River Dee Report week 26 from Ken Reid

Recent Catches

A tricky week for salmon anglers as conditions seemed to unsettle fish and put them off the take a bit. If you were in the right place at the right time you may have been fortunate to get sport and perseverance was the order of the day. River levels fluctuated, and still continue to do so, with heavy rainfall coming at times during the week and yet again at the weekend. As the river levels yo-yoed catches did likewise. FishDee beats reported 118 salmon and 80 sea trout for the week. I should point out some Ghillies are on other duties so we don't get catches reported daily from some beats. Park reported 18 salmon; Carlogie 12, Crathie 11 and Lower Invercauld & Monaltrie were also in double figures for the week.

Some feedback received from anglers this week through FishDee; Colin Bull who had a salmon and a sea trout commented about Morven, 'A very good fishing experience and a nice beat for the money. Information on catches was provided by the beat owner when requested.' Bruce Laidlaw from Edinburgh who had a 1 salmon and 3 sea trout commented about Lower Dess ' We also stayed in Dess Cottage and it was exceptional '
I managed to get a day's fishing and was delighted to see fellow angler Ian Scott, River Dee Trust and Board Chairman land a fine 21lb sea liced salmon when fishing across from me. This was caught on a size 8 thunder and lightning and was in really first class condition. I believe the Jim Davies Party at Park had an enjoyable week and I was glad to hear about the number of good sized salmon being caught during their week by a number of anglers. Some of the anglers also had an enjoyable stay at the Tor Na Coille hotel and mentioned this to me when I visited for dinner at the weekend.

I saw there were some large 24 lbs specimens landed at Lower Invercauld and Monaltrie with Crathie also reporting a fish of similar size. Commenting about the upper river beats I would like to advise readers that Mar Water have joined FishDee this week and have rod availability between now and the end of the season. Details about the beat can be found on the FishDee website.

Ian Scott with his biggest fish of the season so far

I would also like to end the column by advising readers of a very special auction being held by the River Dee Trust and A.F.Y.D (Angling for youth development). There is a special fishing break organised through the kindness & generosity of some wonderful accommodation providers on Deeside and some of the top River Dee fishing beats. The package includes salmon fishing for two rods for two days from 12th to 17thSeptember at Lower Crathes, Dinnet and Crathie with accommodation and breakfast at the Tor Na Coille Hotel, Loch Kinord Hotel and Darroch Learg Hotel. You can bid online at this weblink or by submitting a bid to the River Office, Mill of Dinnet, Aboyne, Aberdeenshire, AB34 5LA.and it is hoped this fundraising week for these two very important charities will be well supported. These beats reported a catch in September last year of 241 salmon!
I am off on a busman's holiday to Alaska later in the week and Edward Humphrey will be writing the reports for the FishDee website for the next fortnight. As some anglers are fishing through the night feedback is a little sporadic during the mid summer weeks and some Ghillies are also on holiday. If you have any information you wish to pass onto readers. Please do write to Edward Humphrey with any news or reports of success at office@dinnet-estate.co.uk and tight lines to all. Copyright FishDee Ltd July 2011.
This is the time of year when the summer runs of grilse and salmon are expected to arrive of our coastline and hopefully some will start to run the river. The last few summers, which have been incidentally wet providing good river levels, have seen good numbers of fish start to come in during the latter half of July. River levels are rising this morning on a number of the gauges; these range from 1ft 2 inches at Mar Lodge to 3ft 10 inches at Park. The River Feugh has also had a good rise in levels over the weekend so I expect fish to be ascending the falls of Feugh in good numbers. The Heughhead beat should see good numbers of fish arriving. Tides are forecast to rise during the week from 3.7 metres to 4.3 metres which means conditions are ideal for bringing new fish forward should they choose to come forward and enter the river system. The weather forecast looks like we shall see a continuation of rain showers and occasional sunny periods with light winds. It may get warmer through the week as pressure builds with air temperature maxima around 20 degrees Celsius. Sport should pick up if new fish come forward in good numbers.

I would advise anglers who have a Ghillie on their chosen beat will heed their advice on what tactics to use and where to fish. I was grateful for the advice of a Ghillie last week and this helped me get a salmon and lose another couple. My selection would have been different from his but by following his advice I am sure this helped me get some offers. If you don't have the services of a Ghillie to call on then you may fish with a floating line or one with a short sink tip attached. Your fly choice may include a Calvin's shrimp, Park Shrimp, Silver Stoats Tail, Crathie fly or perhaps a Monkey fly stripped across the current. A shooting head is ideal when stripping a large lure across the surface of a pool as the fly can be brought a lot closer to you than when using a conventional Speyline. If the water is high and coloured then daytime fishing may be productive, but if the river drops away and clears then you may fish earlier and late into the nights, if you have the energy and inclination to do so.

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