River Dee report from Ken Reid week 40

Recent Catches
This is the last weekly report for the 2011 salmon fishing season as we enter the last few days of fishing for the middle and lower beats; the 2011 season draws to a close on Saturday. Once all the final results are posted next week I shall produce a season report for the FishDee website, advertisers and mixed media. It's been an eventful week or as an angler said on Saturday, "these big fish are really coming on the take". It was a big fish week with 5 beats reporting 25lb salmon in their catches and a reported 30lb salmon from Birse. I also heard of some anglers who lost their fly lines whilst fighting big fish. FishDee beats have reported 342 salmon so far for the week and 21 sea trout, including a late run of finnock. I managed a couple of days fishing at Park at the end of the week and note their catches rose significantly towards the end of the week as the water temperature dropped. Park reported 71 salmon for the week, Ballogie/Carlogie 42, Birse 39 and Culter 24. Andy Hutson landed the 1000th fish of the season for the Ballogie beats and was rewarded with a bottle of Dee Dram from Ballogie Estates Head Ghillie Sean Stanton.
I had some friends fishing at Ballogie and Carlogie last week with Gareth Headland and Frede Hognestad taking the fishing on the beats. Gareth reported that sport was good during the first half of the week but a bit quieter at the end of the week with a much higher proportion of hooked fish being lost, including some really big fish. His friend Wayne Gibbens was fishing at Kincardine who also had some fish but again found a lot of fish coming unstuck. Frede Hognestad, Geir Magne Johnsen and friends had an exciting week at Ballogie with some hard fighting fish reported. Two of their friends lost their shooting heads when big salmon overpowered them. As it was Geir Magne had his biggest salmon from the Dee at 25lbs and as always the lads enjoyed their holiday on Deeside.

Jim Bisshop

Ian Neale who is a well regarded fishing guide, FishFindhorn correspondent visited Park and dropped me an e-mail advising 'I hope that you enjoyed your couple of days fishing at Park on Friday/Saturday. It was really very pleasant yesterday and what a difference when that wind eased off! I was guiding a couple of my regular clients, Des Dunlop and Jim Bishop for the three days and they thoroughly enjoyed their fishing at Park South, having been there two years ago with me. Jim Bishop had a great morning on Bakebare yesterday and caught two salmon; one was an older fish of around 10lbs. However, the other was a really lovely fresh autumn run salmon of around 15lbs, which gave him some great sport and after quite a long battle was finally netted by Charlie Yates. I got there just in time as the fish was about to be released by Charlie and managed to get the attached photo of this cracking fish which I hope you might be able to put onto your Fishing Reports page. Des Dunlop also caught a couple of fish whilst he was fishing with me at Park south. He had a cock fish of around 10lbs from Greenbanks on Thursday and another small fresh grilse of around 4lbs yesterday afternoon from the Upper Kirks pool, below the old hut.' Rosalind Chrisp who handles the fishing at Park managed to get a day's fishing with her guide. Rosalind commented 'As you know I was fishing on Park South as a guest on Saturday and thought I would drop you a line to let you know how I got on. With my 'red nosed' guides help and expertise I had my most successful fishing day so far, landing three fish (2 x 10lb and 1 x 14lb) and sadly losing another which felt even bigger!'
I had hoped to visit Tono Puicercus from Lax-A, who had a party of rods on Lower Crathes fishing from Thursday to Saturday. Alas I was unable to get along to see them as there were a number of fishing agents at Park who bring a lot of fishermen to Deeside annually who I managed to catch up with. I was really pleased to hear that Tono and team Lax-A had some really enjoyable sport with salmon to 18lbs at Lower Crathes. I was really pleased to meet up with top angler and guide Greig Thomson from Salmo Fishings, who had a very productive time at Park, as did Philip Black where they had around 20 salmon between them. Philip advised 'Hi Ken. Nice to finally meet you on Fri. hope you had a few more on sat. Just a short message for your Dee report where I ended up getting 8 on Fri. up to 16lb, another great day on Park with Keith. On Saturday I was on Inchmarlo and got 3 fish up to 15lb, my friend Jim Torbet got one, a nice sea licer about 12lb and Terry Paton the Inchmarlo ghillie got the final fish. We had a great day, many thanks to Martin and Terry. That's me finished on the Dee this year. I had a great season on the Dee catching 32 fish up to 18lb.Hopefully it will be as good a season next year, roll on the 1st Feb. I look forward to meeting you again.'
As the fishing season draws to a close this week there are still 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 on the spring tides to ensure anglers fishing the lower beats have enjoyable sport. Finally I would like to thank everyone 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.


The last few days of the 2011 fishing season find the river levels at a reasonable height for salmon fishing and the temperature dropping. The Sepa gauges are running at 1 foot at Mar Lodge and 1 foot 5 inches at Park and the water temperature is between 6 and 7 degrees Celsius. The weather forecast is autumnal with air temperature maxima around 12-14 degrees Celsius with perhaps some blustery days and occasional heavy rain showers. The river levels shouldn't fluctuate too much this week. The maritime influence sees tides rising from 4.0 metres to 4.2 metres before falling back to 4.0 metres at the weekend. I expect anglers to catch a lot of fish this week providing new fish come forward. Some of the big male fish are coming back on the take so it wouldn't surprise me to see more big fish showing in this week's catch return.
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. 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, Snaelda's 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 recently 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 few days of the season on lower and middle beats so please ensure you book some fishing now. 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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