22lb salmon caught at Balmoral

The cool wet weather that has prevailed on Deeside for a considerable period continues and last week saw persistent rainfall during the latter part of the week ensuring river levels were above normal summer levels. This helped encourage fish activity and salmon catches were reasonable with FishDee beats reporting 213 salmon and 96 sea trout. Carlogie reported 17 salmon and grilse, Dess 15, Lower Crathes and West Durris 14 with Lower Invercauld and Monaltrie, Kincardine, Borrowston, Park and Upper Drum all in double figures. The largest salmon reported was 22lbs at Balmoral. Sea Trout fishing was steady if not spectacular with Tilbouries reporting a dozen and Kincardine 11. Weather conditions were not ideal for keen night fishing sea trout enthusiasts.

Tuesday, 3rd July 2012, 11:59 am

Iain Wilson from the Borders Gun Room in Kelso continued to enjoy good sport at Dess and sent an e-mail advising: “Hi Ken, Thought I would send you a few pics of our annual trip to Dess this year. The first one is of Bob Smith, Assistant Ghillie at Carham on Tweed, holding a very fresh 8lb fish, caught in Rossacks on Monday morning. The successful pattern was a Brown and orange conehead, which is called Bobs Golden B’s, or BGB for short. The first time Bob used this fly on Tweed, he caught 8 salmon with it; Hence the name. Glad to see it works as well on the Dee. Bob caught a second fish shortly afterwards using the same fly. The second picture is of me with a sea liced fish approx 8lb caught on Friday afternoon; this was caught in the Mill pool at Dess, and was one of 3 Salmon a caught in a short space of time, approx 20 mins. I had caught a small grilse, in the same place five minutes before, which was successfully netted by Mr Jeremy Clayton. After being released I started again and no sooner was into this fish, fortunately Eoin Smith, Dess Ghillie was on hand to net this one, and Mr Clayton manned the Camera. The third pic is myself with a long tailed sea liced fish caught in Jetties (tail of Mill), approx 8lb, this was the 3rd fish caught in 20mins. Once again Eoin Smith was on hand with the net; as I was clearly on a roll, he was keeping a close eye on me. The Successful fly was a XS Tungsten Conehead Crimp Tube, with a Black and Orange Wing, and Orange Holographic body, fished on floating line and 10ft clear inter tip, water height was 2ft 8”,and Water temp 57f . We finished our week with 15 Salmon and 9 Sea Trout, on Thursday and Friday we blanked; I think we were fishing to deep, and too big, the water was also very unsettled over the last 3 days of the week. Thanks again Iain Wilson.”

I was delighted to receive an e-mail from Lawrence Hunt this morning with a super image of a nice big brown trout his 5 year old son Joshua had caught whilst out fishing with dad on the ADAA beat on the Feugh. Lawrence added: “Both my boys are hooked and it really is wonderful for them to be able to enjoy such sport locally.” I can also report that Lower Blackhall proprietor Lawrence Ross was providing fishing today to three teenagers from Banchory Academy; Lewis, Cameron and Alex, have just finished their exams, had been helping clear rubbish from the river bank at Kinneskie and were being rewarded for their efforts by Mr Ross. I was delighted to meet them all this morning where Ghillie Colin Simpson was looking forward to teaching them all to fish. Dinnet proprietor Edward Humphrey dropped into the office and advised that Dinnet/ Deecastle had 162 salmon during the spring period, which was the same as 2008. Given the challenging fishing conditions encountered by many anglers during the spring this was a decent achievement and is in line with the beats 5 year average.

Visiting anglers to the river will see enhanced bio security measures in place as all beats have had disinfection kits provided. Anglers will need to follow the beat Ghillies instructions on disinfection, which will take a minimal period to carry out. The new FishDee blog will have news through the week so please keep me informed of any news. As always please let me know how you get on during your visit to the river by dropping me an e-mail to [email protected] with any anecdotes and pictures about your experiences. Ken Reid © FishDee Ltd

Beat catches reported

(week ending 30th June)

SALMON & GRILSE: Tilbouries 3, Upper Drum and Lower Durris 10, Park 10, Lower Crathes and W Durris 14, Crathes 8, Invery 3, Lower Blackhall 3, Little Blackhall and Inchmarlo 2, Middle Blackhall 5, Cairnton 3, Lower Woodend 1, Commonty 1, Sluie 3, Ballogie 6, Borrowston 11, Kincardine 10, Carlogie 17, Dess 15, Birse 12, Aboyne Water 9, Aboyne Castle 5, Craigendinnie 5, Waterside and Ferrar 6, Dinnet 6, Deecastle 6, Headinch and Cambus O’May 7, Monaltrie and Lower Invercauld 10, Birkhall 1, Balmoral 5, Crathie 15, Mar Lodge 1.

Total: 213 Largest: Balmoral 22lbs

SEA TROUT: Culter 1, Tilbouries 12, Park 7, Lower Crathes and W Durris 6, Crathes 4, Invery 1, Lower Blackhall 2, Middle Blackhall 2, Cairnton 2, Woodend 2, Lower Woodend 1, Sluie 1, Ballogie 1, Borrowston 3, Kincardine 11, Carlogie 4, Dess 8, Birse 2, Aboyne Water 4, Aboyne Castle 5, Craigendinnie 1, Waterside and Ferrar 2, Dinnet 2, Deecastle 4, Headinch and Cambus O’May 1, Monaltrie and Lower Invercauld 3, Crathie 3, Heughhead 1.

Total: 96 Largest: Invery & Woodend & Kincardine 4lbs


The river is running well above summer level as I write and gauges are rising in the lower catchment. The Sepa Gauges are reading 9 inches at Mar Lodge and 3 ft 2 inches at Park. The Met Office is suggesting that air temperatures will rise a bit during the week and may reach as much as 20 degrees Celsius. There will be rain at times during the week with perhaps thunder showers on Thursday/Friday occurring. How this will impact on the river is difficult to predict, but heavy localised downpours can cause discolouration if a lot of sediment is washed into the river from fields. The maritime influence sees tides building though the week from 4.1 metres to 4.4 metres. Providing we don’t get any dramatic rises in river levels then fishing could be very productive with night sea trout fishers getting a good opportunity for sport. I am looking forward to getting out to fish later in the week.

I visited a number of beats to speak to Ghillies about bio security and was able to gather some information about how the beats were fishing. Ghillies were very upbeat about fish catches and numbers of running fish. I always recommend anglers speak to their Ghillie to discuss tactics and fly choice; this advice is as valid today as it was when I first started writing these fishing reports a number of years ago. If you don’t have a Ghillie on hand to consult then your fly choice could include Crathie fly, Franc n snaelda, Cascade, Calvin’s shrimp and silver stoats tail; perhaps a Ness C in peaty water and a green cascade variant. Anglers fishing dusk and into the darkness could get good sport from sea trout with flies such as Stoats Tail, Dark Mackerel, Teal blue and silver and monkey. If you need to stock up on flies you can visit Somers in Aberdeen, Orvis in Banchory, Kincardine O’Neil Post Office, Strachan’s of Aboyne and Countrywear in Ballater where you will find a good selection of Dee flies. Make sure you have floating lines and some poly leaders to help sink the fly just under the surface.

There is a good selection of quality hotel accommodation on Deeside with some hotels offering tremendous value for money to visiting parties of anglers. I understand Tor Na Coille Hotel, Raemoir Hose Hotel and Banchory Lodge Hotel are offering special fisherman’s rates of just over £50 per night for B&B for stays of 3 nights or more-this is tremendous value for money from these top establishments. Please look at the good selection of accommodation providers who specialise in catering for visiting anglers who will make your stay both pleasant and comfortable at www.fishdee.co.uk