Rain at last! It has not been the best of summers and autumns for we fishers but I personally have enjoyed our extended period of fine weather which has made other pursuits available.
Salmon fishers have been unlucky as the river rose this weekend. There were hopes for a late run but the rivers is full of leaves and after the fabulous growing season there are far more to descend than usual.
It is true anglers are never pleased by the weather.
The South Esk is still not seeing many fish and this high water is possibly our last chance, while the North Esk is fishing quite well with a fish of 25lbs coming off Gallery and several over 20lbs at Pert.
The estuaries of both Esks are both holding large stocks of Finnock which I hope will mean the recovery of the sea trout in another year.
Season ending! What to do over a long winter? Well I might just have the answer.
I had been told of the revival of a local fishery and that needed investigation and so with a friend I went off to see for myself. A mile out of Arbroath on the Montrose road lies Kinaldie Fishery, better known of locally as ‘Geordie’s Pond’.
It is not unfair to say that the fishery has been a bit run down over the past few years but when I arrived I stood back and wondered at the trim banks and repaired casting piers, indeed a very pleasant place to be.
The revival is mainly due to the arrival of a new manager, Joe Westland or Alex as some call him.
Joe is a retired Merchant Navy captain who also happens to be the person captured by pirates and held to ransom in Nigeria. Joe is a likable personality and you will be assured of a real welcome and that is only the beginning of your experience.
On arriving he firstly tacked the water quality and this entailed a complete clearance of all inlet and outlets which he found to be badly chocked with roots etc, this done it was not long before the water cleared and the in water life was rejuvenated. Many weeks of really hard work on the banks, facilities, piers has transformed the outlook of the angler who can enjoy a pleasant place to be.
It is planned to keep the fishery open all year round during daylight hours and Joe has a programme to suit any angler from a few hours (catch and release) to full days with a limit on catch. Quality Rainbow trout from two suppliers are introduced every week with a minimum stocking of 125. So there will always be fish available (a few are in the four to six lb bracket).
My biggest surprise was to find a tearoom with coffee and sandwiches etc, with only a donation box, a separate caravan with the same facility is available to the smokers and good toilets close at hand. In the office he has brought in a fine selection of flies etc, and this is to be extended soon.
I spoke to Chic Crawford from Carnoustie who fishes twice a week who said: “What a difference Joe has made and I have been coming here since it opened in 2002”.
Jim Barclay from Arbroath simply said: “Brilliant”.
I left while new logs were being laid around the banks where anglers could a seat and just while away a few moments. I agree with Jim - Brilliant.
My thought on the way home were of what a place for taking the kids to try fishing, with no snags from overgrown banks which makes casting easier and the real chance of a take.