A nice mixture of salmon and grilse

A cracking summer fish at Culter with ghillie Mads Pedersen reporting great opportunities for sport available at the beat
A cracking summer fish at Culter with ghillie Mads Pedersen reporting great opportunities for sport available at the beat

Having just arrived back in the UK after a trip to Barcelona I was informed by some river contacts that things had been a bit Messi last week on the river!

At times sport was out of this world and at other times the river was dark and seemingly dispirited, with salmon seemingly as difficult to capture as a refugee at a London Embassy...

The culprit was the great British weather which as always can be quite unreliable. I wrote last week hoping that we would get a rise of river levels towards the end of the week to set us up nicely for this coming week. Inclement conditions saw the river levels rising on four separate days during the last week; never ideal for great salmon fishing.

FishDee beats have reported 181 salmon to 20lbs and 30 sea trout to 8lbs-the largest reported from the river this season.

Park reported 29 salmon, Carlogie 16, Heughhead on the Feugh 15; a super week with Cairnton and Ballogie 14 each. Catches were again a mixture of nice summer salmon and grilse.

I received an e-mail from Alex and Kathleen Brown at Heughhead on the River Feugh which I wanted to share, as it highlights what a great resource the FishDee website is for those that use it.

The advised “Graham Bruce, from Fife, travelled up on Saturday with his friend John, and after a late start as the river was still quite high after Friday morning’s rain, they managed to catch (and release) a total of 7 salmon between them, ranging from 2 small grilse to a 10lb fish which is the biggest we have had off the beat this season. That took the beat’s total for the week up to 15 salmon and 5 sea trout, obviously helped by large spates on Tuesday and Thursday and that smaller one on Friday/Saturday. This was by far our best week since we started managing the beat.”

Mr Albert Sutherland from Fraserburgh dropped me a line advising about a productive trip to Park where he caught 4 salmon. “My First fish 15lb 11.20 main hut down to pylons beat 4, on home tied size 10 gold Willie Gunn. Three others of 5lb, 10lb, and 20lb all taken between 5 and 7 pm on the same home tied Gold Willie Gunn tied the night before! I was fishing on my first visit to Park with my friend Stephen Hadden who got one at 14lb. Six rods North bank produced 7 fish total and 2 on the South bank.”

River Dee Trust director Jim Coates reported he had a grilse, a sea trout and a cracking 15lb sea liced salmon at Ballogie which made a bit of a mess of his Park Shrimp. Jim advised: “What a great little hook to hang on to such a strong fish. It’s worth paying for good quality flies.”

Beat Catches

SALMON & GRILSE: Culter 1, Altries and Lower Drum 3, Middle Drum 1, Tilbouries 8, Upper Drum and Lower Durris 7, Park 29, Lower Crathes and W Durris 12, Crathes 5, Little Blackhall and Inchmarlo 3, Cairnton 14, Woodend 3, Commonty 4, Sluie 9, Ballogie 14, Borrowston 2, Kincardine 2, Carlogie 16, Dess 3, Birse 9, Aboyne Water 2, Craigendinnie 7, Dinnet 2, Monaltrie and Lower Invercauld 3, Crathie 6, Mar Lodge Estate 1, Heughhead 15.

Total: 181 Largest: Dess 20lbs

SEA TROUT: Park 1, Little Blackhall and Inchmarlo 2, Sluie 2, Borrowston 2, Carlogie 4, Dess 2, Birse 3, Aboyne Castle 1, Craigendinnie 3, Monaltrie and Lower Invercauld 4, Crathie 1, Heughhead 5.

Total: 30 Largest: Birse 8lbs


Conditions on the river could be unsettled at times with forecasters suggesting a strong possibility of some heavy thunder showers and persistent rain through the forthcoming week. Air temperature maxima will be around 20 degrees Celsius and dropping back during the course of the week to cooler more seasonable conditions. Winds may light and variable with the chance of blustery conditions at times. The maritime influence sees tides dropping back from 4 .5 metres to 3.6 metres. The river is at a good fishing height today with the Sepa gauges running between 7 inches at Mar Lodge and 1 ft 4 inches at Park. Fresh fish will be coming off every tide and making their way into the river with good summer fish being reported and smaller grilse.