Miles of smiles as famous comedian visits the Dee beat

Paul Whitehouse
Paul Whitehouse

News for Deeside Piper readers this week: apologies for no column last week as the weekly report that was sent went to all the recipients except your editor!

By the time this was realised it was too late to reach last week’s newspaper.

Well known TV actor/comedian and star of the Aviva adverts, Paul Whitehouse, was back on Deeside for his annual week. I caught up with him on the Wednesday before last when he popped up to say hello to the River Dee Office staff at the River Board AGM.

Paul landed a 25lb salmon during his week which saw him continue the pattern of catching really big fish on his annual visits to Park. Well, the week before last saw 159 salmon landed with Park reporting 41 for their week. A few vital inches of water during the last week really helped encourage fish to move upriver and this had the effect that I had hoped when I wrote the media column last week. FishDee beats have reported 349 salmon and 30 sea trout for the week with the biggest reported at Kincardine which was a 25lb salmon. Some of the lower beats really did well with Park reporting 46 salmon, Ardoe & Murtle 36, Altries 33 and Kingcausie 24.

I mentioned that Jim Coates did well in last week’s column with 14 fish for his three days at Park. Jim made a return to Park on Saturday and managed to catch 11 salmon for his day. He advised ‘Hi Ken I had a productive day at Park, all on the seven weight rod which was cracking sport, twoo were sea liced and the rest a mixed bag up to 18lbs which went like stink on the light rig. The Ghillie Bert was ecstatic! I had one in the morning and ten in the afternoon. I was fishing the same fly and set up as last week. I was fishing beats one and two on the south bank.’ People who know Jim appreciate he is an angler with supreme skills and very thoughtful about how he sets out to catch fish.

I got a message from Paul Whitehouse who had enjoyed some good sport with a big 25lb salmon at Park recently. Paul commented ‘Hi Ken, It was a funny old week with not much water, we were picking away and I was thrilled with the big fish of which you jokingly disputed the weight! I had another couple of fish and we saw sport improve in the latter part of the week with beats like Greenbanks giving sport. Hope all is well.’ James Craig visited Ardoe and Murtle on Saturday and reported one salmon, one sea trout and two brown trout on a red shrimp fly. Malcolm Anderson visited park and reported’ A fantastic two days, Keith was his usual upbeat self and looked after us extremely well. I give him 11 out of 10 for looking after Ian Wilson and myself and we look forward to next season. Ian had four salmon on his red Dee pig fly and I had two salmon on a red shrimp fly.’ Graham Dawes visited a couple of beats recently and advised ‘I would make a booking to fish the Aboyne Water beat again. I fished the beat once before back in 2011 and enjoyed the fishing then as I have done this time. The ghillie was very helpful and tried his best to get me into a fish. So no luck this time and I guess that’s why we call it fishing and not catching! I had four fish take the fly but sadly none stayed on. I then fished at Dess and had a good two days, catching three fish the first day and losing two, and on the two next day. The four fish caught on the fly were from 10lbs to 14 lbs. The river was low and it limited the number of pools to fish, but lots of fish in the pools I fished.’.

Rob Fuller wrote about his party’s annual trip to the Dee advising ‘Dear Ken, the Hawkins Week have had another highly enjoyable week despite the atrocious fishing conditions ending on Saturday 14th September. 13 of us fished on five beats notably Birse, Carlogie, Ballogie, Crathes and Park South.

Conditions were very difficult and the river showed signs of being subjected to summer levels since the end of May. However, we persevered and managed to catch 15 salmon and grilse up to 17lb and two sea trout in the week. As per last year there was a shortage of cocks with only three being caught up to 5lb in size. This made it very difficult for us in finding suitable candidates for our annual contest for the largest cock and in fact we decided that to be eligible for this great award the fish must be in double figures!

As I write, a storm should be hitting Scotland which I hope will do something to the river levels although I suspect that you will need a month’s rain to wash the river through. With all good wishes for the rest of the season. Rob Fuller.’ As always, I look forward to hearing the report about the Hawkins party week and they always seem to have a great time fishing a selection of River Dee beats.

Beat catches reported

SALMON & GRILSE: Ardoe and Murtle 36, Kingcausie 24, Culter 5, Altries and Lower Drum 33, Tilbouries 8, Upper Drum and Lower Durris 5, Park 46, Lower Crathes and W Durris 11, Crathes 10, Tilquhillie 2, Little Blackhall and Inchmarlo 3, Middle Blackhall 3, Upper Blackhall 11, Cairnton 1, Woodend 7, Lower Woodend 2, Commonty 1, Sluie 5, Ballogie 22, Kincardine 8, Carlogie 9, Dess 16, Birse 16, Aboyne Water 6, Aboyne Castle 3, Craigendinnie 7, Waterside and Ferrar 3, Dinnet 7, Deecastle 5, Headinch and Cambus O’May 8, Monaltrie and Lower Invercauld 10, Crathie 15, Mar Lodge Estate 1, Total 349

SEA TROUT: Ardoe and Murtle 10, Kingcausie 1, Culter 5, Altries and Lower Drum 2, Tilbouries 1, Upper Drum and Lower Durris 2, Tilquhillie 1, Middle Blackhall 1, Cairnton 1, Woodend 1, Kincardine 1, Birse 2, Monaltrie and Lower Invercauld 2, Total 30

Please remember, I need your help to write this weekly column, write with any news of catches or anecdotes with images to ken@riverdee.org Tight Lines to you all!