Yesterday's Catches - Today's River Levels - Tomorrow's Availability

Newsletter - June / July 2015

Welcome to the first FishDee newsletter. It contains everything you need to know about fishing on the River Dee.

You can find and book fishing, and find accommodation to suit. You can also discover more about the work being done by the Dee Fishery Board and River Dee Trust to manage, improve and develop our river.

I am at the end of an email or phone if you require any further information.

Tight lines
Ross Macdonald
01339 880411

A Difficult Spring

The 2015 spring season was a disappointment for everyone on Deeside. The total catch of under 700 fish is way down on the five year average. While it has been a challenging time for everyone associated with the river, there were some bright spots along the way.

As the season got underway it was encouraging to see two of our long time regulars back on the river after a period of ill health. Tom Marshall celebrated opening day with a 15lbr from the Boat Pool at Carlogie. It was also good to hear of success for Gareth Headland, showing it's hard to keep good men down.

The fish were not present in numbers although there were a few specimens about. Paul Grewcock had a 20lbr at Lower Crathes, which was topped by Derek Wiseman who picked a 22lbr from the same beat- it was an absolute cracker of a springer.

Derek Wiseman with a 22lbr from Lower Crathes

In early March, David Graham had a very happy Monday when he landed four springers at Lower Blackhall and Kinneskie. Fish of the month, and our biggest so far this season at 24lb, fell to John Laurie at Crathes Castle.

Catches remained depressed during April, but there were some good fish about nonetheless. Nicol Paton had a a 20lbr at Kincardine.

Highlight of the spring was to hear that veteran angler Alan Lankshear, who is 92, caught two fish at Carlogie. It was impressive to land a couple of springers when numbers are low, but to do so at 92 is quite an achievement.

92 year old Alan Lankshear into a fish at Carlogie.

Dee Fisheries Management Plan

The spring season has generated a lot of concern among our anglers, owners and ghillies about why the Dee has struggled. The FMP details what will be done to improve our fortunes over the next three years. For the first time the FMP will include the inshore and offshore environments.

The Dee Fisheries Management Plan is now available for public consultation. Please send your comments by 15 July to

Mixed Stock Fisheries

There are many factors affecting the well-being of wild salmon when they leave the river and the Dee Board is active on a number of fronts to ensure positive steps are taken.

The Dee has been working with the Ythan and Don Fishery Boards to successfully stop the netting of salmon and sea trout in the Ythan estuary. See River Dee Blog.

Additionally, as of early June, the Dee and Esk Boards and the North Atlantic Salmon Fund have secured the lease of the netting station at Lauriston, which is located between the Dee and North Esk. Both these agreements mean more fish will survive their journey back to their natal rivers.

Events on Deeside

There is always a lot happening in Aberdeenshire during the summer. We have the Aboyne Highland Games, the Ballater Highland Games and the Lonach Gathering.

See Visit Royal Deeside for the latest updates.

Sea Trout In Mint Condition

A beautiful sea trout from Cairnton and Middle Blackhall

While salmon numbers are down, Dee sea trout have been caught in reasonable numbers. Several of the ghillies and hard core sea trout anglers such as Neil Stephenson, report that the condition of the fish has been excellent. Brian Brogan at Cairnton and Middle Blackhall says they are beautifully shaped, like ‘little tuna'. Favourite flies for Dee sea trout include the ever reliable Silver Stoat, Crathie, Editor and Neil's Editor variant, Signal.

A Signal (top) and Editor tied by Neil Stephenson

Featured Accomodation

Clare Carson, proprietor at Cambus O May has done a fantastic job of upgrading the accommodation at Birkelunn, a Norwegian style log cabin and Braehead Cottage, which sits above the Long Pool at Cambus. These are ideal for anglers fishing the upper Dee. See this page for more information.

River of Fish

The River Of Fish is a unique art project from local artists Mel Shand, Hilary Duncan and Helen Jackson. They have created a shoal of 230 ceramic fish with the help of four local primary schools. The fish represent the various stages of the salmon's lif cycle and were unveiled at the Banchory Lodge Hotel as part of Banchory River Festival. The fish will be on display at Woodend Barn from 19 June. For more on this fabulous art project see Heckleburn Quines.

Park Trophy

William Foster, Park Estate

The Park Trophy was donated by John Foster of Park Estate to recognise the skill of the angler who lands the biggest Dee fish of the season. Today, William Foster runs the fishery and is looking forward to presenting the trophy and a bottle of Park Special Whisky at the opening ceremony 2016. Although fish numbers are down, there will be a big one in there somewhere! So remember to get a good photo, measurements and a witness and send your entry to The biggest fish will also be in the running for the Malloch Trophy.

The Crathie

The Crathie is a popular fly for salmon and sea trout in the late spring and summer, so make sure you have a few in your box. For more on Tommy Saville's wonderful creation, see more on this page.

Introduction To Salmon Fishing

We held a day for novice anglers recently at Invery and Tilquhillie with expert casting instructor and renowned Dee angler Jim Fisher AAPGAI.

Full story and pics on the FishDee Blog.