River Dee Report week 20 from Ken Reid

Good morning all

Just back from an extended trip chasing marine fish and golf birdies in Florida and hope you are all well.

Please find fishing report attached and some images.



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
River Dee Trust Registered Charity No SC028497

Recent Catches

A daunting week for salmon anglers fishing the River Dee at times during the last week with a big spate on Monday and subsequent rising and falling levels through the week; add very blustery conditions into the mix and conditions will test the mettle and resolve of anglers. As always our super Ghillies marshalled the anglers to a very creditable 241 salmon and 53 sea trout for the week from FishDee beats. Fish are well distributed as this snapshot of catches indicates, Invery 19, Carlogie 19 and Crathie 18 with many beats well into to double figures. Sea trout catches are on the increase and hopefully this trend will continue as anglers fish on into the evening.

Having returned from an overseas trip I was delighted to receive a lot of correspondence from visiting anglers and shall try to reply to you all over the next few days. Edward Humphrey called into the office and was delighted to report that both Dinnet and Deecastle beats reached 100 for the season on Thursday with the talented Eric Wardle securing the honour for Deecastle and Euan Reid matching the feet for Dinnet last cast on Thursday evening.

I received a nice email from Simon Boyden I would like to share who commented 'Hello Ken, Are the fish in the Dee getting bigger? We have just arrived back from our annual trip to the glorious River Dee and thought you might like to hear about our exploits. We're a regular party of 4 who share rods on Crathie and Abergeldie and have been coming up to Deeside to fish for up to 31 years. This year we had 2 new additions to the party who were skilful and lucky enough to catch/encountered a Salmon for the first time. Conditions were challenging to say the least with high winds, rain and high water for the week. Monday started well for Dave Scott with 2 fish off Abergeldie before we watched the river shoot up by over 3 feet in a little under 2 hours leading to a wash out in the afternoon along with coloured water. Tuesday bought a high, but falling River and success for Ian Child from Winchester who caught a fresh 7lb Salmon from the Old Boat Pool on the bottom beat on Crathie his first salmon on his first proper visit to the Dee. The first was caught on a size 6 Ally Shrimp. Shortly afterwards in the same pool, Ian's father-in-law Richard Ford ( on his first visit to the River Dee) had a battle with a larger fish before it let go as we were bringing it to the net. At the same time on Abergeldie, Tim Briggs caught a 7lb fresh fish from Mary's Cottage fishing a bright tube fly. Later in the week on Friday, veteran Dee visitor Derek Wight caught a superb 20lb fish from Big Shinval on Abergeldie fishing a bright tube fly and later in the day, Simon Boyden had a 24lb fish from Polmonier on Friday night, his biggest Salmon (picture to follow). Simon has been fishing on the Upper Dee since his late Grandfather took him to Monaltrie when he was 9 years old and this fish was double his previous best, a fitting present from the Dee as he had his 40th Birthday the week before! The fish measured 40 inches long took a size 8 Ally Shrimp and fought for nearly 40 minutes.


All of our fish were safely returned to the Dee to fight another day. This year, apart from the unusual conditions was noted for the presence of larger fish being seen and caught during our week on the Dee. In our party over the years, a larger fish is rare with the average fish being around 7-9lb. This year, larger fish made up the majority of the fish caught and I wondered if anyone had a theory for this but long may it continue. Many thanks Ken for your excellent weekly updates throughout the season. Kind regards Simon.' I don't know what Simon's theory for bigger average size of fish this
year is but I suspect that marine feeding conditions were favourable for the fish his party were catching.

I also received a brief email from Andrew Thompson advising 'Hello Ken, We thought you might like to see these images from our week on Lower Blackhall. There were four of us in the party and we had 5 salmon between us by the end of the week, thanks to the help and guidance of Colin Simpson, what a fantastic character! We are just back home today, and have already booked to go again next year - what a week!' I agree that Colin is a very talented and extremely popular Ghillie on our river and as always great fun to meet up with.

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. It can be purchased online at this link 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 May 2011.


As I travelled up the valley this morning I was delighted to see the river in excellent order and I am hopeful we shall see a good weeks fishing for anglers. River heights are currently running between 1 foot at Mar Lodge and 1 foot 5 inches at Park ensuring there are good water levels for anglers fishing anywhere in the catchment. The weather forecast looks more favourable than last weeks with some days at the start of the week seeing sunshine and showers. I see that blustery winds are possible on Wednesday and then conditions will brighten again and temperatures will rise later in the week. There may be thundery showers early in the week but it's difficult to predict what impact, if any this will have on river levels as this depends on the volume of rainfall. I do hope that the river falls slowly over the course of the week. Air temperature maxima are around 19 degrees this week with the chance of an air frost tonight and perhaps some wintry showers on the mountain tops. The maritime influence shows tides rising from 3.7 metres to 4.1 metres throughout the week perhaps bringing runs of new fish forward.

I would encourage anglers to heed the advice of their beat Ghillies carefully as they will give you the best advice on how to fish their beat. They know the moods of the river and the lies where taking fish may be located. If you don't have the services of a Ghillie to call on then fish with a small double handed rod with 8/9 weight lines or shooting heads. Fly lines should be full floaters with perhaps a short sink tip if needed. Long leaders and lightly dressed flies do well at this time of the year so fish fine and far off. Fly choice will see anglers looking for small flies such as silver stoat, blue charm, Crathie fly as well as silver shrimp, Park shrimp. Some Ghillies swear by the charms of the red and black Francis flies. Small monkey flies and sunray shadows can be fished with confidence too. If you are fishing for sea trout you may wish to fish with a silver march brown, dark mackerel, teal blue and silver with the Jambo being used for the darkest time of nights.

Anglers are requested to report any suspicious activity on the river bank to the River Office hotline on 013398 80411 where there is 24 hour cover from our Bailiff patrols. I was delighted to hear that Mr Neil Rae, the new owner of the excellent Raemoir House Hotel, Scottish Country house Hotel of the year award winner 2011, which is beside Banchory, have fantastic packages for visiting angers with special rates from £50 per night for bed and breakfast for groups of 3 or more staying for 3 nights or more. Anglers looking to secure accommodation should call Mr Rae in the first instance on 01330 824884. There are similar offers from the super Tor Na Coille hotel who can be contacted on 01330 822242. The Loch Kinord Hotel at Dinnet also has angler's special packages and proprietor Andrew Cox advised 'We do have special nightly offers for fishermen, and 7 nights stays from £250pp B&B. Also self catering lodges behind the hotel with a lodge sleeping 4 from £75pp for 7 nights! (£300pw) with the benefit of the hotel bar & restaurant on your doorstep serving excellent meals.' These hotels are offering great value and have really high standards of comfort, cuisine and service. Copyright FishDee Ltd May 2011.

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