Beats enjoying high catch numbers

editorial image

Another good week of catches for anglers on Deeside with FishDee beats reporting great sport. Some Ghillies advised they have more fish to put on the catches, but at 247 salmon and grilse, and 46 sea trout everyone seems mighty pleased with the good catches being sustained with new runs coming forward off every high tide. Jim Paton at Upper Drum and Lower Durris reports: “The beat had 36 salmon and grilse for the week, with some real crackers being landed. Dave Wakefield had a fabulous 24lber and Peter Brown had salmon of 22lbs and 20 lbs. The grilse are in excellent condition this year; nice plump specimens. Results were really first class during the first half of the week with the Lower Durris shrimp fly scoring heavily. The fly was designed by George West and has an olive green coloured hackle and tail with silver body; a really great fly.” That confirms there are some really good quality summer salmon entering the river now in good numbers. All in all we can say that July is turning out to be a tremendously productive one with sustained runs of really first class fish which will see the month produce well over 1,000 salmon and grilse.

Robert Harper was able to provide some news from the productive Lower Crathes and West Durris beat. Robert advised’ Malcolm Tocher had the beat for the week and enjoyed a really good weeks sport, with a good strong start to the week. Monday would have been really spectacular but sadly we lost quite a few fish. We had to work a bit harder during the week but we finished strongly. We had some really cracking salmon and grilse and one or two residents that came on. Successful flies again were small cascades and red Frances. Malcolm had 7 nice fish for his week and Mr James had 8 during his visit to the beat.’ My friend Stuart Buchan fished there on Monday night and had 2 salmon and lost another two salmon, including one estimated to be around 20lbs. The beat has had a really good month with over 80 salmon and grilse so far for rods; hopefully sport will continue strongly for the weeks ahead with good catch levels being sustained.

I received an e-mail from Orazio Gatti advising he had spectacular sport on the Dee with 4 anglers sharing 61 salmon for 4 days. Orazio had 29 to his own rod which is a personal best for him from the Dee. He is a very talented fisherman of course and is a regular visitor to the River Dee with his friends. Stephen Hadden from Fraserburgh dropped me an e-mail advising: ‘I recently had my first experience fishing the river Dee. I was at Park on the 21st of July and within 1 1/2 hrs fishing I landed this 14lb sea liced cracker. I then proceeded to lose another 3 fish. Needless to say I had a great day out and will most definitely be back fishing the Dee.” The picture received shows a delighted Stephen with a fine looking salmon.

River Office staff managed some success last week with River Operations Manager Ed Third enjoying good sport on Saturday at Aboyne Castle. Edwin kindly advised: “Ken, Please find attached pictures of the fish I got on Saturday morning, one at 11:30 in Minarloch and the next at 12:30 in Lady Grace, 1st one about 10lb, second a bit bigger, maybe 11lb, both very fresh. Pictures are not great because they were taken from my phone and I was on my own, without a net and didn’t want to faff about with the fish too much. Really thankful to Edward and Alec for the kind offer of fishing. Regards Edwin” I understand River Dee Chairman Ian Scott enjoyed some good sport at Park where he had 3 fish to his own rod for his day and enjoyed further success at Aboyne Castle. I received an invitation to fish at Park on Friday and had a nice sea liced grilse and lost two other fish during the morning. Park has been fishing tremendously well in July with 137 salmon and grilse reported so far. I must try and find out if the final total for July will be a record month for the beat.


With tides building during the week and regular rain showers, with heavy downpours possible, the river should fish well. Weather forecasters are predicting frequent showers and perhaps prolonged rain on Wednesday and Saturday. Hopefully we won’t get a flood as we hope to install an underwater web camera mid week. The maritime influence sees tides building from 3.9 metres to 4.5 metres. The river height is good for the time of year with the Sepa gauges reading between 9 inches at Mar Lodge to 1 foot 5 inches at Park. This should encourage good runs of new fish off the high tides. Air temperature maxima should be around 18 degrees Celsius with some night time lows of only 5 degrees Celsius. There are much bigger numbers of fish building in the lower beats now and they should continue to fish very well.

With prospects looking great for the week ahead it is important for anglers to capitalise on the potential for good sport on your chosen beat. As always listen to the advice offered by your Ghillie whilst fishing the pools on your beat