River Dee Report – October 8th

Autumn chills are very noticeable in Deeside with water temperatures really starting to fall significantly. This hasn’t meant salmon angling has ground to a halt - far from it with some lucky anglers enjoying some moments of high drama with big River Dee salmon. In accordance with the River Dee Conservation Code fishing is now restricted for beats below Aboyne Bridge. FishDee beats have reported as I write 237 salmon to 35 lbs and 14 sea trout; undoubtedly higher catches would have been made if we didn’t have a dirty rise in river levels during the week. Park reported 44 salmon; Lower Crathes had 37 to 4 fishermen, Carlogie 29, Ballogie 20 and Crathes 18.
I met visiting angler Tono Puicercus who a very fine artist who specialises in fishing commissions. I had commissioned him to produce a painting for me and he travelled from Spain to bring the finished artwork to me-it’s a super painting. As a result of this planned meeting we agreed to do some fishing and were able to secure some rods at Lower Crathes. Tono manages the Lax-A fishing business in Spain for Arni Baldursson and is a keen salmon angler and regular visitor to the River Dee. The fishing was really excellent with Ghillies Robert Harper and Charles Booth doing a great job in looking after the visiting anglers from Spain and Norway. Reid Hagelin who was over from Norway hooked into a huge fish, first cast at the top of the Mill Pool and had a real battle with a big strong male fish which took him hundreds of yards downstream. Charles Booth waited patiently providing great advice for the angler and Charles eventually managed to get the great fish into the MacLean landing net after it got stuck in some Ranunculus weed in the pool tail. The angler and Ghillie were delighted to see the scale drop to over 35 lbs and agreed that they would settle at 35 lbs and swiftly took some images for the angler and beat and returned the fish safely back to the river. The angler would never have landed this great fish without the Ghillie who waded out to secure the capture of this great specimen. The visiting anglers had some great sport with Frances tubes fished deeply on fast sink tip lines. Head Ghillie Robert Harper was absolutely thrilled to write up the capture of this big fish into the catch log; his first entry of over 30lbs in 36 years of being a top Ghillie.
Meanwhile down at Park some visiting anglers were having some great sport with Tony and Phillip Black from Tayside landing 13 between them in one day. There were some new fish coming forward which were being landed as well as stirring up big resident fish. I was asked to fish Ross MacDonald’s rod on Saturday and fished with River Dee Trust director Jim Coates. We had 7 between us including a beautiful sea liced 19 lber to my own rod. I was disappointed to lose a big fish in the tail of the cellar which straightened my new Owner Double hook after a very explosive encounter. The beat produced 13 on Saturday with the majority landed on the north bank. It was pleasing to hear that silver fresh fish were coming through the beat from time to time and happy to take an anglers fly. Ross Davidson had a first fish at Bakebare with Andy Forbes providing constructive tuition enabling him to get the rich reward for his hard efforts.
I met visiting anglers who were fishing at Carlogie and Ballogie in the Potarch Hotel following the River Dee Board AGM on Thursday evening. It was nice again to meet Gareth Headland, Wayne Napier Gibbens, Andy Hutson and Thomas Bergen. They had a great week at Carlogie with Wayne having his best week with 7 salmon; Andy and Thomas were in double figures for their week. At Ballogie regular visiting anglers from Norway were having some good sport with Frede Hognestad losing a very big fish. He subsequently had a 1 lb silver grilse next cast! They had 10 fish in 3 days and fished Ballogie, Middle Blackhall and Culter. I hear Richard Torkar had a 24 lb salmon at Dess and Chema Moscardó had a 25 lber at Lower Crathes. Rob Bull had 4 to his own rod on Saturday at Ballogie including a 25lber.Ken Reid © FishDee Ltd

Beat Catches Reported
Week ending 10:25 on Mon 1st Oct 2012
SALMON & GRILSE: Culter 7, Altries and Lower Drum 11, Middle Drum 6, Tilbouries 12, Upper Drum and Lower Durris 10, Park 44, Lower Crathes and W Durris 37, Knappach 2, Crathes 18, Little Blackhall and Inchmarlo 1, Middle Blackhall 1, Cairnton 3, Woodend 2, Commonty 2, Sluie 2, Ballogie 20, Borrowston 6, Kincardine 6, Carlogie 29, Dess 6, Birse 8, Aboyne Water 4, Total 237
SEA TROUT: Culter 1, Altries and Lower Drum 1, Tilbouries 1, Upper Drum and Lower Durris 3, Lower Crathes and W Durris 1, Little Blackhall and Inchmarlo 1, Middle Blackhall 2, Ballogie 1, Kincardine 1, Dess 2, Total 14
The last full weeks salmon fishing on Deeside sees many anglers populating the river, hotels and bars celebrating the end to the 2012 salmon fishing season on the River Dee. There are anglers from all over the world coming to the valley and taking advantage of the good sport on offer in the middle and lower beats. Having just been advised by Ghillie Sean Stanton that the water temperature is down to 5 degrees Celsius we can expect anglers to have some excellent sport if they are in the right place at the right time who fish their fly slow and deep. Weather conditions look great for the next few days with light winds and air temperature maxima at 12 degrees Celsius. There will be overnight frosts until Thursday when some wet and windy weather is forecast. Tides are building from 3.2 metres to 4.2 metres encouraging new fish forward.
Anglers will need to heed the advice of their Ghillie regarding fly choice and presentation. Your Beat Ghillies know where the fish are and at what depth you will need to fish. If you don’t have a ghillie then you should employ a decent fast sink tip of 10-15 feet off a floating line to help you mend upstream or downstream to control the speed of your fly. Short stout leaders are required, indeed I was utilising a 24 inch leader of 25 lb breaking strain last week and had 6 salmon and a similar amount lost in 3 days. Fly choice should be focussed on tube flies with the Red Frances, Cascade or Park Shrimp, Franc n snaelda, Gold Willie Gunn likely to produce takes. The key is to get the fly down to the level where the fish are as they won’t rise far to take the fly. If you need to acquire some flies then visit Orvis in Banchory, Kincardine O’Neil Post Office and George Strachan,s store in Aboyne.
There are some rods still available on the FishDee website so if you are itching to have a final cast before the season ends then go to the website and book some fishing. The salmon fishing season closes on Monday 15th October until Friday the 1st February 2013 when the season re-opens to anglers. Until then we will all want to wish all the River Dee salmon a safe and productive time on the redds. Please write with any reports of catches and pictures to ken@riverdee.org Tight Lines. Ken Reid © FishDee Ltd

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