The final week of the salmon fishing season has come to an exciting end with well over 400 salmon landed for the week and 22 sea trout. FishDee beats, as I write have reported 388 salmon, however there are a good number of fish still to be added to the reporting system. I met up with the Lars Terkildsen party who were fishing a number of beats last week, at Ballogie house on Saturday evening for dinner, prepared beautifully by Harriet Milligan, daughter of Mike Milligan. This dinner emphasised the global draw the River Dee is to salmon anglers these days as there were 7 different nationalities in the fishing party, with myself as the only UK representative at this end of week celebratory dinner. I mentioned last week that we may have the biggest fish of the season landed during the week and this almost happened after Lars Terkildsen battled a big fish at Birse which was lost after his colleague, who had two hands round the tail of the fish, saw it slip from his grasp and swim back into the river-Lars said it was a huge fish. Some of the catches reported so far include Park and Ballogie with 35 salmon apiece, Altries reported 32, and Birse will have over 30, Tilbouries 28 and Carlogie 27, with many other beats reporting good catches. The lift in river levels on Thursday helped boost catches considerably and it’s good to see the fishing season coming to an end on a high note for all anglers, Ghillies and proprietors.
I received an e-mail from Neil Donald with an image of a coloured cock fish where Neil comments ‘Hi Ken, Had a fantastic Friday and Saturday at Middle Blackhall with Davie Gibbon, who was a fantastic help being available to land all four of the fish caught. I had a very coloured but nice 11lb salmon on the Friday (picture attached) and one of my buddies Chris Robertson had three lovely fish on the Saturday. Chris is a very experienced trout fisher but this was only his second day fishing for salmon with a double hander rod so an excellent result. He had 5, 6 and 15lb salmon and also lost another after it swam around a rock and cut the line. Bad news was, as he was getting out of the water at the end of the day, he fell and snapped his rod, but the three fish softened the blow. After 40 years fishing he said it was his best ever day, so I think he’ll be back to the Dee next season. This was all off the back of a few days fishing in the west coast where we had one salmon, a sea trout and several trout. A great finish to the season end. We are all local to Deeside. Cheers, Neil Donald.’ Well done Chris and Neil and hopefully Chris can claim on his insurance for the broken rod. Well I can report that Chris wasn’t the only angler to suffer a mishap. I was having a cast on Saturday where I took a header into the river, in the Fawn Pool. The same thing happened to me last year at Dinnet at the end of the season. As I trod from the riverbank soaking wet I could only chuckle and think how glad I was no one witnessed my mishap.
Neil Donald at Middle Blackhall
Some other feedback received included Fabio Federighi, from Firenze, Italy, fishing at Park South who commented ‘3 old salmon, and many fighting and lost, with very heavy red Frances.’ Well done Fabio. I also have feedback from John W Fraser, who was fishing at Aboyne Water advising ‘Jim the Ghillie advised to use a small stoat’s tail and lo and behold that’s what the fish took; no substitute for beat knowledge. Catch details: 2 fish caught small stoat’s tail, full floating line, both in the stone pool which took nearly all our fish.’ Stuart Buchan who was fishing at Blairs informed me last night that he had 3 salmon and a nice fresh sea trout on Saturday morning. The biggest salmon weighed an estimated 18lbs. I received an e-mail from Ian MacKay commenting ‘Hi Ken, Ghillie Jim Couper asked me to send this photo of our friend and novice angler Ako Sabir-Ali from Kurdistan. He was fishing the Stone Pool on Aboyne Waters and landed this little grilse – his first ever. This was caught on Friday 13th September 2013.’ I’m delighted to hear of Ako’s first fish and pleased it was a Dee fish. I am sure many people will want to extend best wishes to Aboyne Water Ghillie Jim Couper who is retiring at the end of the fishing season. Many people have expressed their admiration over the years fishing at Aboyne Water for being well looked after by Jim. We all wish you best wishes for a happy retirement Jim and thanks for all your years of fine service.
Ako Sabir-Ali from Kurdistan with his first ever salmon at Aboyne Water.
Now some items of news for our readers. Firstly there will be an online auction to raise funds for the River Dee Trust commencing on 1st November. There will be a lovely selection of auction lots so please look into www.riverdee.org and www.fishdee.co.uk to make sure you get a chance to be the highest bidder for these auction lots. All monies raised from the auction go into helping the River Dee. There will also be ‘A celebration of the River Dee event’ held in the Savile Club, 69 Brook Street, London on Wednesday 6th November between 6.30 pm and 8.00 pm. This will be an informative drinks reception showcasing the work of the River Dee Trust for the river, its anglers and the work that will be delivered in the future. All visitors are most welcome, and anyone who is interested in coming along to this event should send an RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org. This will enable us to organise catering for this event. This promises to be a super night and I do hope many people will take the opportunity to come along and meet the River Dee Trust team in London. Copyright FishDee. Ken Reid © FishDee Ltd.
Beat catches reported
SALMON & GRILSE: Kingcausie 26, Culter 18, Altries and Lower Drum 32, Middle Drum 12, Tilbouries 28, Upper Drum and Lower Durris 15, Park 35, Lower Crathes and W Durris 27, Crathes 20, Tilquhillie 5, Little Blackhall and Inchmarlo 2, Middle Blackhall 7, Upper Blackhall 3, Cairnton 11, Woodend 4, Lower Woodend 1, Commonty 10, Sluie 2, Ballogie 35, Kincardine 21, Carlogie 27, Dess 9, Birse 15, Aboyne Water 19, Heughhead 4, Total 388 SEA TROUT: Kingcausie 1, Culter 4, Altries and Lower Drum 1, Tilbouries 3, Upper Drum and Lower Durris 1, Park 2, Lower Crathes and W Durris 1, Crathes 5, Middle Blackhall
There are only two days remaining for anglers and no doubt there will be a lot of local anglers hoping to catch a fish before the fishing season draws to a close on Tuesday evening. River conditions are good following last Thursdays lift in river levels. It has been raining overnight but the Sepa gauges are all running steady this morning. There appear to be a good amount of salmon willing to take a fly given the results of the last few days and it’s heartening to see the season finish on a high note. Let’s hope we get some more water this month to enable all our salmon to reach the spawning grounds safely, where they intend to produce the next generation of River Dee salmon.
Jim Couper of Aboyne Water who retires at the end of this season
Now some items of news for our readers. Firstly there will be an online auction to raise funds for the River Dee Trust commencing on 1st November. There will be a lovely selection of auction lots so please look into www.riverdee.org and www.fishdee.co.uk to make sure you get a chance to be the highest bidder for these auction lots. All monies raised from the auction go into helping the River Dee. There will also be ‘A celebration of the River Dee event’ held in the Savile Club, 69 Brook Street, London on Wednesday 6th November between 6.30 pm and 8.00 pm. This will be an informative drinks reception showcasing the work of the River Dee Trust for the river, its anglers and the work that will be delivered in the future. All visitors are most welcome, and anyone who is interested in coming along to this event should send an RSVP to email@example.com. This will enable us to organise catering for this event. This promises to be a super night and I do hope many people will take the opportunity to come along and meet the River Dee Trust team in London.
There will also be an end of season dinner at 7pm on Friday 1st November at the popular Tor Na Coille Hotel, Banchory 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, myself included. There will also be very good rates for rooms for the evening if anyone wishes to stay overnight. Please remember to write with any news of catches to email@example.com Tight Lines to you all over the next two days. Copyright FishDee. Ken Reid © FishDee Ltd.