River Dee report 21st of Feb 2011

Recent Catches

The week’s salmon fishing finished quietly with only 2 fish reported on Saturday. It was a week where fluctuating river levels and weather conditions influenced the salmon’s taking behaviour somewhat. On one day there were 20 fish reported yet on 2 days there were only 2 reported from FishDee beats. When the conditions are fluctuating and river levels are rising and falling then angling can become extremely difficult. There were some bright spots during this difficult week with Park reporting 14 salmon, Tilbouries a healthy 9, and Upper Drum 5. Pride of place for the fish of the week is Banchory angler Iain Hutchison who landed a cracking fish which weighed 23lbs on Friday. Willie Banks reported ‘This stunning Springer was caught and released back to the river after a 30 minute battle after the fish took Ian’s Willie Gunn tube fly whilst fishing the Lawson Pool. It was Iain’s lucky day because he went on to catch another Springer of about 8lb, also the third fish of 6lb caught on Friday was by Jim Fraser from Huntly.’ It was good to hear of a run of new fish on Friday and the anglers at Tilbouries reported seeing small groups of new fish going through the beat from time to time.

I was hopeful the crack team of anglers led by Helmsdale Tackle’s Ron Sutherland would do well on their annual weeks visit to Lower Crathes. Ron commented this weekend ‘ Robert Harper (Ghillie) is baffled as to why we blanked last week on LC, we are all baffled, the water looked great apart from two days when it was dirty and rising fast. There seemed to be fish all around us and we tried every fly and line possible but still no joy - disappointing but that’s fishing and we have all been on the end of a blank before. We had around 60 kelts and a few baggots and rawners so we certainly bent the rods, but the elusive Springer evaded us. We’ll be back for revenge sometime soon.’ I also received correspondence from Richard Jones, who commented ‘Ken, I caught my first ever Springer on Saturday the 12th on the Little Blackhall / Inchmarlo beat, followed two casts later by my second! This was in the Roe Pot pool. I don’t really want to talk about size, but let it be said that if there are fish being caught I will land the smallest in the pool. Martin the ghillie witnessed the first, and I have a poor photo of some of the second fish taken with my phone. I try not to remove fish to be returned from the water so some of my photography is a little rushed. The river had come up and dirty on Saturday morning but was falling and clearing as the afternoon lengthened. The party on the N. Bank had packed up and left, but on the S. side we had not had a fresh fish all week so efforts were still being made.’ It’s good to hear persistence paid off in the end for Richard as early spring fishing is at times a waiting game and if you are in the right place at the right time then you may encounter the coveted elusive Springer.

If you have been fortunate enough to land a prized Springer this week then please send me an image of the fish being returned to the River for the FishDee website. It’s important to return the fish to the river as swiftly as possible. You may also want a memento from your trip to Deeside and toast your success. I can recommend the new Dalmore Dee Dram which is on sale at George Strachan’s shop in Aboyne and a number of the hotels in the valley-you can also purchase supplies online here http://www.onlinespirits.co.uk/dalmore-dee-dram A significant contribution from each bottle sold will go to the River Dee Trust to help fund obstacle removal and other important salmon conservation work programmes currently underway. 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 February 2011.

Prospects
Well the forecast is showing another mixed bag to challenge the intrepid angler pitting his wits against the wily salmon this week. In the early part of the week it will feel quite raw at times with cool temperatures and strong blustery winds with sleet and rain showers a feature. As the week progresses however we shall see a rise in air temperatures and the sleet will be replaced by rain showers, perhaps heavy at times. How this impacts on fishing remains to be seen however we do need the river level to stabilise for a few days and let fish settle in taking lies. The maritime influence sees tides in Aberdeen falling from 4.8 metres to 3. 4 metres however new fish may come forward as river levels are currently between 7 inches and 2ft 6 inches above summer levels. Anglers will need to dress to suit the conditions with thermals and a good waterproof jacket.

As always heed the wise advice from your beat Ghillie as they do know best where the fish may be lying and what you should do to try and get one to take your well presented fly. I have been lucky to visit a few lower beats last week and the Ghillies were in great form. I would be more than happy following their recommendations. If you don’t have a Ghillie to advise you then I would suggest fishing deep and slowly with tube flies fished deeply the order of the day. As the fishing day is short you may find the best taking time, at the warmest point of the day is lunchtime so don’t tarry too long over lunch. Popular flies at this time of year are Sean Stanton’s Bertie Dustard, Posh Tosh, Willie Gunn and the Tungsten Dee Monkey or any other tube fly with a long wing like Park Shrimp. Some beats will see anglers spinning a Blairs spoon or a Devon Minnow and these may do well with fish in the deep holding lies.

If you have been fortunate enough to land a prized Springer this week then please send me an image of the fish being returned to the River for the FishDee website. It’s important to return the fish to the river as swiftly as possible. You may also want a memento from your trip to Deeside and toast your success. I can recommend the new Dalmore Dee Dram which is on sale at George Strachan’s shop in Aboyne and a number of the hotels in the valley-you can also purchase supplies online here http://www.onlinespirits.co.uk/dalmore-dee-dram A significant contribution from each bottle sold will go to the River Dee Trust to help fund obstacle removal and other important salmon conservation work programmes currently underway. 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 February 2011.


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