Monthly Archives: September 2013

The two minute Interview

STEF AND PAMELA

Stephanie Third & Pamela Esson

Stephanie and Pamela have been out doing electrofishing for the last two months and as this has come to an end I decided to carry out the 2 Minute interview which is timed. Not wanting to put them under pressure when I asked ‘can I get your picture’ they groaned and then asked ‘what for ?’

‘Ok Girls what wildlife have you seen this year ?’

‘Erm – Fish-lots of them-little ones-burst out laughing’

‘Now what else has crossed your path this summer.’

‘Oh Ken-some amazing wildlife-Lots of eagles, badgers, adders , Otters, frogs, lots of deer and a snake swimming across the river!’

‘What other exciting work have you done?’

‘Had 4 students out with Hamish, Chris, Natalie and Katherine’

‘We were stem counting Japanese knotweed on the Cowie-there was a lot of it’

‘We have done a Goosander count which is part of a planned programme of monitoring carried out annually.’

So the two minute interview came to an end and the girls breathed a massive sigh of relief-well done girls – you have worked very hard this summer.

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River Dee Weekly Fishing Report 30th September

Last Week

A challenging week for anglers as water temperatures rose during what was a lovely late summer week on Deeside which saw temperatures rise to levels above what we normally associate for the time of year. I recall a couple of years ago heavy snowfall in the 3rd week of October yet the air temperature on the way to work this morning was 12 degrees Celsius. FishDee beats reported much less fish last week compared to the week before, with a total of 137 salmon and 26 sea trout as I write , with some beats still to report their final weekly totals. Dess reported 16 salmon, Park 15, Carlogie 13 and Ballogie 12 salmon. The biggest fish of the week has seen Ballogie and Dess both reporting salmon of 19lbs in their totals.

I chatted with Sean Stanton; Ballogie Estates Ghillie this morning who advised Peter Lonsdale’s party had both Ballogie and Carlogie for the week, and was pleased to catch 25 salmon with 3 fresh silver fish in their tally. River levels were very low and very little sport was encountered by using floating lines. Anglers who fished a bit deeper got fish on Francnsnaelda, Frances flies and Sunrays. Everyone in the party caught fish during the week which pleased Peter, who finished top rod for the week. Sean also advised that Peter managed to get a MacNab on Monday with a salmon at 5pm and then a Grouse and Stag before 7.30 pm when it gets dark-quite an achievement. I can also advise that Lower Woodend proprietor Ruairidh Cooper also achieved a MacNab. Ruairidh achieved the MacNab challenge on Finzean estate on Wednesday, 18 September 2013 by hooking a salmon in the Suicide Pool on the estate’s Commonty beat on the River Dee at 6pm. This was his second successful MacNab in only three attempts and he said, “I just love to be out on the hill and the scenery on Finzean is superb and it is always nice to fish at Commonty.”

MacNab 2013 - image 1

Rory Cooper with his salmon at Suicide, Commonty-part of his MacNab                   

I received a text from Jim Coates who advised he had 5 salmon at Park on Saturday and lost a fish whilst fishing beat 4. Stuart Buchan and Trond Norskog were fishing at Birse for a few days and I caught up with them for a chat and bite of dinner on Thursday evening. Trond had a couple of fish and proudly declared it was 2 nil for Norway against Scotland. I received a text message from Stuart on Friday advising Scotland staged a late recovery and it was now 4-3 to Scotland. Fishing across the river at Dess were some Swedish anglers who also enjoyed some success with salmon. I chatted with Eoin Smith, Dess Estate Ghillie who advised that all anglers had a fish or two during the week with a few fish in the mid teens in weight, mostly hen fish. Fish were caught on a variety of flies from ½ inch to 11/2 inches, mostly black and silver. Regular Dess anglers Steve Morrice from Aberdeen had a few fish during his time on the beat. John Grant from Bannockburn reports the 2 rods had 2 salmon at Morven on Saturday of 8 and 12lbs.The 12lb fish was caught and released in the Fir Tree Pool and the 8lb fish was caught in the Streams of Gairn. They reported they had an excellent day with another 3 fish hooked and lost. Richard Slocock visited Morven and advised it was a lovely setting and thoroughly enjoyable trip. Adam Marr reported he had a 10lb salmon and 2lb sea trout at Park on Frances flies. Ian Scott has Aboyne Castle water for the week and they had 3 fish for their week. I am sure many Aboyne Castle anglers will want to extend sincere best wishes to beat Ghillie Alex Coutts who retires today; the final day of the season for upper Dee beats.

Please remember I need your help to write this weekly column, write with any news of catches or anecdotes with images to ken@riverdee.org Tight Lines to you all! Copyright FishDee. Ken Reid © FishDee Ltd.

Beat catches reported
SALMON & GRILSE: Ardoe and Murtle 5, Kingcausie 8, Culter 5, Altries and Lower Drum 4, Tilbouries 3, Upper Drum and Lower Durris 7, Park 15, Lower Crathes and W Durris 6, Crathes 2, Tilquhillie 1, Invery 1, Upper Blackhall 1, Cairnton 1, Woodend 1, Commonty 1, Sluie 3, Ballogie 12, Carlogie 13, Dess 16, Birse 4, Aboyne Water 1, Aboyne Castle 3, Craigendinnie 1, Waterside and Ferrar 1, Dinnet 3, Deecastle 4, Headinch and Cambus O’May 4, Monaltrie and Lower Invercauld 5, Crathie 6.
Total: 137 Largest: Ballogie & Dess 19lbs
SEA TROUT: Ardoe and Murtle 4, Kingcausie 2, Culter 5, Altries and Lower Drum 2, Tilbouries 2, Park 4, Lower Crathes and W Durris 2, Upper Blackhall 1, Woodend 2, Ballogie 1, Waterside and Ferrar 1.
Total: 26 Largest: Ballogie 4lbs
Prospects

Today sees the last day of the salmon fishing season for upper Dee beats above Aboyne Bridge and the last fortnight of the season for the lower part of the river. I have been studying the weather charts looking for signs of much needed precipitation. The last time we saw the Park gauge at over 3ft was on the 25th of June! Today sees the SEPA gauges reading 3 inches at Mar Lodge and 4 inches at Park and there is some rainfall forecast for the latter half of the week. One of the websites is suggesting quite a bit of rain on Friday and we may see rain from Wednesday through to Friday. Well I suppose it’s better late than never; if it materialises. Air temperatures will remain on the mild side for the time of year with maxima around 15 degrees Celsius and no sign of overnight frosts. Winds will breezy at times midweek coming from a south easterly direction and it shall predominately be overcast. The maritime influence sees tides building during the week from 3.4 metres to 4.5 metres. If the promised rain does produce a decent rise in river levels then we should see fish get on the move and put the river in good heart for next week.

There is still some fishing availability on the FishDee website this season so please take every opportunity to come and fish the river and catch a salmon before the season finishes-it’s a long close season. There are also a good range of accommodations available for anglers to stay in the length of Deeside so please look at the range of accommodation provision on the FishDee website. I visited Banchory Lodge Hotel this week and was shown around the really wonderful new fishing lodge at the side of the hotel. This is perfect for groups of visiting anglers looking for a great base with private dining, and is delightfully furnished with quality furniture and fittings, with drying facilities for wet clothes and a secure rod box in front of the hotel. I am sure this will be hugely popular with anglers as there is a need for this type of quality accommodation on the riverbank. Now mentioning fine dining and hotels brings me to another piece of news which may be of interest to local anglers and of course Ghillies. There will be a dinner at 7pm on Friday 1st November at the popular Tor Na Coille Hotel for River Dee Ghillies, family and friends, with a super 3 course menu and wine at a very reasonable rate for all who can manage along. General Manager Phillip Fleming wishes to show appreciation to the Ghillies who do a great job looking after visiting anglers. There will be some spaces available for anglers who are friends of our Ghillies, so if you want to attend this dinner please contact Shane Christie, secretary of the Dee Ghillies Association. Please write to shanechristie@btinternet.com to register your interest in attending what promises to be a very enjoyable evening for all who can manage to come along. There will also be very good rates for rooms for the evening if anyone wishes to stay overnight.

It is important to listen to the advice provided by your Ghillies. If you are fishing without a Ghillie be careful you don’t fish too deeply and foul hook fish as river levels are extremely low for the time of year and there is a danger of this happening where fish are concentrated in big numbers; salmon can stack up at differing water heights when lying in large shoals. Floating lines with intermediate poly leaders are more than suitable, with size 6-8 flies or small aluminium tubes ideal. Fly choice will include Frances flies, Red Ally’s shrimp, Black and Red Francnsnaelda and the Calvin’s shrimp.

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 remember to write with any news of catches or anecdotes with images to ken@riverdee.org Tight Lines to you all! Copyright FishDee. Ken Reid © FishDee Ltd.

River Dee Ghillies End of season Dinner

On Friday the 1st November the Tor Na Coille Hotel in Banchory is hosting a dinner for River Dee Ghillies, family and friends, in recognition of the excellent service they provide annually to anglers coming to fish the beats of the River Dee. The hotel have produced an excellent menu for the event which is listed below, at £25 a head including two glasses of wine. The function room can hold up to 70 people for this event and there will be accommodation available at a special rate for people wishing to stay overnight. If anyone wishes to attend this fun event can they please contact Shane Christie, Secretary for the Dee Ghillies Association at shanechristie@btinternet.com in the first instance, where there will be some spaces for anglers who may be wishing to attend.

 TorNaCoilleLogo

River Dee Ghillies Dinner

Friday 1st November 2013  7pm

Chicken Liver Pâté served with Red Onion Marmalade and Melba Toast

Scotch Broth

oOo

Roasted Rib-Eye of Scotch Beef served

with a Balmoral Sauce

Pan Fried Fillet of Hake served with a Champagne and Chive Cream

oOo

Sticky Toffee Pudding served with Butterscotch Sauce and Vanilla Ice-Cream

Local Cheese Plate served with Chutney

and Oatcakes

oOo

Tea/ Coffee & homemade tablet.

River Dee Stalwart

Willie Wood, a Dee angler of long experience sadly died last week.  Willie, a very long standing member of The Garthdee Angling Association and The Aberdeen and District Angling Association who also spent many happy years fishing Glen Tanar and Dinnet from the 1960s onwards passed away on Friday 20th September.   Willie will be remembered for his enthusiasm and cheerful optimism.

RUAIRIDH COOPER COMPLETES MACNAB CHALLENGE

RUAIRIDH COOPER COMPLETES MACNAB CHALLENGE

ON FINZEAN ESTATE

Finzean estate is delighted to announce the successful completion of the MacNab challenge by local businessman, Ruairidh cooper. After the tradition of John Buchan’s eponymous novel, the MacNab is the most complete sporting challenge requiring an individual to land a salmon and bag a brace of grouse and a stag on a single day.

After an early morning start, Ruairidh achieved the MacNab challenge on Finzean estate on Wednesday, 18 September 2013 by hooking a salmon in the suicide pool on the estate’s Commonty beat on the River Dee at 6pm. This was his second successful MacNab in only three attempts and he said, “I just love to be out on the hill and the scenery on Finzean is superb and it is always nice to fish at Commonty.”

MacNab 2013 - image 1

Ruairidh‘s success was a first for head keeper, Allan Shand, and the third in the history of Finzean estate.

Finzean estate donated a MacNab day to the Game & Wildlife Conservancy Trust for their fund raising auction earlier this year and Ruairidh was the successful bidder.

River Dee Trust Auction-Autumn 2013

The River Dee Trust is planning to hold an online auction to raise funds this autumn . The aim of the event is to raise awareness of the work carried out on the Dee and to raise funds to allow for the continuing improvement of the river. We raise funds for practical river improvement and to clear obstructions, allowing fish to complete their epic migrations and lifecycle. We also promote and support an educational programme for school children explaining the importance of the river to the region’s wildlife and local economy. If any reader of the blog wishes to help provide an interesting auction lot please get in touch with Ken Reid who is sourcing auction lots for this popular annual event. Contact ken@riverdee.org in the first instance your help would be very much appreciated.

FishDee beats weekly audio report compiled 23rd September

Here is the weekly audio report available as a download for people with reading difficulties and for overseas visitors. Biggest week of the season with over 100 fish landed on Thursday.

River Dee Weekly Fishing Report 23/9

LAST WEEK

A few vital inches of water during the week really helped encourage fish to move upriver and this had the effect that I had hoped when I wrote the media column last week. FishDee beats have reported 349 salmon and 30 sea trout for the week with the biggest reported at Kincardine which was a 25lb salmon. Some of the lower beats really did well with Park reporting 46 salmon, Ardoe & Murtle 36, Altries 33 and Kingcausie 24. I mentioned that Jim Coates did well in last week’s column with 14 fish for his 3 days at Park. Jim made a return to Park on Saturday and managed to catch 11 salmon for his day. He advised ‘Hi Ken I had a productive day at Park, all on the 7 weight rod which was cracking sport, 2 were sea liced and the rest a mixed bag up to 18lbs which went like stink on the light rig. The Ghillie Bert was ecstatic! I had one in the morning and ten in the afternoon. I was fishing the same fly and set up as last week. I was fishing beats one and two on the south bank.’ People who know Jim appreciate he is an angler with supreme skills and very thoughtful about how he sets out to catch fish.

I got a message from Paul Whitehouse who had enjoyed some good sport with a big 25lb salmon at Park recently. Paul commented ‘Hi Ken, It was a funny old week with not much water, we were picking away and I was thrilled with the big fish which you jokingly disputed the weight! I had another couple of fish and we saw sport improve in the latter part of the week with beats like Greenbanks giving sport. Hope all is well.’ James Craig visited Ardoe and Murtle on Saturday and reported one salmon, one sea trout and two brown trout on a red shrimp fly. Malcolm Anderson visited park and reported’ A fantastic 2 days, Keith was his usual upbeat self and looked after us extremely well. I give him eleven out of ten for looking after Ian Wilson and myself and we look forward to next season. Ian had 4 salmon on his red Dee pig fly and I had 2 salmon on a red shrimp fly.’ Graham Dawes visited a couple of beats recently and advised ‘I would make a booking to fish the Aboyne Water beat again. I fished the beat once before back in 2011 and enjoyed the fishing then as I have done this time. The Ghillie was very helpful and tried his best to get me into a fish. So no luck this time and I guess that’s why we call it fishing and not catching! I had 4 fish take the fly but sadly none stayed on. I then fished at Dess and had a good two days, catching 3 fish the first day and losing 2, and on the 2nd day catching 1 and losing 1 at the net. I would book again hopefully next year. The 4 fish caught on the fly were from 10lbs to 14 lbs. The river was low and it limited the number of pools to fish, but lots of fish in the pools I fished.’ Ian Coghill fished Aboyne Water and landed 4 fish on the fly.

Rob Fuller wrote about his party’s annual trip to the Dee advising ‘Dear Ken, the Hawkins Week have had another highly enjoyable week despite the atrocious fishing conditions ending on Saturday 14th September. 13 of us fished on 5 beats notably Birse, Carlogie, Ballogie, Crathes and Park South. Conditions were very difficult and the river showed signs of being subjected to summer levels since the end of May. However, we persevered and managed to catch 15 salmon and grilse up to 17lb and 2 sea trout in the week. As per last year there was a shortage of cocks with only 3 being caught up to 5lb in size. This made it very difficult for us in finding suitable candidates for our annual contest for the largest cock and in fact we decided that to be eligible for this great award the fish must be in double figures! As I write a storm should be hitting Scotland which I hope will do something to the river levels although I suspect that you will need a month’s rain to wash the river through. With all good wishes for the rest of the season. Rob Fuller’ as always I look forward to hearing the report about the Hawkins party week and they always seem to have a great time fishing a selection of River Dee beats.

Please remember I need your help to write this weekly column, write with any news of catches or anecdotes with images to [email]ken@riverdee.org[/email] Tight Lines to you all! Copyright FishDee. Ken Reid © FishDee Ltd.

SALMON & GRILSE: Ardoe and Murtle 36, Kingcausie 24, Culter 5, Altries and Lower Drum 33, Tilbouries 8, Upper Drum and Lower Durris 5, Park 46, Lower Crathes and W Durris 11, Crathes 10, Tilquhillie 2, Little Blackhall and Inchmarlo 3, Middle Blackhall 3, Upper Blackhall 11, Cairnton 1, Woodend 7, Lower Woodend 2, Commonty 1, Sluie 5, Ballogie 22, Kincardine 8, Carlogie 9, Dess 16, Birse 16, Aboyne Water 6, Aboyne Castle 3, Craigendinnie 7, Waterside and Ferrar 3, Dinnet 7, Deecastle 5, Headinch and Cambus O’May 8, Monaltrie and Lower Invercauld 10, Crathie 15, Mar Lodge Estate 1, Total 349  SEA TROUT: Ardoe and Murtle 10, Kingcausie 1, Culter 5, Altries and Lower Drum 2, Tilbouries 1, Upper Drum and Lower Durris 2, Tilquhillie 1, Middle Blackhall 1, Cairnton 1, Woodend 1, Kincardine 1, Birse 2, Monaltrie and Lower Invercauld 2, Total 30

PROSPECTS

It’s the start of the last week of the season for Upper beats from Aboyne Bridge up river and from the 1st October beats below Aboyne Bridge fish until the 15th October. There has been an overnight lift in river levels which I’m sure did not come from rainfall but water from Loch Muick which was blown out of the Loch on early Sunday morning when winds were very strong and warm from a southerly direction. This water was noted by some Ghillies yesterday and perhaps will keep fish on the move from lower beats. The SEPA gauges are reading 6 inches at Mar Lodge and 8 inches at Park. Yesterday saw us basking in 23 degrees Celsius which was very enjoyable for visitors arriving in Deeside for their forthcoming week. It’s the Aberdeen holiday today and this fine weather has continued with temperatures forecast to be similar, after today temperatures will cool significantly as a couple of weather systems pass over Scotland. Different weather websites are suggesting rain on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday but not really in agreement in what volume, however they are suggesting that next week will see a lot of rain falling which will set us up nicely for the last two weeks of the season. The maritime influence sees tides falling back from 4.4 metres to 3.3 metres before tides build next week which hopefully will coincide with a much needed spate.

There is still some fishing availability on the FishDee website so please take every opportunity to come and fish the river and catch a salmon before the season finishes. There are also a good range of accommodations available for anglers to stay in the length of Deeside so please look at the range of accommodation provision on the FishDee website. It is important to listen to the wise counsel of your Ghillies and some are suggesting the pool tails are seeing fish numbers building so make sure you give pool tails a bit of attention. Feedback from anglers are suggesting red flies are now really coming into their own now however small black tube flies are also reported to be doing well. If you don’t have the right flies then pay a visit to Orvis in Banchory, Somers in Aberdeen or the ever popular Kincardine O’Neil post office where there are a great selection of locally tied flies from Sean Stanton’s vice and arguably the best sandwiches in Deeside prepared daily by Susan Brooks.

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 remember to write with any news of catches or anecdotes with images to [email]ken@riverdee.org[/email] Tight Lines to you all! Copyright FishDee. Ken Reid © FishDee Ltd.

One for the early birds….

I note that Upper Blackhall have listed some fishing availability for the start of 2014.

Week of Water Beat                                 Species Rent/Day                                 Mon                                 Tue                                 Wed                                 Thu                                 Fri                                 Sat                                 Sun                                 Notes
3 Feb 14             Dee Upper Blackhall as st £85                 3                 3                 3                 3                 3                 3                 – Min 3d3r LE
3 Feb 14             Dee Dess as st £70                 –                 –                 –                 –                 –                 5                 –

10 Feb 14             Dee Upper Blackhall as st £65                 3                 3                 3                 3                 3                 3                 – Min 3d3r LE
17 Feb 14             Dee Upper Blackhall as st £65                 3                 3                 3                 3                 3                 3                 – Min 3d3r LE

This is a lovely beat which joined FishDee this year for the first time. I met owner Simon Mitchell on opening day this year and if memory serves me correctly I am sure he said he had 3 fish on opening day !

Looking downstream at Scobboc-A fabulous piece of fly water

Looking downstream at Scobboc-A fabulous piece of fly water

Dess of course will be well known to FishDee anglers and is a superb beat with fabulous facilities and experienced Ghillie Eoin Smith.

1st - Frede Hognestad

River Dee Weekly Audio Report

Here is the weekly audio report available to download for people with reading difficulties and overseas visitors to the River Dee

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