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News from the Ghillie, Raymond Sinclair 2020

Sunday 18th October

It was the last four days of the season and Geoffrey Mitchell had a seatrout on Monday and Jim Cowie had a 12lb fish in the corner pool on Tuesday. On Wednesday Ally Ker had a 6lber again from the corner and that was it.


It has been a better season than I thought it would be what with the impact of storm Frank five years ago and the lockdown this year. I would like to thank everyone who has fished with us this year and look forward to seeing you all again next year.


Best regards to all.

Sunday 11th October

The week started with quite high water after the ten foot rise over the weekend and it dropped slowly as the week progressed. On Saturday Ewen Samson who is the ghillie on the Logie beat on the Findhorn came down and caught a grilse in the tail of the corner pool late in the afternoon and that was our only fish for the week. The season ends on Thursday so we hope to get some more fish to add to the book before then.


Sunday  4th October

It was Simon and Deborah Mitchell who are up this week and Mr Mitchell ended the week with two seatrout and a salmon all on the sunray. On Friday, Gary Lloyd came and fished hard and was rewarded with a nice grilse in the corner pool. It has rained non-stop all day on Saturday and is still pouring as I write this and consequently the river is very high and still rising so it will probably take two or three days to settle down.


Sunday 27th September

It was a good week with Steve Baxter, Glyn Williams and Dave Woodhouse. Steve caught four fish of 4, 6,10 and 12lbs, Glyn had three of 6, 8 and 14 lbs and Dave two, the first at 8lbs and the second was 6lbs. The water and the air temperature dropped a few degrees which brought the fish on. We also lost another couple and had quite a few pulls and snatches, hopefully it will continue into next week. There has been a lot of geese flying over heading for their winter feeding grounds, autumn has arrived.

Sunday 20th September

John Blackhall and his family were the fishing party this week and with fair weather and low water we didn’t expect that much but on Tuesday John had a 5lb fish from the ferroch and on Thursday his brother-in-law lost a big fish in the same pool and that was the total for the week. Autumn is starting to show now with the leaves turning and the swallows have gone, the water should start to cool now which should hopefully turn the fish on


Sunday 13th September

It was Richard and Anne Agnew who hosted this weeks party and like the week before there was some fish in all the pools but they were very dour to take. On Thursday, Richard did have a fish on in the corner but sadly it got off. On Friday, Roger Kipling had a couple of sea trout and that was the total for the week.

Sunday 6th September

Alan Hutcheon came on Monday and caught a nice 10 lb fish in the ferroch on an old fashioned logie tied by Bill Marshal many years ago, a nice reminder that the old patterns still catch fish. On Wednesday John Bannerman fished and broke his duck for the season when he caught a 10lb fish at the top of the corner followed by a 6 lber right in the tail and that was it for the week.

Sunday 30th August

It was Bob and Susan Milne who were up this week. Bob is the treasurer of the Yorkshire fly fishers club and is a very experienced fisher which is good because it enabled me to finish strimming the banks for this season! On Tuesday Bob had his first fish of the week, a 5lb grilse from Sandys, on Wednesday the water rose to 3ft on the gauge and was quite dirty, but on Thursday it had dropped back and Bob had a couple of fish from the corner pool, one of 4lb and one of 12lb. 

Sunday 23rd August

It was the family who were up this week, hosted by Will and Caroline. A great time was had by all. The children were very keen to get started as they had all received new rods and reels from their grandmother. Although the adults and children tried very hard, they had no luck in catching any fish which were showing in almost all the pools. Hopefully if the water temperature cools down we might start to pick a few up this  coming week.

Sunday 16th August

It was Christopher Mchugh and his wife Rachel with their family who were up this week and celebrated Rachels’ fortieth birthday with a nice barbecue.The week started with low water on Monday but overnight thunder and lightning on Tuesday saw the river rise to 4 feet on the gauge on Wednesday and it remained very coloured for the rest of the week with nothing being caught.

Sunday 9th August

It was Harry Mitchell and his fiancée Jess who hosted the week and Harry himself was the only one to land a fish, a lovely fresh grilse from the Corner pool on Tuesday morning. Although some of the guests made contact nothing else stayed on but it was a good fun week and everybody enjoyed themselves.


Sunday 2nd August

We started the week on Monday with heavy rain most of the day which led to a rise of about 3 feet on Tuesday but by Wednesday it had started to drop. Patrick Reeve had a nice fresh 4lbs grilse from the Corner pool. On Thursday, Raymond Edge had an 8lbs salmon from the top of the Morel, and on Friday, Andy Goodenough had a 3lbs grilse in the Ferroch and a 12 lbs fish in the Grey Mare.

Sunday 27th July

It was David and Pam Tisdale staying with us this week and while Mrs Tisdale doesn’t fish she enjoyed the comforts of the stables accommodation. Mr Tisdale however, did fish and he is a very experienced and accomplished fisherman but sadly did not connect with a fish. It wasn’t for the sake of trying!


The water has been very low for us but there has been quite a few heavy downpours which might liven things up for the coming week

Sunday 19th July 

We started the week with the river dropping off every day. On Tuesday Peter Renwick came and caught a nice 8lb fish in the top of the Morel and Alan Hutcheon had a brace of small summer fish in the Upper Ferroch. The water kept dropping and on Friday evening Murray Smith came up for a cast and caught a lovely fresh 13lb fish in the Upper Ferroch just after ten o'clock on a small size twelve cascade.


We are getting back to our weekly lets this coming week but the week after there will be day rod availability.

Sunday 12th July

It was a very good week for Upper Blackhall with Mike Mcbain kicking it off on Monday with a nice 7lb fish in the Corner pool. Tuesday saw Graeme Connon with a lovely 9lber from the Corner and a small grilse from the Morel while his friend John Martin had a grilse from the Ferroch.


Peter Rejzner fished on Wednesday and had an 8lb fish and a sea trout from the Morel and Little Girnal, and on Friday Andy Goodenough had four grilse, with two from the Green Spout and two from Sandys in the afternoon.


On Saturday Mark Roxburgh had two lovely fish of 10 lbs each, the first from Sandys and the second from the corner while his friend Sam Harris had a sea trout in the Ferroch. Andy Goodenough fished the afternoon and had a nice 8lber in Sandys to round the week off.

Sunday 5th July

We started the week with a good rise in the water and on Tuesday Alan Hutcheon came and caught three fish of 5lb, 6lb and 12lb all in the corner pool just as the river started to rise again. On Thursday, Tom Sampson caught a nice sea trout and a 9lb salmon in the evening again in the corner pool. On Saturday, Roddy Mcbain managed to winkle a sea trout, also from the corner so quite a good week for us.

Sunday 28th June 2020

It was another quiet week on the river with blazing sunshine and low water conditions.On Monday and Tuesday we had David Sunman and his son fishing and it was David jnr who caught a nice sea trout in the early hours of Tuesday morning and sadly that was the only contact we had for the week. 


Sunday 21st June 2020

We had a few day rods fishing with us this week and it was Wednesday before we connected with a fish when Jeff Bloomfield caught a nice fresh grilse in the green spout.


Sunday 14th June 2020

It was John Bannerman's week this week and John and his family and friends have been coming to Upper Blackhall for many years now. Unfortunately, due to the lockdown measures they could not stay with us at The Stables, however John came and fished hard every day. Sadly he did not connect with a salmon but he did get a couple of nice seatrout. 


Sunday 7th June 2020

I had hoped that for the first full week of fishing after the lock down that there would have been a lot more fish in the river but it was quite disappointing.


There were one or two beats above us who had some fish but for the rest of the river it was poor.


The week started with low water and blazing sunshine on Monday and it was in the evening when Alan Hutcheon caught a nice 3lb sea trout, our only fish for the week. The river rose by a couple of feet on Saturday so we can only hope it brings in some fish.



Sunday 31st May 2020

Fishing resumed on the River Dee on Friday with blazing sunshine and low water conditions. Hamish Prstige on his first visit to Upper Blackhall managed to catch a small Salmon in the Green Spout and Craig Fleming caught a nice Sea Trout in the same pool on Saturday. I think the low water and warm weather will continue for a few days but it should start to cloud over towards the end of the week, hopefully improving fish catches.




Sunday 29th March 2020

Monday was the only days fishing we had this week before lockdown due to the virus and it was a good day for Jason Scott who caught a nice eight pound fish in the tail of the corner pool.


It will probably take some time before we can fish again so in the meantime tie up some flies, sort out your tackle and be ready for when we can start again.


Stay safe and stay at home and we look forward to seeing you soon.

Sunday 22nd March 2020


We were due to have a party of twelve from Scandinavia staying and fishing with us this week but sadly due to the virus they had to cancel. However two of the party live in Oban so they were able to come.Mr Brian Kupris and his wife Muriel joined us for the week and tried hard with no luck but they enjoyed their stay very much and look forward to coming back next year with the full party.


We have day rod availability for the next two weeks and if anybody books they should be aware we will not use the huts, they should eat and tackle up at their cars. I will always be available to offer advice and show them where to fish on the beat while staying the required distance apart, hopefully the virus will pass quickly and things will get back to normal.


Sunday 15th March 2020


Great start to the week catching a lovely 14 pound fish in the Green Spout on Monday morning. Cracking photo of it before it went back into the river.

We had Paul Cabrol with his friends Carl Stacey (caught the fish!) and Kevin Ford fishing. The river dropped away all week but apart from a couple of pulls no more fish were caught but we had a lot of laughs and it was good fun with a with a great bunch of lads.


Sunday 8th March 2020


Although we tried our best there was nothing to be had but a very enjoyable week nevertheless. We had Christopher Mchugh and his wife Rachel fishing.


The river is rising today and it is over the five feet mark it's looking good for fish next week, hopefully by midweek.

Sunday 1st March 2020


After the high water of the weekend the river slowly started to drop and a few fish were caught on the river throughout the week.

On Friday and Saturday we had Dave Palmer and his friend Jerry Oddie fishing with us and on Saturday morning just as the river started to rise again.


Jerry caught a lovely six pound fish in Sandys Pool so it was a nice ending to the first month of the season.


Sunday 23rd February 2020


It was another disappointing week for the river after last weekends rise in the water, however it did not deter our guests from trying hard to catch a fish.


We had two experienced fishermen with us for the past four days, Russell Pickup and his friend Steve. They tried their best but with the river rising to six feet on Saturday sadly had to admit defeat. A stormy start to the coming week is forecast with snow and high winds so might have some luck towards the end of the week.

Sunday 16th February 2020


After the high water last weekend I was hopeful that some fresh fish would come in but it was a very disappointing week with nothing to report.


Storm Dennis has appeared this weekend and the river has had a substantial lift. It is now falling so we should have some fish will appear soon.

Sunday 9th February 2020


After the excitement of catching a fish on the opening day this week was a bit disappointing as the weather turned a lot colder and the river height dropped away. We had experienced fishers all day in the river but we only had kelts, which were all very well mended.


Storm Ciara has arrived which should give the river a good lift and hopefully bring in some fresh fish for the coming week once it has settled down.


Sunday 2nd February 2020

It was an almost perfect start to the season, a mild, overcast day with the river rising slowly from one foot eight in the morning to two feet at night. A perfect spring height for us at Upper Blackhall. 


All the rods fishing with us were very experienced fishermen and they all picked up some kelts in every pool they fished but it was John Fraser who caught our fresh springer, a lovely six pound fish from the tail of the Big Girnal just as the light started to change.


The river is at a very good height for us and the prospects look very good for next week with fish having been caught in almost all the middle beats.

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