River Dee Report week 20 from Ken Reid

Please find weekly media report and images for your attention. At last summer is starting to make an appearance on Deeside weather wise J
Special recognition this week in the report for Neil Rae and Phillip Fleming on their tremendous success at the Scottish Hospitality Awards night in Glasgow-congratulations to you both, and to your hard working dedicated teams of staff at Raemoir House Hotel and Tor Na Coille Hotel.
Hope you are all enjoying nice weather and have a great week.

Marcus Humphrey from Dinnet with a nice 16lb salmon at Aboyne Castle beat,his son Edward was to catch a 16lb salmon later that same day

Recent Catches
At long last warmer weather conditions have arrived on Deeside following last week's continuing cold spell. There were a number of days where the air temperature didn't get above 4 degrees Celsius and anglers had to wrap up well to keep warm. Fish don't like weather conditions chopping and changing nor do they like river levels rising and falling frequently. Fishermen and Ghillies worked hard during the week and beats have reported 150 salmon for the week to 25lbs and 15 sea trout. The biggest salmon reported at 25 lbs was landed by Ian Rose fishing at Lower Blackhall which Ghillie Colin Simpson described as a nice fish. Crathes beat reported 15 salmon for the week which will have delighted Brian Sim and his visiting group of anglers, Dinnet & Dee Castle reported 14 for the week and Carlogie reported 10. The Ballogie beats have just had their 250th salmon of the season landed by the laird himself.
I popped down to see Ghillies Robert Harper and Brian Sim last Thursday to get some advice about Bio Security, and was really pleased to have timed my visit to perfection at Crathes as angler Colin Chisholm landed a lovely fresh fish which was expertly netted by Brian. Crathes beat did well last week and had their top week of the season so far with 15 salmon. Regular visiting angler Charles Jeffrey was one of the group fishing there and dropped me an e-mail advising 'a quick note to say that four of us had another enjoyable three days on Crathes under the stewardship of Brian Sim. We had four fish on Thursday, one of which you witnessed at the hands of Colin Chisholm, and who landed three fish in total. The heavier water on Friday and Saturday was marred by the peat stain, which I'm sure put the fish off. A couple were landed though and we shall be back in early August at the same venue. Another highlight was our three nights at the Derbar Indian Restaurant!'

I was delighted to receive an invitation to fish at Dinnet by Edward Humphrey on Saturday and caught up with the regular group of visiting anglers for a pleasant lunch at the new fishing hut at '29'. The anglers worked hard during their week and produced 14 salmon and were in good form at lunchtime enjoying a nice barbecue which was expertly prepared by Colin Lowson. River Operations manager Edwin Third landed a fine 12lb salmon following really helpful advice from Ghillie Colin Espie. Edward Humphrey dropped me an e-mail advising 'Tricky conditions again last week with the river up and down as well as the cold air temperature and snow on Tuesday morning. However it did not stop Nicholas Verney from catching his first fish at 7lb from Tanar Mouth on Aboyne Castle on Tuesday morning. Nicholas only started fishing the day before but I am sure that he received many words of wisdom from his godfather Tom Wheelwright who has been visiting the Dee for more years than he may care to remember. Wednesday proved to be a red letter day for the Humphrey family with my father Marcus landing a 16lb fish in Crofts, under the watchful eye of Aboyne Castle ghillie Alec Coutts which I was fortunate enough to witness. My father retired 2 weeks ago after 46 years as a Councillor, what a way to start retirement! My evening's fishing was Tanar Mouth which was unusually quiet until my reel screamed as my 16lb fish gave me a great fight before I eventually landed it and returned it safely to the river. Sadly, I had left my mobile phone at home and so could not contact Alec Coutts and give him the chance to net a fish for both my father and myself on the same day. He could have also verified the weight of the fish and taken scales as it was a magnificent fresh fish and one that the Dee is quite rightly famous for.'

Jonathon Graves with a nice salmon landed after 10.30 pm !

I received a nice e-mail from Jonathon Graves which I want to share, who had an enjoyable visit to the Ballogie beats with friends commenting 'My team fished Carlogie week 18 ( 15 fish ) and my father's party on week 19 ( 20 fish ) and we appear to have been the top beat on the Dee both weeks. Week 18 was an all Anglo-Saxon team including the evergreen Alan Lankshear aged 88. In week 19 we had two octogenarians sharing with younger rods, my father Richard Graves and Barrie Welham, and our French 'fishing machine' Pierre Rumeau. Sadly my father did not have an offer on his 49th consecutive annual May visit to Carlogie; however Barrie contributed to our score. I had my best ever personal trip to Deeside with 8 fish each week and 4 losses after lengthy play. Of the 16 fish, four beat my best ever weight from the Dee at 15, 15, 16 and 18lbs. Tony Wheeler topped these with a fish of 19lbs from the Village pool. As usual we all enjoyed our time on Deeside and are already looking forward to next year. We thought there was definitely a shortage of new fish running the river when compared with the last two years; however there were enough to keep us interested, though we did put in some very long hours for our catch. I had my 2 biggest fish in pitch darkness around 2215-2230hrs which just shows what can happen if you keep at it. The savage takes to the bigger fly after dark are worth the effort. The changeable weather and up and down water temperatures did not help catches and made it very difficult to find a successful formula. We had fish on 2inch tubes on an intermediate line on the same day as fish were caught by the opposition on floating line and size 10 silver stoat. I tried to keep my eye on the water temperature more than the height and changed my tactics to that; but the truth is when your lucks in you hook fish whatever you try. Thanks for your coverage of the Dee it keeps us all keen when we are not there. Me; I'm off to the lower Wye next week to see if my lucks still in: 30lbs plus would be nice.' Let's hope Jonathon gets a 30lb salmon from the Wye which has had some really good 3 sw salmon this year I am told. 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.

Beat catches reported
(week ending 19th May)
SALMON & GRILSE: Park 1, Lower Crathes and W Durris 7, Knappach 1, Crathes 15, Invery 7, Lower Blackhall 3, Little Blackhall and Inchmarlo 4, Middle Blackhall 5, Cairnton 6, Commonty 4, Sluie 2, Ballogie 6, Borrowston 8, Kincardine 4, Carlogie 10, Dess 7, Birse 8, Aboyne Water 5, Aboyne Castle 5, Craigendinnie 3, Waterside and Ferrar 4, Dinnet 3, Deecastle 11, Headinch and Cambus O'May 6, Monaltrie and Lower Invercauld 4, Abergeldie 2, Balmoral 1, Crathie 8.
Total: 150 Largest: Lower Blackhall 25lbs
SEA TROUT: Middle Drum 4, Park 3, Crathes 1, Invery 3, Lower Blackhall 1, Cairnton 1, Commonty 1, Kincardine 1.
Total: 15 Largest: Commonty 4lbs



With the prolonged cold and wet weather conditions that have prevailed on Deeside for a number of weeks, fishing conditions, by and large have been difficult for visiting anglers and it struck me how important it is for anglers to enjoy their holidays by staying in very comfortable accommodation with good service and hospitality. I am delighted to inform readers that the Scottish Hospitality Awards were held last night in Glasgow and two popular Deeside Hotels that welcome visiting anglers won national awards. The Raemoir House Hotel won the Scottish Country House Hotel of the year award and the Tor Na Coille Hotel won the Boutique Country House Hotel of the year award. These venues offer great value and service to visiting anglers with rates for bed and breakfast at just over £50 per night for stays of 3 nights or more. Congratulations to the hard working dedicated teams at these venues who provide a really first class service to our visiting anglers.
It appears that the weather conditions are going to improve with a much milder week ahead forecast, with air temperature maxima around 18 degrees Celsius and overnight lows around 7 degrees. There will be light south easterly winds which may bring in coastal haar overnight. This should burn off the following day if it does materialise. There may be the odd shower but there should be little precipitation and the river levels should drop back slowly during the week. Tides are dropping back from 4 metres on Thursday to 3.5 metres at the weekend. The Sepa gauges are currently between 8 inches at Mar Lodge and 1ft 5 inches at Park. As always heed the advice on offer from your beat Ghillie who will give you all the advice you will need to help you in your search for a taking salmon. It may pay anglers to fish well on in the evenings if the afternoons are very bright as the sun does shine down the pools which make it difficult for the salmon to take the fly well from the surface as they are facing upstream into the glare. With rising river temperatures and falling river levels anglers will be fishing with smaller flies than of late and hopefully we shall see good catches this week. Fly choice may include Silver Stoats tail, Allys shrimp, black or red Frances, however do ask your Ghillie to look at your flies to help you pick one appropriate to suit the conditions you encounter.
Please ensure all 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.

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