River Dee Weekly Fishing Report 30th September
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.”
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 email@example.com 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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com Tight Lines to you all! Copyright FishDee. Ken Reid © FishDee Ltd.