Now the venue is well known by anglers the world over for people coming to watch the salmon and sea trout migrating annually up the falls throughout the summer and autumn. Just 50 yards downstream from the falls is the Falls of Feugh Restaurant which has been taken over this winter by award winning chef John Chomba. The Restaurant is really excellent and provides superb lunches and dinners, making it a firm favourite with visiting anglers. Make sure you add the Restaurants details to your mobile phone when you are up on Deeside and give them a call and make a reservation-you will love the beautiful views of the River Feugh as you sit on the covered terrace and enjoy your meal. Click on the link in the title to access their website
Well for some anglers the opportunity to get out of the house to look for a fresh run springer in tip top condition is an angling goal. Looking at the FishDee website and the amount of availability today made me wonder if anglers are getting soft or do they have short memories. Is it worth going out fishing the River Dee in February ? The answer is most definitely, if you can spare the time. I asked my colleagues in the office a question. What was the total catch for salmon, in the Dee, for the month of February, for the years 1995 up to 2001 ? The answers ranged from 440 to 750. Well they were wrong. The combined catch for the month of February for the 7 years 1995-2001 was 222 salmon. In 1994 the February was only 4. Now lets look at the last 7 years combined catch for the month of February which is……….1904 spring salmon. Statistically we can say there were more fish around than there were.
Now before someone says there are predators…..Lets just take heart from the work the River Board have been doing. There are now two fully operational predator scarers in the river, which should deter any eager marine predators from coming upriver. These work in an approved and humane way and are tried and tested methods used in aquaculture. The River has been running at good water levels throughout the close season and we have had a 12 foot flood a few days ago coinciding with spring tides. There should be spring fish well spread out throughout the river-perhaps as far as Aboyne. So the question is; Can you come fishing in February ? If you can then look at the FishDee Find Fishing Page. There is a lot of fishing availability in February so please book fishing and come and catch your first springer of the year.
The early bird catches the worm and the early bird will also be the first in the queue to hear about rods made available from all the FishDee Beats as well as all the fishing reports and prospects reports. Just fill in the subscription details here http://www.fishpal.com/Scotland/Dee/Subscribe.asp?dom=Dee which is free of charge. I’ve just entered mine for the next two years, so as soon as anything that’s of interest is made available-I will know about it first.
The FishDee website is looking for a main site sponsor in time for the start of the 2014 salmon fishing season. FishDee is the marketing medium used to promote the River Dee salmon fisheries and the supporting infrastructure which supports angling tourism. The website has been operating for almost 10 years and is globally recognised and respected. The website has over 2.5 million hits per annum thanks to quality regular weekly updates of fishing reports and prospects, as well as daily reporting of catches, river levels and links to web cameras. The customer base who typically uses the FishDee website will be predominately male, 50 years of age and above and ABC1 demographic profile. The River Dee is a globally recognised top destination for salmon anglers and has a global customer base. The site therefore is an attractive option for an enterprising business look to source a niche marketing opportunity to bring their business into the public domain through this unique medium of high net worth end users. The site sponsor would be provided with a banner web link platform on every web page on the FishDee website. Interested parties should contact Ken Reid at email@example.com to discuss this in further detail or call 013398 80411.
There is a glitch with the graphs where hovering your cursor over the columns is not showing the totals for these columns. http://www.fishpal.com/Scotland/Dee/SeasonSoFar.asp?dom=Dee
I have the numbers here for those who wish to take note of them:
Month 5Y/A 2012 2013
Feb 289 318 190
March 347 240 270
April 627 511 479
May 875 783 646
June 736 834 590
July 785 1191 253
Aug 1168 1131 528
Sept 1479 1297 781
Oct 759 717 759
Area 5Y/A 2012 2013
Lower 2875 2564 1971
Middle 2625 2959 1777
Upper 1540 1430 728
Period 5Y/A 2012 2013
Spring 2137 1852 1585
Sum 2689 2959 1777
Aut 2238 2014 728
FishDee beats reported 4,496 salmon and 779 sea trout in 2013 which is not the final total for the river, with a number of other beats catches to be added to these totals before we finalise the 2013 catch returns, however the salmon catch should be above 5,000 for the season. The three preceding years had produced approximately a combined total of 25,000 salmon, so the 2013 salmon catch is down a bit on these years. This is inline with other rivers throughout the Northern Hemisphere where there appears to have been a downturn in catches across virtually every country that’s sees migratory Atlantic Salmon running their rivers. There are never any guarantees of how big the annual run of salmon will be into salmon rivers as there are many variables involved which affect nature. Perhaps a good way to look at this is to consider that there’s not been a good harvest this year; but there’s not a lot wrong with the farm.
The biggest verified salmon caught in 2013 at 28lbs-Roald Meyer at Lower Crathes
The Spring period was bitterly cold, which seemed to go on for ever, salmon didn’t run in any great numbers with February seeing 190 reported, 270 for March, 479 for April and May produced 646 salmon. There were some good specimens about in March and April and Lower Crathes produced a 28lb salmon to visitor Roald Mayer which is the largest verified salmon for the 2013 fishing season. There are reports of two other 28lb salmon from Dess and Lower Invercauld and Monaltrie however neither fish were witnessed, nor were images taken at the point of capture. Some of the beats did have a pretty reasonable spring and Ghillies seemed happy at Crathes, Invery and Tilquhillie. There wasn’t any significant upstream migration in April when the snows did melt and the river levels rose. Park and Lower Crathes did reasonably well in April and May and Carlogie had a decent May. The Glentanar and Dinnet beats normally do very well in May and their anglers had to work hard for scant rewards compared to normal.
Mark Paterson fishing at Dess in a snow shower
Summer arrived and many of the Ghillies would have been hoping for a wet summer as a drought can really put the brakes on sport for visiting anglers. The last few years had seen cool damp summers and sport had been very decent at times. This year saw Deeside get a decent amount of sunshine, heat and very little rain, and as a result sport was slow for anglers this year. There were 590 salmon reported in June, 253 in July and 528 in August and a lot of fishermen sat in the sunshine and just accepted that you get the odd year when water conditions aren’t ideal for salmon angling.There were the two reported 28lbers taken during this period at Dess and Invercauld to Messrs Hartle and Stephenson. It was noticeable that Grilse numbers were reported to be down as were sea trout numbers.
Meriel Harper playing her first ever salmon with Dad Geoff Fisher at Lower Crathes
We came into September with continued low water levels which persisted into October and this impacted a bit on catches with FishDee beats reporting 781 for September and the beats below Aboyne Bridge reported 759 for the first fortnight in October. The welcome lift in water levels really got fish on the move and anglers were catching fish across the catchment. This was noticeable in the catch returns for Sept/October with Park reporting 200, Birse 115, Ballogie 100 and Altries with 98. The year will not be remembered as a classic by any matter of means however a positive piece of news was obtained when a visiting salmon biologist from Norway was diving in the river looking at habitat. He has surveyed many rivers in Norway and advised that the juvenile stocks in the River Dee were the best he had ever seen anywhere with a fantastic habitat for juvenile salmon recruitment. So we look forward to the 2014 salmon fishing season and it’s heartening to hear our sister River Tweed has had a very good late run of salmon-could this mean we shall have a great run of spring fish ? Well we will all have to book fishing on the Dee and come and find out. Merry Christmas to you all and Tight Lines in 2014 to all readers.
Keith Webster with a fine February salmon
Ken Reid Fisheries Development Officer DDSFB & River Dee Trust Office Mill of Dinnet, Aboyne Aberdeenshire, Scotland,AB34 5LA D +44 (0) 13398 80411 M +44 (0) 7979 878971 E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org www.riverdee.org.uk and www.fishdee.co.uk
River Dee Trust Registered Charity No SC028497
Make sure you tune into this BBC one Programme being broadcast on Wednesday 23rd October at 9pm. There is some wonderful footage of salmon spawning last autumn in the middle Dee.
Episode 4 of 4
Duration: 1 hour
The fading sun brings an energy change to Britain: a time of storms and unpredictable weather. The trees go dormant, but not before a final fling of colour. For animals, the shortening days are a cue to prepare, hibernating and hoarding for the dark times ahead. For some, its still a time to breed; deer rut, seals give birth and the Atlantic salmon leaps waterfalls in order to lay its eggs in the River Dee. Beneath the fallen leaves, slime moulds, earthworms and fungi take advantage of autumn’s spoils.
To our River Dee family of fishermen and dear friends who are going to be in London on the evening of the 6th of November. We wish you will come and join us.
A Celebration of the River Dee
Join us at the Savile Club, London, on 6th November 2013
The River Dee Trust is hosting an informative drinks reception on Wednesday 6th November from 6.30pm to 8.00pm.
Showcasing the work that has been achieved by the Trust for the river and its anglers and the work that will be delivered in the future.
Savile Club, 69 Brook St, Mayfair, W1K 4ER
Please RSVP to email@example.com by 1st November
Visit us first at http://www.riverdee.org.uk
Registered Charity No SC028497