also had a grilse. The rest of the week was blank due to the low water. The coming week seems to be pretty dry so the level will continue to fall. Lets hope we get some rain soon as the season has only a few weeks left.
The river remained at a lovely level for fishing all week. This resulted in the best catches of the season. Monday and Davie Mackintosh had a grilse, Billy Milne 5 grilse, Mr Brano a grilse, Gordon Rennie a grilse and Marc Macmillan a 10 lb salmon. Tuesday and Les Stuart had a grilse, Davie Mackintosh a grilse, Charlie Black a 10 lb salmon and a grilse, Billy Milne a 14 lb salmon and a grilse, and Marc Macmillan a sea trout. Wednesday and Gordon Rennie had a 16 lb salmon landed after a long battle, and Alan Watson had a 7 lb salmon. Thursday and a visitor on a weeks permit from Ireland, Ash had a grilse. Friday and John Macdougall had a grilse. Saturday and grilse were caught by Peter Fletcher, Marc Macmillan, Davie Mackintosh, Charlie Black, and Jake Steven had a 7 lb salmon and a grilse and Sandy Wallace had a 12 lb salmon. Most of these fish were released. The forecast for next week looks like monday may have more rain so levels should stay good. The NAA put up about 500 yards of blue rope on fence posts, to guide anglers where the path was, from Graemes to Hanger pools a few years ago. This rope has been removed from the fence posts by somebody, as the path is only used by anglers. The wild life camera has captured you, so if you return the rope to the area by 15th September and leave it beside the stile, no further action will be taken.
After the great water levels last week, the river fell away to summer level, as there was no further rain. Monday and Gordon Rennie and Charlie Black had a grilse each. Tuesday and Roddie Macleod had a 2 lb sea trout, Gordon Rennie a grilse and Charlie Black 2 grilse. Wednesday and Gordon Rennie had 2 grilse. Friday and Jake Stevens had a salmon of 9 lbs and a grilse, Maciej Dubanowski a grilse his first of the season and Roddie Macleod had a grilse. The forecast looks dry until mid week when showers are forecast. The season has only 6 weeks to go, so the fish will start turning red and it is expected that anglers will put all coloured fish back. The new grades for rivers next year have been announced, and the River Nairn is once again at grade 1 which is good news indeed.
At last the decent runs of salmon and grilse arrived, mainly due to the rain which came almost every day. The NAA members took full advantage, and catches were the best of the season so far. Monday and David Johnstone had a great day with a 12 lb salmon and 2 grilse. Charlie Black had a grilse, Mr Brano a 10 lb salmon, Marc Macmillan a grilse, Billy Milne a 16 lb salmon and Gordon Rennie 2 grilse. Tuesday and Charlie Black had a 15 lb salmon and a grilse, Billy Milne 2 grilse, Willie Wallace 3 grilse, Brian Stewart a grilse and Mike Hendry back on the river after his major heart op. a grilse. Wednesday and Pat Jackson had 2 grilse, Billy Milne 3 grilse, Gordon Rennie a grilse and Charlie Black 2 grilse. Thursday and David Johnstone had 2 grilse, Findlay Mcgillivray a grilse, Brian Stewart a grilse, Gordon Rennie a grilse and Dave Carson, after hooking and losing 10 fish over the week, managed to land a grilse, so well done Dave. Friday and things quietened down and Brian Stewart was on the mark again with a grilse. Saturday was blank even though a lot of anglers were out. Apologies for anyone I have missed. All the above salmon were released, as were most of the grilse. Next week looks to be changeable at the start, so water levels should be good once more. Hopefully the great runs will continue.
The Nairn remains high but the river colour is back to normal so looks like the issue with the colour has been resolved. The Nairn District salmon fishery board have now updated their website news page and have produced in depth information on the cause all prepared by our excellent river Nairn bailiff Alistair Skinner.
The NAA weekly report follows:
The river remained fairy low on Monday and Tuesday but in spite of this fish were caught. Monday and Derek Leith had a grilse as did Gordon Rennie and Jake Steven. Tuesday and Thomas Lobar had 2 grilse and Charlie Black also had 2 grilse. Tuesday night and Wednesday saw very heavy rain and the river was unfishable until Friday. The big flood was not the filthy yellowish colour of the previous week thank goodness, and the bank up at the River Brin that caused this, would appear to be clean and washed out, as this flood was a lot bigger than the previous week.Friday and Brian Stewart from Elgin had a 12 lb salmon and Gordon Rennie had 2 sea trout. Saturday was the best day with 9 grilse caught. Successful anglers were Brian Stewart with 2 grilse, Jake Steven a grilse, Gordon Rennie 2 grilse, David Johnstone 3 grilse and Bruce from Forres with a grilse. Most of these fish were released. The week ahead looks changeable and the river should continue to keep a good level and fish well, as the grilse have appeared in numbers at last.
The weekly report from the NAA is below, i guess the main 2 questions are what is the impact to the salmon and seatrout and other wildlife on the river and 100% clarification on what the cause was and what if anything can be done to rectify. We await formal responses from Sepa and the NDSFB, the latter has yet to even acknowledge there is even an issue. Perhaps if they were emailed (there is no published contact number) a response might be forthcoming :
"The river remained very low on Monday and Tuesday but on Wednesday a small rise in levels due to a heavy shower, saw a couple of fish caught by Billy Maitland who had a 4 lb grilse and Davie Mackintosh who had a 5 lb grilse. Thursday and the river rose a foot in a few minutes, and the river became a creamy colour and was very polluted with white silt and mud. This lasted for 3 days and the whole 3 days were lost to fishing. This was not the first time this had happened as it also occurred on the 12 th of July. Complaints were made to SEPA who said that a cloudburst at the River Brin had disturbed the river bed, and nothing could be done, as the river would sort itself out with coming floods. SEPA have just issued another flood alert for the river, as storms are expected on Sunday and Monday. If this happens again, then expect a lot of irate anglers complaining. The whole river is affected by this and all beats are unfishable.
I hope the Nairn Fishery Board are doing something and also the Swan Trust are complaining too. Councillors should also be taking action as if this occurs again and again and the effects could be devastating on Nairn.
The sea from the estuary to the Nairn West Golf club, a distance of 2 miles, was a creamy colour and bathers were not going swimming. I watched dippers at Howford Bridge that were in distress as they could not feed on their usual diet swimming under the water, due to the extreme clay silt. The swans and ducks in the estuary could not feed on the seaweed they need to keep them healthy. The salmon and sea trout were nowhere to be seen, and even when the river dropped to summer level on Saturday, nothing was caught or seen. Hopefully the current stock of fish in the river have not been suffocated.
SEPA stand for Scottish Environment Protection Association. Well the environment has been affected. You say that nothing can be done and the river will clear itself out eventually. August and September are our main fishing months when the grilse enter the river. SEPA have yesterday (Saturday) issued another flood alert for the River Nairn. If this happens again you can expect to be inundated with complaints. If this was the Findhorn or Spey something would be done but as its the wee Nairn lets wait and see. SEPA web site is www.sepa.org.uk/about-us/"
The rain forecast never came and the river continued to drop away back to summer level. The first 3 days of the week were the catching days and on monday Gordon Rennie had a 5 lb grilse, Dave Carson a 4 lb grilse and John Main a 3 lb grilse. Tuesday and Gordon scored again with a 4 lb grilse and on wednesday he was on the mark again with a 5 lb grilse. Grilse are jumping in the estuary and the dolphins are there as well so given the rain forecast on sunday a decent rise may come, but the rest of the week is warm and dry. The association is having a work party to cut the access paths to the river, as the weather has caused major growth, so hopefully anglers will have an easier time getting to the pools after today.
The dry spell persisted until thursday, when a massive thundery rain fall at the top of the river caused a 1 metre rise in an hour. Friday was unfishable due to high and very thick and unusually white clay sedimented dirty water, but it dropped away to give a nice level on saturday. The river still remained an awful colour throughout, and never cleared until late saturday evening. It is thought this was due to a wind farm being constructed above Farr, with the resulting earth movement causing the pollution. This will require urgent SEPA investigation to prevent this from happening again. Monday and in low water, Dr Marc Macdonald had an early dawn cast and hooked 3 sea trout landing a 3 lb fish. Tuesday and Davie Mackintosh had a 5 lb grilse. Wednesday and Gordon Rennie had a 3 lb grilse. Thursday and Willie Wallace had a 3 lb grilse. Saturday and Gordon Rennie landed a 4 lb grilse and Willie Wallace a 3 lb sea trout. With rain showers forecast for the coming week, levels should be good for fishing.
Monday saw a nice spell of rain to raise the river level a bit. Tuesday and Willie Wallace had an 3 lb sea trout, Billy Hossack had his 1 st fish of the season, as did Roddy Macleod, with both fish about 10 lbs in weight and from the same pool. After that the river dropped rapidly and was once again at summer level. Nothing else was caught for the week. The grilse will hopefully arrive soon to get things moving once again but the rain and thunder at the weekend have not had any effect on the river so more rain is needed urgently.
Low water all last week caused catches to drop dramatically. The river is now at summer level but the coming week seems to have heavy rain forecast for today monday, so hopefully a rise in levels will see better catches. Only 1 fish was caught this week. On monday Gordon Rennie landed a 9 lb salmom. The grilse are beginning to appear earlier than usual, so lets hope the fresh water will bring in good numbers.
The weather during the week was again very changeable with heavy rain causing levels to rise most days. Monday and Davie Campbell had his 1 st fish of the season a nice 9 lb salmon. Tuesday and Charlie Black had a 12 lb salmon. On Wednesday Marcus Conway landed his first ever salmon of 8lb from Budgate on the Fly well done to him. Friday and Willie Wallace continued his good season with a 12 lb salmon and on Saturday with a nice dropping level Jake Steven had a fresh 2 lb sea trout. David Johnstone had a great day with a 4 lb sea trout and a 12 lb salmon and Davie Campbell had a 6 lb salmon. Next week seems showery so no more floods but levels should hold up.
The weather once again affected the river levels, and with the enormous amount of rain, the river was unfishable on wednesday, thursday and friday due to the high water. Flood alerts were issued by SEPA. This was in stark contrast to last year, when at this time record lows were recorded. Monday and Gordon Rennie continued his great season with a cracking big 4 lb sea trout. Tuesday and he landed a 15 lb salmon, and Willie Wallace was also successful with the first grilse of the season at 5 lbs. Saturday saw Les Stewart start his season off with a 4 lb grilse, Billy Milne had a 12 lb salmon and Gordon Rennie was once again successful with 2 salmon of 11 lb and 10 lb. All these fish were caught at the top of the NAA beats so the fish are running through the bottom beats in the high water. The coming week appears to have more settled weather and with levels continuing to drop it is expected catches will be continue to be good. The grilse run appears to be starting several weeks early this year for some reason.
Again we had a decent spells of rain this week, but the river was too high on monday and nothing was caught. Tuesday in the dropping level and Kevin Graham got his season off the mark with a cracking 13 lbs salmon on his monkey fly, and lost another. Gordon Rennie also scored with an 8 lbs salmon. Wednesday and Charlie Black had an 9 lbs salmon on his Willie Gunn and Willie Wallace had an 8 lbs salmon. Thursday and George Main got off the mark with a cracking 12 lbs salmon also on a monkey, fished with a size 8 single barbless hook so well done George. He broke his rod afterwards, when hooking into a tree when casting. Gordon Rennie also scored with another 2 salmon of 8 lbs and 11 lbs. Friday and in big water Davie Mackintosh had a nice 3 lbs sea trout. Saturday and once again in big water. Billy Milne got his season off to a start with a cracking 14 lbs salmon on his own tied Allys Shrimp. The forecast for the coming week seems to be very changeable again so it should be ideal fishing conditions. All the above fish were released continuing the NAA's conservation targets.
At last we had a decent spell of rain this week, and the river rose to a nice height. Monday and tuesday were blank due to dirty water but wednesday saw catches at last as the water cleared. David Johnstone continued his good season with an 11 lb salmon from Milton area on a Monkey fly and his fishing partner that day John Urquhart had a couple of sea trout. Gordie Milne also had a sea trout, which are making an appearance at last. Thursday and David Johnstone had another sea trout. Friday and Gordon Rennie had a very successful day with 2 salmon of 10 lbs and 8 lbs from Whitebridge area. Saturday and Pat Jackson the baker from Peterhead had an 8 lb salmon and Charlie Black also had a 10 lb salmon on his trusty Willie Gunn from Kildrummie. The forecast for the coming week seems to be very wet on sunday and monday so a further big flood is to be expected.
As predicted, the river fell away to a low level and nothing was caught for the week. The coming week seems to be pretty dry too with no real rain in the forecast. Hopefully this will cause a build up of fish in the sea and once the levels rise we will be back to good catches once again.
The river remained at a reasonable height all week, with a slow snow melt keeping it topped up. It was very cold all week though, with a low air temperature. This did not stop some great catches though. Willie Wallace continued his good season on monday with a cracking 23 lb salmon and a sea trout, and Jake Stevens opened his season with a fresh 9 lb salmon and Gordon Rennie was also on the mark with an 8 lb salmon. Tuesday and David Johnstone had a great spell opening his season with a 20 lb and a 7 lb salmon in the same pool. The 20 lb fish was Davids best ever. Adrian Ormerod was once again successful with a 10 lb salmon. Thursday and Sandy Wallace had his 1st of the season a cracking 15 lb salmon. Friday and Davie Mackintosh had a sea liced sea trout. All fish were safely released. The coming week has no rain at all forecast, and the river will quickly drop to summer level
The river was in good fettle for the first 2 days of the week but after that, the heavy rain and strong wind made fishing almost impossible. High water is still in force for the coming week. The hills have a good covering of snow, and melt has occurred most days, making angling conditions difficult. Monday and 3 were caught, with the lucky anglers being Gordon Rennie with 2 salmon at 8 lbs each, and Davie Mackintosh on the mark again with a 10 lb salmon. Tuesday and Pat Jackson the baker from Peterhead got his season started with a cracking 8 lb salmon. All were caught on fly and all were released. I have just heard that veteran angler Adrian Ormerod had a 12 lb salmon the previous week, so well done him. With good water all the coming week and no more rain forecast it should be an excellent week ahead.
The river dropped gradually all week to a nice level and catches were very good for the time of year. April is generally the month for springer catches but March has been excellent. Charlie Black kicked of catches on wednesday with a nice 10 lb salmon on a Willie Gunn, he also lost 2 other fish during the week. Thursday and Gordon Rennie got his season off to a good start with a big 18 lb salmon on fly. Friday and Elgin angler Brian Stewart continued finally the catches with another 18 lb salmon and Charlie Walker finished off the week on Saturday, with a 15 lb salmon, once again on a Willie Gunn. Saturday saw a small rise in levels due to rain on friday, so next week should once again be good.Cold weather is in the forecast for next week with rain/sleet showers, so levels should stay reasonable.
Another week of fluctuating levels and with another snow melt on Tuesday causing a big spate, conditions were far from good. Willie Wallace scored on Thursday with a cracking 10 lb salmon from Town water but that was it for the week. Water temperature is still low but hopefully next week will see more settled levels. The forecast looks to be dry so no more snow melts hopefully.
Monday came and the angler who had the first fish last week, started well with another. Davie (Tackie) Mackintosh had an even better fish on his trusty Flying C with a beautiful 15 lb salmon. The rest of the week was pretty much a write off due to very high water most days, and nothing else was caught. The river has been up and down with the heavy rain and once again today (sunday) it is big. If it gets a chance to drop, I am sure more fish will be caught this week as it is worth a cast. There is now a considerable amount of snow on the hills so a nice slow snow melt will be good.
Another springer off the Nairn today this time a real beauty of around 15lb (see gallery) caught and carefully released by Davie Mcintosh from Graemes pool. That's the first 2 fish of the season to the same rod, maybe he should consider buying a lottery ticket this week 😂 Well done again Davie !!
Late news it seems there was some action on Saturday 9th March in that a springer of 8lb was landed and returned by local angler Davie Mcintosh see gallery. Well done Davie the Nairn season is off and running !!
The river rose 1 meter on Thursday, after it poured all day on Wednesday. It was unfishable until Friday but I am afraid nothing has been caught yet. A couple were hooked and lost by William Wallace on Tuesday in Town water, but he had no idea if they were springers. Hopefully this week will see the first fish caught but the forecast all week does not look too good with cold, gales and heavy snow/rain shower
The Nairn angling association fishing for 2019 season was formally opened by Catriona Macnab at the Jubilee bridge Nairn on Saturday 16th February.
The first cast was made by Tommy Mcintosh aged 6, older anglers looked on with envy not only his attire but at his casting ability, surely an expert angler in the making check out the photo on the Gallery page.
Water levels have been excellent since the opening and a few kelts have been caught. With the high air temperature and the news that springers are putting in a good appearance already in other rivers it maybe we have good news to report before the month end. Tight lines to all our members and visitors.!!!
Another good turn out by club members on Sunday 3rd Feb we had 13 club members who turned up. Some excellent work was carried out by the members including installation of a very small bridge over the wee burn down from Jocks, any ideas for a name “ Bridge over the river Kwack” perhaps :) see photos on gallery page
Great improvement was also made in access down towards Allanha whilst another team carried out works further up river at Milton to Blair-na-fade. Thanks to all members who attended on a cold but pleasantly sunny day.
Only 5 days until the river opens on 11th February just a reminder that there will still be a formal opening ceremony at the Jubilee Bridge Nairn at 10:00 on Saturday 16th Feb.
The 2019 season opens in 2 weeks. A good number club members attended the first bank clearance on Sunday despite the inclement weather and some good work was done, thanks to all who attended. The next work party will be next Sunday the 3rd February meeting at 10:00 at Kildrummie please try to attend if you can,
Heavy rain on the Saturday had put the river in spate however whilst it is good to see a decent rise in water there was some damage to the river bank on the Town water beat below Howford bridge.
Not long till the season starts time to get your reels cleaned and tackle ready. As usual prior to the season starting we are having work parties on the river to help improve and maintain access for our members. Last year the work parties were very well attended by members and lot of excellent work was carried out. This year the dates are 27th January and 3rd February and we meet at Kildrummie at 10 am as usual, please try to make at least one of these, they are worthwhile and offer a good chance to catch up with other members.
Our friendly Bailiff Alastair has asked that any anglers catching any pink salmon this season humanely dispatch them then contact him immediately to advise location of the fish.
The club has voted to change the opening day which will now be the 11th February 2019 rather than 1st Saturday in March, the close season date remains the same. As it is not practical to have this during the week the official opening ceremony will be on Saturday 16th February at 10:00 a.m at the Jubilee Bridge in Nairn.
There will be no change to permit prices for 2019. A new rule will be introduced to stop high bank fishing from the following pools - Howford Pot, Factors and Firhall. The new permit will also have now have a space so you can record the amount of time you have spent fishing, this is a new legal requirement for all angling clubs.
The club have also decided that when river levels reach 0.4 m on the Sepa "Firhall" gauge that the river should be fly only.
It is hoped that all members will respect this new recommendation. The website for the sepa Firhall gauge can be found by clicking on the "Water Levels" button on this page.
The club will for 2019 have Exchange tickets with Dingwall Angling club who have salmon and seatrout fishing on the lower river Conon. To find out more about the fishing on the Lower Conon have a look at the clubs website www.rivercononfishing.co.uk. The main advantage of having access to this fishing is the Conon does not suffer from low water as it is Hydro controlled.
There has also been a change to the award of the cup for the first fish of the year. There is now no requirement to kill any fish and bring it into Pat Frasers. In 2019 the cup will be awarded to the angler catching the first clean salmon after opening day.
To be considered for the cup a clear photo of the fish with a date stamp must be provided to the committee as soon as possible after the catch. Alternatively if the fish is witnessed as a clean fish by another member this could also be acceptable. Ultimately the final decision will be made by the clubs committee.
During peak season the bailiff will now receive additional assistance for the checking of permits up and down the river.
Tight lines to all our members and visitors.