Fishing Reports

This week so far

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Last week

(Last updated: Monday 8th February)

We are back in business. The new season is underway and everyone is relieved to be fishing again.

January was a long and difficult month on Deeside. Fishing is one thing, but the impact on people's lives has been profound and I am sure all our anglers will wish the community well. The fishery suffered with the rest of the community and with typical grit the owners and ghillies have worked tirelessly to get ready for our opening on 1 February. It is to their great credit we were ready to welcome back our anglers. The fishery is a bit rough around the edges and while it will take time to restore the infrastructure to pre-Frank condition, the Dee is very much open for business.

All things considered we are pleased with our first week. We finished opening week with 30 fish, well distributed between Park and Carlogie/Kincardine. If conditions had been more favourable we might have had a bigger score. The wind, rain and fluctuating river levels made for challenging fishing at times. Many of the beats were acquainting themselves with changes to pools and there is a relearning process underway. It will be interesting to see how the pool changes pan out. There will be winners and losers, but a number of the ghillies have been quite positive about the changes.

Angling pressure was lighter than in previous years and we would have benefited from a few more flies in the water during the week. A February springer on the fly is the cream of the sport and the Dee offers plenty good opportunities to achieve that. See our latest availability here You have to be in it to win it!

We had a fantastic opening ceremony, which had been relocated to Banchory Lodge Hotel and Banchory Fishings. I spent most of it checking my phone for news. I was very happy to receive a text from Shona Mutch advising me of the first fish at Invery/Tilquhillie. Iain Wood got one from Greenbank at Invery on a Dee Monkey shortly after starting. Upper Blackhall ghillie Raymond Sinclair got off the mark around the same time. Raymond went on to land another two fish during the week, accounting for three of Upper Blackhall's five. Iain and Raymond were the first men to feel the strong pull of a springer hooked on the fly. There is no finer feeling in our sport.

Dee regular Nick Craigs, fishing at Woodend landed a 12lb fish on the trusty Black and Yellow and received a box of flies courtesy of Franc N Snaelda for the biggest opening day fish.

We struggled with a rising river for long periods last week. Fortunately, the 12lb liced fish which took Craig Fleming's Willie Gunn in the Durris Stream at Park on opening day, didn't know it wasn't supposed to take on a rising water. What a cracking fish and a great way for Park to get the off the mark this year. Peter Reizner landed a 10lbr from Jetties on the south bank on Friday. Park Head Ghillie, Keith Cromar, was pleased with the first week. 'After all that has happened, I am delighted to get a couple in the book. It wasn't the best of conditions, but there are one or two about.'

Lower Crathes and West Durris had six for the week. Graham Milton landed a 15lbr on Wenesday. Phil Burnham had three and Phillip Bellamy two. The beat also landed around 80 kelts for the week, which is encouraging given there absence this past couple of springs. I spoke to Robert Harper earlier this morning and they have their first springer of the week in the book already.

Lower Blackhall and Kinneskie got their first fish on Tuesday. Les Barker had a fish of around 9lb, from Sheepdip on a 1 1/4" Gold Willie Gunn. They finished with three for the week, with Malcolm Thorne landing a cracker of about 13/14lb on a Willie Gunn from the Pumping Station.

It was great to see Terry Paton back on the river. Terry landed a 12lb fish on his old beat, Little Blackhall and Inchmarlo.

Invery/ Tilquhillie had six for the week. Iain Wilson had a 'fantastic trip to Deeside' and was, as usual, among the fish, with three for his visit. He had one on a Gary Dog Drainer tube from Greenbank. He followed that up with productive run down Pantoch resulting in a brace of fish at 6lb and 18lb and 8 kelts, all on a Posh Tosh intruder. Willie Wood also landed a fish from Pantoch; a fitting reward for his persistence and Ben Thompson completed the job with a 10lb fish from Floating Bank.

Kevin Fraser got the party started at Commonty with two fish taken on Franc N Snaeldas. These were absolute beauties of fish in the 9lb class. The ever reliable Tom Marshall got his fish at Carlogie.

Check out the FishDee February newsletter

Tight lines.
Ross Macdonald

Please send any stories, pictures and anecdotes to:

Beat catches reported
(week ending 6th February)
SALMON & GRILSE: Park 2, Lower Crathes and W Durris 6, Tilquhillie 4, Invery 2, Lower Blackhall and Kinneskie 3, Little Blackhall and Inchmarlo 1, Upper Blackhall 5, Woodend 1, Lower Woodend 1, Commonty 2, Ballogie 1, Kincardine 1, Carlogie 1.
Total: 30 Largest: Tilquhillie 18lbs
SEA TROUT: Park 1, Tilquhillie 1, Woodend 1.
Total: 3 Largest: Park & Tilquhillie & Woodend 2lbs
TROUT: None reported


Check out December's FishDee Newsletter

See you in February.

Tight lines.
Ross Macdonald

Please send any stories, pictures and anecdotes to:

Deeside Inn

An opening day fish for Craig Fleming, from Park

Upper Blackhall ghillie Raymond Sinclair, with an opening day fish. One of three he landed last week.

A 15lbr for Iain Wilson fishing at Invery

An 18lbr for Iain Wilson from Pantoch, Tilquhillie.

Season so far

30 for the season.