River Dee report 20th of June

Recent Catches

As we would expect for the time of year salmon catches over the week were a little behind sea trout catches, with FishDee beats reporting 137 salmon to 20lbs and 166 sea trout to 6lbs. Park reported 16 salmon with Carlogie reporting 11. The Dess beats produced 33 sea trout with Kincardine reporting 15 and Borrowstone 14. There were other beats also in double figures. The earlier running salmon are widely distributed in beats with anglers reporting salmon are located in areas of water they have not seen salmon lying in for years. Sea trout and salmon will be moving upstream under the short hours of darkness and the best sport is being encountered between midnight and 4.00 am. This is the time of year for sea trout specialists to visit Deeside and fish through the nights and sleep during the days.

I met up for a bite of supper with Alan Morrison, Nigel Badiozzaman, Dr Phil Fairchild and Dr Paul Brown who were fishing through the night on a number of beats. Conditions through the nights have continued being a bit on the cold side and fish were dour at times so perseverance was called for. Dr Fairchild wrote to me when he arrived home and made some observations. He commented ‘I wanted to say how good it was to see many fish everywhere in the system, even though we had to work harder than ever to catch a few. We ended up with 11 salmon and 21 sea trout, but that was through sheer graft and perseverance. It was very much noticeable again, that between 2 and 4 am was the key time every night.

The other really positive thing was that I don’t remember ever catching so many parr and small fish on a trip. Perhaps emphasised because we found that small flies were the key to success, but the health of the river looks good and tribute to the work done by the Board, good on you! We might have caught one or two more, but both of us became slightly indisposed with an attack of ‘Banchory Belly’ and didn’t want to stray too far from a facility, so we didn’t actually venture up to Monaltrie until Saturday. It did give Alan and Nigel chance to have a fish, though, and Alan did very well. It will also make us much more appreciative of Andrew Bradford’s excellent new hut, which should be ready for us next year; what a setting to build it there. John McGinley was in great form and looked after us really well, as did Bill Palmer for that matter, so the customer service end was well delivered! I will check the photos when I get home, sadly I don’t think the ones of the 17lb licer from the Borrowston Flats will be very good, as I was in an awkward spot and didn’t want to take the fish out of the water just for photos. Best wishes, Phil’

Keep your eyes peeled to the FishDee website as there will be a fabulous auction launched shortly. There will be a fantastic week’s fishing opportunity in September for two anglers fishing two rods, wishing to fish some of the top River Dee beats. There will be fishing for two days per beat at Lower Crathes, Dinnet and Crathie, where anglers will get a chance to fish these prime beats during the week of 12th to 17th September. I hope readers find this opportunity of interest and submit their bids either online or by submitting a bid to the River Office, Mill of Dinnet, Aboyne, Aberdeenshire, AB34 5LA. All bids will be shown on the both the FishDee and River Dee websites and the auction will be hosted on FishPal’s auction page. These beats reported a catch in September last year of 241 salmon!

As anglers are fishing through the night feedback is a little sporadic during the mid summer weeks and some Ghillies are also on holiday. If you have any information you wish to pass onto readers. Please write to me, Ken Reid, with any news or reports of success at ken@riverdee.org and tight lines to all. Copyright FishDee Ltd July 2011.


The weather forecast is indicating a warm day for Deeside of 25 degrees Celsius but before anglers think they need to get the barbecues ready for their fishing week, a word of caution. The Met Office are predicting a considerable change in weather conditions over the next few days with air temperature maxima falling to around 16 degrees for the next few days. This is as a result of a series of weather fronts crossing over Scotland and bringing heavy rain showers and blustery winds. Whether these are thundery remains to be seen however rain jackets will be more essential than barbecues. This will help fishing as decent river levels are needed to get fish moving and we hope that we shall start to see improving numbers of salmon and Grilse running, especially as we get towards the latter half of the month. The big summer runs of the last few summers are hoped to arrive and good river levels will encourage them in from the sea. The maritime influence sees tides for the next couple of days holding at 4.3 metres before dropping back gradually through the week to 3.6 metres.

For those anglers who do fish through the night prospects look reasonable provided we don’t get a big dirty rise in the river level. If we do then anglers will change shifts and fish through the daylight hours instead. The first six inches of a rise in river levels can really stir things up and get fish on the take. If the river colours up then fishing can become difficult until the level drops and the water starts to clear.
River Dee ghillies are ideally placed to give you advice on what flies to use and tactics to utilise on their beats. They know where fish are likely to be located and what type of fly should be presented to suit the prevailing conditions. If you don’t have the services of a Ghillie to call on then try and fish with light lines and long leaders. Big heavy fly lines can make a bit of a splash when landing on low water and this can put fish off, especially sea trout which are the shyest of creatures. The ever reliable silver stoats tail, Crathie fly and Sean Stanton’s royal stoat are worth a try. In the streamier flows as small monkey fly, Park shrimp, Silver shrimp and red Frances could also be useful. If fishing the deeper pools, try fishing a pot bellied tube deep may just stir a resident to snap at the fly. You may see lots of fish and get frustrated at times but perseverance is the key and keep the flies moving, especially when it swings around to the dangle. There is a good selection of flies to be found in Orvis in Banchory and the Post Office in Kincardine O’Neil. There are good stocks of salmon and sea trout in the river and there are plenty of rods available to book on great beats through the FishDee website, so if you can manage to come fishing, then please book fishing online and have an enjoyable time fishing our productive river. If you notice any suspicious activity on your beat please report this to your Ghillie or contact the river office on 013398 80411 where River Dee Bailiffs can be contacted 24 hours a day. Please write to me, Ken Reid, with any news or reports of success to ken@riverdee.org and tight lines to all. Copyright FishDee Ltd July 2011.

Beat catches reported
(week ending 2nd July)
SALMON & GRILSE: Altries and Lower Drum 1, Middle Drum 1, Upper Drum and Lower Durris 4, Park 16, Lower Crathes and W Durris 3, Crathes 2, Invery 8, Little Blackhall and Inchmarlo 2, Middle Blackhall 2, Cairnton 7, Woodend 3, Commonty 2, Ballogie 9, Borrowston 8, Kincardine 6, Carlogie 11, Lower Dess 8, Upper Dess 2, Birse 1, Aboyne Water 4, Aboyne Castle 5, Craigendinnie 5, Waterside and Ferrar 3, Dinnet 1, Deecastle 3, Headinch and Cambus O’May 5, Monaltrie and Lower Invercauld 3, Birkhall 1, Crathie 6, Mar Lodge 6, Heughhead 2.
Total: 140 Largest: Upper Dess 20lbs
SEA TROUT: Altries and Lower Drum 3, Middle Drum 1, Park 11, Lower Crathes and W Durris 4, Crathes 1, Invery 7, Little Blackhall and Inchmarlo 4, Middle Blackhall 1, Cairnton 5, Woodend 5, Commonty 1, Ballogie 6, Borrowston 14, Kincardine 15, Carlogie 11, Lower Dess 13, Upper Dess 20, Birse 4, Aboyne Water 5, Aboyne Castle 9, Craigendinnie 1, Waterside and Ferrar 8, Dinnet 2, Deecastle 6, Headinch and Cambus O’May 7, Crathie 2, Heughhead 2.
Total: 168 Largest: Waterside and Ferrar 6lbs

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