The trout season is over.
It’s been a good one if you can forget Brechin Angling Club’s visit to North Third reservoir just south of Stirling two weeks ago.
Won by Jock Craig who caught a trout, he went on to say it was, as he put it “some hard going”.
But, this aside, the club has had a memorable year on loch and river with a host of winners and of course Jock’s outing in the Scottish Team in Orkney.
Yes, we will not forget the 2011 trout season.
The salmon season is still in full swing with both Esks returning huge fish. The first on the North Esk at Pert was a massive cock fish of 28 lbs, closely followed by another on the South Esk at Dowriepark, a hen fish of 24 lbs.
Andy Yates, the ghillie at Dowriepark, described it as the best fish up there in ten years.
And congratulations to the anglers, as both fish are back in the river and we hope to successfully spawn in the next few weeks.
This is, by the way, prime time for fish watchers.
The loups at the Burn can be a magnificent vista, with fish of all sizes trying to clear the falls in massive and powerful leaps.
For walkers higher in the glens the salmon and sea trout will be starting to spawn and this is fascinating to watch, but do give them peace to get on with their business. Keep a distance.
It is very curious fact that the very heavy runs of late autumn fish of the past few years is just not happening and many anglers and scientists are concerned by the very sparse run of grilse and also of the poor condition of the few who have entered the river.
The Scottish Minister with responsibility for Freshwater Fisheries has answered the Esk Fisheries Boards request for further conservation measures for the South Esk and, although full details are yet to be released, there is extreme disquiet on the riverbanks as rumours spread.
The Fisheries Board has called a public meeting open to all interested parties and has invited councillors and MPs to attend.
They appeal to all with an interest in the future of South Esk angling, etc, to be at the Northern Hotel in Brechin on Thursday, October 27 at 6 pm.
This, I am assured, is the most important such meeting yet held and deserves our total support. See you there.
by Bill Balfour.