DEE BEAT by ROSS MACDONALD

Simon Baer with a fine fish from Headinch and Cambus O'May, caught in blazing sunshine
Simon Baer with a fine fish from Headinch and Cambus O'May, caught in blazing sunshine

There were 79 fish on the Fishdee beats in the week leading up to June 16 and 128 sea trout.

A quietish week overall, water conditions were variable with the river carrying a stain for a lot of the week, culminating in a muddy chocolate colour on Saturday.

It’s difficult to know what the impact on catches was, but it couldnt have helped. A number of beats reported seeing fish running hard.

Murray Stewart, who incidentally makes fabulous reels, has to get fish of the week with an 18lb licer from Ballogie on the hitch.

There were also 18lb fish reported at Birse and Crathie, but its always instructive hearing of someone trying something different.

Also at Ballogie, Stan Headley , fishing with my pal Ken Reid, landed a 5lb sea trout on a Claret Dabbler.

Local rod Mr Fraser reported a grilse and sea trout from Park, taken on a size 12 Munro’s Killer.

The Munro does really well on the Dee and wee touch of colour in the water does it no harm either.

Still at Park, Paul Watson got in touch to report an enjoyable visit to Deeside: “Ross, always reading and enjoying your reports from The Dee.

“Just had a couple of days at Park with The Connon Party (June 13/14), even managed to catch some fish on Friday between us only to find river on Saturday up 2.5’ and chocolate brown! Had a couple of sea trout late on after it had cleared.

“Attached is our ghillie Bert with one of the fish we caught Friday, thanks to Bert and Stewart for looking after us so well. Shame I don’t live closer, I’d be on that river much more often!”

I missed out Archie Hay’s report from Crathie last week as we had some technical problems, so a belated congratulations to Dr Mike Pacnko, Mike Bramley, Emmanuel Farinoli and Mr M Smith for adding to Archie’s tally.

Successful flies at Crathie have included the ever reliable Crathie Fly, the Silver Ally’s and Francis.

Dee Board and Trust Chairmen Richard Gledson and local minister Ken MacKenzie took to the hills on June 8 to walk the boundary of the Braemar and Crathie parish.

A walk around the parish may not sound particularly onerous, but during the six days Richard and Ken negotiated 17 Munros during the 100 mile walk and in total made a vertical climb of over 9000m ending on Ben Macdui.

The walk raised over £4000 for The River Dee Trust and the TK2 educational programme in Romaina operated by Blythswood. Donations are still welcome at this page

Fishing report – June 23:

We finished with 96 fish from the FishDee beats last week, bolstered by 111 sea trout. All in all that’s not a bad return in light of the poor start to the week, which delivered just eight fish on Monday and the same again on Tuesday. I was feeling somewhat underwhelmed midweek, but things improved culminating on Saturday with 28 fish, which is much more like it.

George Chan’s party at Dess had a good week with 10 fish and 18 sea trout, topping the table for both species. Ghillie Eoin Smith tells me they worked hard all week, fishing mornings, leaving the pools in the afternoons and returning in the evening.

At this time of year, the best fishing is often outwith office hours!! Small Stoats and the Posh Tosh scored, which is no surprise as Iain Wilson of the Borders Gunroom was back on the river.

Simon Baer got in touch to tell me of his success at Headinch and Cambus O’May on a very hot June morning- 23 degrees he tells me. Simon took a nice 7lb fish from Glashen using that deadly summer combination of Factor 50 sun block and a Silver Stoat. Cambus finished with eight for the week, second only to Crathie (on 9) on the upper river.

Craigendinnie and Aboyne Castle, which have a mutual arrangement shared 10, with sea liced fish among them. The usual hairwing flies did the trick, but ghillie Will Peake tells me a few were taken on small Monkeys fished a bit deeper in the water.

I had the pleasure of bumping into Tom Moule and friends at Monaltrie on Tuesday. Tom had the afterglow of success having just landed a cracking fish from the Garden Pool and kindly sent me a photo of his prize.

“Hi Ross, just a bit more info on the fish I caught if you want it for your story. The salmon I caught the other day was on a Gledswood Black and Blue Shrimp size 12 fly, in overcast conditions, from the top of the Garden Pool. This is the second salmon I have caught at Monaltrie, last year I had a 10lb fresh fish from the bottom of the Long Pool on a size 12 Silver Stoat on a bright sunny morning. Both fish released back into the river. I have been very lucky to have caught two stunning fish in two visits, persistence pays off, keep casting.”

I was also pleased to hear from Ade Bristow.

“Hi Ross. Just a note to let you know how much I enjoyed my time at Lower Crathes and West Durris last week. As the lower river goes through what is proving to be a very lean period, expectations were low, so imagine my delight when this solid, double figure fish snapped up my small Cascade and shot off down the Bulwark on Monday morning!

“I’m pleased to say I was lucky enough to add a sea trout and a grilse to my tally before finally capping off a memorable week with another salmon from Greenbank on Saturday.

“My sincere thanks go to the ghillies, Jordan and Robert, and to fellow rods Gordon (and Peg), John and Anthea for their hospitality, companionship and inimitable banter!”

Prospects:

It looks like it will be slightly cooler this week with daytime air temperatures up to 16 degrees Celsius.

It may go as high as 19, but it rather depends on which forecaster you prefer. We will have the usual mix of cloud and sunshine during the week. There were heavy rain showers forecast for Monday and early Tuesday.

The river has dropped back to summer levels but hopefully the forecast rain will keep us topped up.

The full floater is still the main tactic at the moment with the occasional use of sink tips to change the depth of presentation.

Successful flies have been small hairwings in size 10-14. These include Editor, Crathie, Silver Stoat, Posh Tosh (on small tubes) and Munro’s Killer and various shrimp style flies such as Red Francis, Franc N Snaelda, Cascade, Flamethrowers and Park Shrimp. Anglers fishing early and late will have more success than those who fish 9-5.

n Please send your stories, photos and anecdotes to me atross@riverdee.org

I am always keen to hear from anglers directly. Tight lines for the coming week.