Delight at 28lb salmon at Lower Crathes

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Salmon catches continued to build with widespread catches reported from Altries to Lower Invercauld. It was heartening to hear reports of a reasonable run of new fish towards the weekend coming into the river.

As air and water temperatures climbed during the week salmon became more active and co-operative with anglers. FishDee beats have reported 92 salmon to 28 lbs and five sea trout for the week, with some other beats not yet reporting catches, so perhaps we will have seen more than 100 salmon landed last week.

I haven’t received any correspondence from anglers this week, but have received some news from ghillies.

The exciting news that broke on Friday that a 28lb salmon was landed at Lower Crathes was made even better when images of angler Roald Mayer with this big fish surfaced online at Facebook. Mr Mayer was fishing the Bridge Pool when he hooked the big fish on I understand, a Franc n snaelda fly tied by Sean Stanton. It’s a long fish and very fresh which has ensured the image of Mr Mayer with the salmon is quite dramatic.

Interestingly, I was chatting with Brian Sim, Ghillie at Crathes Castle this morning, who informed me that an even bigger fish has been seen in the river. Perhaps we shall hear of another huge fish being caught by a fortunate angler this week. Brian Sim reported that he had a group of visiting anglers from Scandinavia at Crathes Castle beat who were part of a group fishing a number of beats. He was delighted that nine salmon to 17 lbs were landed by the party hosted by Mattias Helde and Jonas Runnberg. Brian advised that the water temperature had risen to 39 degrees Fahrenheit and fish were running. Most of the fish were taking Monkeys and Sunray shadows. He said prospects for the week ahead were looking quite good.

Keith Cromar at Park was delighted to have a good compliment of rods last week where 30 salmon were caught. He said he is sure that Park would have been the best beat for sport anywhere in Scotland last week. Again in line with comments made by Brian Sim, anglers saw sport as the water temperature climbed to 39 degrees Fahrenheit. Keith advised regular visitor Nick Evans had been successful with three salmon weighing 13, 17 and 18 lbs. His colleague Bob Hogg had salmon weighing 8 and 17lbs. As always the enigmatic salmon doesn’t read the rule books, and Keith regaled me with a story of how Bill Gracie, a fine angler, tempted salmon to a hitched sunray fished on the surface. He said they had seen salmon rising at the wake created by the lure when one eager salmon leapt three feet into the air and took the lure as it hit the water on the way back down! The beat had nine fish on Friday with seven taking the Sunray.

On Saturday, the fish would not come to the surface for a lure. Jim Coates, another talented angler caught his first for the season at Park with a nice fresh salmon that took an Elver fly that he had tied for the trip. There is a splendid image of the fish which was forwarded to me by his wife Nicola.

The River Dee Trust has launched a spring raffle where tickets are on sale in fishing huts, Orvis in Banchory, the Tor Na Coille Hotel and Potarch Hotel, with some very nice prizes to be won. Raffle tickets can also be purchased through the River Office, Mill of Dinnet, Aboyne, tel 013398 80411. The Dee District Salmon Fishery Board would like to advise that details about the bursary scheme to encourage young people to become ghillies are now on their website www.riverdee.org.uk

Beat Catches Reported

SALMON & GRILSE: Altries and Lower Drum 3, Tilbouries 2, Upper Drum and Lower Durris 4, Park 30, Lower Crathes and W Durris 8, Knappach 1, Crathes 9, Invery 1, Tilquhillie 4, Little Blackhall and Inchmarlo 3, Middle Blackhall 1, Upper Blackhall 3, Woodend 4, Commonty 1, Sluie 3, Ballogie 4, Borrowston 2, Kincardine 2, Carlogie 2, Dess 1, Aboyne Water 2, Waterside and Ferrar 1, Monaltrie and Lower Invercauld 1, Total 92

SEA TROUT: Tilquhillie 2, Sluie 1, Aboyne Water 1, Monaltrie and Lower Invercauld 1, Total 5

TROUT: none reported

PROSPECTS

Well winter has forgotten that the calendar has moved on and Deeside awoke this morning to new snowfall overnight and air temperatures sitting at 32 degrees Fahrenheit. The weather forecast models I use are suggesting a continuation of coolish, quiet weather for the week ahead. We may see air temperatures reaching the low 40 degrees Fahrenheit with light variable winds and occasional sleet or rain mid week. One weather forecast is suggesting air temperatures may reach perhaps 55 degrees Fahrenheit next week! If this materialises then we shall have a decent movement of fish going from the lower beats to the middle and upper beats-we shall watch how things develop over the week

Please write with any news of catches or anecdotes to ken@riverdee.org so I can share this news in the weekly report and FishDee blog. Wrap up well this week as its going to continue to feel cold. Tight Lines! Copyright FishDee