(Last updated: Monday 15th September)
There were 114 fish recorded on FishDee last week. The start of the week showed some promise with 30 on Monday and 28 on Tuesday. After that catches tailed off with 25 on Wednesday, 10 on Thursday, 7 on Friday and 14 on Saturday.
I had reports of runs of fish coming into the river, but these didn't materialise in the catch in meaningful numbers- particularly on the lower river which is usually favourite for a liced fish in September. Fresh grilse were also spotted as far up as Dinnet, but proved elusive. A couple of ghillies tell me that were fresh grilse in evidence on their beats, but they just didn't want to know. Interestingly I had was speaking with a couple of other rivers and they were also lamenting the presence of uncooperative fresh fish. It is indicative of the smaller runs we have had this year. The bigger the run the bigger the proportion of taking fish.
We also have pools with plenty of uncooperative resident fish in them too and it will take a drop in temperature to turn them on. We had some bright days, which certainly didn't help matters and we could do with some water; regardless we should be doing better.
As ever there are always highlights during the week, which I am glad to share.
Mads Pedersen, the Culter ghilie sent me a photo of Piet Behrend (a Danish guide working at Aunan lodge on the river Orkla in Noway) who was rewarded with a beautiful silver autumn salmon, which he landed on Thursday. The fish took him out to the backing before he could get it under control. See the picture on the right- it's a peach!
Brian Sim at Crathes got in touch to share the welcome news of first fish, for Alan Cromar who landed a 10lb fish after five years of trying and one for Don Hawkins who landed a 9lb fish in his first ever week salmon fishing. Well done gentlemen!
There was also a first fish for Mailys Billet, who landed a 10lb hen from Bruiach at Dinnet on a Monkey during her first try at salmon fishing. Mailys also lost a couple of other fish and is now well hooked herself.
German visitor Markus Kemmer had a couple of fish, 6lb and 10lb, from Dess on a Park Shrimp and Willie Gunn.
It was nice to meet Norwegian angler Bjorn Riise and friends up at Dinnet during their annual autumn trip. Bjorn and his party fished Dinnet, Deecastle and Waterside and Ferrar last week, sharing 10 fish and a jack pike. Among these were a 41 inch fish for Peter Gustin at Deecastle. Bjorn descibed it as, 'A real croc, and still fat.' Ivor Corneil had a 12lb fish from Dinnet and also lost a big fish in Pol Ba, which straightened the hooks on him. Bjorn and Pelle Molin also had fish.
Please send your stories, photos and anecdotes to me at firstname.lastname@example.org I am always keen to hear from anglers directly.
Tight lines for the coming week
We had a very disappointing spring, there is no way round it. The summer was also underwhelming, although the sea trout fishing held up well.
The big spate we had early in August has helped boost catches and spirits and we hope this will continue, delivering a good back end for our anglers and ghillies.
Danish angler Piet Behrend with a beautiful autumn salmon from Culter.
Lawrence Hunt with a beautiful 10lb fish from Kingcausie.
Jenny Wellard with a fine September fish.
Altries ghilie, Kevin Fleming, with James Mills' 10lb fish from Upper Altries.
Graeme Arthur with a lovely 16lb fish from Park.
Instructor Gary Scott and keen anglers on our Introduction to Salmon Fishing course at Invery Tilquhillie.