Some big catches as weather changes

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What a change to the fortunes of anglers fishing the Dee last week with the continuation of unseasonable weather.

Two weeks ago it was blazing sunshine and record high temperatures and last week saw heavy snowfall with Michael Bruce at Glentanar advising a foot of snow had fallen on Mount Keen. Well this change in weather conditions saw the River Dee temperatures drop to a level that appealed to the humour of the salmon, with FishDee beats reporting to date 119 salmon to 26 lbs and 10 sea trout for the week. Park finally had some good sport and reported 19 for the week; Lower Crathes were into double figures as was Kincardine, with Lower Invercauld and Monaltrie reporting 9 for their week with some lovely fish to 18lbs. River levels rose during the latter part of the week and Saturday saw a 3 foot rise which will have hopefully put the river in good heart for the coming week.

I occasionally get around beats and it’s always nice to see a fish being caught however I had a first this morning when calling Dess Estates Ghillie Eoin Smith for a catch up. Eoin reported that Jeremy Clayton, the new proprietor was just in the process of landing his first fish of the season ! Eoin advised that local angler; Mr. Peter Beckett from Aboyne landed a 41 inch salmon on Saturday in Jock Rae which gave him a great fight. Eoin was on hand to net the fish and return it to the river. The fish had been in the river a few weeks. I have been following Mattias Helde and Jonas Runnberg’s blog during the week where they had a group of fishermen fishing on a number of Dee Beats. You can find their weeks report at where you will find a good selection of video clips and super pictures of the exciting weeks sport their anglers experienced, which culminated with Icelandic angler Ingolfur David landing over half a dozen salmon to 25 lbs. The big fish was landed at Commonty which will have delighted both Ian Fraser and Sean Stanton. If you have time please visit their website.

Beat Catches Reported (week ending 7th April)

SALMON & GRILSE: Tilbouries 1, Upper Drum and Lower Durris 7, Park 19, Lower Crathes and W Durris 10, Knappach 2, Crathes 1, Invery 3, Little Blackhall and Inchmarlo 4, Middle Blackhall 1, Cairnton 3, Commonty 3, Ballogie 3, Borrowston 6, Kincardine 12, Carlogie 3, Dess 3, Birse 3, Aboyne Water 9, Craigendinnie 1, Waterside and Ferrar 3, Dinnet 2, Headinch and Cambus O’May 4, Monaltrie and Lower Invercauld 9, Morven 1, Crathie 6.

Total: 119 Largest: Dess 26lbs

SEA TROUT: Altries and Lower Drum 1, Park 4, Invery 2, Little Blackhall and Inchmarlo 1, Kincardine 1, Monaltrie and Lower Invercauld 1.

Total: 10 Largest: Park & Invery 3lbs


All things being equal we could see the best weeks fishing of the season on Deeside; hopefully the recent high water will have encouraged a good number of new salmon to enter the river. The weather forecast provided by the recently revamped Met Office is showing a period of more typical Deeside Spring weather with daytime highs around 9 degrees Celsius and overnight lows in the upper reaches perhaps as low as zero. What is of interest to anglers and perhaps farmers is the likelihood of reasonable rainfall during the week with hill snow forecast. It looks likely that anglers can expect to see rain showers throughout the week where some maybe heavy and prolonged. The maritime influence sees tides at the start of the week at 4.5 metres, a big tide, and dropping back to 3. 5 metres; really optimum conditions for new fish to come forward. I am sure that the River Dee Ghillies will be optimistic about this week’s sport and it will pay anglers dividends to heed their wise counsel.