River Dee Report - March 5th

Recent Catches

Fluctuating air temperatures seemed to really unsettle the fish during the week as Monday saw FishDee beats report 20 plus fish and then the weather changed and cooled significantly and catches fell away during the week when Friday and Saturday saw only 3 and 2 Springers reported caught for these days. The water temperatures, which were unseasonably high, plummeted quite significantly and that seemed to make the fish very dour and unresponsive. The week’s total reported by FishDee beats was 59 salmon to 22lbs with Invery reporting 9 for the week, Ballogie and Lower Crathes reported 7 each for the week. Lower Crathes was top beat for the month in terms of rod catches with 48 salmon reported with Invery just one behind on 47. These were great results for these beats where fish were reported to be responding well to the hard working anglers efforts in these beats. Other beats however found it tough going in February with fish flying through normally very reliable lower beats.

As always I am really grateful for correspondence and Anne Rodger reported nothing was forthcoming to her Hairy Mary. Dr Patrick Taylor was again back on Deeside with the intrepid Dr Ade Warburton, along with some talented Tay fishermen at Commonty, and they did have some success with Dr Taylor reporting ’Commonty fished well for the first three days of the week, even with low water, and we managed 6 fish to our 3 rods. There are plenty of kelts still in the system, but fresh fish are moving through. For the back-end of the week, fish were moving, but not that much action. Dr Ade Warburton lost a cracking fish in the Garden Pool on Friday morning, the fish straightened his hook! For our week, we were joined by some Tay-side fishers who’d not fished Commonty and they all agreed that it’s a great beat. Plenty of banter and a good laugh - so even if the fish weren’t interested, we had a great time. All fish were on your typical Spring Dee patterns Black/Yellow/Silver/Blue - albeit a Green Highlander derivative also worked - so you never know - back-end of the week just need to try something different. Thanks go to Ghillie Ian Fraser for looking after our party and providing advice and tuition where needed (mostly me!).’

Invery Ghillie Karl Revel very kindly provided some more news; I am really most grateful when Ghillies provide news to share with our angling fraternity who love to hear how the river is doing. Karl advised ’Hi Ken, I look forward to hearing about your London trip. Top rod on Invery this week was Dougie Miller from Kinross with three fish. All were caught using a one inch Red Frances tied by his fishing buddy and expert flytyer Ken McEwan. His third fish, a 10 pounder from the S-Pool, brought the beat’s total for February to 47! Tight lines! Karl.’

Well talking about London, it seems appropriate to report that the River Dee Trust hosted the fundraising auction at the Savile club last Thursday which was attended by around 80 people. The auction was a great success and virtually all of the lots attracted a successful bid on the night, either just below or well above guide price. It is hoped around £40,000 will have been raised once all the lots have been allocated to the winning bidders and income received. Thanks to all involved and the wonderful hosts at the Savile Club who really ensured the night was memorable. The speakers, including Ian Scott and Fiona Armstrong were very entertaining, and the auctioneer Bernard Williams from Christies showed once again he is the best in the business and has a really tremendous sense of humour. Finally I would like to thank all the very kind friends of the Dee who donated the fabulous auction lots to help with the ongoing restoration work on the River Dee.
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.

Beat Catches Reported

SALMON & GRILSE: Culter 1, Tilbouries 1, Park 4, Lower Crathes and W Durris 7, Invery 9, Lower Blackhall 1, Little Blackhall and Inchmarlo 1, Middle Blackhall 3, Commonty 6, Ballogie 7, Borrowston 3, Kincardine 1, Carlogie 3, Dess 3, Birse 1, Aboyne Water 2, Craigendinnie 3, Waterside and Ferrar 1, Headinch and Cambus O’May 2.
Total: 59 Largest: Carlogie 22lbs
SEA TROUT: None reported
TROUT: None reported


Now that virtually all the River Dee beats have anglers coming in droves to fish, we hope that the salmon inhabiting the pools co-operate and provide great sport. The weather forecast for the next few days shows high pressure dominating ensuring reasonably calm weather. Air temperature maxima will be around 10 degrees Celsius with overnight lows dipping below zero. There will be generally light variable winds and some light precipitation, perhaps the odd snow shower on the hill tops; a spate is not expected during the week. River levels are quite low for the time of year so anglers will have to use a bit of stealth. The maritime influence shows tides building during the week from 3.7 metres to 4.6 metres.

Ghillies will be keeping their fingers crossed that salmon will be co-operative in their beats and give anglers a chance for sport. Deeside Ghillies will be providing real encouragement and advice to anglers so please heed their wise counsel. If you don’t have the services of a Ghillie to call on then you may try fishing with a full floater with sink tip or intermediate line with dressed doubles, perhaps 6-8 or small tubes or conehead of perhaps 1 to 1.5 inches. The monkey or Sunray fished high in the water may produce some sport for those wishing to experiment with a stripped lure. Patterns to try are Black and Yellow, Black and Blue, Park shrimp, Snaelda and Frances flies and don’t worry if the flies are lightly dressed, that may be advantageous. Be patient as always and persevere.

If you arrive with the wrong flies expecting big cold water then don’t panic. You can call into George Strachan’s store in Aboyne or the Kincardine O’Neil Post office and get a great selection of Dee flies tied by the enterprising Ballogie estates Ghillie Sean Stanton, at very attractive prices. These venues also provide great sandwiches for visiting angler’s luncheon etc and of course the highly popular Dalmore Dee Dram. The Orvis store in Banchory also has a great selection of flies to choose from and equipment to hire. Please ensure visiting anglers sign the Gyrodactylus salaris declaration forms. These are vitally important to the Dee District Salmon Fisheries Board, ensuring all visitors are vigilant in ensuring we take necessary precautions and don’t see this devastating parasite wiping out our stocks of salmon. If you are not offered one to sign then I would urge you to please ask for one to be provided to you prior to commencing fishing.

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.

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