The 15th November is the official end of the salmon season on the River Annan although this year the season came to a close on Saturday the 14th November.
The 2020 salmon season began with unsettled water from opening day until the 14th March when David Robinson landed the first salmon of the season weighing 14lb which was caught on a Devon minnow in Pats Bridge. This was followed by a good sized springer for Joe Black which turned out to be the last spring salmon reported off Newbie Beat.
Unfortunately Covid19 and lockdown followed and fishing didn’t resume until the beginning of June by which time we were at the tail end of a two month dry spell, but when the rain came, so did the fish.
Throughout July salmon continued to be reported on all the lower beats as well as good sized grilse (6/7lb) and this continued into August helped by regular rain and good fishing conditions.
It was good to see the lower beats so busy with anglers with some of them regularly fully booked and reporting fish most days when fishable, if not every day.
By the end of the summer most of the lower beats were already on course for a far better season than in recent years with two of the best months of the season still to come!
With the lower beats having a good summer for salmon and grilse the fish were initially slow to progress up river. However, when they eventually did, they did so in good numbers. Going into September (considered the peak month for the Annan now) there were fish throughout the lower and middle beats and with every lift more fish were seen running and reports of fish increased.
The lower beats continued to fish well with reports of some big salmon (high teens to low twenties) started to come in as well as further reports of grilse. On Hoddom, Jamie Strachan, who has had an excellent season this year, whilst fishing with Ally Barrowman caught 6 fish in an afternoon as grilse were moving through in early September and the good fishing continued for most of the month.
However, catch of the season has to go to young Jordy Renwick for his 16lb salmon (his first on the fly) caught on his 13th birthday in early October which was followed by a second fish of about 6lb.
During October, although there were still reports of some fresh fish coming through, most were well coloured up and spread throughout the river.
On Upper Annandale, Vincent Connelly caught his first salmon on the fly at 14lb fishing a single handed rod and for the rest of the month reports of fish from the upper and middle beats continued to come in.
By the end of October and into November the fishing slowed down on the lower river and with the reintroduction of lockdown in England and restrictions in Scotland there were certainly a lot less anglers out but the good fishing continued on the upper and middle beats when the water was good.