Dee Beat - Slight Catch Improvement

Gordon and his 20lb fish.
Gordon and his 20lb fish.

A total of 73 salmon were reported to the Fishdee website for the week ending April 5.

This is a slight improvement on the previous week with an extra dozen fish in the book. Most of the action took place in the middle beats once again with Ballogie leading the way with 17 fish for the week.

The lower river continued to struggle with anglers working hard for their fish. Ardoe and Murtle got their first of the year, but those fish that did run the river were running hard through the lower beats with Dinnet reporting a sea liced fish on Monday.

Dinnet ghillie Al Peake reported a small, very fresh, springer of about 4lb while one of 5lb was taken at Cambus O’May. Al was seeing occasional fish through the week and saw quite a few running on Saturday. Waterside and Craigendinnie also picked up fish and the upper river will be looking to build on that this coming week.

I met Anders Sparf from Sweden at Crathes last week while he was playing his first Dee springer.

It is certainly a nice way to meet. A delighted Anders was fishing in the tail of the Boat Pool, with a float, hover, intermediate shooting head, a long leader and Dee Sheep variant dressed on a double. The 11lb fish was netted by Crathes ghillie Brian Sim.

Fish of the week was no contest with a member of the Salmon Fishing Forum party, led by Alan Maughan, landing a 26lb springer from the Roe Pot on a Monkey.

Ian Scott, former chair of the Dee board reported a 12lb fish from the top of Rossach at Dess. The fish took a Park Shrimp conehead. Mr Mahoney got in touch to report he had success at Lower Woodend with a 5lb fish taken on a Sunray tied with fur from his daughter’s springer spaniel.

A total of 73 fish were reported last week, which is the same as the previous week. There is a sense of frustration up and down the river as anglers and ghillies alike, particularly on the lower river, have struggled with little reward.

Overhead and water conditions were mostly favourable last week which makes the catch all the more disappointing. I certainly feel for those rods who have gone without any reward for their efforts and can understand their frustration.

Carlogie continued its fine start to the year with another 20 fish reported to Fishdee. Birthday boy, ghillie Sean Stanton (who must have had a tough paper round), added to its number with a nice fish taken on a Red Francis fished deep.

Peter Lonsdale had his best week at Carlogie, with 14 to his own rod many of them sea liced. An excellent angler, Peter fishes hard and also varies his tactics ringing the changes with the depth and speed of the fly; always thinking on how best to get a take.

Ballogie had 10 for the week and those two beats continue to buck the wider trend. Nicky Manson broke his duck with two fish for his three days having been on a streak of bad luck which had lasted for a number of years. Alan Lancashire, who I believe is in his 90s, gave those of us in middle age cause for optimism by landing a fish during his visit.

It was also good to see Upper Drum get off the mark as they have worked hard for little reward this season. Al Peak, Dinnet ghillie, was delighted to tell me of a fine springer which was taken on a Monkey from the Red Brae by regular rod Gordon Tate. Gordon’s fish hit the 20 pound mark in the Mclean weigh net.

Please send your stories, photos and anecdotes to me at I am always keen to hear from anglers directly.

Tight lines for the coming week


My reason to be cheerful this week is the full moon on Tuesday and the attendant big tides, which will hopefully see us with a good run of fish. This week usually sees the fish in the middle river begin to migrate upstream which should benefit the upper river.

The wind is expected to come from the south and west this week; there is still and edge to it though. Daytime air temperatures are expected to be up to 14 degrees. Water temperatures remain around 7-9 degrees (44-48 degrees). Anglers will have mixture of good cloud cover during the week, with brighter overhead conditions forecast for later in the week. Water levels dropped away and if we do get some warmth in the air we may get a rise off the back of snow melt.

A two rod set up remains good advice with a sinker of some kind on one, perhaps fishing a Francis, Sunray or 
Monkey deep. Rig the other rod with a floater and different tips and smaller doubles to match water conditions. Ring the changes.

The usual flies remain Monkeys, Posh Tosh, Francis and Franc N Snaelda tubes. For doubles, fish your own favourites which might include Silver Stoats, Flamethrowers, Park Shrimp, Cascade, Munro’s Killer. As ever, the ghillies will suggest the best options on the day.