50 inch salmon caught at Balmoral

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It is perhaps fitting that the recent wonderful Jubilee weekend culminated with a spectacular event at Balmoral with the reported capture of a 50 inch long salmon. Mr Nick James was fishing the pretty 6 mile beat as part of the Woodward Party. Mr James, an experienced angler, hooked and landed this leviathan after 45 minute struggle and in accordance with the River Dee conservation code returned the fish to the river with the minimum of fuss after measuring the fish at 50 inches. He remarked that the fish was a good deep specimen that had been in the river for perhaps 3 weeks. Fishing on the River Dee was steady at the start of the week however a lift in river levels curtailed sport somewhat over the last 3 days of the week. FishDee beats have reported 122 salmon to 48lbs and 57 sea trout to 5lbs. Waterside and Ferrar reported 12 salmon, Birse, Cairnton and Crathie reported 11 salmon and Park also reached double figures.

I received correspondence from Edward Humphrey from Dinnet Estate who commented: “Just to report that Charles Hill’s party fished Dinnet and Dee Castle the week before last and had their best catch for 26 years with 31 salmon and 6 sea trout and they even afforded themselves some time off to play golf! There was no lack of effort for the rest of the week but on Saturday evening the party were still two short of the 2010 total. Charles kindly asked me to fish on Saturday night and I caught a small grilse whilst he landed a 10lb fish in Logie but the prize went to Andrew Markland who caught the 27lb cracker in the Glide to round off an excellent week. Sadly no photos are available of the big fish but it rounded off an excellent week for the Hill part with the majority of the fish being shared equally between Charles, Andrew Markland and his brother Robert.”

I spoke briefly with Birse Ghillie Doug Murray this morning to ask about the 30lb salmon reported from his beat on Saturday. Doug commented: “Gordon Smith, a keeper at Seafield Estates from Elgin was the angler who landed the 30lb salmon they reported on Saturday. The fish was caught at the Trees Pool and was measured.” Birse is a big fish beat and I am sure Mr Smith was delighted with his fine capture.

I received a humorous anecdote from Kincardine Estate proprietor Andrew Bradford last week that I wanted to share with readers. Andrew advised: “I’ve just received the following feedback from a Fishing Tenant on our new hut and on his team’s (of 3 couples) week’s fishing at Kincardine which might amuse you. ‘The new Palace on the Bend is wonderful, and the stove was much appreciated even in early June. A barby would be nice, we might bring our own next year, if that is ok by you; otherwise it only lacks a nubile and willing wench to help pull off our waders, and maybe offer to rub lightly scented oils into our weary shoulders after a long day spent battling with huge salmon. The fishing went pretty well much as usual. The girls occasionally dropped a fly into the water between bouts of gossiping, sleeping, drinking, and puzzling over some of the more purple passages of a book they’d found 50 Shades, or some such twaddle, and they caught 5 salmon and 4 sea trout; the gentlemen applied themselves vigorously, continuously and skilfully, throwing a splendid straight line at least 45 yards on all necessary occasions, and caught 4 salmon and 2 sea trout. Despite the humiliation we would very much appreciate being allowed back next year, please.”

Please ensure all visiting anglers sign the Gyrodactylus salaris declaration forms and follow Ghillies instructions. Bio-Security is vitally important to the river, ensuring all visitors are vigilant in ensuring we take necessary precautions and don’t see this devastating parasite wiping out our stocks of salmon. If you are not offered one to sign then I would urge you to please ask for one to be provided to you prior to commencing fishing. The new FishDee blog will have reports through the week as I hear of them so please keep me informed of any news 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 9th June)

SALMON & GRILSE: Altries and Lower Drum 1, Tilbouries 3, Park 10, Lower Crathes and W Durris 5, Crathes 5, Invery 2, Lower Blackhall 1, Little Blackhall and Inchmarlo 1, Cairnton 11, Lower Woodend 1, Commonty 1, Ballogie 3, Borrowston 3, Kincardine 3, Carlogie 1, Dess 3, Birse 11, Aboyne Water 6, Aboyne Castle 2, Waterside and Ferrar 12, Dinnet 7, Deecastle 3, Headinch and Cambus O’May 5, Monaltrie and Lower Invercauld 5, Birkhall 1, Balmoral 4, Crathie 11, Heughhead 1.

Total: 122 Largest: Balmoral 48lbs

SEA TROUT: Park 1, Lower Crathes and W Durris 3, Invery 3, Little Blackhall and Inchmarlo 1, Woodend 1, Lower Woodend 2, Kincardine 1, Carlogie 1, Dess 11, Birse 1, Aboyne Water 4, Aboyne Castle 1, Craigendinnie 2, Waterside and Ferrar 6, Dinnet 7, Deecastle 1, Headinch and Cambus O’May 4, Monaltrie and Lower Invercauld 5, Crathie 1, Heughhead 1.

Total: 57 Largest: Dinnet 5lbs

Prospects

The Met Office forecast for Aboyne this week advises a continuation of the cool weather that has prevailed recently. Air temperature maxima will struggle to reach 12 degrees Celsius and most days will be rather overcast and dull with perhaps the odd rain shower, there is a risk of increased rainfall towards the weekend. The light winds from the north will continue. The maritime influence shows tides dropping back from 3.8 metres to 3.5 metres mid week and then starting to build again next weekend. The Sepa gauges are reading 6 inches at Mar Lodge and 1 ft 1 inch at Park so levels are reasonable for anglers visiting the river. Night fishing for sea trout will perhaps be slow as air temperatures are really quite low for the time of year. Hopefully the next few weeks will see air temperatures increase.

As I always counsel please listed to the advice offered by your Ghillie as they can make a difference to your chances of success. Your Ghillie can advise on where the fish are located on the beat you are fishing and advise on the tactics you should employ when fishing your beat. Your Ghillie can make recommendations about what flies to use and please show them your fly box and discuss the best ones to try. If you don’t have a Ghillie to call on for advice then perhaps you will fish with a full floating line or sink tip and a size 13-15 fly on a long leader, and work your fly with perhaps a figure of eight retrieve. The patterns to try may include silver stoats tail, Munro Killer, Crathie fly and black Frances. You may find fish located in the faster streams now where fish like to lie in the well oxygenated flows. At nightfall fish can be on the move and pool tails can fish well as running fish come into a pool. If you don’t have the range of flies you need then you can visit the Orvis shop in Banchory, Kincardine O’Neil post office and Strachan’s of Aboyne who all have a decent range of River Dee flies available. The catches last week from Altries to Crathie show a decent distribution of fish throughout the catchment and fish are now running the Feugh with salmon and sea trout being encountered at Heughhead.