Reports of good shoals

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Good news on the Esks is hard to come by these days, but reports of good shoals of sea trout lying off in the sea and the first good run entering the South Esk is bringing the fishermen of this iconic fish back into action.

The sea trout being a night prey it is a highly thought of species.

The poor runs of recent years has led to voluntary catch and return being brought in so, if you are going out, please make sure you know the rule of the beat which is usually appended to your permit.

Salmon numbers continue to disappoint and many of the fish entering the river are small, below 6 lbs a huge difference from the prime fish of last year.

Results from MSS survey on South Esk Salmon are coming through and they show that the target of 150 salmon tagged at Usan has been reached and in time.

Salmon to date have entered three rivers - South Esk, 17; North Esk, 12; and the River Tay, 4.

This is immediate proof, if any was required, that Usan is indeed a mixed stock fishery, which is a coastal netting station exploiting the stocks of several rivers and, I dare say, that Tay anglers will not be impressed.

The first fish of the season from the Brechin Town Water was taken last Monday and was a splendid if small six pounder taken by a local angler.

He reports losing another and seeing several fish move, but he did not see any evidence of sea trout.

At the end of the previous week nearly 40 sea trout were landed on the Kinnaird beats and most returned safely to the water.

Salmon on the beats below Brechin have not fished at all up to now. Indeed, it must be the worst spring ever.

Salmon taken in nets of the coast are up to 50% under 6 lbs and we cannot expect bigger fish for some time.

If the rivers continue at present levels I am sure sport will pick up and not moment too soon.

Tight Lines,

by Bill Balfour.