In terms of size, the Spey is probably the most ‘exciting’ Scottish river, and it offers splendid opportunities to the visiting angler. It is dubbed as being the fastest flowing river in Scotland. In strict geographical terms, from source to sea, this is correct – but only in a major river sense.
In parts of its upper reaches it looks like a canal, after a tumble down from hundreds of hill streams which swell it to significant size. The Spey runs into Loch Insh and it is from below this point that serious salmon fishing can be considered and, even then, one has to move down a few miles before the prospects brighten.
In the Grantown area visiting anglers are offered excellent opportunities at moderate charges. You will not have the river to yourself but the association and local hotels organise matters to a fine degree – and it is probably one of the best salmon fishing bargains in Britain.
From Grantown, down to the sea below Fochabers, the Spey comes into its own although many of the beats are private.
Hotel fishing is available from Aberlour opposite the bottom reach of the Wester Elchies beat (where there are splendid early spinning returns) and it is on record that artisan anglers fishing from the village side soundly whipped the private rods on the opposite bank (in salmon catch sense) some years ago for spring salmon returns up to June.
In the lower and middle reaches the Spey can provide the most exciting dry fly sport with finnock in late March and April. At Craigel-lachie more hotel fishing is available.
The Spey is about 100 miles long but only about 60 miles are of any consequence in a salmon fishing sense. It has always had a reputation of being a ‘big fish’ river, yet none of its salmon has managed to get into the record books. A 40-pounder hooked and landed from a beat such as Knockando on the fly would be a tremendous angling triumph.
Spey trout fishing is to a certain extent ignored. It would be fair to say that they are not too numerous • although the stretches above
Grantown can produce fair results • but they are of good size.
SOS: Feb 11-Aug 26 (Net); Feb 11-
Sept 30 (R&L)
Aberlour, Banffs, GrampianT
STS1 mile known as Delagyle
Ticket enquiries (L4)ARO (J. T.
Sutherland, Chartered Surveyors,
Bank of Scotland Buildings,
Aberlour, Banffs, GrampianSTS
Section known as the Aberlour AA fishing
DT (bona fide visitors staying in
Aberlour): (L12)ATS (J.A.J.
Munro, 95, High Street, Aberlour.
Aberlour, Banffs, GrampianSTS Section in area rDowans. T: Aberlour488.13 rooms(5=5
Aviemore, Inverness, Highland TSTS2J miles from road bridge to Burnside BurnLB DT: Aosprey Fishing School, The Fishing Centre, Aviemore Centre. Tel: Aviemore 767. This centre offers three sections on the Spey and loch fishing (with boats) in the Spey Valley for trout, salmon, sea trout, pike and char. They also operate two boats specially designed for disabled anglers which are available free of charge. The centre is open everyday from 9 amto6pm.4.e
Boat of Garten, Inverness, HighlandTSTS(at certain times)5j miles from beyond Boat of Garten to Nethy Bridge (the waters of the AbernethyA.I.A.)BB DT (only to temporary residents in area on holiday or otherwise): ATS (Kelmans Stores, Boat of Garten)H (Boat Hotel, Boat of Garten (permits issued to residents only); Nethy Bridge Hotel, Nethy Bridge; (Craigard Hotel, Boat of Garten)Feb 11-Sept 30 Craigellachie, Banffs, Grampian] TSTS2J miles at CraigellachieRB -rCraigellachie. T:Craigellachie204.31 rooms (13=5-1). (NB: This fishing is let only by the week and is often booked a year in advance) Fochabers, Morays, Grampian TS (depending on water level) 111 miles in area known as the Castle WaterBB DT(Mid-May-Aug31 only):(L 4)AK(MissJ.Murray,38,High Street, Fochabers. Advance booking essential)tfe
Fochabers, Morays, Grampian T?-1JmilesfromBraeheadPool toseaBB DT:(L4)AK(2,Bogmoor, Speybay by Fochabers.Tel: Fochabers 441. 1-May 14 and Jul 1-Aug
Fochabers, Morays, Grampian STSSection in area Gordon Arms. T:Fochabers 508.15 rooms (6=5 Grantown-on-Spey, Morays,
HighlandTSTS7 miles at
Grantown -Palace, High Street.
T:Grantown-on-Spey 2706. rooms (10=5 1) x
HighlandTSTS8 miles on
DT: (Ldepending on advance bookings)ARO (Tulchan Lodge,
Grantown on Spey. Tel: Advie 200) -Feb11-Sept30
Grantown-on-Spey, Morays, HighlandTS?-(under certain conditions)7 miles from Old Spey Bridge to Broomhill Bridge (the waters of the Strathspey A.I.A.)BB DT:ATS(Geo. G.Mortimer, 61, High Street, Grantown-on-Spey-.(by special arrangement) Feb11-Sept30
Newtonmore, Inverness, HighlandC(pike)TS15 miles from Spey Dam to junction with River TromieAB DT or WT:A (The Paper Shop, Kingussie; Black’s Ironmongers, Newtonmore)Feb 11-Sept 30 (S/ST);Mar15-Sept30(T)e
Note: Not all the Spey’s tributaries are mentioned below. Those excepted have not yielded information likely to encourage visitors.
Rising near Tomintoul, the Avon flows northwards to join the Spey below Bridge of Avon. It offers salmon, sea and brown trout. There are some chances for visitors.
Ballindalloch, Banffs, Grampian! TSTS r (except at high water)6 miles in areaAB DT: AH (Delnasaugh Hotel, Ballindalloch)oFeb 11-Sept 30
Tomintoul, Banffs, Grampianl ST (in Sept) 2 miles from Altaglandi to mouth of LivetRB wGordon Arms, The Square. T:Tomintoul 206.35 rooms (5=5-l).=Feb2-Sept30
A small stream of south-west
Banffshire flowing north-westward for 8 miles to join the Avon near
Tomintoul, Banffs, Grampian
TSTSFrom source to junction with AvonBB —Gordon Arms, The Square.
T:Tomintoul 206.35 rooms (5=5 -l)oFeb2-Sept30s-e
This river joins the Spey a little south-west of Grantown. About 28 miles long it rises on the Monadh-liath hills to the south-west. Dulnain Bridge, Inverness, HighlandTS12 miles from Invellaidnan Bridgeto mouthBB DT: ATS (Geo. G. Mortimer, 61, High Street, Grantown-on-Spey) Feb11-Sept 30
A winding river, 23 miles in length, flowing through Glen Feshie past Tolvah and Feshiebridge to the Spey a little below Kincraig. Kincraig, Inverness, Highland TSTS2 miles from Black Mill to Saw Mill (LB) and 1 milefrom Allt Mhor Burn to Black Mill (BB) DtorWT:(Ltoonerodperpool)A (The Paper Shop, Kingussie; Black’s, Ironmongers, Newtonmore)Feb 11-Sept 30 (S/ST); Mar 15-Sept 30 (T)e
A tributary of the Avon, this short water runs 8 miles through Glen- Spey Record
Salmon: 53-0-0 WG Craven 1 livet past Tomnavoulin to join the
Avon near Drumin Castle.
Tomintoul, Banffs, Grampian
TSTS (in Sept)2 miles from mouth of LivetRB rGordon Arms, The Square.
T:Tomintoul 206.35 rooms (5l)Feb12-Sept30
Tomnavoulin, BanffsSTSSection in area under control of Glenlivet
DT: A(Mr. Duff, Excise House,
Tomnavoulin Distillery. Tel:
This water accompanies the Dalwhinnie-Newtonmore road through Glen Truim to join the Spey upstream of Newtonmore.
Newtonmore, Inverness, HighlandTSSection in area as shown on permit Dtor WT: (L 6) A (J. Dallas, High Street, Kingussie)Feb 11-Sept