River Dee Report – September 10th

Recent Catches

Lovely late summer weather saw just about everyone in Deeside smiling and enjoying the belated dry and warm late summer conditions, except anglers and Ghillies that is. River levels dropped very quickly during the week and fish became very dour and quite uncooperative. FishDee beats have reported 168 salmon to 20 lbs and 10 sea trout as I write with perhaps some more to be added once late catches are reported to beats. Rising river temperatures and falling river levels are never a great combination for anglers at this time of year, who had to work very hard for scant rewards. Park reported 19 salmon & grilse; Birse 15, Kincardine 14, Dess 13 and Lower Crathes 12. Catches were well down on recent weeks pretty decent numbers.

I visited Dess during the week to meet Jeremy and Jenny Clayton who had prepared a most enjoyable lunch in the lovely Upper Dess hut. Jeremy had enjoyed some success during his stay. I enjoyed meeting the visiting anglers and chatted with them about the river and FishDee beat improvements and website developments. I was delighted to meet a keen fisherman from Nova Scotia, Byron Anderson who’s a pilot with Air Canada. He enjoyed his trip to Deeside immensely and kindly sent an e-mail and picture. He commented ‘Hello Ken, It was great to meet you on Wednesday. When I booked my fishing through your site, I certainly didn’t envision getting to have lunch with owners of the Dess Beat; super hosts Jeremy & Jenny, and yourself. What a way to cap off an incredible fishing journey. I wanted to say thank you for your FishDee website, as without it, I would not have had such easy access to the information needed for someone ‘from across the pond’ to realise his dream of fishing the Dee. The river lived up to her reputation. Just standing on the bank, thinking of her storied past was a powerful experience. It’s hard to pinpoint a favourite moment of the trip, but a few include releasing a fresh five pound male on my first morning, the Upper Dess ‘fishing hut’ (I felt like royalty), swinging a fly through such a classic salmon pool as Pitslug, and sitting down having a dram of 15 yr old Scotch with Ghillie Eoin Smith, who is one of the finest gentleman I’ve met. Eoin was kind enough to show me his late 1800’s era Hardy Perfect. Many thanks, and hopefully I will see you on the Dee again in the future.’ I do hope Byron makes a return trip with some more anglers from Nova Scotia to pit their wits against the River Dee salmon with their flies. Anglers fishing the Nova Scotia waters also catch Atlantic salmon, and tend to fish with single hooked flies and floating flies called bombers, which can provide exciting surface action for the fisherman.

Dinnet Ghillie Eoin Reid called this morning to advise that Tony Gahagan had his first ever salmon last Monday at Cobbles. The salmon took a shrimp fly fished of a hover/intermediate line. Eoin advised that he waded into he river above welly boot height, got his Tweeds wet and was in his second pair for the day by 10.00 am. But they did get the fish! He advised that the only way to get salmon to take a fly was to fish it well down. Regular River Dee visitor Sean Harvey dropped me an e-mail advising about a recent visit to Upper Drum. ‘Hi Ken. I only did three days at Jim’s. I got a 12 pounder and my son Simon got one about the same size. Mine was on Conray Shadow fished conventionally without stripping, I find that fly works everywhere, Iceland, Dee, Spey etc. Everyone else was fishing little flies and kept getting tentative takes that didn’t hook up. Best regards, Sean.’ 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 11:54 on Mon 3rd Sep 2012

SALMON & GRILSE: Culter 15, Altries and Lower Drum 3, Middle Drum 1, Tilbouries 5, Upper Drum and Lower Durris 6, Park 19, Lower Crathes and W Durris 12, Invery 1, Little Blackhall and Inchmarlo 1, Middle Blackhall 1, Cairnton 3, Woodend 1, Sluie 9, Ballogie 6, Borrowston 10, Kincardine 14, Carlogie 2, Dess 13, Birse 15, Aboyne Water 5, Aboyne Castle 3, Craigendinnie 4, Waterside and Ferrar 3, Dinnet 1, Monaltrie and Lower Invercauld 7, Crathie 8, Total 168
SEA TROUT: Altries and Lower Drum 1, Park 1, Crathes 1, Birse 2, Aboyne Water 1, Aboyne Castle 3, Craigendinnie 1, Total 10


I note with interest that weather forecasters are suggesting Hurricanes Leslie and Michael may merge this week in the Atlantic and make their way across the Atlantic courtesy of the Jet stream and introduce blustery and perhaps very wet conditions to the United Kingdom. Whether this comes to pass remains to be seen but we could really do with a spell of cool weather and significant rainfall to really freshen up the river and put fish back in a taking mood. Air temperature maxima will be around 17 degrees and falling during the week as weather fronts approach and sweep over the country, so it’s fair to say that it could be quite blustery at times. River levels are currently running between 6 inches and 10 inches on the Sepa gauges-the lowest they have been since March. Tides are building this week from 3.3 metres to 4.4 metres which will hopefully encourage a good run of new fish if they are there to come.

As suggested by Ghillie Eoin Reid, anglers may enjoy more offers from fish if they get the fly down a bit deeper. As we approach the autumnal equinox we expect to see falling air temperatures and rising river levels. Fly sizes can also be increased depending on water levels. Small tube flies may be used to good effect and long tailed shrimp flies. It may pay you to fish well down into the tails of pools where you may intercept a fish which has just run upstream into your pool. As always please heed the advice of the Ghillie who really knows best when it comes to finding taking fish on their beats. You ignore their advice at your peril. Fly patterns that can do well at this time of year are Ally’s Shrimp, Park Shrimp, Calvin’s shrimp, Flamethrower and Gold Willie Gunn; flies with a bit of orange, yellow black and red to reflect the approach of autumn. 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 at good prices. You can also purchase the 2012 Dalmore Dee Dram fundraising whisky for the River Dee Trust from Strachan’s of Aboyne.

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 only take a minimal period to carry out. If anyone notices anything untoward in the river please contact the river office on 013397 80411 to report your findings. The telephone number is manned 24 hours a day. 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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