Monthly Archives: May 2014

Fishing Report 26 May 2014

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Gavin Watson celebrates his 50th birthday in style with a 15lb fish from Lower Woodend.

 

There were 122 fish and 45 sea trout reported to Fishdee for the week ending 24 May. Definitely a step in the right direction and it is encouraging to see anglers getting sport throughout the river.

Ian Gordon, celebrated his birthday in style last week, landing an 18lb fish at Glenmuick, where the prolific Phil Black also added one to the book. Michael Buchan, proprietor at Lower Woodend, got in touch to advise of another birthday fish.

‘Hello Ross, I am very happy to report that Gavin Watson who was fishing Lower Woodend this week with his father landed a beautiful fresh run 15lb hen fish. Apart from being the largest fish caught on the river on Monday, it was also his 50th birthday, a fantastic birthday present indeed.’

I was also contacted by David Winterbottom who advised me of a first fish.

‘Hi Ross, just a quick note to say my friend Don Gowland landed his first ever salmon at the age of 80 from the ‘Moral Pool’ at Woodend on Thurs 22nd May weight 12lbs on a silver stoat.’ Well done Don, that has to be fish of the week!

It was good to see Park coming out on top with 10 for the week, ghillie Keith Cromar will be looking to build on that this week. With the gauge sitting at a foot this morning I would think fish will begin to hold at Park. The lower river produced 23 for the week, which is progress, however small.

There were 49 fish from the middle river where Ballogie and Cairnton shared the honours with 7. Carlogie and Birse had 6 apiece and Little Blackhall and Inchmarlo pitched in with 5. Aboyne Water recorded the biggest fish of the week at 25lb.

The upper river scored one more than the middle beats with a total of 50 fish for the week. Craigendinnie was the top beat with 9 and on the opposite bank Will Peake’s rods landed 7 fish. Up stream, Waterside and Ferrar landed 5, while Dinnet and Deecastle finished with 6 apiece. Up at Cambus O’May, Fergus Cumming’s anglers also added 6 and Monaltire and Lower Invercauld produced 5.

 

PROSPECTS
The fish are spread throughout the river. With the river at summer levels we should see more action on the lower beats this week. There should be a few more residents in the pools and these factors may induce fish to pause on their way upriver.
Daytime air temperatures are expected to be between 13 and 18 degrees Celsius. River levels are between 8 inches and a foot on the Sepa gauges, so a delicate approach is required. There will be some rain during the week, but not enough to affect water height. We will have reasonable cloud cover, with brighter sunnier weather towards the end of the week. The wind will be light, but there could be strong gusts midweek. It looks like the wind will be from the east and south east this week. The full floater has been the most successful line used by anglers, with the occasional use of sink tips to change the depth of presentation. Successful flies have been small hairwings in size 10-14. These include Crathie, Silver Stoat, Arndilly Fancy and Munro’s Killer and various shrimp style flies such as Red Francis, Franc N Snaelda, Cascade, Flamethrowers and Park Shrimp. An occasional Monkey or Sunray worked across a pool may produce results, particularly in the evening. Evening fishing is a pleasure at this time of year as the warmer lighter evenings allow anglers to fish to about 10pm, the evening will continue to get lighter for another month or so as we approach the summer solstice. Sea trout fishers- a breed apart- will be beginning the night shift as they look to entice that elusive and most sporting of fish. Sea trout flies that do well on the Dee include the Silver Stoat and Editor in small sizes.

 

Please send your stories, photos and anecdotes to me at ross@riverdee.org I am always keen to hear from anglers directly.
Tight lines for the coming week
Ross Macdonald

Fishing Report 19 May 2014

Fishing Report 19 May 2014

 

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Amanada Kavanagh with her first ever salmon, taken at Deecastle on a Silver Stoat

We have broken three figures for the first time this season with 108 fish reported to Fishdee for the week ending 17 May. We had bent rods from the bottom river at Ardoe and Murtle all the way up to Mar Lodge giving us a reasonable spread of catches. We had 16 fish up to Invery, 43 between Lower Blackhall and Aboyne Water and 49 between Aboyne Castle and Mar Lodge. In the context of this season it is very pleasing to have finally crossed the 100 fish threshold. I hope we can repeat it this week and keep the catches on an upward trajectory. Some water would not go a amiss!
As fishers, I think we are all happy to hear of a first fish. I received an email from a delighted Edward Humphrey of Dinnet Estate advising me of a first fish for his girlfriend Amanda Kavanagh.
“A mixed week for the rods fishing Dinnet /Dee Castle last week. We started with five on Monday including fresh fish out of Logie for ex-chairman of the Fishery Board Ian Scott, while I landed a very strong 9lb fish in the evening out of Pol Baw with the help of Dinnet ghillie Al Peake. Mid-week was very quiet until my father landed another strong cock fish of 12lbs out of Pol Slachd on Thursday evening. On Friday afternoon my girlfriend Amanda Kavanagh arrived having never picked up a fishing rod in her life before was given some tuition by Al Peake before starting her fishing career in Red Brae on Saturday morning. The river was in perfect condition, fish were showing and yes you’ve guessed it within an hour of starting and under the expert tuition and the calming influence of Al, she had landed a cracking 8lb cock fish. I am pleased to say that I have most of the event on video including an excellent demonstration of how to release a fish back to the river. So lady luck or skill? Well probably a bit of both as Amanda was casting a very nice line and not too long. Al had noticed that the fish had ago at the fly the previous cast and asked to Amanda the same again and as the fly hit the water the fish took it properly and was well hooked. What a start to a fishing career!”

Alex Dunnachie also got in touch to tell me about his 18lb fish from Waterside and Ferrar.

Hi Ross, I was invited to come and fish the Dee on Thursday, Friday and Saturday by my friend Derek Gray; this was my first trip to the area and I will definitely be back.
I come from the Island of Jura which is a stunning island in Argyll and Bute however I was blown away with the beauty of your countryside and the friendliness of the people we met. We stayed at Struan Hall B&B and from the moment we arrived our hosts George and Judith treated us like royalty; nothing was too much trouble and Judith even baked biscuits for us to have as an evening snack.
Our fishing was from Thursday to Saturday and I caught my fish on Thursday morning about an hour and a half after starting. The pool was Upper Rhunavailla, I was using a floating line with 12lb nylon, and a purple Ally’s Shrimp tied on a size 10 double. The fish put up a great fight and it took 12 to 15 minutes to get to the bank. Thankfully my friend Derek and our ghillie David arrived in time to take the photograph attached and watch this amazing fish recover and return to the pool, this week will certainly stay with me forever.”
The biggest fish of the week was a 20lb Tilbouries fish caught by Jimmy Simpson of Cruden Bay taken on an un-named tube fly. Well done Jimmy!

PROSPECTS

Last week’s catches indicate that the fish are more spread out. The lower beats are still working hard for every fish, and are looking for runners pausing on their way upriver. Resident fish are in evidence further upstream.
Daytime air temperatures are expected to be between 10 and 19 degrees Celsius. We will have good cloud cover for the most part coupled with showers and light falls of rain. The wind looks like it will be from the east and south east this week. This may bring a chill with it and if the floater isn’t paying a dividend it might be worth trying the fly a bit deeper. The full floater has been the most successful line and it is the most pleasant way to fish. Successful flies have been small hairwings in size 10-12. These include Crathie, Silver Stoat, Arndilly Fancy and Munro’s Killer and various shrimp style flies such as Cascade, Flamethrowers, Park Shrimp and Ally’s.
With the river at summer level the floater with and without tips will be the most successful tactic.

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

Tight lines for the coming week
Ross Macdonald

We have broken three figures for the first time this season with 108 fish reported to Fishdee for the week ending 17 May. We had bent rods from the bottom river at Ardoe and Murtle all the way up to Mar Lodge giving us a reasonable spread of catches. We had 16 fish up to Invery, 43 between Lower Blackhall and Aboyne Water and 49 between Aboyne Castle and Mar Lodge. In the context of this season it is very pleasing to have finally crossed the 100 fish threshold. I hope we can repeat it this week and keep the catches on an upward trajectory. Some water would not go a amiss!
As fishers, I think we are all happy to hear of a first fish. I received an email from a delighted Edward Humphrey of Dinnet Estate advising me of a first fish for his girlfriend Amanda Kavanagh.
“A mixed week for the rods fishing Dinnet /Dee Castle last week. We started with five on Monday including fresh fish out of Logie for ex-chairman of the Fishery Board Ian Scott, while I landed a very strong 9lb fish in the evening out of Pol Baw with the help of Dinnet ghillie Al Peake. Mid-week was very quiet until my father landed another strong cock fish of 12lbs out of Pol Slachd on Thursday evening. On Friday afternoon my girlfriend Amanda Kavanagh arrived having never picked up a fishing rod in her life before was given some tuition by Al Peake before starting her fishing career in Red Brae on Saturday morning. The river was in perfect condition, fish were showing and yes you’ve guessed it within an hour of starting and under the expert tuition and the calming influence of Al, she had landed a cracking 8lb cock fish. I am pleased to say that I have most of the event on video including an excellent demonstration of how to release a fish back to the river. So lady luck or skill? Well probably a bit of both as Amanda was casting a very nice line and not too long. Al had noticed that the fish had ago at the fly the previous cast and asked to Amanda the same again and as the fly hit the water the fish took it properly and was well hooked. What a start to a fishing career!”

Alex Dunnachie also got in touch to tell me about his 18lb fish from Waterside and Ferrar.

Hi Ross, I was invited to come and fish the Dee on Thursday, Friday and Saturday by my friend Derek Gray; this was my first trip to the area and I will definitely be back.
I come from the Island of Jura which is a stunning island in Argyll and Bute however I was blown away with the beauty of your countryside and the friendliness of the people we met. We stayed at Struan Hall B&B and from the moment we arrived our hosts George and Judith treated us like royalty; nothing was too much trouble and Judith even baked biscuits for us to have as an evening snack.
Our fishing was from Thursday to Saturday and I caught my fish on Thursday morning about an hour and a half after starting. The pool was Upper Rhunavailla, I was using a floating line with 12lb nylon, and a purple Ally’s Shrimp tied on a size 10 double. The fish put up a great fight and it took 12 to 15 minutes to get to the bank. Thankfully my friend Derek and our ghillie David arrived in time to take the photograph attached and watch this amazing fish recover and return to the pool, this week will certainly stay with me forever.”
The biggest fish of the week was a 20lb Tilbouries fish caught by Jimmy Simpson of Cruden Bay taken on an un-named tube fly. Well done Jimmy!

PROSPECTS

Last week’s catches indicate that the fish are more spread out. The lower beats are still working hard for every fish, and are looking for runners pausing on their way upriver. Resident fish are in evidence further upstream.
Daytime air temperatures are expected to be between 10 and 19 degrees Celsius. We will have good cloud cover for the most part coupled with showers and light falls of rain. The wind looks like it will be from the east and south east this week. This may bring a chill with it and if the floater isn’t paying a dividend it might be worth trying the fly a bit deeper. The full floater has been the most successful line and it is the most pleasant way to fish. Successful flies have been small hairwings in size 10-12. These include Crathie, Silver Stoat, Arndilly Fancy and Munro’s Killer and various shrimp style flies such as Cascade, Flamethrowers, Park Shrimp and Ally’s.
With the river at summer level the floater with and without tips will be the most successful tactic.

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

Tight lines for the coming week
Ross MacdonaldImage

Fishing Report 12 May 2014

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Dinnet ghillie Al Peake with Mark Beaty’s 10lb springer from the Logie Pool

there were 86 fish and 21 sea trout reported to Fishdee for week ending 10 May. This is a step in the right direction and I am hopeful we will build on that this week. I watch the latest catches on the Fishdee app like a stockbroker anxiously surveying his portfolio. At one point there were 94 fish reported and I was feeling bullish on Sunday morning, but by Sunday evening someone corrected the error and it dropped back to 86, which let some air out of my tyres. But we press on in good heart and I am optimistic for our rods and ghillies this week and look forward to hearing of bent rods up and down the river. I can’t wait to break three figures!

If you too want to spend an inordinate amount of time obsessively checking catches, water levels and availability on the Dee, download the fishpal app here.

http://www.fishpal.com/FishingInformation/MobilePages.asp

Out and about last week I caught up with Andrew Dennis and Tristan Sillars who had the fishing at Aboyne Water. They brought a large party to Deeside and were in buoyant mood when I visited them. The joke telling needs work though. Andrew and Tris, had a fish each, in an otherwise slow week. It was also a delight to meet Bill Currie and his son Mark, who fished part of the week at Aboyne. Mark lost a couple of fish at the net, which was frustrating. As an aside, I think Bill Currie is the finest of angling writers and should have wider recognition for his work. His essay on Deeside in May, in his book the River Within, is a classic.

 

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Aboyne rod Andrew Dennis draws a springer to the net on Lummels Pool


I also met up with Arni Baldursson and party at Birse, ghillied by the evergreen Doug Murray. Arni leases the Birse and Lower Crathes and West Durris fishings and is a top angler and, as it turns out, a dab hand at the BBQ. A delighted Stefan Sigurosson had their only fish.

Jim Coates and Ken Reid, also landed fish this week. Jim had one on a Phatagorva tube, when the water was carrying a stain, from the Garden Pool at Commonty. Mr John Polito had a belter of 14lb, also from Commonty on a Dee Monkey. Ken had a badly marked fish from Pitslug at Dess on a Durris Shrimp. Proprietor Jeremy Clayton also had sport landing a couple to his own rod, one covered in long tailed lice.

Dinnet and Deecastle shared 18 for the week; these beats should be in full swing by now and this week should bring more good sport. Ghillie Alastair Peake sent a photo of a nice fish of around 10lb landed by Mark Beaty on a size 11 Crathie from the Logie Pool at Dinnet. The fish were coming to the full floater and the rods saw many of the takes as the fish came up to small Crathies, Munro’s and Silver Stoats. What a wonderful way to fish.

Park landed 6 last week and I hope it’s the start of an upswing there. It sounds like there are grilse in the system and Head Ghillie Keith Cromar tells me their fish were all small grilse, including fish for husband wife George and Penny Buchanan, taken on a Park Shrimp.

Colin Simpson’s rods had 2 fish for the week at Lower Blackhall and Kinneskie, losing a further 7 or 8, which is particularly frustrating when sport is hard won. But better to have loved and lost, I suppose. I am sure more fish will stay buttoned on this week.

PROSPECTS

The fish are running hard and have been taken with long tailed lice on their backs as far up as Dess. With Park picking up grilse last week, we may see a few more of these in the catches which might give encouragement to the lower river. We really want to see a decent spread of fish this week as well as in good numbers.

The wind is forecast to start the week from the east but will swing west giving us warm air and daytime temperatures of up to 18 degrees Celsius. Overhead conditions will be bright, but it looks like we will have decent cover. Coupled with goods water levels, conditions are in our favour this week.

We have a full moon on the 14th and with it come bigger tides and with good river levels I am hopeful of a good run of fish from midweek.

Anglers should consider fishing early and late. Dinnet rods were having success in the twilight last week, and I know of at least one fish taken around 7.30 am so it may be worth the investment to have a cast out with office hours. There are also a few sea trout about now, so a little endeavour may bring some reward.

The full floater has been out in force over the past week and successful anglers have fished small flies close to the surface. This is a wonderful way to fish the Dee. As I always say though, don’t be hidebound by one method alone. Ring the changes.

Small doubles have been most successful and these should be on the front line again this coming week. For doubles, fish your own favourites which might include, Crathie, Silver Stoat, Munro’s Killer and the Tosh. With a bit of colour in the water try, Park Shrimps, Flamethrowers, Cascades and Ally’s. If you are going to mix it up also try Monkeys, Franc N Snaelda and the Sunray. As ever, the ghillies will suggest the best options on the day.

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

Tight lines for the coming week
Ross Macdonald

Fishing Report 5 May 2014

Fishdee recorded 70 fish for the week ending 3 May. It was another challenging week for our visiting anglers and ghillies as the river continued to struggle during April (and the first three days of May) with just 266 fish reported. Not a lot to shout about but we will bounce back. I am yearning to start my reports with some shamelessly upbeat reporting; in the meantime I will stay positive and dream of the superlatives to come.

Once again the Ballogie beats had a few with 24 coming from Ballogie, Carlogie and Commonty. Dess also continued to pick away with another 7 fish. I met Dee regular Henrik Larsen this week. Henrik takes parties to the river each season and I have known him online for a few years now, so it was a pleasure to finally meet him in person. Henrik’s party of seven, a mixture of Swedes and Danes enjoyed their visit to Deeside. ‘ Hi Ross, it was good to meet you at last. We had a nice week fishing Upper Blackhall and Ballogie. My group managed 13 salmon and a sea trout and I had four salmon to my own rod. We did not see a lot of running fish during the week, but the average weight of the salmon was very good.’

The upper river has yet to get into gear, but there are signs of life. As we are into May the beats above Aboyne should start to produce fish. Dinnet and Deecastle had a better sport last week sharing 8, with rods taking one or two in the evenings. A few more were caught at Aboyne Castle, Aboyne Water and Craigendinnie and Waterside and Ferrar. Michael Bruce of Gentanar Estate managed a couple of the fish from Waterside. There was also a fish as high up as Birkhall. While these catches have not been startling I hope they point towards better fishing this week. On the lower river catches remain poor and there is not much else I can add to that. I was glad to see that Park had picked up a couple of fish and I can only hope that fortune smiles on this wonderful beat soon.

PROSPECTS

With a nod to the obvious, a good run of fish would is what we need now as angling conditions are favourable. The wind is expected to come from the south and west this week, which is good news. Daytime air temperatures are expected to be up to 16 degrees and the warmer breeze will help. Water temperatures remain around 8-10 degrees centigrade (47-50 degrees Fahrenheit)and will remain around the 10 degree mark during the day. There will be a mix of rain and showers during the week, punctuated by sunny spells. Weather wise we have little to complain about. Water levels are good and the river will be in good order.
With warmer conditions the ghillies are telling me they are fishing floaters with a tip, changing to full floaters whenever it feels right. Again, don’t be shy to mix things up tactically by varying the speed and depth of your presentation. A two rod set up will give anglers more tactical options. As I say most weeks, ring the changes.

The usual flies remain Monkeys, Sunrays, Francis and Franc N Snaelda tubes. For doubles, fish your own favourites which might include Black Francis, Hairy Mary, Silver Stoat, Tosh, Park Shrimp, Black 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 ross@riverdee.org I am always keen to hear from anglers directly.

Tight lines for the coming week.

Ross Macdonald

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