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(Last updated: Tuesday 19th July)
We continue to pick away this July, and landed another 121 last week. Conditions have been reasonable; water levels remain good and we are fishing much better than this time last year, despite having fewer rods out. The only dampener for me is that it has been a bit muggy, I can't be doing with that at all. Of course, good numbers of fresh fish usually give the lie to complaints about conditions, but the residents in the river were undoubtedly fussier than usual, and even the fresher ones seemed disinclined at times. It took a rise water on Saturday to gee them up. That's fishing, I suppose.
Tilbouries and Upper Drum had one apiece and with more effort would have had more. Tilbouries is off the mark today with one in the net this morning. Park had 26 for the week with a mix of grilseand solid summer fish in the 14-18lb class. John Fraser added another five to his ever growing tally on the beat, including a couple of 15lbrs. He also lost a much larger fish and in his words enjoyed 'great fishing'. Andy and Phil Crawford also had several fish between them and Max Delebre and Craig Corbett also picked up four and three respectively.
Craig Beattie and friends celebrated a birthday in style at Crathes Castle. Craig landed his first and second ever salmon at 6lb and 14lb. Ghillie Brian Sim was delighted to have a group of young lads on the beat- we are always looking for fresh blood! The beat finished on nine with mostly fresh salmon and a couple of the residents coming on the take with a lift in water on Saturday.
Invery picked up four. Banchory had 27 fish for the week, with plenty of fresh grilse in evidence. John Martin put in a couple of early shifts and was rewarded with five fish for his endeavours. Iain Hunter's party had twelve for their three days.
Heughhead got off the mark on Tuesday. Sandy Pringle had the first salmon on Tuesday. He landed an 8lb fish from Burn and a 4lb grilse from Willows. We should start to see more fish from the Feugh as they begin to ascend the fall in numbers.
Lower Blackhall and Kinneskie was lightly fished last week, but there were fish about and Ian Bain from Edinburgh had a 7lbr from Bohore and lost three others. Just upriver Little Blackhall and Inchmarlo picked up one. Stewart Gibson landed a 7lbr in the Fawn on a Silver Stoat.
Cairnton and Middle Blackhall had five last week. These were grilse mostly, but Andrew Kilgour bucked the trend with a cracker of 18lbs. They also lost a big fish on Saturday.
Commonty picked up four and again, this lovely little beat has been under fished yet has been producing whenever there is any real effort. The Watson party fished Ballogie and Carlogie and had seven for the week. They were delighted to see many for fish in evidence than in the past couple of years, which is heartening.
It was great to hear of another first fish, this time for Charlie Bygott who landed a fish of around 7lb at Borrowston. Up at Birse, the residents were off the take for much of the week and John Shipman did well to take one of 6lbs, the other fish was a 10lbr on Tuesday. It was a similar story over at Dess, where there are fish in the pools, but as ghillie Eoin Smith said, seemed as though someone has flicked the off switch. Aboyne Water was in the same boat and Chaz Booth was surprised they didn't have more in the book. There were fresh fish seen going through the beat at regular intervals all week, but they were as disinterested as the residents. Iain Macgregor did the business though, landing his first ever salmon, a 6lbr from Lummels on a Cascade. Well done!
Steven Reid landed Aboyne Castle's only fish of the week, an 8lbr from Jocky Fyfe. There fresh on the go, but again proving difficult. They are off the mark this week with a spit fresh grilse landed.
Monaltrie and Lower Invercauld finished on nine salmon and ten sea trout. The fish were in great condition and the big one they had on Tuesday was like a fresh springer. Again, the beat wasn't hard fished, but the rods that went out were rewarded. Ian Murray was telling me about the challenges of grilse fishing, which often results in lost fish. It might be worth fishing a small single in place of a double and the old Logie on a low water single, so popular in days gone by, could be just the ticket!
John Fyfe had a 16lbr at Crathie, and I am delighted to round off this week's tales with another first fish. Fernella Lowden had a 4lb salmon from the beat. Very well done!
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Richard Priestly with a fish from Dess
Cambus O May ghillie Fergus Cumming, with a happy angler
Mattias Helde with a wonderful 23lb springer from Birse
Mark Paterson with a perfect springer from Sluie
Kent Hakansson with his 19lb springer from Lower Crathes & West Durris
An opening day fish for Craig Fleming, from Park
2038 for the season to 18 July 2016