River Dee Weekly Fishing Report 1st July
The final week of the month saw catches pick up with 145 salmon to 28lbs and 131 sea trout to 5lbs as I write with perhaps some late catches to be added. There was a good lift of water at the start of the week which got the week off to a good start and the river fished well albeit sport slowed down as we got towards the weekend as water levels dropped back to summer level. Crathes reported 12 salmon, Birse 11 salmon and Headinch & Cambus O’May 9 salmon which will have delighted new seasonal Ghillie Craig McDonald and proprietor Clare Carson. Sea trout fishing saw another uplift in catches from the previous week with some nice 5 lbs fish landed at Ballogie and Dinnet. Kincardine had a dozen for the week; Ballogie had 9 and Borrowston 8. If we get a decent rainfall on Tuesday we may see another lift of water to hopefully encourage more fish to run the river. Whilst not many fish are being seen the numbers being caught are reasonable for the time of year. July normally heralds a run of Grilse so hopefully they will not be late this year.
I have received a few e-mails over the weekend and I’m delighted to see some of them containing images of youngsters catching their first fish. As the school holidays get underway it’s a great opportunity for youngsters to get the chance to go fishing with friends and family. Who knows you may read this and take a youngster fishing who may catch a fish and perhaps win the Callum Mackenzie Trophy; presented to the youngster who catches the most notable fish. Details about this are available on the daily catches page on the FishDee website. Denzil Skinner wrote advising ‘Attached please find photo of fish caught by my son, Rory aged 16 years, last Thursday at Symonds pool, Aboyne Castle beat. The successful fly was a black shrimp; time of capture, 11 am. Landed by a somewhat nervous father who has dreamt of catching such a fish for 35 years of trying! But what a moment to share! If you wish to use this on the Dee site please do, delighted to encourage youngsters into the sport, I think you might run a competition too.’ Well Denzil now knows about the Callum Mackenzie Cup and hopefully he will submit this fish as an entry. My good friend and talented angler Dr Phil Fairchild wrote to me advising ‘It was good to see you and hear your news. Keep up the good work on the Dee! It was, we both agreed, the toughest week we have ever had, despite really very good conditions, both overhead and on the river. We ended up with 3 salmon and 15 sea trout between us. Mostly on the perceived wisdom of small flies, but interestingly enough, the liveliest session I had was when in despair, I put on my biggest monkey and stripped it as fast as I could. I had 2 sea trout, 2 other chases and brief contacts and certainly stirred up one or two others, Saturday early hours, I also switched to a big Elver fly and got a fish immediately, had 2 other pulls in 30 minutes. I guess that is just the old trick of doing something different. We had excellent customer service from both John and Bill, as usual.’ I omitted the first sentence as it contained a bit of a colourful phrase from Phil who saw a photo of a lovely sea liced salmon I was fortunate to catch on Friday. The Park Estate staff had their annual outing and it was a pleasure to see everyone again and enjoy a lovely day with them. Ross Macdonald, inventor of the Park Shrimp was also successful on Friday with a sea liced salmon and a sea trout.
I was also delighted to receive an e-mail from Nigel Lusby who commented ‘Hi Ken, please see below Oliver’s first salmon. He is 17 and from Crathes. I promised Oliver (age 17) two days salmon fishing on the Dee last summer as reward for his results in his higher exams. This occurred on the 27th and 28th of June at Crathes. He had never Spey cast or fished for Atlantic salmon before. After the first day he was fishing well, casting a long belly Spey line out into the pools (with an ease that was sickening), and well enough to be left on his own. On the morning of the 28th I set him up at the head of the pool and popped down to a pool below, giving him the following advice; “If you get into a fish, play it from the bank, be gentle and patient, you have a small hook (size 13 double), and you can’t horse these like pulling in mackerel”. Brian Sim said he saw him out on the bank but couldn’t see the rod, started walking over and they both saw the fish as it boiled at the surface. Oliver said at that point Brian broke into a trot (he does not do that for many fish). Anyway, result an 18 lb salmon, (picture attached) biggest fish on the Dee that day, a fish of a lifetime, a great achievement for Oliver. To be honest afterwards, I had trouble getting him out of the water for his piece, and this got worse at close of play. It was a proud moment for me, his dad, and also for Brian, who has known him since he started at Crathes primary school.’ What a delightful experience for father and son and hopefully another candidate for the Callum Mackenzie Cup.
I chatted with Eoin Smith, Dess Estate Ghillie who advised that Stockport angler Barry Hartle had an exciting evenings sport with a 9lb salmon from Pitslug around 9.30 pm. Barry then moved to fish the top of the Island pool where his one and a quarter inch Cascade was taken by another fish-A good One ! Some 40 minutes later the fish had taken him 500 yards down to the tail of McKidds Pool where it was landed at 11.00 pm. The fish was measured at 42 inches and was a silver fresh fish of 28lbs. The joint biggest salmon landed this season. There was a 40 inch salmon landed at Carlogie earlier in the week. I hope to have more details in due course from Ghillie Sean Stanton and include them next week
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. Ken Reid © FishDee Ltd.
Beat catches reported (Week ending 29th June) SALMON & GRILSE: Ardoe and Murtle 1, Middle Drum 1, Tilbouries 2, Upper Drum and Lower Durris 2, Park 7, Lower Crathes and W Durris 1, Crathes 12, Invery 2, Tilquhillie 3, Lower Blackhall and Kinneskie 7, Upper Blackhall 6, Cairnton 7, Woodend 1, Lower Woodend 2, Ballogie 5, Borrowston 4, Kincardine 2, Carlogie 8, Dess 6, Birse 11, Aboyne Water 2, Aboyne Castle 5, Craigendinnie 2, Waterside and Ferrar 6, Dinnet 5, Deecastle 7, Headinch and Cambus O’May 9, Monaltrie and Lower Invercauld 8, Birkhall 2, Abergeldie 1, Crathie 8. Total: 145 Largest: Dess 28lbs
SEA TROUT: Upper Drum and Lower Durris 4, Park 17, Lower Crathes and W Durris 5, Crathes 7, Invery 7, Middle Blackhall 2, Upper Blackhall 7, Cairnton 3, Woodend 1, Lower Woodend 1, Commonty 1, Sluie 1, Ballogie 9, Borrowston 8, Kincardine 12, Carlogie 5, Dess 4, Birse 2, Aboyne Water 4, Aboyne Castle 4, Craigendinnie 2, Waterside and Ferrar 6, Dinnet 4, Deecastle 4, Headinch and Cambus O’May 1, Monaltrie and Lower Invercauld 7, Abergeldie 1, Crathie 2. Total: 131 Largest: Ballogie & Dinnet 5lbs
As we come into July we normally would expect to see decent runs of Grilse running the river. Nature seems to be running a bit late this year so we hope the Grilse buck the trend and arrive this week. The maritime influence sees tides dropping from 3.7 metres to 3.5 metres before rising again at the weekend to 3.9 metres as tides build during the next lunar phase. The Met Office is suggesting we shall see air temperature maxima around 19 degrees with the probability of a mini heat wave next weekend into next week. There may be heavy showers at time with perhaps a longer spell of rain forecast tomorrow and perhaps Thursday/Friday. Winds will be from southerly directions and should be light to moderate as fronts move through. River levels are running at 6 inches at Mar Lodge and 9 inches at Park. Hopefully rainfall this week may give us enough for a lift in river levels which will encourage fish to get on the move up river to the upper beats. Evening fishing into the wee small hours may be productive if you are able to fish out of office hours.
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 this week as worth a go with. Tosh, Silver Stoats tail, Black or Red Frances, Cascade, Flamethrower, brown pot bellied pig and of course the Sunray Shadow is always a good fall back for salmon and sea trout when retrieved quickly as it swings across the pool. Full floaters are the order of the day now with a 13-15 foot double handed rods and 9-10 weight lines are more than sufficient with leaders of 5-8 ft in length. If you need more flies or other equipment please visit Somers of Aberdeen, Orvis in Banchory, Strachan’s of Aboyne and Countrywear in Ballater. Another must visit place at lunchtime is the Kincardine O’Neil Post office for a super range of sandwiches and fishing flies. Popular places to dine out are the Boat Inn Aboyne, Franco’s in Banchory, Derbar Indian Restaurant in Banchory, with the Milton of Crathes providing super food, Tor Na Coille Hotel, Raemoir House Hotel, and of course the Banchory Lodge Hotel all in Banchory. The Glen Lui and Darroch Learg in Ballater offer superb meals too.
At this time of year with warmer air temperatures day and night please report any suspicious activity you find on your beat. Opportunist rod and line poachers can turn up at this time of the year so it’s important you contact the River Office, 013398 80411 any time of the day if you see anyone acting suspiciously on your chosen beat.
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.