River Dee Report from Ken Reid

I am away on Sunday & Monday and unable to write a weekly River Dee report on Monday so decided to provide an update today. I hope you enjoy it? Regards Ken

Recent Catches


Friday Update:

So far this week there have been 82 salmon and 7 sea trout reported from FishDee beats with 2 days fishing catches still to count so things are shaping up nicely for a good weeks catch. Following the catch of a splendid 30lb salmon at Birse on Wednesday I thought I would write a mid week update for readers.


I visited party leader Lars Terkildsen at Birse to get some background details. One of his party Marko Heinonen who started salmon fishing last year caught his first two salmon on the Dee. He then had the day that all anglers dream about on Wednesday at Birse where he landed 3 spring salmon.


The big fish was a 110 cms long salmon which weighed approximately 30lbs. The big fish, like the other two fish was caught on a small plastic sunray shadow tube fly in ideal fishing conditions from the Irrigation pool. Aboyne Water Ghillie Jim Cowper let me know that an angler fishing his side last Friday had played a very big fish for 25 minutes before it got off. Was this the same fish? Perhaps it was. There have been reports of good sized fish seen running and it's very pleasing to hear of one being landed. Of course legendary Birse Ghillie Doug Murray is very proud of the beats achievements.

I visited Lower Blackhall Ghillie Colin Simpson who had been unwell through the winter but is now back working at the beat, much to the delight of his regular fishermen.


We were chatting about a number of things and as always it is always illuminating talking with him and hearing his views about fishing flies.


Colin is incredibly knowledgeable about traditional salmon flies, as is his father, and he was telling me that he has been helping a channel 4 film crew who are producing a film about the late Megan Boyd from Brora, who needs no introduction to salmon anglers who tie flies. Colin teased me about the flies we use today and how we think we are using something new and deadly.


He laughed and said 'The new monkey flies, park shrimps etc you use today, I was using over 20 years ago to great success'. As always great fun when you are being teased by an undoubted expert in salmon fly design and construction, and what a pleasure to get some time to chat.

Photo Lars Terkildsen

I received a nice communication from Mike Stevenson who was fishing with River Dee Board and Trust chairman Ian Scott at Waterside and Ferrar. Mike advised ' I was fishing with Ian today at Waterside & Ferrar and we both had success at the Waterside pool. Ian landed a bar of silver weighing some 16lbs in the morning. After lunch, it was my turn and a fresh fish was duly landed with its weight estimated by Davie, our excellent ghillie, at 12lbs. This was my first March Springer for over 11 years and I had Davie record the moment. The fly was an Ally's Shrimp and, yes, the fish did run around the pool in a very energetic manner until the beat ghillie, Davie, skilfully netted a beautiful bar of silver fresh fish from the Dee. At Ian's suggestion, I attach a picture of myself with the salmon before it was successfully returned.'


I was delighted to hear that Mr Neil Rae the new owner of the Raemoir House Hotel and his team, who manage the Hotel beside Banchory, have been awarded the Scottish Country House Hotel of the year award. There has been extensive refurbishment of the hotel since Mr Rae took ownership and the hotel is looking fabulous. Mr Rae is keen to attract anglers old and new to the hotel to enjoy the comforts and hospitality, and I am delighted to report he has announced he will provide special packages for fishermen parties and groups. For parties of 3 or more anglers, staying for 3 nights or more, he will offer a super rate of £50 per night for bed and breakfast, which is a fabulous incentive for anglers to save money and enjoy top quality food and comfort. Visitors are promised a fine culinary experience with Mr David Littlewood master chef of Great Britain running the restaurant team.


Anglers looking to secure accommodation should call Mr Rae in the first instance on 01330 824884.


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. 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; 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 April 2011.

Prospects


If you are fortunate enough to be fishing the river this week then prospects look very good however the salmon as always has the final say in the matter. The River Dee Ghillies, who I hold in the highest regard, will be ideally placed to provide you with the best advice on where and how you may get a salmon to leave its lie and take you well presented fly.


They know all the lies that salmon will be resting in at any particular height on their beats, and this is invaluable knowledge for an angler visiting a beat for the first time. If you don't have the services of a Ghillie to call on then you may want to fish with an intermediate line or a sink tip fly line, and a small 1-2 inch tube fly or a size 4-8 dressed double; perhaps a Posh Tosh , Park Shrimp or Templedog. As the water is warming up then fish are more inclined to rise to a fly and there is less need to scrape the bottom with big tube flies. However the Sunray or Monkey fished at 90 degrees to the flow of the river may induce a fish to chase your fly and grab it before trying to return to its lie.


So ring the changes and be prepared to experiment if fish are dour. 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. 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; 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 April 2011.

Image 1 Lee Harper, son of Lower Crathes Ghillie Robert Harper with a 10 lb salmon

Image 2 Mike Stevenson with a 12lb Salmon at Waterside and Ferrar

Image 3 Marko's 30lb Salmon which was returned safely to the river

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 ken@riverdee.org
www.riverdee.org
www.fishdee.co.uk
River Dee Trust Registered Charity No SC028497

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