And so to October – rain dances at the ready!!

cropped-dsc_03471.jpgAs I sit down to write this weeks blog the trout season is now all but done and dusted and a few salmon anglers too are about to hang up their rods for the season and reflect on the season gone by.  

I think the striking memory of the year so far what ever river you fish is best summed up in the countless number of conversations around the lack of water.  Other than a brief flood at the end of summer and what a flood it was for some. The season so far has produced little rain, bright sunshine and the inevitable warm temperatures thrown in for good luck. I really can’t remember such a dry spell,

10599692_771390632900185_7759804986180494310_nAnd for those rivers still open for the next few months the conversations will continue to be about just when will we finally get some rain – as we call it in the office, the “crystal ball question” that alas we cannot answer for you!

The Spey is one of those rivers that finished at the end of September and reflections on the season on the Spey will show mixed fortunes up and down the river. Earlier in the season,  spring produced some decent catches and thoughts of a good season ahead on anglers minds.  The scorching hot summer and long sunny days were soon upon us and challenging fishing, with really only first thing in the morning or late at night sessions being productive.

I have been lucky enough to have fished the river on several occasions throughout the year and despite all the doom and gloom out there I have to say that I have thoroughly enjoyed my days on the Spey with even the odd fish caught which was a bonus. A particularly good memory was just this month with a short trip to Gordon Castle beats, Lower beat 1 and 2 to be precise where we were looked after by Bill’s very capable hands and a memorable few days in great company.

Fishing availability on the Spey will start to be added from October and will increase as the year progresses, giving everyone the opportunity to get next seasons trip booked up early. Keep an eye on our FIND FISHING page for more information and if you have not already done so, set up a Rod Alert so you can keep in touch with new fishing added to FishSpey.

10403135_377590089055407_4380125619669426278_nElsewhere we still have the mighty Tay open for business and reports of good numbers of fish running are starting to get anglers excited although in truth I think we are all still waiting for that big back end run to come and with it the chance of what usually is some big fish – I still think there will be a 30lb+ fish landed this season to one lucky anglers rod and it just might be you! Check out what is still available on our FIND FISHING page and get in amongst the action before it all comes to and end soon.

On the Tweed the lower beats are still catching decent numbers of fish as the river levels remain so low. That said fish are now being caught as far up as Boleside with one fish this week reported from Fairnilee although we definitely need some rain to get the upper beats of and running. Some big fish reported of late with one to 27lb I heard of from Birgham Dub – now that’s a cracking fish but not the Tweed record for this year which is still the spring cracker caught on Hendersyde which came in at 34lb as is still the leading candidate of this years FishPal Malloch Trophy prize – will it be enough??

The Dee have picked away and some decent catches of late. 147 salmon caught last week and with the Dee marching steadily towards its own season end everyone is still doing their rain dance to get some end of season sport. I will come back with some of my own reflections and thoughts on this years Dee season as the season draws to a close. My favourite trip this year was actually on the Dee and whilst it was tough going, I did manage to get a fish on the magical Balmoral beat which is simply a stunning part of the river. Check out what you still might be able to squeeze in before the rods get hung here by looking at our Dee FIND FISHING page.

1937472_566032796835874_2614979326867625948_nOther rivers that are still picking away quite nicely are the Esks, the Ness, the Tyne and the Hebrides. The Hebrides in particular have had some decent rain and hopes are high of a great end to the season over there. I only wish I could somehow join in the fun, it would be nice to be in a river with some decent water in it – FIND FISHING.

The team are receiving increasing numbers of enquiries about 2015 availability, including when can customers book fishing for 2015. Every river is different I’m afraid with some beats on some rivers already showing what is available. The timings more generally are that most availability is loaded from the moment the end of the season comes around with really only the Tweed the exception to the rule. On the Tweed we need to contact anglers who have fished this year during December to arrange their 2015 bookings, before we can then upload all of the remaining availability which we hope to do  just before Christmas.

10479735_803891102994455_491833376704928758_nThe best way of keeping in touch with what is coming onto the market is to make sure that you have a “Rod Alert” set up which will then generate an email to you first thing in the morning showing you what has been added. These Rod Alerts usually mean that any new fishing that has been released sells very quickly thereafter so definitely worth having a Rod Alert set up as you don’t want to miss out on the opportunity of something good coming up!!

If you have not already “liked” us on Facebook then I would recommend you like us too as we are always adding fishing daily to the system which we often post on Facebook first and is one step quicker than the rod alerts I mentioned earlier. We have Facebook pages for FISHPAL, FISHTAY, FISHSPEY, FISHDEE, FISHTWEED, FISHTYNE,  FISHPAL MALLOCH TROPHY etc etc and well worth following as this is also usually where you can keep your finger on the pulse with recent catches, photos etc.

Lastly, make sure you have our FishPal App on your mobile so you are only ever a click away from the news and reviews. It’s a free service and you can can follow the download instructions HERE.

So now to the month of October and to hopefully some rain and to some fish running our rivers. I will be doing my bit by doing my daily rain dance to see if that works!! If not, it could be a long month but there is rain forecast coming soon – lets hope it is more than just a passing shower and we get some real rain and let the fun begin!!

Tight lines everybody!


Mark Cockburn

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