River Dee Weekly Fishing Report
The River Dee produced steady sport for anglers all week with FishDee beats reporting 182 salmon to 24 lbs with 10 sea trout. Catches were well distributed from Ardoe to Crathie with a number of beats into double figures; Lower Crathes 17 salmon, Dinnet 15, Crathie12, Headinch & Cambus O’May 11 with Cairnton and Dess 10 apiece. I have heard reports of quite a lot of fish hooked and lost including a big specimen at Birse which was hooked in the March Pool and made a run of 200 yards before the leader broke at the knot. There was a nice 24 lb salmon reported from Lower Crathes; this beat has been consistently good all season. The 150th salmon of the season for Invery & Tilquhillie was caught by Gordon Mutch from Aberdeen-Congratulations Gordon. The run of salmon upstream has been late this year and good numbers of fish are running upriver now with plenty of good availability on the FishDee website. Sea trout sport has been slow this year but should get going over the next few weeks.
Now to correspondence which has been a bit light of late, however I am pleased to hear news that I can share with readers of the FishDee column. Firstly Jonathon Graves provided a nice report about his group’s recent trip advising ‘our weeks (weeks 18 and 19 at Carlogie) this year were a bit thin fish wise but as usual we enjoyed our time on the Ballogie estate. My father enjoyed his 50th consecutive year fishing Carlogie and on the Friday of week 19, he fished with Alan Lankshear (52 years on Dee), Barrie Welham (50+ years on Dee) and Gerald Beers (40+ years on Dee). This gave our rods for the morning a combined age of 324 years. (With nearly a combined 200 years of Dee experience.)At lunchtime Randall and Malcolm Nichol kindly gave my father a flask acknowledging his 50th year, and for an hour or so the old fishing tales were regaled at the Calm Pool hut. A great day for all.I have attached a picture of my father, Richard Graves, fishing the tail of the Boat pool in high water with Sean Stanton in attendance. You can see the clamp with universal joint that my father attaches his false limb to the top of the rod handle and he strips line with his right hand and teeth! He has never tried changing hands as Carlogie suits a left hander but I see no reason why a one handed fisher could not clamp their false limb to the lower end of the butt; and thereby fish off either shoulder. We have a plastic insert let into the cork of the rod handle to allow the clamp to be tightened firmly. Best wishes for the rest of the season.’ What an experience that would be to spend time chatting with all those elder statesmen of the Dee. They must have a wealth of stories and anecdotes. Edward Humphrey called to say he caught a classic Dee salmon of 8lbs , a bar of silver, at Abergeldie on a size 14 blue charm.
Jim Coates was fishing up in the Ballater area with Ian Murray and advised ‘Hi Ken, Just arrived home after 3 days of prime tanning on Deeside! Despite the fantastic weather I managed 4 lovely fresh salmon using light tackle and small flies. The weather was a wonderful bonus for the family who all had a great time. Here is a pic of one of the fish. Best, Jim!’ It’s a lovely fresh run fish. Jim first came to Deeside many years ago with his father Geoff to fish and phoned Ian to make a booking with Ian. When Ian provided the price for fishing Jim protested that it was too expensive for him as he was a student. Ian very graciously provided a student discount which Jim accepted and Jim asked ‘can my dad come too?’ It was the start of Jim’s life long passion for the Dee and where better to start than under the watchful eye of the esteemed Ian Murray!
Another bit of exciting news is a new award for young anglers; The Callum Mackenzie Cup. The Cup has been provided by Ballogie Estate with the support of the Mackenzie Family. The award for the most notable capture will be to the youngster whose angling success has been selected as the most notable fish by the Callum Mackenzie Award Committee and will be made annually at the River Dee opening ceremony. Rules-Fisher must be under 18 years of age at time of catch for any species of fish within the Dee catchment, including Rivers Cowie and Carron or one of the many trout fisheries in the district. Entries should include a short story about the capture of the fish, Picture, date and location of capture. Witness details to confirm catch. Submissions will receive publicity through the local press and FishDee website. All entries to the Callum Mackenzie Committee should be sent by e‐mail to email@example.com or by mail to River Dee Office, Mill of Dinnet, Aboyne, Aberdeenshire, AB34 5LA
News of catches, with or without images are always welcome, so please drop a line to firstname.lastname@example.org so I can share this news in the weekly report and FishDee blog. It could be another exciting week for anglers and hopefully we shall get some more good news to report next week. Tight Lines to you all! Copyright FishDee.
SALMON & GRILSE: Ardoe and Murtle 5, Altries and Lower Drum 2, Park 6, Lower Crathes and W Durris 17, Knappach 1, Invery 1, Tilquhillie 3, Lower Blackhall and Kinneskie 2, Little Blackhall and Inchmarlo 2, Middle Blackhall 3, Upper Blackhall 2, Cairnton 10, Woodend 2, Lower Woodend 1, Commonty 9, Ballogie 3, Borrowston 7, Kincardine 2, Carlogie 4, Dess 10, Birse 5, Aboyne Water 4, Aboyne Castle 9, Craigendinnie 6, Waterside and Ferrar 8, Dinnet 15, Deecastle 8, Headinch and Cambus O’May 13, Monaltrie and Lower Invercauld 7, Birkhall 1, Abergeldie 2, Balmoral 1, Crathie 12, Total 183 SEA TROUT: Ardoe and Murtle 2, Park 4, Lower Crathes and W Durris 1, Tilquhillie 1, Birse 1, Crathie 1, Total 10
The weather forecast from the Met Office advises that the week shall start warm and bright with increasing cloud cover during the course of week and air temperature maxima of 22 degrees Celsius. There will be outbreaks of rain from time to time and winds will be light and variable. The maritime influence sees high tides starting the week at 4.0 metres before falling from mid week to 3.6 metres at the weekend. It appears to be reasonably good fishing weather for sea trout fishing into the evening if you have some on your beat. River levels are getting down towards summer levels with the Sepa gauges showing 6inches at Mar Lodge and 1ft at Park. Now it is time to fish with longer leaders with levels getting a bit thin.
Some beats are very busy with their annual tenants coming through the summer months however there is a good amount to availability on the FishDee website and there appear to be decent numbers of fish running the river. If you can manage a visit to the Dee then please make the effort to come as the river is fishing reasonable well just now. Always heed the advice offered from your beat Ghillie as they know best about what tactics and flies to use to give you a chance of some sport. If you don’t have a Ghillie to obtain advice from then you may wish to consider the following flies as worth a go with. The Park Shrimp, Silver Stoats tail, Black or Red Frances, Crathie fly, Thunder and Lightning in sizes 12-14 and of course the Sunray Shadow is always a good fall back option if fish are seen and suspected to be running through your pool. The Sunray shadow fished high and fast is very exciting when fish are in the mood where action can be quite explosive from both salmon and sea trout, especially at dusk. Full floaters are the order of the day now with a poly leader utilised in afternoons of bright sunlight.
If you find you have the wrong flies with you for your fishing trip or run out, then pay a visit to some of our super retailers; George Strachan’s store in Aboyne have increased their selection of fishing equipment and River Dee flies tied by the Ballogie Estates Head Ghillie Sean Stanton, at very attractive prices too. The Orvis store in Banchory also has a vast selection of flies to choose from and equipment to hire. The Countrywear shop in Ballater is a favourite destination for visiting anglers, where Norman Clements is always delighted to meet visiting anglers. They have a good selection of fishing equipment available and provide good service and value. I would like to add Kincardine O’Neil Post Office supplies nice sandwiches and a great selection of River Dee flies too.
Finally an important thing for you to remember when you arrive on your chosen beat. All anglers and Ghillies are being asked to ensure anglers have their waders and any landing nets sprayed with a mild disinfectant prior to commencing fishing, even when they are fishing different River Dee beats during their week on the river. It’s a condition of the River Dee Conservation code and must be strictly adhered to; all beats have supplies to ensure this is carried out prior to entering 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. We also want to prevent the transfer of the highly problematic ranunculus from the lower part of the river to the upper part. Please write with any news of catches or anecdotes with images to email@example.com Tight Lines to you all! Copyright FishDee. Ken Reid © FishDee Ltd.