Fishing Report 12 May 2014



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.

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.



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.


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 I am always keen to hear from anglers directly.

Tight lines for the coming week
Ross Macdonald


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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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