River Dee Report from Ken Reid

Llangollen Train Station and the River Dee

Recent Catches


A quiet week on Deeside with 50 salmon reported so far from FishDee beats. Park reported 6 fish to 23lbs, Invery also had 6, and Middle Drum reported 5 salmon.


The fish were quite dour last week with the deterioration of water conditions and river temperatures dropping.


Anglers were seeing the odd fish but they were not taking well. Towards the end of the week we saw gale force winds and very heavy snow which made fishing extremely difficult for the gallant anglers who persevered.


Karl Revel from Invery called with an update and advised 'Invery's fish were all caught by returning visitors to the Dee. Fifteen year old John Kane from Kilmarnock and Russell Neighbour from Surrey had 2 fish each, these being their first Springers. Other successful anglers were young John's uncle and Jim Reid from Edinburgh.


The fish were reluctant takers last week.' Willie Banks from Tilbouries advised an angler who wishes to remain anonymous landed 2 fish of 12 and 22 lbs. The 22lber was a super specimen and was the anglers largest Springer to date.
Shane Christie from Middle Drum reported he had a regular group of fishers up from Wigan. He comments 'Stanley Cook was successful with 4 fish to his own rod on his own tied Dozem fly, a Willie Gunn variant.


Stanley visits the beat 3-4 times every year and his knowledge of the beat was helpful to him when fishing the lies he knows fish will be at this time of year. Jim Black a novice angler caught his second Springer from the beat on a day visit giving him an average of a Springer for each of his visits to the beat this year.'


It's important to return the fish to the river as swiftly as possible. You may also want a memento from your trip to Deeside and toast your success.


I can recommend the new Dalmore Dee Dram which is on sale at George Strachan's shop in Aboyne and a number of the hotels in the valley-you can also purchase supplies online here http://www.onlinespirits.co.uk/dalmore-dee-dram. It is now available in London at Friarwood Fine Wine, 26 New Kings Road, London, Tel 020 7736 2628.


A significant contribution from each bottle sold will go to the River Dee Trust to help fund obstacle removal and other important salmon conservation work programmes currently underway. Please write to me, Ken Reid, with any news or reports of success to ken@riverdee.org and tight lines to all. Copyright FishDee Ltd March 2011.

Prospects


The Ghillies I have spoken to are optimistic sport will pick up this week following last week's very trying conditions. The weather forecast is a bit of a mixed bag with air temperature maxima predicted to be around 6 degrees with night time frosts also predicted. Winds will be blustery from time to time as the direction changes during the week from north easterly to south westerly.


There will be regular bands of rain, sleet and hill snow which should hopefully freeze on the mountain tops ensuring a reservoir of water for the weeks ahead. River levels are currently showing on the Sepa gauges 4 inches at Mar Lodge to 2ft at Park and the river is carrying a bit of sediment in the lower reaches as the River Feugh tributary is currently rising and cold with temps at 2 degrees Celsius. The maritime influence sees tides rising during the week from 3.3 metres to 4.7 metres on Sunday.


This will encourage fish forward if they wish to run the river. The sea will be considerably warmer than the river.


River beat Ghillies in the lower river are saying there are decent numbers of fish in the pools but they are reluctant takers. A couple of lower beat Ghillies are saying the numbers of Springers in their beats are the most they have seen for many years. One of the most experienced Ghillies on the River with over 40years experience, was telling me this week that it's a very common problem in March for fish to seemingly go off the take, and then come on again as the water warms up and they get on the move. The Ghillies advice is vital in helping you locate fish on their beats and they will give good advice about fly choice and tackle set up.


If you do not have the services of a Ghillie to call on then you would be well advised to fish slow and deep with a sinking line or intermediate with fast sink tip. Flies to use could range from a size 6 dressed double to a big monkey fly. The Willie Gunn is a good option as is the Park Shrimp, Black and Yellow and Ice Maiden.
As always a plea to anglers to handle your fish very carefully and try to release it swiftly back to the river with minimum fuss for photography. I know the moment can be dramatic as you land the beautiful salmon, however it is vital to ensure the salmon is extended the courtesy of a safe release and return to the river. The spring salmon are our most fragile stock component and we must do all we can to ensure they are released safely back to the river.


If you have been fortunate enough to land a prized Springer this week then please send me an image of the fish being returned to the River for the FishDee website. It's important to return the fish to the river as swiftly as possible. You may also want a memento from your trip to Deeside and toast your success. I can recommend the new Dalmore Dee Dram which is on sale at George Strachan's shop in Aboyne and a number of the hotels in the valley-you can also purchase supplies online here http://www.onlinespirits.co.uk/dalmore-dee-dram. It is now available in London at Friarwood Fine Wine, 26 New Kings Road, London, and Tel 020 7736 2628. A significant contribution from each bottle sold will go to the River Dee Trust to help fund obstacle removal and other important salmon conservation work programmes currently underway. Please write to me, Ken Reid, with any news or reports of success to ken@riverdee.org and tight lines to all. Copyright FishDee Ltd March 2011.

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