River Dee Weekly Fishing Report 18th March 2013
River Dee Weekly Fishing Report
added: 18th Mar 2013
The lion of winter is showing no signs of departing from Deeside with long term forecasts suggesting a continuation of harsh weather for another couple of weeks. Weather conditions are a factor in salmon fishing, as thankfully are Spring Tides, which occurred last week. As a result of these high tides we had a run of new fish into the lower river which helped lift the weekly catch from 41 the week before to 72 last week. Park reported 23 salmon, Lower Crathes reported 10 and the Invery beats reported 6 with quite a number of fish well into the teens of pounds. Dess, Invery and Park all reported 18 b salmon last week and we shall hopefully see fish over 20lbs landed in the next few weeks as we go into April. Credit must be given to anglers and Ghillies who have battled away in the very harsh winter conditions so far this season, which they have encountered on the river. In the olden days, the Devon Minnow ruled supreme in these cold wintery conditions, nowadays it’s the tube fly which is the method of choice for the vast majority of anglers.
Richard Owen with his first Springer
I have received some correspondence this week with Mick Bell, the owner of Bloke Rods writing to share news of his success at Upper Drum beat, Drumoak. Mick commented ‘Hi Ken, here is the result of my first hours fishing with Jim at Upper Drum and Lower Durris yesterday. I took the fish on a full floater when everybody else blanked on Hi-Density lines, which in my mind makes it even more special. I am increasingly convinced that this current obsession with depth is over rated!’ Well thankfully that salmon didn’t read last week’s fishing column! Richard Owen wrote to me with an image advising ‘Hi Ken, this wasn’t the biggest fish from Park on the 15th March but it was my first Springer and as you can see I was delighted with it. It took a Black and Yellow tube fished on a slow sink line with a fast tip. I fished Park South for a couple of days and lost another fish on Sat, thoroughly enjoyed myself despite the sleet (a hot stove in the hut at lunchtime was much appreciated) and will definitely be back.
Jim Cowper from Aboyne Water dropped me a line commenting ‘Hi Ken, It has been 5 weeks since our last fish, but we had a beautiful 10lbr on Friday with sea lice in 1.8degrees water temp. Mr. James England was the fortunate angler using a 10ft heavy sink on a floater and a black and orange cone head.’ That fish must have been in a hurry to head upriver! It was nice to see the image of well known Deeside salmon angler Sandy Bremner, with a lovely spring salmon at Tilbouries he caught and released. Lars Terkildsen had a team of anglers over again fishing the Ballogie beats. I caught up with Lars for a chat on Saturday morning and he advised it was hard going for his team who did remarkably last autumn with 196 salmon in a week. Last week they had to make do with a meagre 5 salmon and a few kelts. He’s a very enthusiastic engaging angler and always a pleasure to meet for a chat. My good friend and fundraiser for NASF Norway, Mr Gerhard Schive was over fishing from Norway at Middle Blackhall, and whilst they didn’t have much success to report they had a terrific time at Glenbogle Lodge and great craic with David Gibbon, the beats Ghillie. I also caught up with Spencer Tolley who was at Upper Blackhall and his team reported 3 for the week as well as some kelts.
Now I would like to advise all who hold the River Dee close to their heart that there is a great opportunity to obtain a lovely artwork by Howard Butterworth. To celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the Dee District Salmon Fishery Board, Howard attended the River Dee opening ceremony at Ballogie, beside Potarch Bridge, and has produced a commemorative painting of the occasion. Howard has very kindly decided to produce a limited run of 100 numbered high quality Giclee images of the painting which are available to purchase for £100 excluding vat. The image can be viewed and purchased through Howard’s website link http://www.butterworthpaintings.co.uk/acatalog/River_Dee_Opening_Ceremony_2013.html
Every purchase will see a £25 donation to The River Dee Trust. I would urge anglers to snap up this truly fine piece of artwork, as Howard has done a fabulous job in capturing the moment Stalwart of the River Dee, Mr Alastair Hume is performing the ceremonial cast to the large assembled audience. It’s an iconic image and one that will have tremendous appeal to a great many people. I am sure many supporters of the River Dee should know the River Dee Trust has launched a spring raffle where tickets are on sale in fishing huts, Orvis in Banchory, the Tor Na Coille Hotel and Potarch Hotel, with some very nice prizes to be won. Raffle tickets can also be purchased online at http://www.riverdee.org.uk Please write with any news of catches or anecdotes to firstname.lastname@example.org so I can share this news in the weekly report and FishDee blog. Copyright FishDee
Beat catches reported
SALMON & GRILSE: Middle Drum 4, Tilbouries 1, Upper Drum and Lower Durris 3, Park 23, Lower Crathes and W Durris 10, Crathes 3, Invery 5, Tilquhillie 1, Lower Blackhall and Kinneskie 1, Little Blackhall and Inchmarlo 3, Upper Blackhall 3, Cairnton 1, Ballogie 3, Borrowston 2, Kincardine 2, Carlogie 2, Dess 2, Aboyne Water 1, Waterside and Ferrar 1, Deecastle 1, Total 72
SEA TROUT: Dess 1, Total 1
The winter theme is set to continue in Deeside for the foreseeable future with long term weather forecast models I use suggesting cold wintry weather continuing for the next 10-14 days. This week sees snow falling as I write. The BBC weather man this morning was advising that snow should fall all day and through the night and into tomorrow, dumping tens of centimetres of snow on high ground. Air temperature maxima this week may see 4 degrees Celsius at best and overnight frosts are predicted. The maritime influence shows tides dropping back from 3.6 metres to 3.2 metres midweek and building to 3.8 metres on Sunday as the next spring tide phase approaches. This is the tide I optimistically suggest will see big fish coming forward into the river. It’s going to be a tough week for anglers with winds forecast from the east all week blowing snow and sleet upriver; those on moderate to strong winds at times. It’s difficult to predict sport this week but I suspect it will be slow as the water is again very cold. Hopefully enough fish will be keen to come into the river as March progresses towards April. I expect most sport will be had between Banchory and Aberdeen. In the long term we have a great amount of snow in the mountains and this augurs well for fishing through April and May.
As I always counsel, it’s very important to listen to your Ghillies advice. Your beat Ghillie will encourage you to persevere in the likely taking lies given the water height on your beat and they will give good advice on presentation speed, fly choice and what depth to fish the fly. More often than not the Ghillie can make the difference and give you the advice you really need to catch the elusive silver fresh run salmon. There will be times this week that you will need to seek warmth and shelter in the fishing huts, if only to lift spirits. Spare a kind thought for the hard working Ghillies that stand for hours on end, day after day, in these harsh winter conditions providing helpful advice and encouragement to anglers, whilst they are no doubt chilled to the bone watching the anglers fishing. There are more visitors arriving in Deeside to fish the River Dee now that spring is just around the corner and many anglers will need to heed the wise counsel of their beat Ghillies. If you don’t have the services of a Ghillie to call on then you should make sure you have a sinking or intermediate fly line and a choice of sink tips. Short stout leaders of 20lbs breaking strain are advised as they help turnover heavy flies, and are needed in case you encounter a big salmon. Tube Fly choice may include Tosh, Dee Monkey, Park Shrimp, Black or Red Frances and Francnsnaelda. Anglers may still encounter kelts migrating downstream which need returned carefully to the river as will bright new spring salmon. Please try to ensure your fish is unhooked in the river and any pictures taken quickly when you are returning your salmon to the river.
As always there is fishing availability on the FishDee website during the last days of March. The weather looks challenging for angling this week but if dedicated salmon anglers can manage a visit to the river then please do so. A 3 day break at this time of year can yield some rewards with some of the local hotels doing some fantastic Fishermans rates for 3 days stays or more for groups of 3 or more anglers. There is great value to be found at the Tor Na Coille Hotel, Banchory Lodge, Raemoir House Hotel, Burnett Arms, British Legion and Douglas Hotel, all located in Banchory and the Learney Arms, Commercial Hotel and Loch Kinord Hotel further up the valley. All anglers are being asked to have their waders and any landing nets sprayed with a mild disinfectant prior to commencing fishing. It’s a quick procedure that will help the river and prevent ingress of unwanted pathogens and non native species entering the watercourse. Anglers should be aware the River Dee Trust has launched a spring raffle where tickets are on sale in fishing huts, Orvis in Banchory and the Tor Na Coille Hotel, with very nice prizes to be won. Please write with any news of catches or anecdotes to email@example.com so I can share this news in the weekly report and FishDee blog. Wrap up well this week as its going to be cold-Tight Lines! Copyright FishDee