Unsettled weather makes it hard work for anglers

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With a distinctly autumnal feel to the weather fishing was at times hard work for anglers fishing last week. There were a number of rises in river levels due to heavy rainfall through the week which ensured the river levels were never settled and the water was quite peaty at times.

FishDee beats reported 135 salmon and 42 sea trout as I write and there be more to add to this tally over the next few days.

Park finished the week strongly and reported 19 salmon for the week, Carlogie reported 12 and both Ballogie and Lower Crathes reported 9 each.

Anglers are seeing plenty of fish but the fish are not being too co-operative. Sea trout catches were quieter than hoped for but unsettled weather / river levels makes fishing for them tricky at the best of times. I was delighted to hear that David Brooks from Kincardine O’Neil had caught a 25lb salmon which was his first for the season, just after losing another fish.

Edward Humphrey told me that Mr Winnaird had an 18lb salmon from Pleasant Walk at Dinnet on Saturday.

I was also pleased to receive a nice report from Ross Macdonald, the inventor of the highly successful Park Shrimp, who had some good sport on Saturday. Ross commented: “I enjoyed a great day out at Park on Saturday, albeit it in unfortunate circumstances.

Our good friend Jim Coates broke his wrist earlier in the week and asked me to fill in for him, which I was only too glad to do. I managed to land two grilse and lost a salmon, which broke me. This all happened in the morning on beat 6.

As ever, it pays to listen to your ghillie and it was no coincidence that I picked up the fish while head ghillie Keith Cromar was with me.

Staying out of the water and fishing a shortish line, the first grilse took exactly where he said it would. It was very lively for its size, around 5lb. After landing it, I retied my knots (always good practice) and rolled out my line into the ‘V’ leading into the Bridge Pool proper and another grilse around 4lb duly obliged. I fished on through the pool to Park bridge and returned to the top where I hooked a good salmon in the same spot as the first grilse. Its was very fresh and gave me the run around, before the line caught on a rock and my leader snapped. I was fishing a s11 Park Shrimp with a 5’ fast sink tip. The rest of the day was somewhat frustrating as the fish were reluctant to move to the fly.”

Visiting French Tackle dealer, and host to visiting parties of French anglers to Deeside, Mr Phillipe Koehler sent some correspondence and many fine photographs which I appreciated.

Phillipe is very passionate about our River Dee and writes with real enthusiasm. He commented: “Three of us fished four days at Park, then one day at Little Blackhall, then two days Altries, then a last day at Park South.

Like every time, it’s always a big, big pleasure to fish the River Dee, one of my friends fish there for the first time and now he is very keen to fish it again (like me).

We caught 6 salmons, 3 grilse and 12 sea trouts, I had the chance to take the two biggest salmons, 15 and 17 pounds sea liced, the last one was a 12 pounder, I caught him on the last day, the last minute, the last cast! It was after a big rise (7 feet) from the river during the night before, the water was so high, I never fished it like this.

My friend Bernard Bimboes was fishing the first time on the Dee with me, it was fantastic, he caught 2 salmons, 2 grilse, and 5 sea trouts in 4 days at Park, and he opened the week with a lovely 13 pounder, a silver brick, I see him happy like a child! What salmon fishing can do to us! About my stay on the beats, Park was very good, and we took 3 days 3 rods at little Blackhall. . Up until now for myself and my friends the River Dee is the best choice, I have fished now four other rivers in Scotland, and my friends two others and I can tell it’s the best.

Since we have returned home we are planning our next trip to the Dee. (It will be in March 2012)” 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 http://www.fishpal.com/FishingServices/Auctions/DeeTrust/ so don’t miss out. Given the real autumnal feel to the weather today with rainfall, cool temperature and a stiff breeze, I hope that fish switch on and sport picks up significantly, however as always the fish has the final say.

Weather-wise the met office is predicting a generally unsettled week with showers and longer outbreaks of rain, heavy at times.

The maritime influence shows tides rising later in the week from 3.6 metres to 4.1 metres.

River levels have fluctuated quite a bit recently and this has been responsible for putting fish off the take.

The peat stain that prevailed during the week seems to have this effect.

River levels are dropping back from a decent rise on Sunday with Sepa gauges reading 1ft 11inches at Mar Lodge to 3 ft 6inches at Park. River levels could yo-yo this week and sport could be difficult at times for anglers but the good news is the reports of numbers of grilse running the river at last.

Tight Lines!