The Shenachie gauge is the best one for the Lethen Beats. It is about 9 miles upstream from Dulsie Bridge. Any change in the level at Shenachie takes a few hours to reach Dulsie Bridge.
SEPA have provided web access to many electronic gauges on the rivers of Scotland and their website can be accessed here. SEPA water level stations on the River Findhorn:
The Shenachie gauge figure can be used as a rough guide to work out high, medium and low levels.
Under 5" is low getting to very low if down to 3"
7" to 10 “ is a good medium height
Anything above 1’2" is getting on the high side
Fish Disease - Saprolegnia
May 2022 - Sadly we have had reports of diseased fish on the Findhorn and other rivers already this season. Saprolegnia causes white, cream or pale brown cotton wool-like growths on the skin and fins of fish. These infections often start as small round patches, but can increase in size to form larger plaques covering the body. It is not unusual for salmon and sea trout to develop Saprolegnia infections as they enter rivers from the sea. Spring salmon seem particularly susceptible and with low flows the fish will be in close proximity in the pools leading to Saprolegnia infections spreading. These infections often follow some form of skin damage or scale loss, allowing water borne spores to enter the skin and grow. Stress can also increase the susceptibility of fish to Saprolegnia. Light infections may look unsightly but are usually tolerated by healthy fish and can heal if conditions allow. Heavy infections can cause severe skin damage, leading to debilitation, lethargy and even mortality of badly infected fish. Usually it just takes a good rise in water levels to freshen the river.
Findhorn, Nairn & Lossie Fisheries Trust
In the past we have had very generous support of many fishing tenants. It is suggested that each rod should consider a contribution of ₤5 per day but the Trust is grateful for any donations received. Subscribers receive newsletters which give details of the Trust's activities. Continuing support is vital to the well being of the river. Please refer to www.fnlft.org.uk/river-findhorn for information on the Trust and the Findhorn District Salmon Fishery Board.
Iain Kelly lives in Forres. He has good knowledge of our beats and is an experienced Findhorn fisherman. If you require assistance for a week or just a day or two, then contact Iain by email: email@example.com or telephone him on his mobile 07778 507950.
Bill Cottle of Everyman Ghillie Services is a travelling fishing instructor who has a good knowledge of our beats. If you require assistance for a week then contact Bill by email:firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01889 562745 or mobile 077480 02797.
Glyn Phillips lives near Forres. He is familiar with our beats having fished some of them regularly in the past. If you require assistance for a week or just a day or two, then contact Glyn by email: email@example.com or telephone him on his mobile 07891 778111.
Catch & Release
As part of their work to promote catch and release FishPal have produced three short films which promote good handling practice:
Film 1 - Tackle
Film 2 - Planning the River
Film 3 - Catch and Release
Fish Scale Samples
We continue to ask for scales samples to be taken off any fish that are killed. Scale envelopes and further information is available in the Lodge and Cottage. The information gained from the scale readings will be of great importance for research purposes.
Dunearn Lodge and Dulsie Cottage
Basics in Lodge and Cottage
The following are supplied:-
- All bed linen and towels.
- Soap and lavatory paper in bathrooms.
- Washing up liquid, dishwasher tablets, kitchen paper, cling wrap and tinfoil in the kitchen.
- Washing Machine soap.
For obvious reasons we do not wish to get involved with groceries etc. but there is an efficient service run by Tesco and more recently by Sainsburys.
Both deliver on a Sunday.
For the Lodge the ground floor has 6 sets of linen/towels and with the 1st Floor included has 12 sets. At Dulsie Cottage there are 4 sets. Extra sets of linen may be available during the week for a charge of £10 per set.
From Airport / Stations to the Lodge or Cottage and return.
Taxi 24/7 Nairn Tel: 01667 459595
Nairn Taxis Tel: 01667 451111
Ticks & Lyme Disease
Please be aware while walking along the Beats that ticks may be present in the undergrowth. Whilst not all ticks carry the bacteria which causes Lyme disease, and the risk of catching it is small, it is advisable to take preventative measures and to know what to do if you do get bitten. With this in mind we have provided information in the Lodge and Cottage folders
On the Findhorn when the weather is very wet the water levels can rise with alarming speed and height. Everybody is advised to equip themselves with an inflatable device. The other advice we offer is to limit wading as in a lot of pools it is totally unnecessary and very often spooks the fish. If you must wade it is suggested that with thigh waders you should never go in deeper than just above the knee and with chest waders never go in deeper than the groin.
Given the large number of diverse users of the river the Fishery Board now regard biosecurity as an awareness rather than a policing issue. In order to reduce the paperwork to comply with this requirement we now ask for ONE form to be completed on behalf of the fishing party and returned at least 2 weeks prior to your visit. Please ensure that every member of your party is aware of the biosecurity requirements and has taken the appropriate action. A list of all fishers in your party would be helpful and is appreciated. A hard copy of the form is included in your pack and an online version is available on request or from the FNLFT website.
Rod Sizes: On a full river a 13’-15’ rod with 8/9 weight line is best. On a low river a 10’-12’ rod with 7/8 weight is ideal and the new style switch rod fits the bill very well. Avoid using a trout rod and any rod with a line weight under 7 weight as these lighter rods are not suitable for playing salmon quickly which is necessary for a quick release to ensure a good survival rate.
Flies: all popular patterns from size 6 to 14 cover most events. Please avoid using treble hooks. Best practice is to pinch in barbs on single and double hooks. Hitched flies can be very effective throughout the season.
Please note that it is illegal in Scotland to use a knotted net, gaff or tailer.
4WD vehicles are strongly recommended for the Dunearn and Daltra Beats. If required they can be hired from:
Aberdeen 4x4 offer a meet and greet service at Inverness and Aberdeen airports where they will meet the customer at Arrivals and get them on their way without any delays. Alternatively, arrangements can be made for the vehicle to be dropped off at Dunearn Lodge/Dulsie Cottage at the start of your week and collected at the end. For Lethen guests they are also offering a 10% discount (quote Lethen 1 as a code when making the booking). For further information contact:
Website: www.aberdeen4x4.co.uk Telephone: 01224 877899
Website: www.invernessairport4x4.co.uk Telephone: 01463 709888
Highland Defenders are based in Nairn and specialise in the hire of Land Rover Defenders. Lethen Estate guests are offered 15% off, please use code LETHEN to claim your discount (please note you may be required to confirm your Lethen Estate Booking).
Website: www.highlanddefenders.com Telephone: 01463 575 575
Focus Vehicle Rental. Offer a range of Land Rover vehicles.
Website: www.focusvehiclerental.co.uk Telephone: 01463 709517
Rhino Car Hire offer a range of cars including 4x4's with collection available from Inverness Airport. They will offer a 10% discount for Lethen Estate guests. Website: www.rhinocarhire.com