Fishing Report 6 October 2014
The week finished with 87 fish recorded on FishDee and also marked the end of the season on the upper river, which ended on Tuesday (30 Sept). Conditions didn’t do us any favours with low, clear warm water keeping the fish subdued for most of the week. There were times when they would come on for a short period and times when they could be provoked into taking. There were reports of some fresh fish on the lower river, including a liced 17lb salmon at Altries on Monday, but without labouring the same point week after week, they were not there in numbers.
This, the final full week of the season, will be different and I think we will have a better result with a change in conditions. As I write here at the Dee office, autumn has announced its arrival; it is currently precipitating down and blowing a ‘hoolie’. It is not a day for the faint heated and I imagine the charms of a warm fishing hut and a dram might, understandably, prove irresistible. We should get a good rise off the back of this rain and while it may, depending on how much we get, put the river out of action for a day it will undoubtedly invigorate the fish and hopefully draw some in from the sea.
Steve Wellard was in touch about his visit to Park. ‘Just back from the Dee and a testing 3 days at Park Monday to Wednesday with the water on zero but managed 3 fish with a lovely liced fish below Park bridge and a couple of others from Coopers one being a silver grilse; was good to see so many fish in the pools after what has been seen as a poor year.’
I also hear that Stuart Buchan landed a big fish from Quithel at Birse on Saturday, estimated to be 24lb.
The River Dee Trust Dinner at the Marcliffe Hotel on 2 October was a big success. Stewart Spence, owner of the Marcliffe, generously laid on the event and outdid himself by hosting a first class evening in keeping with the high quality for which the Marcliffe is renowned. The 200 guests enjoyed an excellent meal and were entertained during the auction by Paul Whitehouse and his comedy partner Bernard Williams of Christie’s auction house. Over £70000 was raised for the Trust. The evening began with a drinks reception attended by HRH the Duke of Rothesay, who spoke with guests sand delivered a short speech, sharing his passion for the Dee and for the conservation of our wild salmon.
I am pleased to report that the fish pass at the Culter Mill dam is now operational. The completion of this phase of the Culter catchment restoration project represents the biggest step in opening up 125km of new spawning habitat on the Dee. Two other obstructions, further upstream of the Culter dam, have been eased and the final one will be removed in 2015. Once the catchment is fully restored we expect an additional 1500 returning adult salmon per year.
Conditions will be much improved this week and I am reasonably confident of sport. Heavy rain is forecast on Monday and Tuesday across the catchment and depending on the extent of this we will have a good rise in water; coupled with a drop in water temperature we should see an upturn in our fortunes. It won’t be pleasant outdoors this week, but who cares if there is a bend in the rod?
If the fish are on the take, then sport will be brisk. At this time of year though it often pays to get the fly down to them and so the Francis and Snaelda will be popular choices as will Sean Stanton’s Franc N Snaelda. The brown pot belly pig accounted for a few fish last week and is also worth fishing. The trick is to fish deep.
Please send your stories, photos and anecdotes to me at firstname.lastname@example.org I am always keen to hear from anglers directly.
Tight lines for the coming week