River levels in the area are at a drastic low and angling is becoming quite difficult a problem, which will mean that spring salmon returning to the Esks will be reluctant to enter such meagre flows.
There seems to be no end to this drought.
Not only anglers are becoming worried about this very dry winter as there is no reserve of snow in the Grampians and that bogs are also short of water.
The months of April and May traditionally rely on snow melt from reserves in the high and north facing corries and gullies to keep the river levels up and there is none.
Personally I cannot remember a situation like this and we may be approaching a situation which the current generation has never encountered.
This will also have effects on the ability of rivers and streams to provide water for such things as watering of crops and irrigation.
But what worries we anglers more is the migration of salmon and sea trout.
One has only to remember the excellent runs of early summer salmon of last year and the problems they had on the North Esk due to fungal infections in the river.
These infections happen annually, especially in the North Esk and one would expect this to be much worse in very low water conditions.
With the problems our salmon have faced over the last decade I hope that I am wrong and that we will get the rain/snow required shortly.
Stuart Robertson, the Brechin Angling Club secretary, has asked me to bring to anglers attention a few available places within the club especially from the DD9 area.
This is due to natural wastage within the membership and it is an opportunity not to be missed as the waiting time is usually several years.
The angling club has salmon and sea trout fishings on the South Esk and West Water and a trout fishery at Loch Saugh at Fettercairn and much more additional fishing is available throughout the year.
In addition the club has a very strong competition group with current representatives fishing for Scotland at national level at both senior and junior levels.
They also take their interest in angling to the Esk Fisheries Board, the Esks Fisheries Trust, Scottish Anglers National Association were club members are active members of these committees.
It is a very vibrant club and you are made to feel most welcome as was made clear to me by the new president Adam Ryndyez only last week.
To get an application form contact Stuart on 01356 623713 or ask any committee member.
by Bill Balfour.