Second best week of the season

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This summer on Deeside has seen cool wet conditions overall which have been ideal for salmon anglers, with river levels fine to encourage new fish forward.

It was the second best week of the season which saw FishDee beats break through the 3,000 barrier for the season once the 272 salmon were added to the season’s totals. It was an exciting week for anglers on Deeside with some great sport to be had at times.

Park reported 44 salmon for their week with their best day of the season occurring on Tuesday when four anglers landed 17 salmon. Birse had a good week with 26 salmon and two rods fishing Lower Crathes had 17 for their week.

I received an e-mail from Tom Saville, a long time River Dee supporter and famed inventor of the renowned Crathie Fly, featured in this month’s Trout and Salmon magazine, in an excellent article written by local angler and writer Ross Macdonald who invented the renowned Park Shrimp fly.

Tom said: “We had a poor week last week on Crathie, the water was peaty all week and I’m sure it puts them off. We had six for the week (five on one day) - all on the Crathie fly! Of course. We’re back on August 12, hoping for better conditions.”

Tom has been fishing the Dee since the 1960’s and has a wealth of experience and invaluable knowledge which he puts to good use on his trips to the upper river at Crathie. His Crathie fly is a great all rounder and ideal for the River Dee.

Paul Huggins also dropped me a line with an image of the 24lb salmon he landed recently at Woodend, a super fresh sea liced cock fish. Paul advised: “The fish was 40 inches long snout to fork, it was very fresh and in perfect unmarked condition. The fish took a size 12 editor and put up a very exciting struggle! I was on my own so took this quick snap at the water’s edge before slipping him back unharmed.”

I also was delighted to receive nice feedback from anglers fishing at Park last week who enjoyed their productive trip. Philip Black wrote with images advising: I had a great day with Jim Reid and Keith the Ghgillie. I ended up getting six from 4lb to 13lb, all liced.”

I also had news from the aforementioned Jim Reid, who also had good sport at Park. Jim commented: “Fishing was really good, despite quite high and peaty water. I got three on Monday, two grilse and a 12lber, then two 12lber’s and two 14lber’s on Tuesday. My pal Philip Black got six on Tuesday; another two fishers got three each. Most of mine were sea-liced, cracking Dee fish.”

After a difficult season it is good to hear that Park is producing really good catches whilst not fully let. There appears to be good numbers of fish there now co-operating with the anglers who are fishing there. It’s a lovely beat to fish, with at times very productive pools and streams. Current conditions are excellent for anglers fishing the Dee and I hope more anglers will take advantage with the amount of availability at present and come to fish the river. Beat Catches


Altries and Lower Drum 1, Middle Drum 7, Tilbouries 11, Upper Drum and Lower Durris 11, Park 44, Lower Crathes and W Durris 17, Crathes 8, Invery 11, Lower Blackhall 8, Little Blackhall and Inchmarlo 3, Middle Blackhall 9, Cairnton 10, Commonty 1, Ballogie 8, Borrowston 4, Kincardine 9, Carlogie 12, Dess 6, Birse 26, Aboyne Water 8, Aboyne Castle 5, Craigendinnie 8, Dinnet 5, Headinch and Cambus O’May 4, Monaltrie and Lower Invercauld 9, Abergeldie 5, Crathie 15, Mar Lodge 5, Heughhead 3, Total 273

SEA TROUT: Culter 2, Middle Drum 2, Upper Drum and Lower Durris 3, Park 1, Lower Crathes and W Durris 2, Invery 4, Lower Blackhall 1, Little Blackhall and Inchmarlo 1, Cairnton 2, Woodend 1, Ballogie 4, Borrowston 1, Kincardine 2, Carlogie 2, Dess 7, Birse 12, Aboyne Water 6, Aboyne Castle 2, Craigendinnie 2, Monaltrie and Lower Invercauld 5, Crathie 1, Heughhead 1, Total 64

TROUT: none reported


The cool wet weather conditions that have prevailed look set to continue with most days seeing light rain or showers forecast. Air temperature maxima should be around 17C with any winds being light and from a northerly direction. By and large it should be overcast most days which allied to decent river levels at present, indicate that this week should be productive for anglers out fishing the river. The maritime influence shows tides building through the week from 3.6 metres to 4.3 metres. This should bring more salmon and grilse forward into the river.

There have been good runs of new fish recently and these will hopefully continue to build between now and the end of the fishing season.

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

The River Dee ghillies are very knowledgeable and helpful and can help in no small way to increase your catch. They will advise on fly choice, presentation, where to concentrate on fishing and at what depth. If you don’t have the services of a ghillie you would be advised to fish with a full floater or a sink tip fly line and leader of perhaps 6 foot plus. Fly choice could include the following popular Dee flies; Crathie fly, Park shrimp, Monkey, Snaelda, Red or Black Frances, Tosh and as Eoin Smith from Dess recommends, any black fly that’s one inch in length!