River Dee Report week 16 from Ken Reid

Super sport in the upper river at Monaltrie and Lower Invercauld for a group of visitors from Scandinavia. Global Worldwide fishing adventures

Global Worldwide Fishing Adventure in River Dee Photo Thomas Thore

Recent Catches
As I write this report prior to meeting 20 River Managers from Norway who are visiting Deeside for a few days I am able to report that visiting Norwegian anglers have done very well last week fishing the upper river at Monaltrie and Lower Invercauld. Ian Murray was delighted to report that his beats had produced some excellent catches with Rolf Ytterdahl landing 13 to his own rod to 22lbs. I attended and spoke at the dinner for this large group of anglers at the Glen Lui hotel in Ballater on Saturday night where they enjoyed a magnificent dinner provided by Susan Bell. Overall the catch for the Dee was reasonable with FishDee beats reporting 116 salmon to 24 lbs and 7 sea trout to 5lbs. Monaltrie and Lower Invercauld reported 25 salmon, Dinnet/Deecastle reported 14 and Park reported 8. The river conditions became progressively harder for anglers during the week due to persistent heavy rainfall which saw the river rising steadily for the last 3 days of the week.

Sea Trout 5 lbs from River Dee Photo Thomas Thore

I have received correspondence from Thomas Thore from Sweden who was fishing at Lower Invercauld who had to leave early to go home. Thomas advised ˜A small report from my week, despite the relatively high water, I began my fishing with a sink tip line and a small hardcore tube fly, the wing is only 1.5 cm. On this, I had 7 salmon, the 2 largest weighed 8 and 9 kg's and a fantastic sea trout of just over 2 kg. David Murray said to me one day, it's not a fly that is an insect! Hope anglers had a fantastic finish with Global, always good to see you my friend.' John Reynolds wrote to me last week and commented 'Whilst sadly I had no luck when I came up to fish Park at the start of March with my friend Ken Bird, I am pleased to report that my wife Jane and her friend Jeanette Tallis, who are fishing Park as I write from Devon today, both managed 2 fish each before lunch on Monday, with Jane managing to land a 19 pounder. Maybe I should take up golf.'

extreme hail sweeping through the river

River Dee Photo Thomas Thore

I spoke with Robert Harper the head Ghillie for Lower Crathes and West Durris who advised that visiting angler Mr Renede had landed a superb 24 lb salmon, covered in sea lice. I received some images of this fabulous fish which could easily be over 24lbs. I would like to add this beat has been producing a really good number of springers over 20lbs this season and is a lovely beat to fish offering super facilities for visiting anglers. Robert advised that the river was now dropping to a good fishing height with a touch of colour and hopefully a run of new fish will come forward given the high river levels during the latter part of the week. I was delighted to get some fishing at Birse for the last 3 days of the week. I had 6 pulls to the fly on Friday morning and lost a nice fish and was delighted to net a salmon for Jim Coates on Friday night. This was the only fish for our 3 days however we understand that when the river is rising and colouring then prospects are not great. As always the Tor Na Coille Hotel provided a great place to relax in the evening and enjoy a fine dinner. I would also like to mention that the hotels in Deeside are offering great value and service to visitors. Both the Raemoir House Hotel and Tor Na Coille are offering B&B rates of just over £50 per night for anglers staying for 3 nights or more. I have also just received an e-mail advising the Iconic Banchory Lodge Hotel are offering B&B rates for anglers during June, September and October at only £55 with the provision they must stay for 3 or more nights. This means that visiting anglers can relax in super hotels after their days fishing enjoying excellent meals using local produce, in fine surroundings and have a very enjoyable fishing holiday on Deeside. As always please let me know how you get on by dropping me an e-mail to ken@riverdee.org with any anecdotes and pictures about your experiences on the river. Ken Reid © FishDee Ltd.

Mr Renade from Spain with a superb salmon estimated conservatively at 24lbs.


Currently the river is at a very nice fishing height for anglers following heavy and prolonged rainfall during the latter part of last week. The Sepa Gauges are all falling or running steady with the water carrying a little colour caused by peat stain. After the prolonged dry spell we had hoped to have an underwater web camera installed towards the latter part of the week however the river conditions were too dangerous for this to take place. The Met Office are suggesting that the forthcoming week will see the continuation of cool and wet weather conditions with a series of fronts crossing the country driven by a north easterly air flow. Air temperature maxima will be 10 degrees Celsius at best with no frosts forecast. There may be heavy hill snow during the week and persistent heavy rain showers which may be locally heavy and prolonged. This may lead to river levels rising and falling during the week. The maritime influence sees high tides falling back during the week from 4.0 metres to 3.4 metres; however river levels are perfectly adequate for new fish to come forward should they be there to come forward. We are approaching the month of May which normally sees the peak of the Spring run so we hope to see an improvement in the catches which have been a bit disappointing this year overall so far. There are still good opportunities on the FishDee website for anglers to book fishing and anglers should feel encouraged to come and fish the River Dee.
The Ghillies will be encouraging anglers to fish hard with the improving river conditions and anglers should heed their advice. Last week anglers were catching fish on small flies, medium tube flies and large monkey flies depending on the pools they were fishing. Anglers were singing the praises for the advice offered to them by Ian and David Murray at Monaltrie and Lower Invercauld and there is no doubt that their excellent catch was as a result of the advice given and taken on board by anglers. As river levels are relatively higher now than during March and most of April, anglers will have to persevere and fish their fly round to the dangle and let it hang in case a fish is lying close to their bank, slowly retrieving line prior to casting. Fly patterns should be bright in coloured water with flies like the Ally's shrimp, Yellow Frances, Flamethrower worth a try as well as gold bodied Willie Gunn tubes and Monkey flies.

Geoff Coates and Stuart Buchan entertaining themselves at Birse with an impromptu ‘jamming session ‘ when the fishing conditions became too poor to continue fishing on Saturday afternoon.

If you find you have the wrong flies with you for your fishing trip then pay a visit to some of our super retailers; George Strachan's store in Aboyne or the Kincardine O'Neil Post office have a great selection of Dee flies tied by the enterprising Ballogie estates Ghillie Sean Stanton, at very attractive prices. These venues also provide great sandwiches for visiting angler's luncheon etc and of course the highly popular Dalmore Dee Dram which helps raise funds for the River Dee Trust. The Orvis store in Banchory also has a great selection of flies to choose from and equipment to hire using local produce in fine surroundings and have a very enjoyable fishing holiday on Deeside. Please ensure visiting anglers sign the Gyrodactylus salaris declaration forms. These are vitally important to the river, ensuring all visitors are vigilant in ensuring we take necessary precautions and don't see this devastating parasite wiping out our stocks of salmon. If you are not offered one to sign then I would urge you to please ask for one to be provided to you prior to commencing fishing. Ken Reid © FishDee Ltd.

River Dee Photo Thomas Thore

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