Good news as sea trout spied in rivers

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Friday proved to be a red letter day for the South Esk, which is something as it suffered in the last decade with over fishing by nets next to the estuary.

What worries me, and all who love the river, has been the failure of the sea trout runs. Last season being the worst in living memory.

What you have to take into account is that the Salmon Fisheries Board have been and are paying Usan Fisheries to return sea trout from the nets and it seemed to make no difference.

Over the past two weeks there have been small shoals noted by ghillie Donald Webster at Kinnaird and by Tony Andrews at Finavon Castle.

After the rain came last Wednesday night, things got interesting. For most of the week, beats on the lower North Esk were reporting fresh sea trout. This was confirmed in river net at Kinnaber although they were reporting few salmon which expected when the coastal nets start fishing.

It was not long after the water rose that I started to get phone calls from the lower South Esk reporting that the river was alive with sea trout. Several were contacted on the fly at Kinnaird but they were wild and intent on the upstream. The water settled but only to rise again on Sunday morning and if I know my sea trout they will be heading upstream like F1 cars.

It is a miracle that the huge shoals have come into the estuary at the moment good water was available and that the nets were not in the equation, such a situation has maybe saved South Esk sea trout. It is rare to be able to report a positive situation on both Esks and remember that the West Water, which has been poor for the last three years, will expect to take the bulk of these sea trout.

To anglers, I wish you tight lines, but remember - put as many as you can back and perhaps we will see nature striking back.