(Last updated: Monday 15th January)
With three weeks to go until the start of the 2018 season, everyone is getting excited about going fishing again. We have had a colder winter than in recent years and had grue on the river earlier this week. The guys on the beats above Ballater tell me there is a fair build up of snow above 2500 feet/762 metres. If the weather remains cold we will keep that reservoir of snow well into the season. Sustained cold water will help the lower beats in the early part of the season. Of course, fish are the key ingredient and a February springer on the fly remains one of the great prizes in the sport.
Tackling up for the new season I will be looking to fish a floating belly combined with long sink tips. Everyone has their own preference and a mix of Scandi style and Skagit style lines will predominate. As for sinking lines intermediates and s1/s2 type lines should suffice. The Dee isn't a deep river, although there will be times and places where a faster sinking head will do the trick.
Flies for early spring are one of the few constants in salmon fishing and so the Black and Yellow and gold Willie Gunn will be the main flies for start of the season. Tie these up in copper and aluminium in sizes from 3/4" to 1 1/2" and larger. The Dee Monkey tied on a bottle with a long wispy wing and swung deep and slow is another very popular tactic.
In the meantime have a look at our Latest Availability and book your spring fishing today!
Macaulay Tuck with his first fish, a grilse from Lower Blackhall & Kinneskie
Jim Fisher,with a mid-teen fish from Banchory
A fantastic 16lbr for Mattias Helde fishing at Upper Blackhall