Trout on top as river levels drop

Keith at Park.
Keith at Park.

We finished with 66 fish last week and 114 sea trout. An unremarkable week salmon wise, but the sea trout fishing has been consistently good throughout June, which is heartening.

The river is getting low now, which will have affected a number of the beats. Late June sees us betwixt and between; there are early summer fish creeping upriver, but we await the real summer runs of salmon and grilse. A good spate to kick July off would be welcome, especially to see what comes in off the back of it.

Eaton at Ballogie.

Eaton at Ballogie.

Cairnton ghillie, Brian Brogan, tells me they had a four fresh fish last week. Tay ghillie Glen Kedward, from Meikleour, had a couple of 8lb fish on a Junction Gunn, while Tweed ghillie, Lee Craig, from Carham, had a 10lb licer on a Rusty Gunn tied with a drainer disk. Colin Tait, another fine Tweedside angler, had a 10lb fish on small Willie Gunn variant.

The biggest fish of the week was a 20lb from Borrowston, which fell to a young angler, one of two he landed, while the prolific Phil Fairchild also added to his Dee tally. Borrowston topped the charts, sharing top spot with Birse, on seven fish- hardly record breaking, but top spot is top spot! Borrowston ghillie Bill Palmer advised that it was hard work all week and that the fish were taking small Silver Stoats and Park Shrimps.

I had some correspondence last week that was too late for the report. It’s handy having a reserve as news is thin on the ground this week.

Mike Eaton got in touch to share his week at Ballogie and Carlogie:

‘‘Dear Ross, as usual we were on Ballogie and Carlogie last week and expected an even harder week than last year! I fish with my son for part of the week and I was delighted to have a rest when he arrived. Against the run of things we caught five fresh run salmon on our rod mainly on Monkey tubes but also some unusually large sea trout. It all depends on being in the right place at the right time and getting up early. We will follow the rest of the season with keen interest to see what happens.

Sean Stanton was right about new fish arriving and kept us motivated. Mike and Richard Eaton.”

Arvid Manseth and friends had a fine time at Park:

“Maybe a bit late…but still. Just a quick summary from a nice three-day experience at Deeside at the end of last week. Three fellows from Norway had the pleasure of fishing the Park beat June 19 – 21. All fellows caught fish even if the weather was better for other activities. Four salmon beached and many others on the rod ranging from eight to 17 pounds, and one 2½lb pound sea trout. Sending some pictures from the fishery, also with the release of the largest fish that week – 17 pound cracker – nice and neat without sea lice or marks.

Best regards, Arvid Manseth et. al.”

I did my bit for the cause- I am nothing if not a trooper for the Dee. I enjoyed a day at Park on Saturday, courtesy of William Foster. I landed a sea liced fish of about 10lb in the House Pool on a ‘wee brown pig’, a fly much loved by my late father. My sparring partner, Jim Coates, lost a belter in Greenbanks and landed a couple of sea trout up to 4lb- all on the Monkey. It was fine day out with both Jim and head ghillie Keith Cromar on top form

Fishing Report July 7:

It was a quiet week on Deeside this week, with 49 fish and 56 sea trout reported to FishDee. Unsurprisingly, news was thin on the ground.

Ardoe and Murtle on the bottom river had three, it’s still early enough for them, so encouraging signs. but there were a few fish coming in. Park started well with four on Monday, but it slowed and they finished with nine for the week.

John Hackney had a nice fish about 12lb in Greenbanks while Peter Rae also picked up a 12lb fish as well as grilse and a sea trout. Local angler John Fraser also had a couple of grilse in Greenbanks, taken on a small Executioner and long leader as advised by Head Ghillie Keith Cromar. Keith tells me that they were seeing small pods of fish during the week, with a few more in evidence on Friday and Saturday. They were not hanging about though.

Just upstream at Lower Crathes, they picked up five salmon and grilse for the week all fresh including one of 14lb. Ghillie Robert was seeing the odd fish during the week, but they also seemed hell bent on running.

On the middle river Carlogie finished on four, while upstream Craigendinnie also had 4 for the week. The remainder of the catch was made up of ones and twos as the beats struggled for sport last week.

And that’s about it. We will keep working away for them.


We had a small rise at the weekend and again on Monday morning (7th). There is some rain forecast for Thursday, which may give us another lift. We haven’t struggled with water levels this year so far and so long as we get regular top ups we should be fine. I’m still looking for a good old fashioned spate to arrive, but doesn’t look like it will be this week. Cloud cover should be reasonable this week and air temperatures will range from 15 degrees up to 22 by the weekend.

The wind looks varied and will change direction throughout the week. With the full moon on Saturday the 12th the high tides will be growing during the week. Let’s hope these bring the fish with them.

With the river low, the usual floating line tactics remain the first line of attack, but if that is not working get the fly down a bit. The standard hairwings will all work- Executioner, Silver Stoat, Crathie, Munro’s Killer etc. Many anglers are trying the hitched tube as well, so that’s another one to have up your sleeve. Other flies to try include the Monkey- always worth a cast on the Dee, Frances, Franc N Snaelda, and various long tailed flies like the Flamethrower, Cascade, Ally’s and Park Shrimp.

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