Strong week for salmon catches

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Good river levels and fishing conditions helped salmon catches, as the river Dee fished well and salmon catches finished the week strongly with a good run of new salmon on Thursday’s high water. FishDee beats have reported 218 salmon and 159 sea trout for the week as I write; there will be more added after late catches are added to the tally. Carlogie reported 21 salmon; both Park and Crathie reported 20 and a number of other beats were in double figures for the week. Sea trout catches continued to improve with FishDee beats reporting 159 sea trout to 5lbs. Creditable results considering the nights were on the cool side for anglers fishing through the night hours. I recall a well known angler who I fished with many times as a youngster, who was a great instructor and is a great friend, William Arnold KSG, from Cumbria, telling me how he used to catch more fish by fishing through the night hours than the rest of the party put together, who all used to fish during the daytime hours.

I would like to congratulate local retired dentist Malcolm Tocher for catching a cracking 25 lb salmon on his 73rd birthday at Lower Crathes. This fish matches his previous personal best which he also landed at the Lower Crathes. Beat Ghillie Robert Harper reports that the fish was in first class condition and was very deep and broad, measuring 40 inches in length. Park estates head ghillie Keith Cromar reported there was a super run of good sized fish running his beat on Thursday’s high water, which ensured the Andrew Charles party had a productive 3 days with 9 salmon and 3 sea trout for their 3 days. He reports that he is seeing good numbers of sea trout now in the pools and prospects look promising for the next few days.

Ballogie estates head Ghillie Sean Stanton reported “a good finish to the week with Carlogie rods landing 13 salmon on Saturday. Ian Jardine had 8 salmon and 2 sea trout for his day with John Wastle landing 2, Kevin Fraser landing 2 and another angler catching one. We also lost a lot of fish and I’m sure there was a good movement of fish moving up from Ballogie to Carlogie. Paul Brett had a 21lb sea liced salmon and we also had another 20lb salmon. Conditions look very encouraging for the week ahead. Ian Jardine was fishing with a sunken line and tube fly ensuring his fly was presented deeply.”

Lars Terkildsen enjoyed some great sport up at Mar Lodge and advised: “Hi Ken, It was fantastic to be back fishing the Dee. Mar Lodge was definitely another wonderful experience. Upstream of The Linn I found two nice productive pools; Pool Yelt, got 1 and lost 3 and Delvorar, got 2 and lost 2.”

Edward Humphrey reports that Peter Osborne landed the 100th fish of the season at Aboyne Castle on Friday. Both Aboyne Castle and Craigendinnie have fished very well this season and no doubt Alex Coutts and George Murray have enjoyed their successes this season.

I was pleased to hear that Heughhead on the Feugh got their salmon catches up and running last week and was delighted to receive a nice e-mail from talented angler Rory Campbell who commented: “Just a quick note to let you know about the fish I had from Heughhead on Thursday. Looking at the water heights on Thursday morning I decided to take the afternoon off work and go for a cast as conditions looked good for the beat. I had previously fished the beat the week before and had seen fish in most of the pools so was full of hope heading up. Fairly soon after starting I had a draw on the line which came to nothing, then all quiet for a couple of hours despite seeing the odd fish moving through. After speaking to one of the other rods, who had not long before lost a fish at the net, I headed up to the same pool. Getting there I fancied a change of fly and put on one of my favourite orange temple dogs which always seem to fish well when the water has a peaty tinge. Half way down I had a good pull on the line and the fight was on! Lots of fun on the wee rod and after a good scrap I landed, and then returned, a slightly coloured cock fish around 9lb which was the beats first salmon of the season. I cannot sing this beats praises enough, it has the facilities which would put some Dee beats to shame, the right balance of good access & fishing bothy, well cut banks and trees for cover, and most importantly a good range of pools which will fish in many conditions. Many thanks to Kath and Alex who were most helpful, and could not do enough to make sure I was shown the beat and got sorted out with a ticket and access. It looks like the Feugh’s fantastic fishing is not going to remain a secret for much longer.”

It’s good to hear that fish are running this productive River Dee tributary and hopefully more anglers will get along for a cast at Heughhead. Their beat details can be found on the FishDee website where fishing can be booked online.

Prospects

A large high pressure system over the Azores is sending the jet stream across the northern half of the British Isles which is ensuring a continuation of weather fronts sweeping across the country. Weather conditions will be similar to last week with rain predicted today, and for rain showers to be a regular occurrence on Wednesday and Thursday. Air temperature maxima will not exceed 18 degrees Celsius although it will feel pleasant in the sunshine. Winds are forecast to be light and variable. Nights will again be on the cool side with night time lows of around 6 degrees Celsius. The maritime influence sees tides forecast to build during the week from 3.2 metres to 4.2 metres which should encourage new fish to come forward. The Sepa gauges are currently indicating a slight rise moving downriver with gauges expected to rise around 6 inches today which should keep fish on the move and active. The Mar Lodge gauge is reading 9 inches and the Park gauge is showing 1 ft 2 inches. So to summarise fishing conditions look very good for anglers on Deeside this week.

As reported in the fishing reports an angler had tremendous success fishing a sunken line and tube fly. This was because he and the Ghillie considered conditions were more spring like than summer and this tactic paid off handsomely. As always I would encourage you to seek advice from your Ghillie on what tactics to utilise and what flies to use. The Ghillie will also help you pick flies to suit the conditions. If you do not have the services of a Ghillie to call on you may fish with confidence a Silver Stoats Tail or a Crathie fly. Black, silver and blue flies are usually reliable combinations on the Dee when the water is running clear. Many Ghillies like sparsely dressed flies so please keep this in mind. There is a good selection of flies to be found in Orvis in Banchory and the Post Office in Kincardine O’Neil. Other flies worth trying include the Ally’s and Park Shrimp and small monkey flies. A pot bellied pig tube fly fished deeply or a Frances tube fly may also come up trumps for you.

Write to me, Ken Reid, with any news or reports of success to ken@riverdee.org and tight lines to all.