River Dee Weekly Fishing Report 29th July
A glorious summer week on Deeside started with the joyous news about the birth of His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s first son, and third in line to the throne. The glorious weather coinciding with the school holidays has seen lots of local children taking the opportunity to have a swim in the river during the heat of the day. Anglers and Ghillies no doubt were doing rain dances all week and their prayers were answered with a day of continuous rainfall on Sunday 28th July. Not only does this raise their spirits it also raises river levels, which is good news as it will encourage a run of summer salmon and grilse into the river where many fish have been waiting to run. This welcome rainfall will also see a lowering of water temperatures which were getting really too warm for salmon to co-operate with fishermen at 20 degrees Celsius plus. As fishing weeks go, last week saw anglers fishing in vain for scant reward during daylight hours and any realistic opportunities for sport happened during the wee small hours. FishDee beats reported 27 salmon and 28 sea trout for the week. Catches should pick up significantly this week, not only on the Dee, but also on the Feugh where anglers and proprietors have waited patiently for a lift in water levels to encourage fish to ascend the Falls of Feugh. The Heughhead beat should see some sport this week and let’s hope they do well.
News of fish catches has been as rare as finding a taking fish however I managed to chat with Gavin Brown, Junction Beat Boatman on the River Tweed, who enjoyed a busman’s holiday to the Dee and managed to catch 3 salmon at Dess on a tiny fly. Gavin really enjoyed his time fishing the Dee and thought it a pretty river and joy to fish. I received an e-mail from Ade Bristow commenting ‘Hi Ken, I thought you might appreciate these images of my first Salmon caught on the Dee, in the company of seasoned rod Gordon Dickinson and the inimitable Robert Harper, on the beautiful Lower Crathes and West Durris Beat. It was my first trip in search of a salmon (w/c 8th July) and I had low expectations against a backdrop of rising temperatures and a rapidly falling gauge. Therefore I was thrilled with my three salmon for the week, including the two fresh, sea liced fish in the attached photographs. All fish fell to a sparsely dressed size 14 Silver Stoat. I can’t express my gratitude deeply enough to Gordon, Chas and Robert. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and hope to return again when the river is carrying more water and the pools have regained their full character. Best regards. Ade Bristow.’ I also was very saddened to hear the news about a tragic accident in Russia where it’s reported a helicopter turned over killing two anglers and a highly respected guide Alex Tus, who had disembarked from the helicopter. Retired top corporate lawyer Rupert Beaumont and fine art dealer Mark Robertson, I’m informed were anglers who fished the River Dee at Lower Crathes and will be sadly missed; sincere condolences to the families of the anglers and guide.
I just received a phone call from Ian Murray from Monaltrie and Lower Invercauld, who many have commented has a sixth sense about all things! Ian had thought I might need some copy for this week’s report and was right of course. Ian advised ‘Well it’s been a tough week for anglers but we got 6 salmon and a sea trout from Monaltrie/Lower Invercauld and a salmon from Glen Muick, which is good going considering the conditions. We have had fresh fish creeping through daily and we caught these fish on small silver stoat’s tail flies using light tackle and great stealth.
At this time of year with warmer air temperatures by 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.
SALMON & GRILSE: Tilbouries 2, Upper Drum and Lower Durris 1, Park 4, Lower Crathes and W Durris 1, Crathes 1, Upper Blackhall 1, Ballogie 1, Dess 3, Birse 4, Aboyne Water 1, Monaltrie and Lower Invercauld 6, Crathie 1, Heughhead 1, Total 27
SEA TROUT: Park 4, Ballogie 3, Kincardine 1, Carlogie 1, Dess 4, Birse 7, Aboyne Castle 1, Dinnet 4, Monaltrie and Lower Invercauld 1, Crathie 1, Mar Lodge Estate 1, Total 28
During the dog days of summer it’s difficult to write a prospects column with any degree of confidence about good sport unless a change in weather is on the horizon. Well thankfully writing this week’s prospects column is a pleasure as there has been a significant change in the weather with virtually a solid 12 hour rainfall yesterday culminating in a rise in river levels overnight.
What anglers like Ade Bristow love to catch-sea liced River Dee salmon
The Sepa gauges are sitting this morning at 5 inches and steady at Mar Lodge and 1ft 7 inches at Park and rising, with the River Feugh seeing a 2.5 foot rise in water level which will encourage salmon and sea trout to ascend the Falls of Feugh, providing visitors to the viewing platform with excitement as fish battle their way up through the torrent. The weather forecasters are also suggesting there could be more rain today, tomorrow and on Thursday, which if it materialises will set us up nicely for a good weeks sport. Air temperature maxima will perhaps reach 20 degrees Celsius plus however water temperatures will have dropped back quite a bit which should encourage more fish activity and get them on the move. Tides are dropping back from 3.9 metres to 3.5 metres before rising at the weekend to 3.7 metres as Spring tides build again. There is plenty of rod availability on the FishDee website and conditions being what they are I would encourage people to book fishing as their chances of good sport have improved significantly.
With fresh fish anticipated to be on the move this week it’s important to heed the wise counsel from your Ghillie about where to fish and what flies to use. Chances are there will be a bit of turbidity in the water and anglers may well be fishing with bigger flies than last week perhaps sizes 8-12. Popular flies to use this week will include Cascade, Park Shrimp, Flamethrower, Calvin’s Shrimp or any other that is flashy and bright. Anglers will in all probability be fishing with floating lines with sink tips or poly leaders. There may well be some bigger summer salmon coming forward so don’t fish with terminal tackle that is too light; nothing worse than losing a good fish because your leader material is too weak. Some anglers will also fish a sunray shadow or monkey stripped squarely across the pool encouraging salmon to aggressively pursue and snap at the fly. Pot bellied pig tube flies fished a bit down in the water may also be productive during the week.
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. 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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org Tight Lines to you all! Copyright FishDee. Ken Reid © FishDee Ltd.