River Dee Report week 10

Recent Catches

March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb is a phrase that's often used and there is no doubt that the Lion of winter bared its teeth last night when temperatures plummeted to minus 13 degrees Celsius in Aboyne. It was a cold week and this was reflected in the catches from FishDee beats with 41 reported so far. Park reported 8, Ballogie 7, Crathes 4 and Dess 3, with a sprinkling of catches up to Headinch and Cambus O'May. There are a few fish creeping into the river but not in any significant numbers. That should hopefully change over the next few weeks once the river temperature rises significantly as it was full of ice this morning.

I spoke to Ballogie Estates Head Ghillie Sean Stanton this morning and he reported 'We picked away last week and I am pleased that Peter Lonsdale and his fishing friends got rewards for their perseverance. Peter landed 3, and his two colleagues had 2 apiece. The anglers were using Skagit lines with T17 tips fishing very deep and slow and Peter observed if you were not losing a lot of flies you were not fishing deep enough. The fish were all over 10 lbs and were nice specimens; what we lacked in quantity was made up by the sheer quality of the springers landed. There are still a lot of kelts in our beats and all the fish seemed to take a liking for my Francnsnaelda fly.' This week Lars Terkildsen and his team have arrived to fish the Ballogie beats. I spoke to Lars last week and said I didn't foresee any likelihood of Ice being in the river. He arrived yesterday afternoon into a driving blizzard which saw 6 inches of snowfall in Deeside.

I spoke with Keith Cromar, Park Estates head Ghillie who commented ' Congratulations to James Seymour of Bampton who landed his first salmon on the fly at Park; in fact he landed two, one of 9lbs and one of 10lbs on a Yellow and Black Sunray variant. We were not seeing fish moving last week but did manage to pick away and land some fresh run springers. Jim Aird had one on Saturday, Ian Jardine had 2 salmon, Alastair Dunbar had one and Hans Larsson from Sweden had 2 springers.' Keith also remarked that the beats Otters were having some success as he spotted one eating a salmon on the gravel bar at the top of the house pool. The Otter had some competition for nature's bounty as a Red Kite decided it had a taste for salmon and repeatedly dive bombed the Otter.

Eoin Smith from Dess reported sport was slow commenting 'We had one new fish and 2 fish that been in for a few weeks. The successful anglers were Peter Kyte, Ian Pawley and David Johnson. We are not seeing many fish and very few kelts.' Alastair Peake the new Dinnet Ghillie sent an email commenting 'Hi Ken here is a pic of Charlie Keyser with a 15lb slightly coloured fish from Dinnet on Tuesday the 5th taken on a guideline sink 1/2 shooting head, on a sparse yellow and black bottle tube. Best, Al.' Regular River Dee visitor, Kent Hakansson, had a salmon at Aboyne Castle.'

Commemorative Painting of River Dee Opening Celebrating the 150th Birthday of the River Dee Board

Now I would like to advise all who hold the River Dee close to their heart that there is a great opportunity to obtain a lovely artwork by Howard Butterworth. To celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the Dee District Salmon Fishery Board, Howard attended the River Dee opening ceremony at Ballogie, beside Potarch Bridge, and has produced a commemorative painting of the occasion. Howard has very kindly decided to produce a limited run of 100 numbered high quality Giclee images of the painting which are available to purchase for £100 excluding vat. The image can be viewed and purchased through Howard's website link http://www.butterworthpaintings.co.u...mony_2013.html
Every purchase will see a £25 donation to The River Dee Trust. I would urge anglers to snap up this truly fine piece of artwork, as Howard has done a fabulous job in capturing the moment Stalwart of the River Dee, Mr Alastair Hume performing the ceremonial cast to the large assembled audience. It's an iconic image and one that will have tremendous appeal to a great many people. I am sure many supporters of the River Dee should know the River Dee Trust has launched a spring raffle where tickets are on sale in fishing huts, Orvis in Banchory, the Tor Na Coille Hotel and Potarch Hotel, with some very nice prizes to be won. Raffle tickets can also be purchased online at www.riverdee.org.uk Please write with any news of catches or anecdotes to ken@riverdee.org so I can share this news in the weekly report and FishDee blog.

Beat catches reported

SALMON & GRILSE: Park 8, Knappach 1, Crathes 4, Invery 2, Little Blackhall and Inchmarlo 2, Middle Blackhall 1, Upper Blackhall 1, Cairnton 1, Woodend 1, Commonty 1, Ballogie 7, Borrowston 3, Kincardine 1, Carlogie 1, Dess 3, Dinnet 2, Deecastle 1, Headinch and Cambus O'May 1, Total 41
SEA TROUT: Cairnton 1, Total 1


With winter deciding it hasn't finished with us yet we have to expect a slow weeks sport on the River Dee. With a very wintery weather forecast for the coming week, which sees air temperature maxima at best reaching 5 degrees Celsius; overnight frosts and snow fall through the week, it will be challenging. Winds will be predominately from the north and variable and will swing to the south towards the weekend when the air temperature will reach 5 degrees. The water temperature is 1 degree Celsius and hard frost has reduced the river flow with the Sepa gauges at Mar Lodge reading 4 inches and 1 ft 4 inches at Park. There is a good amount of snow in the mountains which can be seen by visiting the Ski Glenshee website. This will hopefully provide a good reservoir of snow for the river through April into May. The maritime influence shows tides building from 4.2 metres to 4.4 metres midweek before dropping back to 3. 8 metres at the weekend.

As I always counsel, it's very important to listen to your Ghillies advice. Your beat Ghillie will encourage you to persevere in the likely taking lies given the water height on your beat and they will give good advice on presentation speed, fly choice and what depth to fish the fly. More often than not the Ghillie can make the difference and give you the advice you really need to catch the elusive silver fresh run salmon. There will no doubt be many more visitors arriving in Deeside to fish the River Dee now that spring has arrived and many anglers will need to heed the wise counsel of their beat Ghillies. If you don't have the services of a Ghillie to call on then you should make sure you have a sinking or intermediate fly line and a choice of sink tips. Short stout leaders of 20lbs breaking strain are advised as they help turnover heavy flies, and are needed in case you encounter a big salmon. Tube Fly choice may include Tosh, Dee Monkey, Park Shrimp, Calvin's Shrimp and Francnsnaelda. Anglers may still encounter kelts which need returned carefully to the river as well as bright new spring salmon. Please try to ensure your fish is unhooked in the river and any pictures taken when you are returning your salmon to the river.

As always there is a great amount of fishing availability on the FishDee website during March. The weather looks ideal for angling this week so if anglers can manage a visit to the river then please do so. A 3 day break at this time of year can yield some rewards with some of the local hotels doing special Fisherman's rates for 3 days stays or more. There is good value to be found at the Tor Na Coille Hotel, Banchory Lodge, Raemoir House Hotel, Burnett Arms, British Legion and Douglas Hotel, all located in Banchory, where you will find rates of between £60 to £80 per night for B and B for single occupancy in a double room. Franco's Restaurant in Banchory has launched a fisherman's dinner menu with 3 courses for £10 which is great value. I do hope anglers will visit this establishment in good numbers to enjoy this special offer we have negotiated with Franco. Anglers have been commenting really favourably at how well they are being looked after by Ghillies on the river and also the local bars, restaurants and hotels. It is also pleasing to hear how supportive anglers are about the tighter Biosecurity protocols put in place this year. All anglers are being asked to have their waders and any landing nets sprayed with a mild disinfectant prior to commencing fishing. It's a quick procedure that will help the river and prevent ingress of unwanted pathogens and non native species entering the watercourse. Anglers should be aware the River Dee Trust has launched a spring raffle where tickets are on sale in fishing huts, Orvis in Banchory and the Tor Na Coille Hotel, with very nice prizes to be won. Please write with any news of catches or anecdotes to ken@riverdee.org so I can share this news in the weekly report and FishDee blog. Copyright FishDee

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