Monthly Archives: February 2015

Fishing Report 23 February

There were 14 fish reported to the Fishdee website last week, which was very disappointing. It was a week with fluctuating river levels, which knocked Thursday out, but by the end of the week the river had evened out giving us ideal water conditions, so no complaints on that score.
Lucky rods this week included my fellow highlander, Keith Webster, who picked up a nice wee fish on a Willie Gunn of his own tying at Lower Crathes and West Durris.

Invery picked up 3 for the week. Tom Bonniewell, fishing with the Mill party had a 7lb fish from the glide. Stephen Slattery, from Limerick, fishing with rod and line designer, James Chalmers of Gaelforce, picked up a 9lber in Killing Hatch. Marcus Beale took a 7lb fish from the Kirk Pot on a Green Highlander conehead.

James Ore picked up Lower Blackhall and Kinneskie’s only fish, a 7lber from Parkies on a Tiger tube
Cairnton managed one for the week. Mike Clark landed a 12lb fish in Lower Ferroch on a Black and Yellow tube.

Gavin Ramsay, a fine fly tyer, had a 10lber at Commonty on one of his own creations dressed on a size 6 double. Jean Marshall had 10lber from the Long Haugh at Carlogie and a Norwegian visitor had another from the Village.

Aboyne Water got off the mark with Maurice Jackson landing two springers, 11lb and 15lb, on a Black and Yellow from Lummels and the Stone Pool.


River levels are good and we have had big tides over the weekend. If there are fish to come in fishing conditions will be good. We have had snow on the high ground, so there may be further snow melt this week. Water temperatures remain cold around 3 degrees. Air temperatures will be up to 9 or 10 degrees degrees and the wind will be from the west and south west. Over head conditions will be a mix of cloud and sunny intervals.

The Monkey and good old Black and Yellow remain the go to flies at the moment, fished deep and slow. Line choice, but the usual mix of slow sinkers, intermediates and multi-tips will be to the fore. As ever, listen to your ghillie!

Tight Lines

Ross Macdonald

Please send any stories, pictures and anecdotes to:


Fishing Report 16 February 2015


Paul Grewcock with a 20lber from Lower Crathes

There were 15 fish reported to Fishdee for the week ending 14 February. Conditions weren’t great, and those fish already in the system were difficult to tempt with a fly. Nonetheless, if there had been fish moving into the river in any numbers we would have seen more activity, particularly on the lower beats, which might have picked up the odd fish moving slowly through the low, cold water. Of course there are always one or two bright spots. Upper Blackhall has picked up 6 fish so far and four of those were taken last week. Proprietor Simon Mitchell, reports:

“It was Nigel Madden and his friends from the Yorkshire Flyfishers club this week and they got the week off to a great start with three fish on Monday, first to score was Geoff Littler with a 13lber in Sandys next was Bob Milne with an 11lber in the Morel and a 6lb fish in Scobboch. Nigel got an 11lber in the Big Girnal on Friday, Mickey was the only one not to catch a fresh fish but he kept us entertained with his jokes and stories, a great fun week with laughs from start to finish.”

Tilquhillie picked up a couple including a 13lb fish from Pantoch on Friday for 83 year David Dearman, on a Monkey, and one of 8lb, also from Pantoch for Alan Addison on Saturday.

Up at Carlogie Tom and Jean Marshall had one apiece, Jean had a 10lb fish from Long Haugh while Tom had a real belter of 17lb in Rossach- a short deep fish.

Richard Davenport marked his first visit to the river with a 12lb fish from the Otter Trap at Commonty.

Lower Blackhall and Kinneskie’s fish was an 8lb from Sandy Haven to a Norwegian angler, Vermund, (unfortunately I don’t have a note of his surname).

The river is up, and while the online river levels haven’t been updated, Karl Revel tells me they are at 3′ 5″ at Invery this morning. Not only that but they have had a 8lb fish from the Greenbank. Lets hope it’s the start of some proper action!


With good rise in water we should have better sport this week. Air temperatures will be milder- up to 11 degrees and the wind will be from the south west. Over head condition will be a mix of cloud and sunny intervals. All in all, conditions look favourable.

The Monkey and good old Black and Yellow remain the go to flies at the moment, fished deep and slow. Line choice, but the usual mix of slow sinkers, intermediates and multi-tips will be to the fore. As ever, listen to your ghillie!

Tight Lines

Ross Macdonald

Please send any stories, pictures and anecdotes to:

Opening TIme



The opening ceremony, to celebrate the start of the 2015 Dee season was held at Potarch  Bridge on Monday,  courtesy of Ballogie Estate, and was attended by an enthusiastic crowd.

Martin Gilbert, local businessman and Chief Executive of Aberdeen Asset Management, had the honour of casting the first fly of the year and was quickly into a fish- it came off so we will have to speculate if it was a fish or a kelt.

Mr Gilbert is a great supporter of the Dee and has backed the river by investing in it in a number of ways.  Mark Bilsby, River Director of the Dee District Salmon Fishery Board (DDSFB) and the River Dee Trust, said: “October 3rd 2014 was historic for the Dee. That day the first salmon ascended the Culter Dam in over 250 years, made possible by a fish pass we had installed on the dam just days earlier. This was funded entirely by the generosity of Martin Gilbert and Stewart Spence, owner of the Marcliffe Hotel.”

The Culter Dam, by Peterculter, is the largest man-made obstruction in the Dee’s catchment. The fish pass has opened up 76 miles of habitat in the previously inaccessible Culter burn for migratory salmon and sea trout to re-establish natural populations in. Once habitat restoration work is completed in the Culter catchment, the DDSFB expects to see an additional 1,500 adult salmon returning to the Dee each year.

Mr Bilsby added: “We are most grateful for Martin Gilbert’s willingness to invest in the Dee and the future of its salmon. In this context it is noteworthy that he has also invested directly in the river with his recent purchase of the Tilbouries fishing beat on the lower Dee, further underlining his positive view of the river’s future prospects. This is particularly encouraging after two years of disappointing catches – in common with most of the rest of Scotland.”

Mr Bilsby concluded: “At the start of a new salmon angling season we remain optimistic that salmon numbers and catches will soon bounce back, not least because of all our continuing investment to maximize and restore the river’s habitat.”

William Foster, proprietor of Park Estate, handed over the Park Trophy, awarded for the largest fish of the year, to Gordon Smith for his 37lb fish from Birse. And Maisie Stanton, daughter of Ballogie Head ghillie Sean, was presented with the Callum Mackezine Cup, which is awarded to a youngster whose catch is selected as the most notable capture of the season. The cup has been provided by Ballogie Estate and the Mackenzie family and is presented at the River Dee opening ceremony each February.

We finished on 12 for the day.  Always room for more!

Tight lines

Ross Macdonald

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