River Dee Report week 39 from Ken Reid

Recent Catches

As I write FishDee beats have reported 220 salmon and grilse for the week and 7 sea trout with perhaps some more to be reported later. Upper Drum reported 41 for the week which was an excellent number; Carlogie reported 19 and Park 18. The upper Dee beats have now closed for the season with beats below Aboyne fishing until October the 15th during the season extension. The heat wave that arrived midweek put the brakes on fish catches nevertheless fishing was pretty good during the week. I haven't received any feedback from anglers this week however I am grateful for reports from some of the beats.

Firstly Jim Paton, Ghillie from Upper Drum and Lower Durris advised 'We had a very good weeks sport with 41 salmon and grilse for the week. Peter Brown, a regular to the beat was top rod for the week with 13 salmon closely followed by George West. Proprietor Jim Gray had 5 to his own rod. George tied a new shrimp fly which did tremendously well with 25 salmon being caught on it. The river height last week also was ideal for our pools which also helped our catches. We had a mixture of fresh and coloured fish for the week with the biggest at 18lbs.'
Ballogie estates head Ghillie Sean Stanton gave me a call and advised 'Peter Lonsdale was back for the week with a party of anglers fishing Ballogie and Carlogie. Peter had an excellent weeks sport with 18 salmon and grilse to his own rod for the 5 days he fished. I was delighted to fish his rod on Saturday and had my biggest salmon to date at 21lbs. Peter had 2 salmon over 20lbs and an 18 lb salmon amongst his catch which were all made on a half inch Black Frances tube fly. Peter is a great stalwart of the Dee and has had about 6 weeks on the river this year.'

Edward Humphrey the proprietor for Dinnet and Aboyne Castle beats wrote today and commented 'Now the season is over in the Upper Dee, I can report that the 230 salmon & grilse caught on Dinnet this year represents the best season since 1988, an excellent first season for my new Ghillie, Euan Reid. Aboyne Castle could not quite match last year's total, but a catch this year of 218 salmon & grilse is very respectable for a 2 rod beat. My thanks again to Alec Coutts for his efforts throughout the season, including scale sampling, a very high percentage of fish caught.'

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 October 2011.

Photo John Eric Thore


The weekend saw more rainfall on Deeside which caused the levels to rise over the weekend. This rainfall will have freshened up the river and hopefully will encourage some late running fish to come forward into the lower and middle beats. The Sepa gauges are running at 1ft 1 inch at Mar Lodge and 2 foot at Park. The maritime influence sees tides dropping from 4.0 metres in Aberdeen to 3.5 metres in mid week and rising again to 3.9 metres by the weekend. The weather forecast is more autumnal following last week's heat wave with air temperature maxima forecast to be around 17 degrees Celsius.

It will become cooler with blustery winds and showers throughout the week with perhaps more persistent rain on Wednesday. The long range forecast is indicating potential for evening frosts and snow on the mountains so winter is not far away now. Hopefully with the river starting to cool again catches will rise during the week but as always the salmon has the final say.

The Ghillies will be looking forward to the end of the season and the opportunity to perhaps enjoy a nice holiday, but will be trying extremely hard as always to put anglers onto taking fish. As always heed their wise counsel as they know best about what tactics to employ when fishing their water.

beautiful memories

Photo John Eric Thore

There is no shortage of salmon in the river however just because you see many fish does not necessarily mean they will be easy to catch. Persistence will be called for and as always it may pay to fish until dark with the last hour of daylight being the most productive. If you don't have the services of a Ghillie to call on then perhaps you would be wise to fish with an intermediate line and a small tube fly.

Patterns that find favour with fishermen at this time of year include Red and Black Frances, Cascade, Tosh, red or orange Flamethrowers and Ally's shrimps.

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 October 2011.

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