Memories of an experienced Dee Fisher at Crathie

Tom Saville has been fishing the River Dee up at Crathie for many a long year. Now an octogenarian, Tom dropped me an e-mail with information about fishing at Crathie and how he came to fish with tiny flies for salmon. He is the inventor of the famous Crathie Fly-a superb all round fly for salmon and sea trout. This is a small fly which is very lightly dressed and consistently produces fish for anglers who fish on into the darkness in mid summer evenings.

Crathie Fly-Tom Saville 005

‘Ken, years ago in the mid-70s, I once had 23 for the week. Best 12lbs ( 20lb fish were like hens’ teeth in those days). All on the Crathie fly and Munro Killer, size 10  or 8 LW doubles! We never thought of smaller flies till 10 years later, when in very low water I got a 15lbs fish from Garlam on a size 14 double, stuck on as an experiment! Landed it in the dark. In normal water height (1ft4in) we often fished 6s and 8s.

When I returned to Crathie after about 8 years away in the late 1990s (the fishing was so poor) Archie reminded me about the efficiency of 12s and 14s. I’m still amazed that a fish can even see a 14 when it’s almost dark, and make the effort to take it ! Occasionally the thought creeps in “Why not try a size 6?”, but so far I’ve “chickened out” !’


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The FishDee blog is your website for snippets and news items coming from the riverbank from anglers, ghillies and local people who have useful news they wish to share. The supporting business infrastructure which supports angling will also be providing items of news that may be relevant to people who have an interest in the River Dee.

Posted on June 12, 2013, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Memories of an experienced Dee Fisher at Crathie.

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