Monthly Archives: August 2014

Fishing Report 18 August 2014

BadHair_15lbs lornepool20lb

There were 179 fish reported to FishDee last week. Following Monday’s flood, which was awe inspiring at close quarters, the river settled back quite quickly. Tuesday produced four fish despite the conditions, but things really got going on Wednesday with 48 fish in the book followed by 45 on Thursday with the same again on Friday. The week finished with 37 on Saturday giving us our best week of the year by some distance. It was heartening to hear the buzz up and down the valley as rods and ghillies bent rods and wet nets. There was a mix of fresh fish, especially lower down, and residents that came on the take following the flood.

Congratulations to Maisie Stanton, daughter of Ballogie ghillie Sean. Maisie, who is just 9 years old, caught her first salmon on Wednesday, a 5lb grilse from Bulwarks and and followed it up on Thursday with a cracker of 13lb from Lower Inchbare. Sounds like we will be hearing more from Maisie in the future!

The most amusing story of the week was the rescue of a fish that had been stranded as the water dropped back. Keith Cromar and Bert Webster the Park ghillies, with no thought for their own safety, returned a distressed flounder to the river.

A good week on the river certainly swells my inbox and its always a pleasure to hear from happy anglers with a few fish under their belts.

Dear Ross
Just returned home from a week on the Dee. Following the impact of Bertha, which as you know pushed the water levels to over 10 feet in places, my brother and I were somewhat downhearted by prospects at the start of the week, however things did improve and we both managed 2 fish and a sea trout from Craigendinnie and Commonty respectively. I was lucky enough that one of mine was the “fish of a lifetime”, taken on Wednesday evening, fishing a 2′ copper Monkey on the Lorne Pool at Craigendinnie. Whilst he was an ugly brute, it made my week! We put the fish at over 20lbs but, having shown the photographs to two ghillies, we think it may be closer to the 25lb mark. Looking forward to next year already!
Kind regards,
Rob and Tim Larkman

Hi Ross,
I’ve just returned from a superb “week” on Park. Sadly the week was only 4 days long due to the epic flood on the Monday and Tuesday. The remaining days, however, easily made up for the disappointment of having to wait an extra 48 hours to get going.

I was very fortunate to tangle with 11 fish during my week, all but one of which were as fresh as paint. It also included a new PB for me at 15lbs, although if Keith Cromar (head ghillie) had said 20lbs I would have believed him – in my eyes it was huge! The fight in Castleton pool was something else, at one point we watched 20 yards of shooting head, 40 yards of running line and another 30 yards of backing disappear across the river. Even Keith at this point remarked that it was “starting to get a bit silly now”. Eventually the pressure told, before the rod, hook hold, leader or my nerve gave way. After a couple of quick photos the fish was safely returned. All in all a great week: excellent fly water, good company, top quality advice/guidance from the Ghillies and some sparkling fish! I’m already hatching devious plans for a return visit.

I attach a couple of photos of the big fish, and a photo of another very memorable 10lb fish I caught in The Park Inn Pool at the top of the beat.

Regards Oli Watkins.


I am optimistic for good sport this week. River levels will be favourable (let’s just hope mother nature keeps a lid on it). There are showers forecast throughout the week and these will keep the river up. The river was rising again on Monday morning, so we may have unsettled water conditions at different times. The air temperature will be up to 15 degrees and the wind will be from the north west up to 15mph.
With higher water levels a mix of sink tips and intermediate lines will be required in addition to the floating line. High water will benefit some pools more than others so be prepared to change tactics and heed the advice of the ghillies. Some rods were doing well last week in high water with just an intermediate tip and a size 9 fly as the river cleared.
Flies to try might include Red Francis, Willie Gunn, Franc N Snaeldas, Ally’s, Cascades, Park Shrimps, Flamethrowers and Monkeys.

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


Fishing Report 11 August 2014

There were 108 fish reported to FishDee last week, which is a significant improvement following a slow end to July. The river was carrying some colour in the first half of the week following a good rise in water, which kept the Dee at good height all week. This culminated with another big rise at the end of the week that dampened the catch on Saturday. I had hoped for a few more to go in the book given the water levels. I shouldn’t complain and in the context of the 2014 season its heartening that anglers have had sport up and down the river.

The present spate is still rising this morning and I am sure sport will continue to build as the river drops and clears.

Park had 30 for the week and will be looking to build on that following this current spate. The fish were a mix of coloured and fresh. Altries also picked up seven fish and will also be looking to add more off the back of the high water. Mads Pederson, ghillie at Cutler got their first of the year, a small grilse of about 3lbs. It’s good to see them underway. The lower river should come into its own as we enter the back end.

Over at Cairnton, ghillie Brian Brogan reported 5 fish for the week, including fresh fish of 15lb and 12lb, the latter carrying one or two lice.

Up at Cambus local rod John Fraser reported a 7lb fish from Tassachd on a small Munro. Angus Richardson landed his first ever salmon at Aboyne Castle on a Cascade from Symnonds. Not to be outdone, Angus’s father Brian pitched in with a couple of fish at 18lb and 8lb from Tanar Mouth on a black and silver shrimp fly.

Jim Coates, had a fish of about 14lb up at Glen Muick on Saturday, along with several sea trout- all taken on a small Monkeys fished deep.


We finally have a proper spate which is exactly what we need to give the river a good flush and more importantly to encourage fish to run. We have big tides all week, so if the fish are there, conditions are right for them to run. The down side is that angling effort will be restricted until the river drops and the high water pools come into play. Anglers should be extra careful on the river this week.
With higher water levels a mix of sink tips and sinking lines will be required in addition to the floating line. The fish will be close in so think about controlling the swing of the fly in the margins.

Flies to try might include Red Francis, Willie Gunn, Franc N Snaeldas, Ally’s, Cascades, Calvin’s Shrimps, Flamethrowers and Monkeys- perhaps with an orange hackle.

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

Fishing Report 4 August 2014

A better week than recent ones for the Dee with catches picking up at the week as a result of the rain and a total of 74 salmon landed. These catches were spread throughout the length of the River from Altries to Crathie and, along with the rain ending the drought , brought some cheer to those that had persevered throughout the hot sunny days earlier in the week.

The river conditions improved just in time for the FishDee Introduction to Salmon Fishing course at Invery and Tilquhillie. Ten keen anglers enjoyed first class instruction and guidance from Gary Scott. The group had great fun as Gary led them through the various casts and shared his knowledge on tackle, fly choice and watercraft.

Events like these are a team effort and there are a number of people who made a telling contribution to a successful day.

A big thank you to Gary for giving his time and sharing his knowledge and experience.

Thanks also must go to Gordon and Shona Mutch and Lawrence Ross, the proprietors of Invery and Tilquhillie for giving us the beat for the day. They too are passionate about getting new blood into angling and their support and encouragement has been invaluable.

The same goes to Karl Revel, ghillie at Invery/Tilquhillie. Karl played a huge part in the day sharing his experience with the group, and infecting everyone with his good humour and enthusiasm. 

We also had support from Stuart Fleming of Aberdeen District Angling Association. Stuart made an important contribution, bringing along rods and reels and lending a hand throughout the day. 

Thanks also to Somers Fishing Tackle in Aberdeen who provided us with a box of flies for the group. 

We will be running more courses next year and will be working with our friends and partners to ensure we provide support and encouragement to people of all ages who want to get into our wonderful sport.


The rain over the weekend certainly brought much needed water to the River and the gauge at Park is currently just under two feet. Monday and Tuesday are forecast to be cooler than of late but dry. Later on in the week showery conditions will prevail before turning showery for the end of the week. So overall much better conditions than in recent weeks and let us hope that the catches build from the encouraging signs from the end of last week.

Please send your stories, photos and anecdotes to Ross Macdonald at Whilst he is away on leave this week he does appreciate hearing from anglers.





Fishing Report 28 July 2014

There were 9 fish reported to FishDee last week. Our poor season continues and I can only express my gratitude to our loyal anglers who travel from far and wide to fish the Dee. In a similar vein I must also acknowledge the ghillies who have been doing their utmost for their guests throughout this difficult year. I know how trying it has been.

Conditions were against us with low water levels, offset by small and short lived rises, and high water temperatures reaching the mid 60s in the mornings and so it was always going to be a trying week. That said, we should be seeing and catching more fish.

It is clear there has been a widespread failure of fish returning to our rivers. Don’t take my word for it-look around. It is a worrying trend that has been felt beyond Scotland. While we all strive to produce more fish, if they are not coming back then we are really up against it- all of us.

The health of the river is important to us all and if you want to find out more about stocks on the Dee, you will find the relevant information here.

It looks like it is going to be hot and sunny again this week, but with showers coming later in the week. I suppose we should be grateful for the small top ups we have been getting, although we really need a spate that will bring trees and dead sheep floating down the river.

Air temperatures will rise to 22 degrees The wind will be from the south and west. Fishing very early and again into the dusk will provide the best chance of a fish.

The usual floating line tactics remain the first line of attack. The standard hairwings dressed on the smallest hooks, micro tubes and hitched tubes could be worth a try. Dressings should include Executioner, Silver Stoat, Crathie, Munro’s Killer and Yellow Stoat. Might also be worth trying the Frances.

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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