Fishing Report 28 April


Ballogie Ghillie Sean Stanton and Danish visitor Jerk Sonnichsen with a 13lb fish.

There were 75 fish reported to FishDee for the week of 21-26 April; we are still waiting to break three figures for a week and anglers continue to work very hard for their fish. It is a strange season to say the least as the fish seem to be running relentlessly to the Kincardine area. Long tailed lice have been in evidence on many fish taken at Ballogie, but they have yet to appear in any numbers on the upper river. The lower river continues to struggle as the fish simply don’t seem to be stopping at all. Nonetheless there are always some good news stories on the river bank.

David Graham, of Suffolk, added to his season’s tally with another four fish from Lower Blackhall and Kinneskie. The Silver Stoat and Ally’s Shrimp were the killing patterns. David has been fishing at Lower Blackhall with ghillie Colin Simpson for 27 years where the pair enjoy good banter together. David was a friend of my late father and so it is always good to hear of his success.

Local rod Callum Falconer, aided and abetted by ghillie Shane Christie, landed an 8lb fish at Middle Drum on a Black Francis.

Julian McHardy of Woodend was in touch to advise of a milestone catch for Jan Johansson from Sweden. Jan has been fishing the Dee for over 30 years and is a well known angling author who also runs a fishing school in Norway. Jan landed his 200th Dee fish; the bulk of these have come from Woodend and also Crathes and Banchory Lodge. Well done Jan!

I paid a visit to Jerk Sonnichsen, President of the Fly Fishers of Denmark, at Ballogie on Monday. My timing was perfect as he was playing his fourth fish of the day, which was in the 12-13lb class, in the Top Gannets. Jerk went on to have had a fantastic week at Ballogie.

‘Hi Ross, I had as you know a fantastic Monday on the river, where I caught 9 springers and lost 3. Among the Salmon I caught that day were fish of 94, 81 and 79 cm, but the last fish of the day was the biggest. After a tough 45 minutes fight I finally grabbed the tail of the salmon that measured 105 cm and we estimated to be 26 pounds. For the rest of the week I managed to landed 7 more salmon. On Friday my fly rod broke during a fight with a 14 pound salmon. A funny fight with a stiff rod and a good brake on the reel. Half the rod was in the water with the salmon. My team at Ballogie ended up catching 24 salmon. I would like say thanks to the many ghillies who I have meet through the years at The Dee. Both the ones I’ve fished with, but also the ghillies who came by to say hello. We appreciate the good work that you do – keep it up. All the best with rest of the season.’


The fish seem to be running hard for the Kincardine area and have not moved upriver from there in any numbers as yet. A number of fish were seen late on at Dinnet on Saturday and a couple were hooked and lost. Hopefully this is an indication that there are fish on the move.
The wind is expected to come from the south and east this week- so I would still be looking to get the fly down a bit as there will be an edge to the wind affecting the air temperature. Daytime air temperatures are expected to be up to 16 degrees on Monday, dropping to a low of 6 degrees in the middle of the week. Water temperatures remain around 8-10 degrees centigrade (47-50 degrees Fahrenheit). Monday is forecast to be bright, but there will be plenty cloud around for the most part. Water levels are good.

Successful anglers have had a couple of rods set up with different line densities to present the fly at different depths . Once again, ring the changes.

The usual flies remain Monkeys, Posh Tosh, Francis and Franc N Snaelda tubes. For doubles, fish your own favourites which might include Red Francis, Hairy Mary, Silver Stoat, Tosh, Ally’s Shrimp, Crathie, Munro’s Killer. As ever, the ghillies will suggest the best options on the day.


Please send your stories, photos and anecdotes to me at I am always keen to hear from anglers directly.

Tight lines for the coming week.

Ross Macdonald


About FishDee

The FishDee blog is your website for snippets and news items coming from the riverbank from anglers, ghillies and local people who have useful news they wish to share. The supporting business infrastructure which supports angling will also be providing items of news that may be relevant to people who have an interest in the River Dee.

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