In my last weekly report I said that I would do a review of the year...............
Thurso River 2016 fishing report.
It has been an excellent season on the River Thurso with 2,203 Salmon and Grilse landed from beats 2 through to 13, which compares very well with 5 and 10 year averages of 1,627 and 1,747 respectively. Throughout the season there have been a number of highlights worth mentioning.
The spring run was very strong, particularly throughout May and into early June. May saw 242 salmon landed and with only a maximum of 12 rods fishing each week, it was a great month. The quality of fish was also exceptional, with many fish in the high teens and several making 20lbs. From early April to the middle of June 91% of guests fishing a full week landed at least one Salmon.
There was sensational Salmon and Grilse fishing in July, where we caught 442 fish in one week and 957 over the whole month, which was not bettered by any other river in Scotland.
In August we saw another great run of fish enter the river, with good numbers grilse in the 6 to 7lb class.
Good numbers of big fish continued throughout the season. For 2016 we landed 17 Salmon over 20lbs, the best being 28lbs. It is interesting to note that in the last couple of season we have seen a larger number of Salmon over 20lbs being caught. The average for the last two seasons was 15, compared to an average of 6 between 2006 and 2014. What will 2017 give us?
The season started slowly with the first fish landed on the 3rd March, by Pat Nicol, with only 12 recorded for the month. In previous years we have seen our first fish landed earlier and the probable reason for this was the high water we had for much of January through to March. The height of the River meant that water was running down the fish pass for most of this time and allowing fish to reach Loch More.
Sport remained steady in April with 49 fish being landed. As we moved into May we started to see a very strong run of spring salmon running the river, these fish continued to arrive in large numbers throughout the month and into early June, giving us some of best spring fishing for many years.
As we progressed through June the river stated to drop. The fish continued to run in smaller numbers and we achieved our June average catch, but what we started to see were large numbers of fish building up in the estuary, ie both Salmon and Grilse. As the rain came in early July we saw these fish enter the river in huge numbers and the end of the strong spring run, coupled with an excellent run of grilse made for a memorable month.
After July it was always going to be interesting to see what was going to happen. Again for August we were blessed with good water and we saw another good run of grilse enter the river and some very good catches were made. As we neared the end of August our fishing slowed and through most of September we had a difficult time, with no fresh water. The fish were there in great numbers, but with very warm weather they went into a dour mood and were difficult to tempt. With two weeks of the season to go, it looked like it was going to end on a low note, but the weather broke, temperatures dropped and coupled with a small rise, we had a good end to the season, with 105 fish for the last 4 days.
The river is in very good health. The annual electro-fishing survey confirmed that stocks of fry and parr are excellent. We can’t control the weather and what happens at sea, so it is difficult to predict what will happen next season, but let’s hope that all the elements come together and we have another good season
We look forward to seeing both old and new faces on the River next year, tight lines to you all.
Thurso river Manager