Strong totals despite rise in river levels

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There were some excellent days fishing last week with 51 salmon and grilse reported on Tuesday and 61 salmon and grilse reported on Friday.

These days helped the FishDee week’s totals rise to 232 salmon and Grilse and 41 sea trout which is quite remarkable given the very large rise in river levels on Thursday where we had a lift of over 7 feet.

We were quite fortunate as the high water levels were not too turbid considering the volume of water that roared down the valley from the western catchment.

There were a number of beats from top to bottom of the valley which saw good sport during the week. Park reported 24 salmon and grilse, Dinnet reported 18, Aboyne Castle and Carlogie both reported 13, Altries and Tilbouries reported 12 each, Ballogie 11 with Monaltrie and Lower Invercauld reporting 10, as did new FishDee beat Heughhead, on the River Feugh tributary.

I heard reports of Craig Fleming catching a grilse on Saturday, Robert Thomson had two grilse at Deecastle on Saturday, Peter Staude had an 18lb salmon at Balmoral and Ross Maclean reported three salmon at Cambus O’May on Saturday.

I would also like to congratulate River Office staff Mark Walker and Blair Forsyth who had five salmon on the Ballogie club water on Friday/Saturday.

I was delighted to receive an e-mail from Nick Evans who is a regular Dee fisherman Nick wrote about a trip to Park he had organised for Fishing for Forces. “John Foster the owner of the famous Park Beat, very kindly donated two rods to the Fishing For Forces charity. Fishing for Forces aims to provide fishing for those returning from operational duties, so that they can enjoy a little rest and relaxation and, even if they’ve never fished before, they can discover the therapeutic qualities of the sport.

Two members of 1 Scots based in Edinburgh were the lucky recipients of this wonderful opportunity, and Dickie Coppard and Wes Gold met up with Park head ghillie Keith Cromar and their mentor and organiser of the day, Nick Evans, a regular fisher at Park.

Neither Dickie nor Wes had experience of fishing with a double-handed salmon rod, but after a little explanation and instruction from Nick, both were able to cover the water quite adequately with a single Spey cast.

The Dee was running quite low, but there were many fish in the beat, with a lot of fresh fish running upriver, as well as some ‘residents’ that had been there for a little while. Fish of all sizes were seen, but the low water and desire to run hard meant the fish were focussed on other things and not our flies! Small flies had been taking fish and Nick had tied up some suitable patterns for our two guests.

Shortly after lunch, whilst fishing Park’s famous Durris Stream, Dickie was taken solidly by a salmon, but the fight lasted only a few minutes before the fish made its escape. Nevertheless, this was a great achievement on a difficult day, and left Dickie with the feeling for what might have been! All together a wonderful opportunity for Dickie and Wes, and all made possible by the kindness and generosity of John Foster – memories were made and the relaxation of the river bank helped sooth away some of the less memorable experiences both had experienced recently in Helmand.”

To finish this week’s report I wish to advise readers of an outstanding fishing opportunity for a week’s salmon fishing during September, now at auction to raise funds for the River Dee Trust.

There is a week’s fishing and accommodation available to the highest bidder from three of the top River Dee beats and hotels.

This is a genuine once in a lifetime opportunity to come and fish the cream of the River Dee salmon fishing beats during the most productive month of the season, and we hope that readers will find this an exciting way of raising funds to help the River Dee Trust team with their very important river restoration work programmes. Full details can be found at this link so don’t miss out.


All things being equal we should see a continuation of good sport for anglers. The water levels should drop away slowly over the course of the week providing we don’t receive another deluge of rain like we experienced last week.

There are new fish coming forward off every tide, and in decent numbers, both some grilse and larger summer salmon.

The weather forecast looks reasonable for anglers. Air temperature maxima will be around 18 degrees Celsius at the start of the week but it will become cooler throughout the week as a series of weak weather fronts cross the country.

Winds will be mostly light and variable and should not be troublesome for anglers. The maritime influence indicates tides will drop back over the course of the week from 4.3 metres to 3.6 metres. Sepa gauges, on their website, which have not updated on the FishDee website, are currently indicating levels of 11 inches at Mar Lodge and 2ft 2 inches at Park this morning. So there is no shortage of water in the catchment and fish should be able to migrate feely upriver if they choose to do so.

Tight Lines!