River Dee Report week 34 from Ken Reid

Recent Catches

As I write this report FishDee beats have reported 235 salmon to 28lbs and 22 sea trout. Fishing was a bit of a mixed bag at times with good sport if you were in the right place at the right time. Park reported 43 salmon, Culter 23, Lower Invercauld and Monaltrie, Lower Crathes and Tilbouries 13 apiece; Crathie and Crathes beats reported 11 each. There were smaller runs of new fish coming forward later in the week but some good runs of grilse at the beginning of the week. Tides are building this week and a fair bit of rain is forecast so we should see some good runs of new fish coming forward as the late running fish do usually come in good numbers as we head into September. As always the fish have the final say on this and we do hope we get good runs coming forward to delight visiting anglers over the next few weeks as we head towards the end of the 2012 fishing season. There are still plenty of rods available on FishDee with prime autumn beats like Park and Lower Crathes both having rods available now.

I spoke to Park Ghillies Keith Cromar and Bert Webster to get some information about the weeks fishing. Keith advised it was a bit of a mixed bag with some anglers doing well at times. He advised Mr Crawford had 3 for his day and Mr Law had 4 for his day; with a small red Ally's shrimp doing very well. There was a good 42 inch long salmon, estimated at 28lbs landed on Park South by Mr John Kane from Ayrshire. This fish was hooked in Bulwarks and landed down beside the Sheeoch burn some 40 minutes later. Mr Kane had 10 fish during his 3 day visit from a 2lb Grilse to this cracking 28lb cock salmon. All the fish were taken on a size 13 orange Flamethrower pattern; this popular design was created by Duncan Egan and is a highly successful fly.

Mads Pedersen provided a report from Culter where there were 23 fresh salmon reported. He advised that Stephen Farquhar enjoyed a red letter day on Friday with 6 salmon landed and 3 lost to his own rod. They only had 2 rods fishing each day last week so the catch of 23 was a good return for the amount of rod effort. The beat has good stocks of new fish which should continue to provide decent sport to rods that have booked to fish there. Kathleen Brown provided some feedback from Heughhead on the Feugh advising 'Here are a couple of pictures of brothers Stan and Geo Youngson who fished with us on Monday and Tuesday and had a total of four Salmon to 10lbs. Stanley said 'Thanks for a momentous time on a fantastic sporting fishing beat, I am sure we will see you again next season.' Another customer, Douglas Cameron also had a salmon on Tuesday but I have no more details of it at the moment.' This productive beat saw 9 salmon reported for the week and offers excellent value for money.

George Youngson with a small summer salmon at Heughhead

I managed to secure a rod with a fishing friend Stuart Buchan on Saturday at Birse where we were well looked after by Birse Ghillie Doug Murray. It's one of my personal favourites as it offers a good variety of fly fishing water and provides opportunities at times for big fish. I fished a little in the morning in Lummels and had a few casts in Irrigation with no success other than a pull to a Monkey fly fished at the tail of the Lummels pool. Lunchtime saw all the rods gather at the hut for a chat and refreshment. Stuart and I were allocated the bottom half of the beat in the afternoon and went downriver seeking some action. I must confess that I took 40 winks beside Belwade and woke an hour later ready to have a cast. I waded into the neck of the pool and checked my set-up; on the business end, a lovely size 13 Maggie's shrimp tied by Ross Macdonald-a super fly. I had a feeling of Déjà vu when my first cast saw a beautiful silver ten pound salmon nail the fly. I had a similar experience in Belwade in April when a fish took first cast. I was thrilled to catch such a lovely fresh fish which gave a good scrap before being landed and returned to the river safely. My friend Stuart was also successful in Red Brae with a 5 lb cock fish that was just starting to colour up.

Now we shall see the stocks in the river increase steadily until the end of the season and there is a chance of hooking a fish from 1lb to perhaps over 40lbs. Anglers will need to ensure their tackle is sound, and strong enough to withstand an encounter with a big fish. Large cock fish do become aggressive in late summer. 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

SALMON & GRILSE: Kingcausie 2, Culter 23, Altries and Lower Drum 7, Middle Drum 5, Tilbouries 13, Upper Drum and Lower Durris 10, Park 43, Lower Crathes and W Durris 13, Crathes 11, Invery 5, Middle Blackhall 3, Cairnton 10, Woodend 2, Commonty 12, Sluie 6, Ballogie 3, Borrowston 3, Kincardine 4, Carlogie 6, Dess 3, Birse 6, Aboyne Water 2, Craigendinnie 5, Dinnet 1, Headinch and Cambus O'May 1, Monaltrie and Lower Invercauld 13, Birkhall 3, Crathie 11, Heughhead 9, Total 235

SEA TROUT: Upper Drum and Lower Durris 2, Park 1, Cairnton 1, Commonty 1, Ballogie 1, Kincardine 1, Dess 3, Craigendinnie 5, Waterside and Ferrar 1, Dinnet 1, Headinch and Cambus O'May 2, Monaltrie and Lower Invercauld 2, Heughhead 1, Total 22

An example of a big summer salmon that can run the river in late summer-Lower Crathes saw this one landed by Malcolm Tocher pictured with Ghillie Robert Harper

Prospects

With Tropical Storm Isaac lashing Florida we are not short of wild weather conditions on Deeside as I write this report. Aberdeen saw an inch of rain fall in 30 minutes on Saturday causing no end of problems in the city. We are in for a spell of wild weather with heavy rain and gale force winds forecast for the next day or so. There will be continued showers during the week with really blustery winds interspersed with sunny intervals and some warmth when the sun makes an appearance. An air temperature maximum is forecast to be around 19 or 20 degrees Celsius this week. The maritime influence sees tides building through the week from 3.7 metres to 4.5 metres which should encourage good runs of summer salmon and grilse to come into the catchment. River levels are currently sitting between 7 inches at Mar Lodge and 1 foot 2 inches at Park. There is every possibility we could have a big coloured river if the forecast is accurate.

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. If the river rises don't be wary about fishing a small tube fly, cone head, pot bellied pig or Dee Monkey.

Fly choice, sizes 10 to 14 will do nicely in lower flows, which could include the following popular Dee flies; Park shrimp, Cascade variants including the Ness C, black Frances, the yellow or orange Ally's shrimp and Duncan Egan's Flamethrower range. 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. As a special offer B&B accommodation can be obtained for £55 per night from the following hotels for stays of 3 nights or more with groups of 3 anglers or more; Tor Na Coille Hotel, Raemoir House Hotel, Banchory Lodge Hotel & Loch Kinord.

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

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