Nith, Bann, Miramichi, it’s all good


View east to Nithsdale from Floors, Penpont last month.

A bit of a mish-mash here chaps: but the best kind of mish-mash – it’s all good news! In case you have been living in a stone cave on the west coast of Ireland for the past few weeks or, all right, simply have absolutely no interest in fly-fishing, this season is in serious danger of bouncing back from the dreadful fish-less nadir of 2014 so strongly that it will break records of salmon numbers going back years, on many rivers at least. Scotland, with the notable exception of certain big rivers like the Dee, is fishing strongly, the Tweed is starting to do well (come on, Tweed never does that badly) and a host of ‘Championship’ rivers like the Nith are clearing their throats and starting to post catches of salmon, grilse and crucially, sea-trout better than in any recent seasons for the time of year. In the case of the Nith I can’t remember this many sea-trout being caught in the time I have fished it, since 2002.

Screen Shot 2015-08-03 at 09.49.41Overseas, Norway is strong, with for example news from the Gaula of a 40lb salmon on fly last week from Matt Hayes’s Winsnes seatna (pictured left – now that is a fish!) and consistent catches of big, perfectly conditioned fish at the Norwegian Flyfishers’ Club, and Iceland is blowing in terms of salmon numbers like one of its geysers (better not say volcanos, well not if we want to fly anywhere particular in the coming weeks). And so it goes on. Eastern Canada, the other side of wild Atlantic, has brought a positive post today from Miramichi and Cains tome, Closing the Season, author Brad Burns. His post HERE details as good if not better numbers at the midway point of the

2015 season at the Millerton trap on the main, Southwest Miramichi since the early 1990s. The 2015 count so far is 340 salmon and more than 800 grilse which is encouraging as it only shows a snapshot of a small portion of the run.

Since posting this morning I’ve had to update a bit as it’s all happening out there in the wild Atlantic and now it’s happening in Ireland too. A message from my Varzuga (2014) pal Michael H sent earlier from the banks of Northern Ireland’s River Bann where he is fishing today: told me 17 salmon were caught by Bann rods yesterday. Now Michael has just messaged me within the last hour that he’s caught 3 salmon this morning – in two hours:

Have 3 in less than 2 hours. Feel a large gin coming on.
All silver up to 8lb.

20140626_101016-2And now, even as I update this blog, Michael (pictured here sitting at Middle Varzuga in June 2014, when he was my fishing partner), has emailed an hour later to tell me he’s caught a fourth!

Make that four. They are on on on..

I am delighted for him, well done MH.

And not to be left out the Nith, as I hinted at earlier, now chugging high from yet more August rainwater, is doing okay. A report from Tom at Fish Nith on Tuesday gave much hope for those of us who fish and love the Nith: “With a wet and miserable start to the week, the river settled down and produced some cracking sport. The Nith Fishery Trust reported some good fish being caught last week. In total we have heard of 40 salmon and grilse being caught and 75 sea trout. 7 salmon (largest at 7lb), 5 grilse and 34 sea trout (largest at 5.5lb) came off Dalswinton. Upper Nithsdale had 8 salmon and 24 sea trout, Boatford beat had 2 salmon and 5 sea trout, Barjarg 2 salmon, Blackwood 3 salmon and grilse (largest 13lb) and 2 sea trout, DGAA 7 salmon, Burgh Water had 6 salmon and 10 sea trout.”

It all makes for good reading and two friends are fishing Dalswinton in two weeks so I’ll report on their efforts. One of them is the man who got me into the Nith in the first place – I caught a grilse fishing his July rod at Closeburn in 2002 – so he has a lot to answer for. So the wild Atlantic and the salmon that swim in her is looking good.

Good to hear of fish returning in numbers now. Feels like summer (or rather early, early autumn). And although I’m stuck in the office, I feel good about all this.

Tight lines everyone.


About henrygiles

Born to fish forced to work and fish
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