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

Newsletter - October 2015

Welcome to the October 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

September Summary

A perfect September salmon from Little Blackhall and Inchmarlo.

All in all September has been a bit of a struggle on Deeside. The rain and corresponding good water levels of August disappeared as we moved into September and the summer we should have had finally turned up towards the end of the month. We began much as we finished August and landed 139 fish. This first week also delivered our biggest fish of the season so far - a 26lb fish landed by local angler John Fyfe at Crathie.

A much drier month saw the river drop and with low numbers of new fish coming in the anglers' job was doubly hard. For the most part the catch mirrored any rises and we struggled when we got down to summer levels. The second week saw the catch drop to 70. We had a few first fish among them, which is always good news. James Holman had a 12lbr from Lower Blackhall while Tom Yeadon and Rosana Carson both caught their first fish with Craig McDonald at Cambus.

We started week beginning 14 September in good style. A rise in water levels over the weekend delivered 37 fish on the Monday and 28 on the Tuesday, which are the kind of figures we should see regularly.

The water fell away, followed by catches, which finished on 112, including another first fish, this time for young Jack Garden at Little Blackhall and Inchmarlo. The last full week of the month concluded with 84 in the book. What fish we did have in the pools, were off the take for long periods and several ghillies were pulling their hair out trying to hook them.

The upper river, above Aboyne, closed on the 30th, and we finish our season on the 15th of this month. Let's hope for some sport, before then.

Rosana Carson with her first salmon and Cambus O May ghillie Craig McDonald

Mar Lodge ‘Car Bank' Removed

Work Gets Underway at Mar Lodge

Some ‘industrial' bank reinforcements have been removed and replaced at Mar Lodge. This infamous piece of the River Dee has benefited from investment from the Pearls in Peril (PiP) project. Read more on the River Dee website

The River of Fish Project Nears Conclusion

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 life cycle and were first unveiled in June at the Banchory Lodge Hotel as part of Banchory River Festival. The final event will be held at Woodend Barn on Thursday 8 October. See Heckleburn Quines for more.

Smolt Tagging and Tracking to Get Underway in 2016

Rotary Screw Trap

The Dee Board and Trust have agreed an important new project to monitor the production and survival of smolts. Two new smolt traps and counters will be installed in two middle and lower river tributaries, the Sheeoch and Beltie Burns. A sample of smolts will be tagged and monitored as they begin their migration. Recent poor seasons have given everyone cause for concern, particularly the fate of our smolts as they begin their long journey from the river through the estuary to the open sea. This early part of the smolts' journey has been shown to result in high mortality rates in other systems and it is crucial we discover what is happening on our own doorstep. See the River Dee website for more on this crucial project.

Welcome to the Dee, Rasmus

Rasmus Ottesen

Rasmus Ottesen from Denmark is spending the summer on the Dee at Tilbouries as part of his education as a fishing guide. Read more on the FishDee Blog

A Fly to Try This Month - The Franc N Snaelda

The Franc N Snaelda is the brainchild of Ballogie head ghillie, Sean Stanton. It's a very effective pattern on the Dee and has a growing fan club at home and abroad. It is a fantastic addition to October's fly box. Check out the FishDee blog to read more.

Dee Board Welcomes News on the Prohibition of Netting Beyond Estuary Limits

The Dee Board have been actively lobbying government about Mixed Stock Fisheries since the beginning of 2014. The Board was pleased to note that Scottish Government have announced they intend to prohibit fishing outwith estuary limits for the next three years. River Director, Mark Bilsby said, "We are delighted that the Scottish Government are giving protection to those salmon that make it back to Scotland. Along with the support of our anglers, ghillies and proprietors, who already return 99% of all rod caught salmon to the river, it will mean more fish to spawn and start the next generation." For more information see Scottish Government website

First Fish Landed Following Croy Removal

James Holman with his first salmon landed from Lower Blackhall and Kinneskie

September's newsletter commented on the potential of the croy removal to enhance the affected pools at Commonty/Sluie and Lower Blackhall. A few fish have been landed from the former location of the croys. It's too early to judge the long term impact, but the ghillies approve!