River Dee Report - Feb 13th

Recent Catches

This was a really challenging week for anglers for a number of reasons as winter tightened her grip on the river and brought angling to a virtual standstill for a number of days. There were many talented anglers on Deeside last week, keen and eager to get their season up and running with a coveted Dee Springer. The icy grue that closed the river ensured all they could do was sit and pray that the air temperature would rise and conditions would improve to allow them to fish. Thankfully towards the end of the week the weather did improve and grue disappeared from the river and new fish came forward. Some anglers decided to leave and other anglers decided to stay on Deeside and were rewarded. FishDee beats have reported 66 salmon to 24 lbs for the week with another couple I know of to be added. The super River Dee beat, Lower Crathes had a fantastic Saturday with 7 salmon and finished the week with 14 to go into the 2012 catch book. I am most grateful to Karl Revel from Invery for providing the following news from the beat. ’Another reasonable week on Invery saw 10 salmon caught by 5 anglers in 7 different pools. Top rod for the week was regular Dee visitor Colin Harvey with 5 fish weighing 7,9,12 and two at 13 lbs. All were caught using 1.5 inch black and yellow monkey flies tied green bodied plastic tubes with cone heads. The other successful anglers were Austin Todd with 2 salmon of 8 and 17lbs, Jeff Viner Invery proprietor had a 17 lb salmon, James Watts a 7lb salmon and Mrs Roni Viner had a 6lb salmon.’

Richard Thomas and Graeme Arthur visited Crathes Castle beat and had some good sport when they were able to fish. They did persevere though and were well rewarded on Saturday with 3 salmon of 12, 15 and 20 lbs on top of two fish taken earlier in the week of 12 and 15lbs. Graeme advised ’Well that was quite a week, ice, snow, plenty food and drink and very good company, and what a last day; over a dozen kelts and 3 fresh fish, which every angler dreams about. Both Richard and I were shaking with excitement with the prospect of having to net each other’s fish, first the 20lb specimen just before lunch and then that 15 lber with my last cast, what a buzz after 50 odd years of fishing, you can’t beat the feeling of the pure power of a fresh Dee Springer!’ Dr Patrick Taylor also persevered and had a tough week but was well rewarded with 2 fine salmon on Saturday at Commonty of 10 and 12lbs on Ballogie Estates Head Ghillie, Sean Stanton’s Willie Gunn Snaelda conehead. Neil Sneddon from Fife had a 10.5 lb salmon from Aboyne Water, the first of the season for the beat with the image on the FishDee Facebook site that Neil has submitted. I had a Kelt first cast on Friday at Birse and some other kelts but that was my lot and had a cast at Park on Saturday with little success. It was nonetheless a very enjoyable day out meeting friends old and new again. How true the saying ’There’s more to fishing than catching fish.’ I did hear of a 25lb salmon landed from another River Dee beat. So there have been good sized salmon being caught in the Banchory area.

To finish this week I would advise that the River Dee Trust are hosting an auction evening at the Savile Club, 69 Brook Street, Mayfair at 6.30 pm on Thursday 1st March. The River Dee Trust and River Office staff are looking forward to hosting this free to attend event in London and would like to extend a very warm welcome to all our visiting anglers from the south to come along and join us for what promises to be an enjoyable occasion. Guest speaker on the night is Fiona Armstrong, former BBC newsreader and journalist who is a keen salmon angler. Bernard Williams from Christies is the auctioneer for the event with 14 exciting lots going under the hammer. There will be canapés and Dee Drams provided for all guests who come along. To help us cater efficiently can anyone who intends to come along let us know the numbers they are bringing along to info@riverdee.org. Details about the auction lots can be found at http://www.riverdee.org.uk/auction/auctionwelcome.asp.
As always please let me know how you get on by dropping me an e-mail to ken@riverdee.org with any anecdotes and pictures about your experiences on the river. Ken Reid © FishDee Ltd, February 2012.

Beat Catches Reported

Week ending 20:28 on Sun 5th Feb 2012

SALMON & GRILSE: Altries and Lower Drum 1, Aboyne Water 1, Ballogie 4, Birse 1, Carlogie 1, Commonty 2, Cairnton 1, Crathes 2, Dess 1, Invery 10, Knappach 1, Little Blackhall and Inchmarlo 6, Lower Crathes and W Durris 14, Lower Blackhall 6, Upper Drum and Lower Durris 1, Middle Blackhall 3, Middle Drum 5, Park 5, Woodend 1, Total 66


The river should fish well this week all being equal with decent river levels and a reasonable weather forecast for the week ahead. The Met Office are forecasting air temperature maxima around 8-9 degrees and possibly a little more during the first few days of the week with temperatures forecast to drop back a bit on Friday for the weekend. It will be a mostly cloudy week with occasional patchy rain showers. Winds are variable and may be blustery at times so it may feel cooler with the wind chill. River levels are currently sitting at 7 inches on the mar Lodge gauge and 1ft 4 Inches at the Park gauge. The maritime influence indicates tides are dropping back from 4.2 metres to 3.6 metres by mid week and then rising again to 3.9 metres at the weekend. River temperatures are warming up and new fish will be running the river and heading up to perhaps Aboyne. There appears to be fair amount of new salmon in the Banchory area.

Anglers who don’t have the services of a Ghillie to call on should present 1.5 inch tube monkey flies well down, with popular patterns like the Gold Willie Gunn conehead, Park Shrimp, Phatakorva, Maggie’s Shrimp and Snaelda patterns worth a cast. There are some really excellent angling opportunities for anglers looking for some fishing with FishDee beats offering rod lets for as little as £40 per day. This is very good value for anglers looking for an early season salmon. The River Dee conservation code states all fish must be returned carefully, including kelts. I would urge anglers to read these guidance notes and spare fish unnecessary suffering. Remember to sign your Gyrodactylus declaration when arriving at your chosen fishing beat.

As always anglers should discuss tactics with their Ghillies and heed their advice. They really can make the difference to anglers trying for early season success. They have many years experience and are a resource visitors can ill afford not to utilize. I receive feedback reports from anglers using the FishDee booking engine, where time after time anglers comment how helpful our River Dee Ghillies are. Comments like ‘He picked the right fly, put me on the right spot and told me what line to use’ indicate only too readily to me how valuable our Ghillies are to our visiting anglers.

As always please let me know how you get on by dropping me an e-mail to ken@riverdee.org with any anecdotes and pictures about your experiences on the river. Ken Reid © FishDee Ltd, February 2012.

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