River Dee Report week 21 from Ken Reid

Dear All Please find weeks report and some images I have received from anglers. Image 1 Dave Roberts with his first ever salmon. Image 2 a nice picture with Mark Currie with a salmon landed at Aboyne Water Image 3 Edward Humphrey with a Nice salmon at Dinnet

Recent Catches

The spring period came to an end last week with FishDee beats reporting 2669 salmon for the period against a 5 year average of 1859 which is a significant increase. This is the best spring catch since 1989 and good news for all concerned with the River Dee. Summer certainly announced its presence last week with a mini heat wave which saw air temperatures soar to 27 degrees Celsius.

This caused river temperatures to soar and suppressed catches with FishDee beats reporting 179 salmon and 60 sea trout. It's not always big numbers of fish getting caught that can create headlines with the capture of large fish last week being well worthy of comment. A local retired gentleman had a battle with a huge fish last week that he will never forget. Mr Dennis hooked and landed a fish of 47 inches which was estimated to weigh 39 lbs by Ballogie estates head Ghillie Sean Stanton.

Scale samples were taken and the fish was confirmed as a 3 sea winter fish. The fish was caught on a self tied Green Highlander fly and was returned safely with the minimum of fuss by the angler. At this time of year when the air and river temperatures are high it is vitally important to return fish to the river without removing them from the water as this can cause mortality.
I spoke with Ian Murray last week and was really delighted to hear of the capture of more big Salmon from Monaltrie and Lower Invercauld. Ian advised that anglers had landed fish of 28 lbs and 25lbs on the same day which is quite some feat. Bill Palmer, the ghillie from Borrowston also reported to my colleagues the capture of a 42 inch salmon which he estimated to be 28 lbs. The Dee is not renowned as a big fish river so these are really notable specimens. Congratulations to the anglers for their fine catches. With the excellent volume of fish in the river it is not surprising that big fish are being caught as anglers and ghillies alike have been reporting large fish being seen, hooked and lost so it was just a matter of time before a few were landed. Having four big fish landed in a week is really exciting news.

Catches were well distributed throughout the river with Ballogie reporting 17, Birse, Waterside and Ferrar and Crathie all reporting 13 salmon with Park reporting 10 salmon and 9 sea trout for the week.

Some feedback from anglers this week included Jonathon Graves advising 'For 4 days of our week we had water levels at Potarch Bridge of over 2'. Had we been allowed to spin (as in the 'good old days') I am sure our catches could have surpassed any weekly catches from those days of plenty. While I have no wish to spin, or to match the catches of the '70s, I think this is a sound argument against anyone who says 'it's not like it used to be'. Great news about the large fish from Commonty, and good recognition for a great beat and its super ghillie Ian Fraser.' Keith Rishworth wrote and commented 'Many thanks for arranging to put my picture on the FishDee website.

I have one more favour to ask and then I will leave you alone for a bit. There were four of us at Lower Blackhall that week and my friend Dave Roberts caught his first ever salmon. He fished extremely hard all week and on the very last day having dropped 2 or 3 off earlier in the week, he managed to land his first salmon.' Congratulations to Dave on catching his first ever salmon, a moment he will never forget.

Andrew Wright who fished at Invery advised 'An excellent few days break, and greatly enhanced by the courteous and friendly support from the local ghillies Karl and Jim. Invery as usual produced fish when other beats were struggling.' Alex and Kathleen Brown who look after the Heughhead beat on the Feugh tributary advised they have had their first sea trout captures of the season. This pretty beat which joined FishDee this year can be productive throughout the summer and autumn and offers really good value for visiting anglers with excellent facilities on the beat. 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 June 2011.


Summer time heralds the arrival of sea trout and grilse to the River Dee, where anglers can and often do fish through the hours of darkness making impressive catches at times when low water conditions prevail. Sea trout are starting to arrive and it is hoped that catches will pick up as more anglers fish on during the evenings.

Sea trout are the shyest of creatures and the best time to fish for these is during the hours of darkness.

The weather forecast for the forthcoming week looks very reasonable with suggested air temperature maxima around 15 degrees Celsius and most days seeing a mixture of sunny spells and rain showers. There may be a chance of low cloud cover and mist but generally skies will be overcast with the odd sunny spell.

Therefore it should be much cooler than last week with more cloud cover. Winds are forecast to be by and large light and should not cause much difficulty to anglers and no dramatic drops in overnight temperatures are expected. The maritime influence shows high tides in Aberdeen are dropping back from 4.0 metres to 3.6 metres. Grilse and sea trout should come forward on high tides throughout the week.
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 lightly dressed small flies such as silver stoat, Jeannie, Crathie fly as well as silver shrimp, Park shrimp and Ally's shrimp patterns. Some Ghillies swear by the the red and black Francis flies so they are always worth a go. Small monkey flies and sunray shadows can be fished with confidence too especially as it is getting dark and fish are on the move. 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 of nights as will the snake fly fished deeply. With daylight hours reaching their peak for the year anglers may choose to fish the day in 2 sessions rather than one long day's effort. Very often the mornings and evenings offer the best chances of sport and there is plenty of things to do in Deeside if you choose not to fish during the afternoon-FishDee have a reference page with suggested activities.

If you notice any suspicious activity on your beat please report this to your Ghillie or contact the river office on 013398 80411 where River Dee Bailiffs can be contacted 24 hours a day. There are plenty of rods available for anglers on FishDee at the moment, and with the volume of fish in the river it is well worth the effort of travelling to fish our wonderful river. 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 June 2011.Copyright FishDee Ltd June 2011.



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

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