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

Newsletter - September 2015

Welcome to the September 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.

If you require any further information, please contact the River Dee office on 01339 880411
or by email at

Tight lines
Ross Macdonald
01339 880411

August Summary

A fine summer fish returned safely at Crathes Castle.

The first week of August delivered our best weekly catch of the season with 136 salmon and grilse landed. It was encouraging to see an upturn, although we are still someway short of where I would expect the Dee to be.

Nonetheless, in the context of this season, it was an encouraging start. We landed 128 during the week beginning 10 August and 99 for week beginning 24 August. The last week of the month saw 144 landed, which rounded the month off at 507.

Unlike the past couple of seasons, the grilse made an appearance and there were reports up and down the river of good quality, hard fighting, acrobatic fish. Water levels have been good and the water temperature has been in the low 50sF for much of the month, creating ideal running conditions. And run they have! Interestingly, for August, there were liced fish being taken as far up as Crathie; usually the upper beats don't see many fresh fish at this time of year. On the downside, levels have been up and down like a fiddlers elbow, which hasn't helped. The month so far has been a wet one and every time we get another drop of rain, the river becomes heavily peat stained and lingers for days and days. Just as it clears, away we go again. It is a fact that if more fish had run the river, we would have caught more of them. But I honestly believe if water conditions had been more settled, we would have done better.

Stuart Yeats with one of 9 he landed in three days at Banchory.

Removing Croys from the Dee Should Improve Pools for Anglers

Croys at Commonty/Sluie

The removal of croys from the river at Lower Blackhall and Kinneskie , Commonty and Sluie has been welcomed by the ghillies.

Improvements in the River Dee as part of a £3.5 million UK project to improve habitat for freshwater pearl mussels and salmon got underway on the 17th of August. 24 large fishing platforms or “croys” are being broken up to restore habitat for the rare freshwater pearl mussel and for salmon.

The impact of the in river works may take a few seasons to become noticeable. Whenever we are dealing with a wild animal it would be foolhardy to predict its future movements; similarly we will have to wait and see what Mother Nature throws our way. With those caveats the work has been developed in agreement with the affected beats and issues such as bank erosion have been built into the work programme.

Sean Stanton, who is head ghillie for Ballogie Estate and Colin Simpson of Lower Blackhall and Kinneskie have both welcomed the removal of the croys and are confident the changes to their pools will be beneficial to anglers.

See here for more on this important project for the Dee.

Ladies Day a Big Success

The Dee Board and the owners of Invery and Tilquhillie organised a Ladies Day in August. It was a fantastic event, with expert casting instruction and a beautiful lunch. From the feedback so far, we will have to run more! Read more on the FishDee blog

Annual Electrofishing Programme Nears Conclusion

Summertime means a lot of work for our Field Officer Pamela Esson and her team as it is when the annual electrofishing programme is delivered.

Electrofishing is the River Dee Trust's primary means of assessing the health of fish populations in the river.

There is a lot of data associated with the electrofishing programme. This will be compiled and analysed during the winter months and the results will be made known as soon as a possible.

Early indications show juvenile numbers to be healthy, but the Trust will have a more detailed picture to share in the coming months.

Have a look at the River Dee Blog for more on electrofishing.

Keeping Disease Out

Biosecurity measures are a vital tool in keeping our rivers, not just the Dee, safe from disease.

We would like to draw anglers' attention to the Keeping Disease Out Bulletin

Please take a couple of minutes to read and then share with your friends.

Featured Accommodation

Dess Proprietor Jeremy Clayton has pulled out all the stops with the refurbished Mill of Dess Lodge. Read all about it on the FishDee Blog

A Fly to Try This Month - The Red Flamethrower

Duncan Egan's Flamethrower series is rightly regarded as one of the very best. The Flamethrower will take fish throughout the season and the red version will be an excellent addition to September's fly box. Check out the FishDee blog to read more about this excellent Scottish pattern.

Casting Masterclass at Crathes Castle

8 lucky anglers joined us at Crathes Castle and had enjoyed professional casting instruction from Ben Dixon and Graeme Simpson

Read More

Cairnton and Middle Blackhall

Cairnton and Middle Blackhall ghillie, Brian Brogan

Cairnton and Middle Blackhall came together under single ownership in November 2014, when Cairnton's owners purchased Middle Blackhall and now have both banks of this stretch of the middle Dee. Cairnton's ghillie, Brian Brogan, has assumed responsibility for both of these famous Dee beats. Brian is excited by the prospects of having both banks and there is now a boat in place as a ferry and casting platform. The fishing is still let separately, for the time being, but its potential to be let as a single beat is clear. Availability is posted on Cairnton and Middle Blackhall's page on FishDee For booking enquiries, email Sarah Brogan at

New Information Boards Installed at Potarch Bridge

New information boards have been installed near Potarch Bridge to show the range of facilities at Potarch, promote responsible enjoyment of the site and give a little bit of the area's history.

The boards have been created by the Dee Catchment Partnership and Aberdeenshire Council and feature artwork by local artist Mel Shand.

Read more on the Dee Catchment Partnership Blog

Park Junior Day

Gary Scott demonstrates the roll cast to the Juniors

A group of local youngsters had a day to remember on the Dee, courtesy of Park Fishing. This is another fantastic initiative on the Dee. More pics here