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News from the Ghillie, Raymond Sinclair 2021

Sunday 17th October

It was day rods for the last five days of the season and although we had good experienced fishermen every day it was Friday before we caught any.


It was Murray Smith who had two fish on the last day: an 11lber in the Sandys pool followed by a 7lb fish in the Corner pool.


We would like to thank everyone who came to fish with us this season and hope to see you all back next year.

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Sunday 10th October

It was Erik Cullin and his friend Tor Helenius from Sweden who were fishing with us for the first four days of the week and Tor had two fish on Monday from the Corner pool one of 18lb and the other at 10lb.


Erik had one on Tuesday from the Scobboch pool coming in at 16lb.


On Friday and Saturday it was James Burnell and his son Leon who fished and although Leon is only 14 years old, he is a very competent fisherman and had two very nice sea trout from the Corner pool on Saturday.

Sunday 3rd October

This week definitely had an autumnal feel to it and was hosted by Simon and Deborah Mitchell with Mr Mitchell catching a nice 4lb sea trout on a coloured falling water on Tuesday.


On Thursday, Mr Mitchell did well to entice a 12lb fish from the Corner pool on the monkey. Saturday was a cold, rainy day but Mark Mitchell triumphed with a couple of grilse around 4lb, one from the Corner in the morning, the other from the Green Spout in the afternoon.


The leaves are turning now and soon the riverside will look glorious as the assortment of deciduous trees take on their full colours.

Sunday 26th September

It was Steve Baxter who hosted this weeks party and he was first off the mark with a grilse in the Little Girnal on Monday.


On Tuesday we had a very good day when we had five fish with Steve getting three at 10lbs and Mathew Penny had a 12lber in the Green Spout with his father Jonathon following him down a few minutes later and and scoring with a 6lb fish. All of Tuesdays fish were caught on the monkey,


It was a week of two halves as we ran out of luck and nothing else was landed. We have seen some big skeins of geese passing overhead flying high in the sky heading south to their winter feeding grounds, the season will soon be over.

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Sunday 19th September

It was Clarissa Mitchell who hosted this weeks party and Michael Kerr got the first fish of the week on Monday, a 4lb grilse from Scobboch and he followed it up on Friday when he caught a similar one from the same pool.


On Tuesday James Hamilton Stubber had a 6lber from the Corner pool. It was a good fun week with nice interesting people.


It is the autumn equinox this coming week when daylight and darkness are of equal lengths and it usually brings some quite strong winds but hopefully won’t spoil the fishing.

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Sunday 12th September

It was day rods this week and the beat was only lightly fished but on Saturday Erik Ronsberg came and caught a 5lbs fish from the Upper Ferroch on a red francis on a slowly rising river so well done Erik! 


The river has risen a little bit so I hope it will freshen it up enough to move some fish around and provide sport for next weeks guests.

Sunday 5th September

It was Alexander Mitchell and his partner Emily who hosted this weeks party. Alexander and one of his friends Jamie are experienced fishermen and the rest are all novices and as is often the case, it was one of the beginners who caught the fish.


Sophie Ramsden got her first ever salmon in the Upper Ferroch on a stingray blue charm, well done Sophie. It was great fun to have a group of young and eager to learn and well mannered people to stay with us, a very pleasant week indeed.

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Sunday 29th August

It was Peter and Delia Alfrey who hosted this weeks party and the only fish that was caught was a grilse from the Corner Pool early on Tuesday morning by Will Templer.

There were quite a lot of fish showing in all pools but frustratingly for us they weren’t interested.


Our swallows have gone now and the trees are slowly starting to turn, it looks like summer is almost over.

Sunday 22nd August

It was Christopher and Rachel McHugh who were up this week and although there was no lack of effort, nothing came to the fly.


The rowan trees are now red with their berries which signifies that autumn is not far away and there is a few residents starting to show in the pools which might mean a change in tactics is required.

Sunday 15th August

Iain and Liz Mitchell were up this week and were joined by the whole family for a lovely holiday.


All family members are very keen fishers and daughter Fiona Atkinson started well catching a nice 10lb fish in the corner pool on Monday morning.


Alastair Mitchell and family arrived midweek and Alastair had a grilse in the Green Spout on Thursday, a 6lb fish from the Grey Mare on Friday and a 9lber from the Corner Pool on Saturday so it was a good three days for him, well done.

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Sunday 7th August

Will Templer hosted a large party of guests this week with some regulars and some new friends to the beat and a great time was had by all.


At the start of the week the conditions were against us with very low water and bright sun but on Friday the rain came and the water rose significantly overnight to give us a nice height on Saturday.


Although coloured the water slowly dropped all day and in the afternoon Will caught a lovely fresh grilse in the green spout and an hour later Victoria Henthorn caught her first ever salmon,a nice 4lb grilse on a red Francis in the same pool.

Sunday 1st August

It was Simon and Deborah Mitchell this week and as they were celebrating Mr Mitchells’ 70th birthday the whole family joined them for a great week of fun.


Mr Mitchell landed three sea trout for his week and son Harry had a nice summer salmon from the Upper Ferroch within an hour of arriving from London. Harry also added a sea trout to his tally the following day.


There were various other fish on and off but nothing else was landed.

Sunday 25th July

It was David and Pam Tisdale and their friends who fished this week and by fishing I mean casting a line into very low water with searing sunshine and high water temperatures!


Not the best conditions but for me it was a nice week with very pleasant company.


It is the boss who is up this next week and according to the forecast there is supposed to be some rain coming in so let's hope the river rises and the fish come on.

Sunda 18th July

Anthony and Emma Bird hosted this weeks party with family and friends and first off the mark was son William who had a seatrout, a grilse and a 12lb salmon all from the Corner pool. These were all caught on a rising river on Monday morning.


On Tuesday Anthony had a seatrout from the Corner and a summer salmon from Sandys.  Early on Friday morning Anthony had a nice grilse in the middle Ferroch. William finished the week off early on Saturday morning when he had a lovely fresh grilse from the Upper Ferroch. It was a week of very high air and water temperatures so they did very well to get those fish in these conditions.

Sunda 11th July

It was Mike and Susie Lax who were hosting this weeks party and Mrs Lax was straight into a nice fresh grilse from the Upper Ferroch on Monday morning.

Mr Lax who is 85 now and can still cast a very nice line was unlucky this trip. Midweek we were joined by Bob and Sue Milne and Bob had a lovely fresh grilse from the corner pool on Friday and a small summer salmon on Saturday from the Upper Ferroch.


This party have been coming to us for many years now and it is always good fun and a lot of banter (there is more to fishing than catching fish) a very enjoyable week.

Sunda 4th July

It was Richard and Anne Agnew who hosted this weeks party and with very low water conditions the fishing was shared between golf and sun bathing.


David Crawshaw was the only one to land anything, a nice seatrout from the Corner pool on Wednesday.


The weather is changing and we hope it brings substantial rain to the catchment area and raises the river enough to make some fish come in.

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Sunday 27th June

It was Clinton and Liz Slingsby who hosted this weeks party and apart from John Turner catching a lovely sea trout on Monday nothing else landed.


The river is running quite low just now and it would be good to get a rise to encourage the grilse to come. 

Sunday 20th June

It was Steven Pawski and his family staying with us this week and they had a nice relaxing break but apart from a pull here and there nothing was caught.


June is usually the best month for sea trout for us but there seems to be very few about this year and I remember an old farmer telling me ‘when the rosehip is in bloom the sea trout will come’. The rosehip has been later in flowering this year but are in full bloom now so let’s hope the sea trout arrive soon.

Sunday 13th June

It was John Bannerman and Graham Robertson with their families who were fishing this week. Graham was first to land a fish, a nice 10lber from the Upper Ferroch on Tuesday.


On Wednesday morning I arrived just in time to get a photo of Andrew Martin and his first ever salmon, a 9lb fish which he caught and played on his own under direction from Brian the ghillie on our opposite bank so well done to both.

Photo from Venetia Mitchell_edited.jpg
Sunday 6th June

We were happy to welcome Mrs Helen Ireland and her party to Upper Blackhall this week. The first to catch a fish was David Theaker who had a lovely 10lber from the Upper Ferroch on Tuesday.


Helen got her one on Thursday morning, a 5lb salmon from the corner pool ably assisted by piper her trusty lab and around the same time John Turner had a nice sea trout from the Upper Ferroch.

Sunday 30th May

It was John and Susan Mitchell who were hosting this weeks party and on Monday the water rose all day and was unfishable for us.


Tuesday it had started to drop and on Thursday John Carrick Smith caught our only fish of the week, a lovely fresh 6lber from the Big Girnal.


I heard the cuckoo for the first time this year today ,they usually appear about mid April with us so they are very late this year let’s hope they herald a good run of fish.

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Sunday 23rd May

It was Paul Cabrol, Carl Stacey and Kevin Ford fishing with us this week. First off the mark was Carl with an 11lb fish from Sandys on Monday afternoon and Kevin had a nice 8lber from the Corner in the evening.


On Wednesday Kevin had a really fresh 11lber out of the corner pool and on Thursday Paul had an 11lb fish from the Green Spout.


The river rose to nearly 7ft on our gauge on Friday which effectively finished the fishing for us for the week but hopefully it will bring some in for this next week.

Sunday 9th May

We had two fish this week, the first was caught on Monday by Andy Barrowman, a lovely 10lber from the Green Spout. Mr Simon Mitchell landed the second one on Saturday from the corner pool - a sea liced 8lb bar of silver.


Weatherwise we were hit by the cauld gab o Mey (the cold spell in May) with wintery showers and a bitter north east wind but hopefully, it will now warm up and make things more pleasant. 

Sunday 2nd May

It was Christopher McHugh who was fishing with us this week and he fished hard all week to be rewarded, on Friday afternoon, with a lovely fresh 10lb fish from the Upper Ferroch.


Now that we are into May it should start to warm up a bit and the old ghillies (which I am now one) used to say fan the birch buds are as big as moosies lugs that’s the time to go on to the floating line.

Sunday 25th April

Another week of sunny days and low water conditions with nothing much happening for us but, on Saturday Andy Goodenough had a go and caught a nice 3lb sea trout in the Ferroch.


It is usually around this time of year just at dusk you will see a roding Woodcock fly over the river and that is the time you should have your fly in the water.

Sunday 18th April

This week was quieter than last with hard frosts and clear sunny days. On Tuesday Murray Smith fished in the evening and caught a nice 6lbs fish in the Sandys just at dusk.


The sand martins have arrived right on time and the swallows will come in a week or so. Let’s hope they bring a good run of fish with them.

Sunday 11th April

It was a good week for Upper Blackhall. John Bannerman kicked it off on Wednesday when he caught a lovely 9lb fish in the Sandys late in the afternoon. It was a red letter day for Ally Ker on Thursday when he came up to fish in the afternoon and caught three springers, two of which came from the corner pool with the third coming from the Lower Ferroch. On Saturday Graham Ritchie fished hard all day and was rewarded in the evening when he got a nice 9lber in the Lower Ferroch. So best week of the season so far and we hope it continues as there is still availability for locals until the COVID rules change.

Sunday 4th April

We wish you all a very Happy Easter!


We were very lightly fished this week as we had the contractors in fixing the road and the river bank where the trees had uprooted into the river due to the bank erosion.  This is now completed apart from tidying up. According to the weather forecast it is going to be colder this coming week but we are into April now so historically there should be fish starting to run and hopefully we can get into some.

Sunday 28th March

For the first three days this week we had Charles Weatherly fishing with us. Charles was the highest bidder in the Dee trust auction to which we donated three days fishing. On Monday he was rewarded with a lovely fresh 8lb fish from the corner pool. The rest of the week was uneventful with just the odd kelt but hopefully we can get hold of something this coming week.

Sunday 21st March

The week started with an almost spring feeling about it with mild temperatures and good water heights for us but apart from one kelt nothing else was contacted.


At the moment perseverance and a lot of luck is needed to come in contact with a fish, hopefully things improve before long.

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Sunday 7th March

It was quite good fishing conditions this week with the water just slowly dropping off but it was only kelts we connected with. There were more fish being caught mainly on the lower beats so hopefully they will arrive with us this coming week. The river road is not yet passable for saloon cars yet but I have been levelling it off and will continue to do so this week so hopefully we will get through it soon.

Sunday 28th February

With high water most of the week it was Friday and Saturday before it was a decent fishing height for us. With the high pressure over us it should remain good conditions for the coming week.

Sunday 14th March

This week saw our season get off to a start when Jane Hutcheon came up with her dad and caught a lovely fresh 9lb fish in the corner pool on Friday. Well done Jane.


There are a few fish spread out over the river now so hears hoping we get into some this coming week.


The river road is passable (with care) to most cars now and there is availability to locals at the moment.

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Sunday 21st February

The river was mostly unfishable this week due to the sudden mild weather which brought down the snowmelt.


It was particularly high on Saturday and Sunday breaking its banks in places but it is dropping now and we may be allowed to fish again soon.

Sunday 14th February

The river was virtually unfishable most of the week due to very low temperatures, gru and a lot of snow. The snow is now drifting in the strong wind which brings me to point out if anyone wants to book fishing this week they will have to have a four wheel drive vehicle to access the beat. The road up the river is very badly affected by the snow and ice.

Sunday 7th February

The season started on Monday with quite good conditions but we only caught kelts. The weather changed on Tuesday which was unfishable due to the gru coming down and the rest of the week was a mixture of snow, sleet and rain with a bitter east wind. There has been snow all weekend and the weather doesn’t look great for the coming week but hopefully we will see some action.

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