River Dee Report week 32 from Ken Reid

Recent Catches

A better week for anglers fishing the Dee last week with FishDee beats reporting 221 salmon and 30 sea trout as I write. As I suspected the lower beats saw decent action with sport still being enjoyed all the way to the top of the river system. Park had a cracking week with 62 salmon and grilse where the Ghillies must have been running about like 'dancing nuns on roller blades' as seen in the Olympics closing ceremony last night; they certainly weren't idle. Altries and Birse reported 15 each, Ballogie had 14, Kincardine 11 and Tilbouries and Lower Crathes also into double figures. There were continued runs of grilse and good sized summer salmon. Some grilse have been very small with fish of just over 1lb being landed. The very bottom beats have yet to get stocks of residents and fish appear to be sprinting upriver in a manner more reminiscent of Usain Bolt; much to the Ghillies disappointment. Lower water conditions should hopefully encourage fish to slow down and fill the lower beats.

I spoke to Keith Cromar, Park Estates Head Ghillie this morning who enjoyed a quiet Sunday after the frenetic activity of last week. Keith commented 'We had a fantastic start to the week with good runs of fish entering the beat. Anglers worked hard and were rewarded with their efforts. Colin McLean had 10 salmon to 20lbs for his two days; Craig Corbett had 9 for 3 days. River Dee regulars Jim Coates and Ron Low also had a couple each. We had a mixture of sea liced salmon and grilse where we had quite a few salmon between 15-20lbs with grilse down to 1lb in weight. Successful flies were the Park Shrimp and Gruinard Shrimp with the Black Frances accounting for a few; the Park Shrimp did very well.' I also chatted to Kevin Fleming the Ghillie at Altries and Lower Drum this morning who advised 'The Tony Smith party enjoyed some good sport at times but also lost quite a number, with 15 salmon and grilse landed and 11 lost. We had a mixture of grilse and summer salmon up to 18lbs.The yellow Ally's Shrimp did well, as did the Monkey fly when the water was bigger at the start of the week.' I was delighted to hear that the beat is fully let until the end of the season and I hope good sport continues there for visiting rods.

Craigendinnie Ghillie George Murray helps a lady angler with her catch

I was delighted to receive a few e-mails this week. Firstly, Bill Palmer, the beat Ghillie from Borrowston wrote advising 'Dear Ken, This is the photo of Mr. Chris Coltart. This is the first salmon that he has caught and it weighed 28 lbs. He caught it on an executioner (one of my interpretations) at Mid Hole. He also had another take in the same pool and the fish looked about the same size, unfortunately this one got away. If there is anything else you need to know just get in touch with me. After speaking to you this morning I saw a lot of fish moving about and running. The man who was fishing the opposite bank said there were a lot of fish in the flats, but they were not looking at anything.' When I visited the beat I did see a lot of fish leaping about and this is a big fish beat with great holding water. I also received an e-mail from Jonathon Woodcock commenting 'Ken, Last week my family took a week at Craigendinnie. I had fished for 3 days prior to this but my wife and daughter had never fished. We
had a fantastic week guided by the beat Ghillie George Murray who was a real star and between four of us we caught 6 Salmon between 6 and 9 pounds, and a sea trout. I attach a few photographs. We had a fantastic week and will be back again.' George Murray is a delightful Ghillie who is a great ambassador for Craigendinnie. Tom Lumley enthused about his fishing experience at Park advising 'Keith Cromar was just fantastic - his enthusiasm and professionalism was just amazing, he is an example to all other Ghillies - he went beyond the call of duty to get me a fish, he noticed I wasn't enjoying one particular beat, and moved me around to get me a fish, which I did.'

Chris Coltart with his first salmon at Borrowston

There are a lot of visitors in Deeside at present and we sometimes can have an isolated incident of people fishing without permission. I would urge anyone noticing any suspicious activity to contact the River Office on 013398 80411 which is manned 24 hours per day to deal with such incidents. Visiting anglers to the river will see enhanced bio security measures in place as all beats have had disinfection kits provided. Anglers will need to follow the beat Ghillies instructions on disinfection, which will only take a minimal period to carry out. As always please let me know how you get on during your visit to the river by dropping me an e-mail to ken@riverdee.org with any anecdotes and pictures about your experiences. Ken Reid © FishDee Ltd

Beat Catches Reported
Week ending 23:21 on Mon 6th Aug 2012
SALMON & GRILSE: Culter 2, Altries and Lower Drum 15, Middle Drum 2, Tilbouries 10, Upper Drum and Lower Durris 9, Park 62, Lower Crathes and W Durris 10, Knappach 1, Crathes 7, Lower Blackhall 1, Little Blackhall and Inchmarlo 3, Cairnton 8, Woodend 2, Commonty 6, Sluie 5, Ballogie 14, Borrowston 3, Kincardine 11, Dess 7, Birse 15, Aboyne Water 8, Aboyne Castle 3, Craigendinnie 4, Dinnet 2, Monaltrie and Lower Invercauld 2, Crathie 7, Heughhead 2, Total 221
SEA TROUT: Altries and Lower Drum 1, Tilbouries 1, Crathes 2, Lower Blackhall 3, Little Blackhall and Inchmarlo 1, Commonty 3, Sluie 1, Ballogie 2, Kincardine 1, Dess 6, Birse 2, Aboyne Water 2, Craigendinnie 1, Dinnet 1, Monaltrie and Lower Invercauld 1, Crathie 2, Total 30

George Murray helps another successful angler in Jonathon Woodcock’s party


With the Sepa gauges running at 5 inches at Mar Lodge and 10 inches at Park we have low water conditions for visiting anglers commencing their fishing today. This is the lowest the river has been since April. Will this last? It is looking doubtful with a number of weather reports suggesting some rainfall during the week. Some forecasters are predicting a risk of thundershowers with high humidity during the week. If we get thundershowers we could get a lift in river levels but to what degree will depend on the amount of localised precipitation that falls on the river catchment. It should be a mild week with temperature maxima around 19 degrees Celsius and overnight lows staying above 10 degrees Celsius. The maritime influence shows tides building through the week from 3.4 metres to 4.4 metres which should bring new runs of salmon into the river. Prospects look pretty reasonable for sport and a small lift in river levels later in the week will set us up nicely for the following week.

Another successful lady angler at Craigendinnie

As always listen to the advice offered by your Ghillie whilst fishing the pools on your beat. The River Dee Ghillies know their beat intimately and will help in no small way to increase your catch if you heed their advice. They will advise on fly choice, presentation, where to concentrate on fishing and at what depth. If you don't have the services of a Ghillie you would be advised to fish with a full floater with or without a sink tip and leader of perhaps 8 foot plus in low water conditions. Flies with a touch of red are starting to produce catches with river fish responding to more autumnal coloured flies. Fly choice, sizes 10 to 14 will do nicely, which could include the following popular Dee flies; Park shrimp, Cascade variants including the Ness C, black Frances and the yellow or orange Ally's shrimp. If you need to stock up on flies you can visit Somers in Aberdeen, Orvis in Banchory, Kincardine O'Neil Post Office, Strachan's of Aboyne and Countrywear in Ballater where you will find a good selection of Dee flies at good prices. You can also purchase the 2012 Dalmore Dee Dram fundraising whisky from Strachan's of Aboyne who have just received a new delivery.

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