River Dee Weekly Fishing Report
There was a very large flood at the beginning of the week which in reality made the river pretty much unfishable for the first three days of the week. The reported catch of 60 salmon and 9 sea trout from FishDee beats is reasonable however we would hope to see a catch in excess of 100 salmon this coming week. In a sport which is dependent on conditions, the flood that came last week lasted for quite a considerable period. Park’s river level gauge was 9.25 feet above summer level on Monday, 6ft above summer level on Tuesday and 6.58 feet above summer level on Wednesday, predominately driven by snow melt from the hills. Park reported 13 salmon; Lower Crathes reported 12 salmon for their week as did the Invery beats. It was hoped there would have been a decent run of fish from the lower beats to the middle and upper beats; alas this never materialised. Perhaps a lot of fish dropped back downstream during the flood and only started running to the beats in the Banchory area once the levels subsided significantly. Swallows, Martins and Sand Pipers have arrived back from their winter haunts.
I spoke with Invery Beats Ghillie Karl Revel who informed me that angler John Cosh had just landed a lovely 9lb salmon just before I called him. He advised they had a team of Scandinavian anglers last week who were very accomplished anglers. He was delighted they managed to catch 4 fish with the river running at 5ft on their gauge. Two fish were caught whilst the anglers were fishing walking along the Platties walkway, casting over the fence just below the Kirk Pot! There was a nice fish taken from the Floating Bank on a size 9 Flamethrower, fished off a sunken line and short leader. Dess proprietor Jeremy Clayton had a fish on Saturday.
Edward Fifield with a salmon at Crathes
Keith Cromar at Park advised that the water temperature was 5 degrees Celsius this morning outside his hut! He then advised they had a group of house guests last week led by Philip Bellamy who all caught fish. They lost a number of days fishing due to the high coloured water with the latter part of the week giving anglers some sport as levels dropped. He commented that the fish were good sized with an average weight of 12-14 lbs. They had one fish under ten pounds and good fish of 16, 17 and 18lbs. He is hopeful new fish will come into their pools and give anglers good sport this week. Fish are being taken in the slower stretches and not the streamier water.
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 through the River Office, Mill of Dinnet, Aboyne, tel 013398 80411. The Dee District Salmon Fishery Board would like to advise that details about the bursary scheme to encourage young people to become ghillies are now on their website River Dee Trust & Dee District Salmon Fishery Board: Home: Welcome 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. Copyright FishDee
Beat catches reported
(week ending 20th April)
SALMON & GRILSE: Park 13, Lower Crathes and W Durris 12, Crathes 4, Invery 6, Tilquhillie 6, Lower Blackhall and Kinneskie 7, Little Blackhall and Inchmarlo 1, Upper Blackhall 2, Cairnton 4, Dess 1, Aboyne Water 1, Aboyne Castle 1, Deecastle 1, Headinch and Cambus O’May 1.
Total: 60 Largest: Park 18lbs
SEA TROUT: Altries and Lower Drum 1, Park 5, Crathes 1, Aboyne Water 1, Dinnet 1.
Total: 9 Largest: Aboyne Water 3lbs
TROUT: None reported
It could be the best fishing week of the season with a much needed flood giving the river a good clean out last week with river levels now ideal for anglers looking forward to their fishing this week on the River Dee. Spring tides will build during the week from 3.6 metres to 4.4 metres, hopefully bringing new fish forward into the river. The Sepa river level gauges are currently 1ft 5 inches above summer level at Mar Lodge and 3 ft 2 inches at Park. Weather conditions for the first part of the week look ideal with air temperatures perhaps reaching 14 degrees Celsius. There will be a change in weather conditions later in the week with air temperatures due to drop to single digits, with the possibility for hill snow and overnight frosts. Winds will be variable during the week and at times quite blustery. There will perhaps be slight lifts in river levels daily due to some snow melt, but no major rises in river levels are envisaged.
With sea gulls, swallows and sand martins taking advantages of hatches of flies during the afternoon hours it’s clear that water temperatures are rising during the day sufficiently now for fish to come to the fly. It’s a case of persevering this week and if and when a run of fish comes into your chosen beat, you may perhaps see some action. It’s important to work with your ghillie and heed his wise advice. The Ghillies will be eager to see salmon landed where you can exploit any opportunities for sport. They will advise what flies to use and tactics to employ. At this time of year fish may take a well sunk tube fly and later in the day perhaps a much smaller fly fished off a floating or intermediate line. Vary your tactics of fly presentation and be alert to slight changes in air and water temperature. If you don’t have a Ghillie to help you, perhaps you will fish with big flies first, and fish deep; later on in the day perhaps use a plastic or aluminium bodied Sunray shadow fished very square with a figure of eight retrieve, especially if you see fish splashing about. Fly choice will include Gold Bodied Willie Gunn, Ally’s Shrimp, Dee Monkey and Pot bellied pigs; later in the day you may perhaps get fish to come to a size 8 or 10 dressed double. Flies can be purchased locally at Somers in Aberdeen, Orvis in Banchory, Kincardine O’Neil Post Office, George Strachan’s store in Aboyne and Countrywear in Ballater.
I really would encourage anglers who are thinking about fishing to book availability now through FishDee because sport should really pick up now given the significant improvement in fishing conditions. The hotels in Deeside provide excellent value and there are Fishermans rates for groups of anglers. All anglers and Ghillies are being asked to ensure all anglers have their waders and any landing nets sprayed with a mild disinfectant prior to commencing fishing, even when they are fishing different beats during their week on the river. It’s a quick procedure that will help the river and prevent ingress of unwanted pathogens and non native species entering any part of the River Dee watercourse. 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. It could be great week-Tight Lines! Copyright FishDee