River Nith 2020

westie4566

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I'll put the tin hat on for this post, first fish the milt is running out it and in my opinion any fish in that condition should not be handled that way, second fish with the amount of blood that's on the waders that fish is as good as a gonner, third fish the milt is running out of it, it's my opinion but fish in this condition should never be handled in this way or photographed for trophy shots
Bleeder aside, and as you say that one is a gonner, I'll put my tin hat even further on and say that the first three fish have already spawned. The 4th one is certainly still nicely enough proportioned though.

I appreciate that we don't choose what takes our lures, be it fly or spinning. Personally, I wouldn't have gone posting those pics on social media though, the wee last one aside, possibly....
 

Greegs

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Was on an upper Nith beat today. Seemed like good fly water in places, too high for fly in others, some places too low for a lure like a 9cm Countdown Rapala.
Having seen a considerable amount of fish on Annan, a week ago and for previous four weeks (up to 30 shows a day) and last week saw a few fish every day on Urr, with talk of 'best season for years on Nith' for weeks and weeks, I thought I would at least see one or two today. I saw no signs of a salmon!
I fished the same beat 12 years ago, but 3 weeks earlier, with 2 to 3ft more water and saw nearly a hunderd fish show in the week I was there and caught 8 in a week.
Gauge at Dalgig 0.7 yesterday, fell to 0.61 today and now due to heavy rain, its rising.
So Nith experts, any guesses for prospects for the week ahaead? Please help to raise my hopes and spirits....
I have grayling fly tackle with me....;););)

Were u in the blue VW??


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Andrew B

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Everyone is entitled to their opinion.i respect that.As I have said I'm not looking for arguments over a day at fishing..
I think it’s clear that November needs bashing on the head on all rivers in Britain as these fish are clearly spawning.
Re the bleeding fish unfortunately it does happen even on the fly albeit rarely.
 

wormo

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Was down the water at Sanquhar today with my stepson.we landed 3 fish..all well coloured all fish hooked on spinners..I fished fly all day but not any offers.stepson gave me a wee shot of his spinning rod.and managed 1
jesus wept that's grim 😫
 

Andrew B

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Bleeder aside, and as you say that one is a gonner, I'll put my tin hat even further on and say that the first three fish have already spawned. The 4th one is certainly still nicely enough proportioned though.

I appreciate that we don't choose what takes our lures, be it fly or spinning. Personally, I wouldn't have gone posting those pics on social media though, the wee last one aside, possibly....
I know I’ve said this before but for those of us who have been fishing for salmon for over 20-30 yrs, heck even ten years? None of us ever set off fishing in the Autumn to fish rivers that had no runs of fresh autumn fish coming in.

I’ve followed this trend over the last decade of anglers using the autumn to catch aggressive spring fish, often very big fish and admiring their tartan spawning refinery so to speak.
I’m still of that mindset where I’m disappointed to hook a fish and then find it’s an old resident, maybe cause of that mindset of wanting a suitable fish for the table but that’s another can of worms.

Technically folk are legally fishing for these fish in season. I say technically because it’s an odd paradox because interfering with spawning fish is illegal.
I’m not having a go at the poster of these fish and some new to the sport genuinely think this is what Autumn fishing is about, but it’s surely time to get up to date on the current situation all around the U.K. inc Cornwall as to my knowledge the number of fish coming in off the tide after October is so few as to make it un worthwhile.
 

westie4566

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I know I’ve said this before but for those of us who have been fishing for salmon for over 20-30 yrs, heck even ten years? None of us ever set off fishing in the Autumn to fish rivers that had no runs of fresh autumn fish coming in.

I’ve followed this trend over the last decade of anglers using the autumn to catch aggressive spring fish, often very big fish and admiring their tartan spawning refinery so to speak.
I’m still of that mindset where I’m disappointed to hook a fish and then find it’s an old resident, maybe cause of that mindset of wanting a suitable fish for the table but that’s another can of worms.

Technically folk are legally fishing for these fish in season. I say technically because it’s an odd paradox because interfering with spawning fish is illegal.
I’m not having a go at the poster of these fish and some new to the sport genuinely think this is what Autumn fishing is about, but it’s surely time to get up to date on the current situation all around the U.K. inc Cornwall as to my knowledge the number of fish coming in off the tide after October is so few as to make it un worthwhile.
We certainly have an issue at the moment with a dearth of true back end fish, however closing rivers from, say, the end of September on the back of this would be a decision full of pitfalls, especially if it was legally mandated.

Run timings have always been fluid and currently we seem to be in a late spring/early summer 'abundance'. The problem we might face is that in another 10/20 years time, if back end runs come back to being an abundance we wont be able to fish for them as the rivers will be closed. If we as anglers press for early closure now, then we can be sure as heck we wont get the rivers back open in the late months again.

As ever it has to be down to the individual to do what they feel is the right thing.
 

Andrew B

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We certainly have an issue at the moment with a dearth of true back end fish, however closing rivers from, say, the end of September on the back of this would be a decision full of pitfalls, especially if it was legally mandated.

Run timings have always been fluid and currently we seem to be in a late spring/early summer 'abundance'. The problem we might face is that in another 10/20 years time, if back end runs come back to being an abundance we wont be able to fish for them as the rivers will be closed. If we as anglers press for early closure now, then we can be sure as heck we wont get the rivers back open in the late months again.

As ever it has to be down to the individual to do what they feel is the right thing.
I guess so.
 

Thrasher

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No need for a tin hat.

You are an absolute bunch of hyocrites making comment on anyone elses catches, re bleeder, it'll die, spinner bad, fly good, jesus a wormer etc etc.

This is not an arguement or viewpoint that stands any scrutiny at all. If you are that concerned about the health of salmon and their survival why do you even consider sticking a hook in them or do only your ones survive?
Close the river early as they are kelts, well maybe do the same in the spring, don't open them until May to make sure most of the kelts have gone.

Has anyone seen a mass of salmon carcasses getting washed down the river from all of this disasterous catcn and release? Er no.

Has anyone caught a salmon with a hole through to its guts made by a lamprey, was it bleeding to death, er no, what about gashes from seals and nets, er yep. Were they dead, well no I caught them.
 

westie4566

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No need for a tin hat.

You are an absolute bunch of hyocrites making comment on anyone elses catches, re bleeder, it'll die, spinner bad, fly good, jesus a wormer etc etc.

This is not an arguement or viewpoint that stands any scrutiny at all. If you are that concerned about the health of salmon and their survival why do you even consider sticking a hook in them or do only your ones survive?
Close the river early as they are kelts, well maybe do the same in the spring, don't open them until May to make sure most of the kelts have gone.

Has anyone seen a mass of salmon carcasses getting washed down the river from all of this disasterous catcn and release? Er no.

Has anyone caught a salmon with a hole through to its guts made by a lamprey, was it bleeding to death, er no, what about gashes from seals and nets, er yep. Were they dead, well no I caught them.
I sincerely hope you're not referring to me in your little rant? However, in case you are, let me clarify things for you a bit.

I merely observed that 3 of the fish were kelts and one was a bleeder. The latter does bare scrutiny however as a fish, bleeding that heavily from the gills is highly unlikely to survive. That point is probably slightly moot in this case as being a kelt it's already 'done it's bit' anyway, although some might argue that it had a chance of getting back to sea.....however it's not a position I myself would take. More likely to just keel over on it's journey downstream as the vast majority of our kelts do. To further scrutinise your argument about other injuries, let me put it this way. You get a bad gash in your arm that's bleeding - is it going to kill you, chances not. Your carotid artery gets sliced open - well your pretty much a gonner unless you get very lucky and are right beside an A&E dept - even then your chances are slim!

Would you also care to point out where I ever mentioned method? No, you can't because I didn't My main observation was that had I caught kelts I wouldn't be posting pics of them!

As for me being hypocritical? Where was I? Perhaps if you'd cared to read further before going off on one and insulting folk, you'd have come across my post where I argued against closing rivers and gave sound reason why I thought it was a bad idea.

So to sum up for you: I have observed the condition of 3 of the 4 fish and commented on it and at no point did I criticise the anglers for fishing or the method used. Furthermore I have argued against closing rivers.
 

Thrasher

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Maybe you should read my post more carefully.

Anyone catching a fish at any time of the year and returning it may cause its death, at the same time it may not. How do we know, do you?

So it was a bit of a rounded post on the rubbish that is too often spouted on SFF.

Maybe an educational pm might bave been more useful, which you may havd been trying to do by your observations.
 

Sadmanfishing

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Once again I ventured down to one of my favorite spots when the water levels are getting ready to spill over the banks, that's the Cairn Mouth. What a beautiful morning it was, not a breath of wind, clear skies and the Cairn running clear although high. When I first got there, even before setting up, there was an almighty splash directly in front of me. One of the fabled greybacks decided to say helo. Luckily I had taken my blood pressure pills before leaving home but my heart rate was certainly well above what it should be for a man of my age and girth. I settled into a very pleasant session basking in the sunlight as the mist cleared off the water and the levels dropped. No luck with the worm so after an hour I put on a flying C. Casting it over the spot the big fish splashed, my rod bent and line pulled off the reel ......... And now a conundrum, how can you be disappointed at catching a nice 12 lb cock fish hooked in the scissors (although starting to colour up he was in no way wearing his tartan breeks yet) and safely returned, with the disappointment of it not being the greyback.......... it's like loosing a fiver and finding a penny. It did not take long for the adrenaline to subside on such a beautiful morning and the sweat to dry up from between my bum cheeks. Tomorrow is another day and who knows ...... that greyback might still be there.
 

Andrew B

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Once again I ventured down to one of my favorite spots when the water levels are getting ready to spill over the banks, that's the Cairn Mouth. What a beautiful morning it was, not a breath of wind, clear skies and the Cairn running clear although high. When I first got there, even before setting up, there was an almighty splash directly in front of me. One of the fabled greybacks decided to say helo. Luckily I had taken my blood pressure pills before leaving home but my heart rate was certainly well above what it should be for a man of my age and girth. I settled into a very pleasant session basking in the sunlight as the mist cleared off the water and the levels dropped. No luck with the worm so after an hour I put on a flying C. Casting it over the spot the big fish splashed, my rod bent and line pulled off the reel ......... And now a conundrum, how can you be disappointed at catching a nice 12 lb cock fish hooked in the scissors (although starting to colour up he was in no way wearing his tartan breeks yet) and safely returned, with the disappointment of it not being the greyback.......... it's like loosing a fiver and finding a penny. It did not take long for the adrenaline to subside on such a beautiful morning and the sweat to dry up from between my bum cheeks. Tomorrow is another day and who knows ...... that greyback might still be there.
Legendary Greybacks. Some of the Welsh rivers have similar late running fish- Greybacks and I’ve heard of Blue backs.
I was once showed the set up at the Mawdach hatchery and was shown two separate holding tanks, one with ordinary salmon and another containing parr from a pair of Grey backs. It was June if I recall and you could visibly see the Greybacks parr were little stocky, solid looking things and already bigger than their normal counterparts despite hatching later.
 

TowySewin

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I'm fishing quite a way up river from Thornhill Wee Porters (it was great of you to post the info'), but almost wishing I was on that beat, or even back on the Urr.
I am not in the car mentioned in a previous post.
I have now added Hall Bridge to my fav's in RiverApp, currently 0.87.
Beat seemed too high for fly today so fished CD9 Raps, which seemed perfect.
I did not see a sign of a salmon anywhere.
Bluebacks in Towy, Taf (St Clears) but we cannot fish for them due to season dates.
The bailiffs in 60's and 70's and into the 80's even said we should be fishing for them as they were destroying the redds of previous runs, i.e. the spring, summer and autumn (Sept-Oct) fish. So basically the 'expert's' thoughts were that the Bluebacks needed culling.
Personally, I would love to catch a Blueback. I have seen them in the afore mentioned rivers. They are magnificant!
Greybacks may be similar in appearance to the Bluebacks; they are not red beetroot, tartan fish, but arrive into the Solway rivers, looking 'clean' but ready to spawn.
Tomorrow, I do not care if I see a red 5lb August cock grilse or a Greyback of 30lb. Just to see a fish will make my week as so far it looks dire!
 
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skagitmonster

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I'll put the tin hat on for this post, first fish the milt is running out it and in my opinion any fish in that condition should not be handled that way, second fish with the amount of blood that's on the waders that fish is as good as a gonner, third fish the milt is running out of it, it's my opinion but fish in this condition should never be handled in this way or photographed for trophy shots

Was down the water at Sanquhar today with my stepson.we landed 3 fish..all well coloured all fish hooked on spinners..I fished fly all day but not any offers.stepson gave me a wee shot of his spinning rod.and managed 1
angler cant see anything wrong , estate has approval from fishery board to fish until?? ....lay blame on who?? seriously need more be said ...its why i,m done with salmon fishing and of the like forums etc ...you need t point fingers at the powers t be ... wanna be scrutinised , wanna give ammunition to anti ,do good , etc then carry on with posts and piks of quarry ,look at me etc . All these forum posts are public ...dont forget that .
 

Andrew B

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I'm fishing quite a way up river from Thornhill Wee Porters (it was great of you to post the info'), but almost wishing I was on that beat, or even back on the Urr.
I am not in the car mentioned in a previous post.
I have now added Hall Bridge to my fav's in RiverApp, currently 0.87.
Beat seemed too high for fly today so fished CD9 Raps, which seemed perfect.
I did not see a sign of a salmon anywhere.
Bluebacks in Towy, Taf (St Clears) but we cannot fish for them due to season dates.
The bailiffs in 60's and 70's and into the 80's even said we should be fishing for them as they were destroying the redds of previous runs, i.e. the spring, summer and autumn (Sept-Oct) fish. So basically the 'expert's' thoughts were that the Bluebacks needed culling.
Personally, I would love to catch a Blueback. I have seen them in the afore mentioned rivers. They are magnificant!
Greybacks may be similar in appearance to the Bluebacks; they are not red beetroot, tartan fish, but arrive into the Solway rivers, looking 'clean' but ready to spawn.
Tomorrow, I do not care if I see a red 5lb August cock grilse or a Greyback of 30lb. Just to see a fish will make my week as so far it looks dire!
I’m pretty sure I’ve had one but lost most of my old pics in an old laptop.
It was on the Teifi in 2012 in October and this fish was 18lbs sea liced and looked like a springer that had to be many months away from Spawning. I did take that fish as I was given ten tags and the run of fresh autumn fish that year was exceptional.
That’s very interesting about them over cutting the redds as I’ve the same thing before. I remember a report on the lovely River Nevern about some Bluebacks turning up in February and March not as spring fish but late running fish that would presumably rush up and spawn.
Every river has its own general capacity for salmon which is why many of the old Ghillies had no problem with the in river nets taking their share of fish to avoid over cutting on the redds.
From the Greybacks n Bluebacks to the famed Portmanteaus on the Chalk streams it’s been said that these fish are possibly the oldest creatures on Earth that could be linked and go as far back as the dinosaurs?

Given how irreplaceable they are. Is it not worth looking into using the now defunct hatcheries just to see if these rivers still have any runs of these fish?
 

Salmon Fisher

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Interesting re Wales. A few years ago NRW allowed experimental fishing on lower beats of Conway until 15 November. One day I had a hen fish that looked nearly ready to spawn (released in river) and almost immediately after a fresh cock fish that was a bar of silver with sea lice and looked like a springer. Unfortunately the experiment was ended due to lack of support - a shame as the fishing was better with more fresh fish than in September.
 

Andrew B

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Andrew B,
That is a most informative and interesting post. That is so far better a contribution to the one I commentated on earlier.
Thank you.
Oh I don’t know about that? But it’s gotta be better than getting upset and riled up lol
 

keirstream

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Ha!!!!!
As ever at this time of year, well, for the last nearly 10 years anyway, it's fairly obvious that fish are running earlier.
It's also fair to say that no genuine back end run exists anywhere in the U.K. any more.
Not on the Tweed, nor even on the Solway rivers where once even I would travel down to Thornhill in November in the hope of
landing one of the greybacks so highly prized in S.W. Scotland, and rightly so.(y)
So, what we are now seeing though, is fish are gravid, spawning and kelted also much earlier in the season.
Westie posted photos of a redd count last week on the Cowie and observed that it was all done and dusted and no salmon were left in the pools.
So, it's over.
I have seen fish spawning in the Leny in October in recent years and certainly the 1st week in November sees things get into full swing.
Surely, I'm not the only one to see this??
We have all been subjected to various campaigns about handling fish during C & R. We have all seen it.
So why do we choose to ignore well accepted best practice?
And, more so, with gravid fish?
Someone posted about education. Well, it's coming out our ears, isn't it? Don't take fish out of water to unhook, use rubber meshed nets, blah, blah, blah.
Beats have the right to stop fishing at this time of year, I understand that some on the Nith have done so and certainly some on the Tweed have.
It really is about time more beats followed their leads, we should not see people fishing for gravid fish anywhere and certainly not with bait or spinners.
 

Andrew B

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Interesting re Wales. A few years ago NRW allowed experimental fishing on lower beats of Conway until 15 November. One day I had a hen fish that looked nearly ready to spawn (released in river) and almost immediately after a fresh cock fish that was a bar of silver with sea lice and looked like a springer. Unfortunately the experiment was ended due to lack of support - a shame as the fishing was better with more fresh fish than in September.

Yes that’s the time I got to see the greyback parr and it wasn’t on the Mawdach as I reported. It was on the Dwyfor that also had an experimental fishing into November as the members were saying by X mas the river had a good run of fish. Sadly the guy who showed me The hatchery explained how he had no support in helping to run it, as every time there was a flood he would have to go down to the hatchery to check on the parr in the tanks.
The Seiont also had a trial extension that proved fruitful for a few years before the Autumn run finished.
I think it’s sad that many rivers have these hatchery facilities but because of the EA are not being used.

Going back to the Conwy just to prove how hatcheries are nothing new? I think it was some time in the 1930s where the Conwy was stocked with eyed ova and parr from Thurso fish. And for those who are committed to putting in the hours in March/ April every year there are some cracking early spring fish caught on the Conwy and some folk believe they could be the descendants of those Thurso fish?
 

TowySewin

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So, despite great water, would local experts say that the lack of signs of salmon means they are just not here to be caught? I.E. the Nith is still in decline and in dire form?
 

Thrasher

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So, despite great water, would local experts say that the lack of signs of salmon means they are just not here to be caught? I.E. the Nith is still in decline and in dire form?
November was never the best of it, it gets hard, big waters etc, but many years I fished the last day of the season and saw fresh fish.
For a while the best of our fishing has gone forward oribably a month or so.
It is really hard to tell if we are making a recovery as the fishing effort is nowhere near what it used to be.
 

Thrasher

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Ha!!!!!
As ever at this time of year, well, for the last nearly 10 years anyway, it's fairly obvious that fish are running earlier.
It's also fair to say that no genuine back end run exists anywhere in the U.K. any more.
Not on the Tweed, nor even on the Solway rivers where once even I would travel down to Thornhill in November in the hope of
landing one of the greybacks so highly prized in S.W. Scotland, and rightly so.(y)
So, what we are now seeing though, is fish are gravid, spawning and kelted also much earlier in the season.
Westie posted photos of a redd count last week on the Cowie and observed that it was all done and dusted and no salmon were left in the pools.
So, it's over.
I have seen fish spawning in the Leny in October in recent years and certainly the 1st week in November sees things get into full swing.
Surely, I'm not the only one to see this??
We have all been subjected to various campaigns about handling fish during C & R. We have all seen it.
So why do we choose to ignore well accepted best practice?
And, more so, with gravid fish?
Someone posted about education. Well, it's coming out our ears, isn't it? Don't take fish out of water to unhook, use rubber meshed nets, blah, blah, blah.
Beats have the right to stop fishing at this time of year, I understand that some on the Nith have done so and certainly some on the Tweed have.
It really is about time more beats followed their leads, we should not see people fishing for gravid fish anywhere and certainly not with bait or spinners.
How many kelts are caught on the Tay in opening day/week on spinners? Or on many other rivers?
 
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