River Dee Report – September 3rd

Recent Catches

A pretty decent week overall for FishDee beats with 295 salmon to 25lbs reported and 27 sea trout. There were some good days during the week which was somewhat hampered by a large flood on Tuesday and another rise on Thursday. This coincided with high tides which encouraged a good run of new fish into the river. Park reported 43 salmon and grilse, Lower Crathes 22, Crathie 18, Aboyne Castle 16, Tilbouries and Culter 14 each with quite a few other beats into double figures. Nick Armstead from Edinburgh landed the 25 lb salmon at Park which was reported as being in excellent condition. Bookings through the FishDee website have also been excellent with close to 3,500 rods let for the season. The season to date catch is approaching 5,000 salmon & grilse for FishDee beats and prospects for the remaining few weeks of the season look ideal with a good head of fish throughout the whole river catchment and plenty of good summer salmon coming forward.

Willie Falconer wrote about his experience at Park on Saturday on FishDee’s Facebook page, which was quite eventful advising ’Just had a great day at Park. Charlie was on form as ever, had a great laugh with Jim, Mike and another guy, I don’t know name and a lovely couple from Sweden; sorry I meant Denmark, they will get the joke. Anyway started fishing - wind blowing - water up, and to make it even harder there was a seal chasing the fish, it even swam up to me with a lovely silver grilse in its mouth. Keith and co’ managed to chase it downstream so I bet it went to see Willie Banks. After lunch the wind got up a bit and the rain started, around 5pm it settled and after having changed my fly for the 20th time, and had a discussion with another fisherman who thought it would be alright to push in front of me as he was fishing the other bank and thought north bank had priority over south; he didn’t expect me to cast all the way to his side. I pushed past him and within two casts bang a lovely 13lb fresh fish covered in sea lice. It took a black and yellow monkey tube. After taking care to put the fish back I fell climbing the bank ripping my waders and snapping my rod. Never mind the memories of the fight took over. I went back to the car and got my sea trout single hand rod and back into the same spot, bang again another fresh fish this time slight smaller, what a fight with an 11 foot rod. Days like this will stay with me forever.’ Just a reminder to anglers & Ghillies if they see anything that looks out of place in the river whether on 2/4 legs, finned, feline or with flippers, to please call the river office on 013398 80411 to make your report.

Fiona Martin wrote from Glen Tanar advising ’Georg Reutter whose fishing party have been on the beat for the week commented. ’We were staying at Birkelunn this week for some walked up grouse shooting, stalking and of course fishing the lovely Headinch and Cambus O’May beat. With a good amount of rain at the beginning of the week, the river was fishing well for most of the week. We had several first time fishermen and women in our group and it was great that two of them (William Shirley from Norfolk and Benedikt Traun from Austria) were able to land their first ever salmon. By Friday we had caught 4 fish in total with the biggest coming in at 13lb.We caught all our fish on the Ally’s shrimp fly which proved to be very effective for both the larger resident salmon we caught but also a couple of clean grilse that had made the long run up to the upper Dee in quick time. With the week not over yet we are optimistic that we might yet have some good fishing today and Saturday.’ I wonder if they managed a MacNab?

Alec Coutts dropped me a note about sport at Aboyne Castle last week advising ’Kenneth Carruthers party had a good week on Aboyne Castle with 16 salmon and grilse plus a sea trout. Kenneth caught 6 and the sea trout. Guest Alex Robertson caught his first salmon and finished with 3 for his day on Monday. Also a first fish for Colin Shand with grilse of 3 and 5 lbs, a converted trout fisherman! David Robinson had 3 and John Grandison one. Cascades, Park Shrimps and Sunray Shadows were doing the business for the party. We had our 100th fish for the season on Friday.’ The Aboyne Castle beat is well managed by expert Ghillie Alec Coutts who is much revered for his knowledge and good humour. Lower Crathes Head Ghillie Robert Harper advised me this morning ’We had a really good week for the 3 rods fishing with 22 salmon and grilse landed by anglers. Lewis Gray had 10 to his own rod with brother Jim having a couple, James Watt had 3 of 10, 7 and 22lbs. River Dee Board Chairman Ian Scott a fish and visitor Jim Reid had 2 fish.’ The detailed story about Mr Watt’s big fish is included in the FishDee web blog with images http://fishdee.wordpress.com/ 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 1st September)

SALMON & GRILSE: Culter 14, Altries and Lower Drum 13, Middle Drum 8, Tilbouries 14, Upper Drum and Lower Durris 8, Park 43, Lower Crathes and W Durris 22, Crathes 3, Lower Blackhall 4, Little Blackhall and Inchmarlo 8, Cairnton 16, Woodend 8, Commonty 3, Sluie 6, Ballogie 10, Borrowston 7, Kincardine 4, Carlogie 4, Dess 2, Birse 14, Aboyne Water 2, Aboyne Castle 16, Craigendinnie 6, Waterside and Ferrar 8, Dinnet 12, Deecastle 2, Headinch and Cambus O’May 5, Monaltrie and Lower Invercauld 14, Crathie 18, Mar Lodge Estate 1.

Total: 295 Largest: Park 25lbs

SEA TROUT: Culter 4, Altries and Lower Drum 1, Middle Drum 1, Park 4, Crathes 1, Lower Blackhall 1, Woodend 1, Commonty 4, Kincardine 3, Dess 1, Aboyne Water 1, Aboyne Castle 1, Dinnet 2, Monaltrie and Lower Invercauld 2.

Total: 27 Largest: Park & Commonty 3lbs


Now stocks in the river continue to increase steadily until the end of the season and there is a chance of hooking a fish from 1lb to perhaps over 40lbs. Anglers will need to ensure their tackle is sound, and strong enough to withstand an encounter with a big fish. Large cock fish do become aggressive in late summer.

We seem to be in for a spell of settled weather according to weather forecasters this week. Air temperature maxima will peak around 20 degrees with the risk of rain showers today, tomorrow and Thursday. It will be quite windy at times so anglers will need to take care with their fly casting. The maritime influence sees tides dropping back from 4.4 metres to 3.3 metres with river conditions still ideal to encourage new fish forward of every tide if they choose to run the river. Sepa gauges are between 9 inches at Mar Lodge and 1 foot 4 inches at Park. Anglers would be advised to have some sun cream as it will feel warm when the sun makes an appearance during the week. There are no frosts predicted this week although we did have a frost last Friday.

As always listen to the advice offered by your Ghillie whilst fishing the pools on your beat. The River Dee Ghillies know their beat intimately and will help in no small way to increase your catch if you heed their advice. 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 with or without a sink tip and leader of perhaps 8 foot plus in low water conditions. Flies with a touch of red are starting to produce catches with river fish responding to more autumnal coloured flies. Perhaps you may consider using a tube fly, cone head, pot bellied pig or Dee Monkey. Some of the big fish may respond to a well sunk Gold Willie Gunn, Red Frances Cone head or Snaelda where they can be lurking in the deep pools of the Dee.

Fly choice, sizes 10 to 14 will do nicely in lower faster flows, which could include the following popular Dee flies; Park shrimp, Cascade variants including the Ness C, black Frances, the yellow or orange Ally’s shrimp and Duncan Egan’s Flamethrower range-the red flamethrower may do really well. 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 from Strachan’s of Aboyne who have just received a new delivery.

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. 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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