The middle of last week brought another trout fishing season upon us and some of the nice clear days were a welcome sign of spring in the air.
At this time of year trout whether in loch or stream are usually a bit thin having weathered the cold of the winter, but in the milder conditions we have been experiencing it may be that they will be in better order.
Whatever the condition of the trout it is becoming the common practise to return all fish to the water with the minimum of handling, preferably without removing the fish from the water and of course one should never touch or handle a fish with dry hands, if it must be touched always wet your hands and prevent damage to the scales.
There is also a large movement towards barbless hooks which are so much easier to remove and really the barb that we are used to only damages the fish unnecessarily. If you must use flies tied on barbed hooks please consider squeezing them shut. Experience has shown only very few fish are lost due to barbless hooks.
The North Esk went through a golden period early in March with many beats, i.e. Gallery, Pert, Stracathro, and Gannochy Estate all enjoying superb catches.
It is noticeable that the best fishing has been on the mid river beats, proving if it needs to be that the breached Morphie Dyke is allowing a much improved passage to fish coming into the river.
Many had argued that it was not a barrier for fish entering the river, but I fear that any such argument is truly disproved and as such is condemned to history.
Unfortunately the position on the South Esk, while improving is not anything near it’s sister river.
The Greig family from Brechin had a good week on the Top Beat of Kinnaird and the first fish of the season was reported at Finavon Castle.
In any case with the rivers at much lower levels, neither river fished so well last week, in fact the rivers need a good period of rain to improve the sport and to encourage any fish lying off the coast to enter the estuaries.