River Dee fishing report


Having just returned from the wilds of Alaska pursuing sport with the Pacific species of Salmonids it was interesting to observe that their rivers were suffering from similar problems to our River Dee-a distinct lack of water due to a warm dry spell of weather-thankfully fishing was productive! With the Sepa river level gauges reading between 1 inch at Mar Lodge and 3 inches at Park angling hasn’t been a productive pastime over the last few weeks. There is light at the end of the tunnel with weather forecasters predicting rain for the latter part of this week continuing into next week. Let’s hope every cloud has a silver lining for anglers coming to fish over the next few weeks with the elusive salmon entering the river in good numbers on the back of a hoped for healthy rise in river levels. FishDee beats have reported 13 salmon and 18 sea trout for the week so far with the largest reported at Dinnet of 18lbs.

Regular River Dee angler and now Deeside resident Phillip Wood came into the River Office with scales to be read of a 9lb salmon he landed at Balmoral. Phillip advised he got this salmon during the heat of the day and lost 2 others. He also lost another fish at Aboyne Castle but redeemed his good fortune with a 6lb fish at Waterside and Ferrar. He advised that Waterside Ghillie Davie Goodfellow was invited for a cast in the evening and had a grilse and a sea trout. I hear Deeside Ghillie Cleeve Cowie also had success. Glentanar Estates Ghillie Colin Espie visited the office and advised that Mike Stevenson and River Dee chairman Ian Scott enjoyed success with fish at Red Brae on Deecastle. Mary Elise Burnett e-mailed me from the United States of America advising ‘Trip of a lifetime…Cork Burnett from Rochester, Minnesota, USA, catching his first Atlantic salmon in the River Dee with Bert from Park; can’t wait for a repeat!’ The image supplied shows a delighted Mr Burnett with his first salmon. Anglers are kindly requested to unhook and release their salmon in the river during the high current water temperatures and forego any stress caused to their catch by taking photographs.


At this time of year with warmer air temperatures by day and night please report any suspicious activity you find on your beat. Opportunist rod and line poachers can turn up at this time of the year so it’s important you contact the River Office, 013398 80411 any time of the day if you see anyone acting suspiciously on your chosen beat.


News of catches, with or without images, are always welcome, so please drop a line to ken@riverdee.org so I can share this news in the weekly report and FishDee blog. It could be another exciting week for anglers and hopefully we shall get some more good news to report next week. Tight Lines to you all! Copyright FishDee. Ken Reid © FishDee Ltd.


Beat catches reported

(Week ending 20th July)

SALMON & GRILSE: Tilbouries 1, Park 1, Crathes 1, Carlogie 1, Dess 1, Craigendinnie 1, Dinnet 2, Deecastle 2, Balmoral 1, Crathie 2.

Total: 13 Largest: Dinnet 18lbs

SEA TROUT: Park 3, Crathes 1, Ballogie 1, Kincardine 1, Dess 4, Dinnet 1, Monaltrie and Lower Invercauld 3, Birkhall 1, Crathie 3.

Total: 18 Largest: Dess & Crathie 3lbs



The current spell of warm dry weather isn’t predicted to last according to weather forecasters with much needed rain forecast later in the week. Hopefully there will be a good amount of rain to refresh and replenish water levels and encourage fish to come forward into the river for the eager Ghillies and anglers. The maritime influence sees spring tides during the week with tides at 4.3 metres rising to 4.6 metres before dropping back to 4.0 metres at the weekend. River levels are very low with the Sepa gauges running at 1 inch at Mar Lodge and 3 inches at Park. Air temperature maxima may reach 20 degrees this week with overnight lows above 10 degrees.


Always heed the advice offered from your beat Ghillie as they know best about what tactics and flies to use to give you a chance of some sport. If you don’t have a Ghillie to obtain advice from then you may wish to consider the following flies this week as worth a try in sizes 12-16. The ever dependable Tosh, Silver Stoats tail, Black or Red Frances, cascade, Crathie fly and of course the Sunray Shadow is always a good fall back for salmon and sea trout when retrieved quickly as it swings across the pool. Full floaters are very much the order of the day now with a 13 foot double handed rods and 8/9 weight lines more than sufficient with leaders of 10ft plus in length, as stealth is required and very quiet careful wading. With the river running low anglers may work their flies to induce a take from a salmon or sea trout. Another option well worth trying is to fish with hitched flies. In low water the hitched fly can produce takes when conventional methods fail. You can read about fishing the hitched fly here http://www.flyforums.co.uk/salmon-fishing/107965-riffle-hitch.html you can see footage of this at this link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A0TYgn_oO2Q


If you need more flies or other equipment please visit Somers of Aberdeen, Orvis in Banchory, Strachan’s of Aboyne and Countrywear in Ballater. Another must visit place at lunchtime is the Kincardine O’Neil Post office for a super range of sandwiches and fishing flies. With the warm to hot weather forecast for the week ahead perhaps anglers may want to visit local attractions during the afternoon such as our many wonderful golf courses, Lochnagar distillery, Deeside activity Park and perhaps some sightseeing in the upper valley. With the school holidays upon us it’s an ideal time to take youngsters out to try their hand at fishing. Tullich fishery at Ballater, Raemoir fishery and Mill of Strachan at Banchory are delightful venues to take youngsters fishing where they offer fly fishing ponds and bait fishing ponds.


Finally an important thing for you to remember when you arrive on your chosen beat. All anglers and Ghillies are being asked to ensure anglers have their waders and any landing nets sprayed with a mild disinfectant prior to commencing fishing, even when they are fishing different River Dee beats during their week on the river. It’s a condition of the River Dee Conservation code and must be strictly adhered to; all beats have supplies to ensure this is carried out prior to entering the river. It’s a quick procedure that will help the river and prevent ingress of unwanted pathogens and non native species entering any part of the River Dee watercourse. We also want to prevent the transfer of the highly problematic ranunculus from the lower part of the river to the upper part. Please write with any news of catches or anecdotes with images to ken@riverdee.org Tight Lines to you all! Copyright FishDee. Ken Reid © FishDee Ltd.