River Dee Report – July 16th


This summer on Deeside has seen cool wet conditions overall which have been ideal for salmon anglers, with river levels fine to encourage new fish forward. It was the second best week of the season which saw FishDee beats break through the 3,000 barrier for the season once the 272 salmon were added to the season’s totals. It was an exciting week for anglers on Deeside with some great sport to be had at times. Park reported 44 salmon for their week with their best day of the season occurring on Tuesday when 4 anglers landed 17 salmon. Birse had a good week with 26 salmon and two rods fishing Lower Crathes had 17 for their week. I was out on the river with a film crew producing beat films for 7 estates last week and would like to thank all the participating anglers for their kind help and patience with the film crew. Thanks also go to our participating Ghillies who did a sterling job in helping produce these films, which should hopefully be ready by the end of October to go onto the FishDee website.

I have received quite a few e-mails in the last week and am grateful to all the correspondents who have written to me. The weekly reports would be all the poorer without your enthusiastic reports; so please keep them coming. Firstly I received an e-mail from Tom Saville, a long time River Dee supporter and famed inventor of the renowned Crathie Fly, featured in this month’s Trout and Salmon magazine, in an excellent article written by local angler and writer Ross Macdonald who invented the renowned Park Shrimp fly. Tom commented ’We had a poor week last week on Crathie, the water was peaty all week and I’m sure it puts them off. We had 6 for the week (5 on one day) - all on the Crathie fly! Of course. We’re back on August 12th, hoping for better conditions.’ Tom has been fishing the Dee since the 1960’s and has a wealth of experience and invaluable knowledge which he puts to good use on his trips to the upper river at Crathie. His Crathie fly is a great all rounder and ideal for the River Dee. Paul Huggins also dropped me a line with an image of the 24lb salmon he landed recently at Woodend, a super fresh sea liced cock fish. Paul advised ’Hi Ken, I am a regular rod at Woodend. We have swapped emails etc in the past. I saw your report mention a 24 lb fish at Woodend last week. Please find picture attached. The fish was 40 inches long snout to fork. As you can see it was very fresh and in perfect unmarked condition. The fish took a size 12 editor and put up a very exciting struggle! I was on my own so took this quick snap at the water’s edge before slipping him back unharmed. Thanks for all your FishDee work and info, like many others, I am a regular reader. Kind regards Paul Huggins’ The beats around Woodend offer superb scenery and privacy.

I also was delighted to receive nice feedback from anglers fishing at Park last week who enjoyed their productive trip. Philip Black wrote with images advising ’Hi Ken, good to see you yesterday, hope all went well with the filming. I’m just sending a few pictures of fish I caught on Park on Wednesday. I had a great day with Jim Reid and Keith the Ghillie. I ended up getting 6, from 4lb to 13lb, all liced. I’m not back up till end of august. All the best Phil.’ Philip was most helpful with his colleague Billy at Little Blackhall where we were filming on Wednesday during really high water conditions. I also had news from the aforementioned Jim Reid, who also had good sport at Park. Jim commented ’Hi Ken, fishing was really good, despite quite high and peaty water. I got three on Monday, two grilse and a 12lber, then two 12lber’s and two 14lber’s on Tuesday. My pal Philip Black got 6 on Tuesday; another two fishers got three each. Most of mine were sea-liced, cracking Dee fish. I was very well looked after by Keith as usual. Take care, Jim’. After a difficult season it is good to hear that Park is producing really good catches whilst not fully let. There appears to be good numbers of fish there now co-operating with the anglers who are fishing there. It’s a lovely beat to fish, with at times very productive pools and streams. Current conditions are excellent for anglers fishing the Dee and I hope more anglers will take advantage with the amount of availability at present and come to fish the river. Lots of good fishing this week is available at 12 locations on Deeside and can be booked online at the find fishing page on the FishDee website.
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 take a minimal period to carry out. The new FishDee blog will have news through the week so please keep me informed of any news. 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.

Beat Catches Reported; Week ending 17:11 on Mon 9th Jul 2012

SALMON & GRILSE: Altries and Lower Drum 1, Middle Drum 7, Tilbouries 11, Upper Drum and Lower Durris 11, Park 44, Lower Crathes and W Durris 17, Crathes 8, Invery 11, Lower Blackhall 8, Little Blackhall and Inchmarlo 3, Middle Blackhall 9, Cairnton 10, Commonty 1, Ballogie 8, Borrowston 4, Kincardine 9, Carlogie 12, Dess 6, Birse 26, Aboyne Water 8, Aboyne Castle 5, Craigendinnie 8, Dinnet 5, Headinch and Cambus O’May 4, Monaltrie and Lower Invercauld 9, Abergeldie 5, Crathie 15, Mar Lodge 5, Heughhead 3, Total 273

SEA TROUT: Culter 2, Middle Drum 2, Upper Drum and Lower Durris 3, Park 1, Lower Crathes and W Durris 2, Invery 4, Lower Blackhall 1, Little Blackhall and Inchmarlo 1, Cairnton 2, Woodend 1, Ballogie 4, Borrowston 1, Kincardine 2, Carlogie 2, Dess 7, Birse 12, Aboyne Water 6, Aboyne Castle 2, Craigendinnie 2, Monaltrie and Lower Invercauld 5, Crathie 1, Heughhead 1, Total 64

TROUT: none reported


Last week saw the second best week’s sport of the fishing season and perhaps it would have been the best had we not had a big rise in river levels on Wednesday that curtailed catches significantly. The cool wet weather conditions that have prevailed look set to continue with most days seeing light rain or showers forecast. Air temperature maxima should be around 17 degrees Celsius with any winds being light and from a northerly direction. By and large it should be overcast most days which allied to decent river levels at present, indicate that this week should be productive for anglers out fishing the river. The maritime influence shows tides building through the week from 3.6 metres to 4.3 metres. This should bring more salmon and grilse forward into the river. There have been good runs of new fish recently and these will hopefully continue to build between now and the end of the fishing season.

With prospects looking great for the week it is important for anglers to capitalise on the potential for good sport. As always listen to the advice offered by your Ghillie whilst fishing the pools on your beat. The River Dee Ghillies are very knowledgeable and helpful and can help in no small way to increase your catch. 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 or a sink tip fly line and leader of perhaps 6 foot plus. Fly choice could include the following popular Dee flies; Crathie fly, Park shrimp, Monkey, Snaelda, Red or Black Frances, Tosh and as Eoin Smith from Dess recommends, any black fly that’s one inch in length ! 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.

There is a good selection of quality hotel accommodation on Deeside with some hotels offering tremendous value for money to visiting parties of anglers. Please look at the good selection of accommodation providers who specialise in catering for visiting anglers who will make your stay both pleasant and comfortable at www.fishdee.co.uk the feedback from anglers about the service they have enjoyed on Deeside has been really excellent. 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 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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