River Dee Report week 38 from Ken Reid

Recent Catches

As I write FishDee beats have reported 300 salmon and grilse for the week which may rise with late reports. Park reported 37, Aboyne castle (a 2 rod beat) 23, Culter 19 and Crathie 18 with another 6 beats in double figures. Largest reported salmon were 24lbs at Deecastle and Crathie. River levels still fluctuated with a number of rises and this may have curtailed catches a bit. There is a big head of fish in the river at the moment and it appears there was not a lot of new fish running last week on the neap tides.

As always I am grateful for feedback from anglers and Ghillies and I have received a number of reports I can share with readers. Firstly Mr John Murray from Anstruther e-mailed me and commented 'The Anstruther Angling Club have just had their annual two weeks fishing on Aboyne Castle. This is the 28th year the club has been fishing the beat. At times the fishing was difficult with high water and some very strong winds. Nevertheless we managed 17 salmon/grilse and one sea-trout for the first week and 23 salmon/grilse and two sea-trout for the second week. Notable catches were Dr Stuart Gray and Gordon McKay with sea liced fish, David Dick a 23lbr and a red letter day for Stuart Murray with 8 salmon and a sea trout on Friday past including a 20lbr.

I myself had the honour of landing the 200th fish from the beat this year. Successful flies were the monkey, and a raffia shrimp fly first shown to us by ghillie Alec Coutts who often tied one up on the river bank and encouraged us to give it a cast. We are as always very grateful to the Humphrey family for allowing us to fish a well sought after beat and to Alec for his advice and company.

Dinnet proprietor Edward Humphrey commented 'Another successful week on Aboyne Castle with Anstruther Angling Club members following up 17 salmon for the previous week with 23 for last week, not bad for a 2 rod beat. David Dick landed the biggest fish at 23lbs and Stuart Murray also landed a 20 pounder, both out of Tanar Mouth. Stuart's fish was one of 8 he landed to his own rod that day and together with the 4 that Davie Dick landed was the beat's most productive day of the season. The previous day John Murray, Secretary of the Angling Club, caught the 200th fish for the beat and all fish were caught in either a Monkey or a Basil Shrimp.

Photo Thomas Thore

Archie Hay advised that the Ford party had an enjoyable week which is split between hill and river and he commented 'We had 18 salmon and grilse last week with Mr Keyser top rod with 8 salmon. General Palmer had a big 24 lb salmon from Craigenrhur on a cascade.

I had a 21 lb salmon from Polmonier and Mrs Caroline Ford 20 lb salmon from Keiloch. It's pleasing to see so many big fish in the river this year.'

Mads Pederson who is a fine Ghillie, and experienced global salmon fisherman at Culter advised 'We had some good sport at times last week with 14 salmon for the first 3 days to regular Culter anglers. Two anglers had four fish on Friday. There is not a lot of new fish coming forward though and we only had one grilse, a nice sea liced fish of 5lbs. Hopefully with tides building we will see new fish coming forward. If it gets warm we shall encourage anglers to fish with longer leaders and small black flies.'

Keith Cromar at Park commented 'We had a mixed bag with fresh and coloured fish through the week and steadily picked away. Most of the fish caught were cock fish and we did see pods of small grilse going through the beat first thing in the morning and last thing at night. This helped stir the pools up a bit as the pools are full of fish.' I also received a note from Jim Coates who advised 'Attached is a picture of David Tilly Golder with his 3rd ever salmon, a real brute weighing in at 22.5lbs. David caught the fish in the Durris stream at Park. During the tremendous fight I was just psyching myself up to tail the fish when Bert Webster appeared with his extra large net. Bert is a fine Ghillie with many talents, not least of which is his immaculate timing.'

As the fishing season draws to a close for the upper beats this week there are rods available for lower beats on FishDee if anglers are wishing to source fishing before the close season is upon us. We will hopefully see new fish coming forward to ensure angler fishing the lower beats have enjoyable sport. Finally I would like to thank the Ghillies for their feedback and ask anglers to pass on any stories, news or anecdotes they wish to share. 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 September 2011.

River Dee Photo Thomas Thore

Beat catches reported

(week ending 24th September)
SALMON & GRILSE: Blairs 4, Kingcausie 15, Culter 19, Altries and Lower Drum 13, Middle Drum 4, Upper Drum and Lower Durris 13, Tilbouries 9, Park 37, Lower Crathes and W Durris 13, Crathes 6, Invery 5, Lower Blackhall 2, Little Blackhall and Inchmarlo 11, Middle Blackhall 1, Cairnton 6, Woodend 3, Commonty 4, Sluie 4, Ballogie 7, Borrowston 4, Kincardine 4, Carlogie 12, Lower Dess 2, Birse 2, Aboyne Water 8, Aboyne Castle 23, Craigendinnie 4, Dinnet 14, Deecastle 9, Headinch and Cambus O'May 5, Monaltrie and Lower Invercauld 8, Crathie 18, Mar Lodge 2, Heughhead 9.
Total: 300 Largest: Deecastle & Crathie 24lbs

SEA TROUT: Culter 3, Tilbouries 1, Little Blackhall and Inchmarlo 3, Ballogie 2, Borrowston 1, Aboyne Water 1, Aboyne Castle 2, Heughhead 2.
Total: 15 Largest: Little Blackhall and Inchmarlo 3lbs
TROUT: Heughhead 1. Total: 1.

Photo Thomas Thore


I thought I was hearing things when a lady told me on Saturday whilst visiting Glasgow that we were going to see a heat wave arrive this week. Alas she appears to be correct as the weather forecasters are predicting a rise in temperatures this week to perhaps 23 degrees Celsius or more. This warm air should arrive on Wednesday and continue through the weekend. How this impacts on angling is difficult to predict; if its bright fishing may be dour, but if it is cloudy and overcast fish may respond to small flies fished on longer leaders. The maritime influence sees tides building to 4.8 metres on Thursday and Friday before starting to drop back and this should bring new fish forward if they chose to run the river. There was a small overnight rise in river levels up the top of the valley which sees the Sepa gauge at Mar Lodge running at 1ft 4 inches, Ballater is 1ft 9 inches and Park 1 ft 4 inches. There doesn't appear to be much rainfall predicted this week but high air temperatures just may produce a thundery downpour. It could be breezy at times as the southerly winds arrive with Wednesday perhaps seeing blustery conditions.

I suspect perseverance will be called for this week as fish may be on the move. As daylight hours are shortening and it is dark around 7.30 pm fish may get on the move at dusk. It may pay anglers to fish on until dark when local colour goes. Please consult your Ghillie about what tactics to employ as they will know best on how to go about finding a taking fish on their beat. The ones I have spoken to this morning are suggesting as the river temperature rises this week to fish with longer leaders and small dark flies like the Stoats tail, Crathie fly, Arndilly Fancy and Tosh. Some ghillies swear by the effectiveness of small red or black Frances flies. A small lightly dressed monkey fly or silver shrimp might also be worth a try. If you are in the right place at the right time and salmon do come on the take you could do well.

I would like to remind anglers that the Park Trophy is awarded annually for the largest rod caught salmon that is verified from the River Dee. It was won last year by Jesper Holm Nielsen with a salmon of over 30lbs from Dess. This year the largest verified salmon has been reported by Borrowston Ghillie Bill Palmer for a fish of 36lbs landed by Mr Judson, netted and photographed by Bill Palmer. There have been quite a number of good sized salmon reported most weeks and it may still be possible for a salmon of that size or bigger to be caught before the season finishes so good luck to all anglers. I would also like to advise that there is good rod availability on the FishDee website for the remaining 2 weeks of the season on lower beats so please ensure you book some fishing now and give yourself every opportunity of catching potentially the Park trophy winning salmon. 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 September 2011.

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