Tackle Advice

Tackle required

The Dee is, primarily, a fly fishing river, although spinning is permitted from the start of the season, if unfavourable fly fishing conditions prevail. This is subject to the individual beat ghillies discretion. There is no spinning after 15th April. Modern tackle means that fishing with sunk lines and larger flies has never been easier. Fly fishing is much more user friendly than it was 30 years ago; today it has never been easier to fish the fly. The quality of fly fishing on offer throughout the Dee is excellent. The runs, glides and pool tails for which the river is famous provide the visiting angler with an exciting challenge.

The Dee Conservation Code, issued by the River Dee Board, states that single and preferably barbless hooks are recommended, however the most commonly used hooks are doubles by Loop, Salar or Sawada in sizes from 4 to 10 typically. Single carp hooks are ideal for use with Collie Dog and Sunray Shadow type lures.

Rods required

The most commonly used on the river are double-handed fly rods. Rod lengths have gotten shorter in recent years and while the 15' rod remains the workhorse, particularly in spring, many anglers prefer to fish shorter rods early in the season. It is a matter of preference.

Once we get into to the warmer months, rods in the 12'-14'range are most common. In low water some anglers prefer the smaller switch style rods which are around 11'. Stepping down a size from that anglers often enjoy sport with sea trout and grilse with single handed fly rods of 9'-11' in length rated for a 7-8 weight fly lines.

Reels and Lines

Large arbour type reels are popular. These should be loaded with at least 150 metres of backing line.

There is a tremendous, almost bewildering choice of fly lines on the market. The most common ones seen on the Dee are short belly speylines - around 55'; shooting heads of varying lengths and skagits for fishing deep with big flies.

To keep things simple a floating line with a variety of tips and an intermediate line will cover most eventualities. More experienced anglers will fine tune their set ups to their own specifications.

If you have any queries about what to bring, please get in touch with me at ross@riverdee.org

Local Tackle Suppliers

Tackle can be hired or purchased at the Orvis shop in Banchory, which has an extensive range of fishing equipment. Somers in Aberdeen are also an excllent tackle dealer that serves the bottom river. George Strachans store in Aboyne has fishing rods, reels, lines and basic Ocean waders for beginners wanting to try out fishing as well as flies and ancillary equipment, such as nylon for visiting anglers needing to replenish their supplies. Anglers fishing the upper River Dee will be well looked after at Countrywear in Ballater. Norman has a wide range of fishing equipment available at competitive prices and a good knowledge of the upper river. Countrywear is always a good shop for anglers to visit when fishing the upper river. Kincardine O'Neil Post Office also has a selection of flies tied locally by Ballogie Ghillie Sean Stanton.

Flies to bring

In the early season flies dressed on 1 1/4"- 2 " inch tubes of different weights are popular. The Willie Gunn and Black and Yellow, are the most popular. Monkeys, Sunrays and Francis style flies such as the Franc N Snaelda are also early season favourites until the waters warms to over 6 degrees centigrade. Thereafter, the size of flies get smaller and lighter until the water reaches 10 degrees centigrade when small, lightly dressed flies that are fished close to the surface. A full page of flies for the Dee can be found here

New 'deadly' fly patterns emerge each year but there are some established flies which seem to work well year-in and year-out. The popular patterns are Silver Stoat's Tail, Park Shrimp, Gold Willie Gunn, Crathie fly, Tosh, Ally's Shrimp, Flamethrower to name but a few. Variants such as cone heads, nymphs and micro tubes can be utilised to good effect depending on the conditions. The popular Scandanavian flies including the Monkey Fly and Sunray Shadow, allied with the Icelandic patterns such as the red and black Frances ever reliable, with Mikael Frodin's Dee Sheep another surefire taker on the river.

Always heed your ghillie's advice as he really knows his beat and its trends better than anyone. They know the taking lies and presentation techniques to utilise, so please consult your ghillie. Keep an eye on the recent catches and prospects pages on this site for weekly reports and current information on taking flies.

Tackle shops/tackle hire
George Strachan ltd
George Strachan ltd,Aboyne
01339 886121
Strachan's of Deeside is a licensed grocery business offering a super range of freshly made sandwiches, refreshments and consumables for visiting anglers to Deeside. Anglers in the middle and upper beats of the River Dee are served by both the Aboyne store and Ballater store. There is a good range of fishing equipment including locally tied flies by Sean Stanton, waders and other fishing equipment in their Aboyne store. The stores also stock the Dalmore Rivers collection including the very popular Dee Dram that raises funds for the River Dee Trust. Please pay us a visit whilst you are on Deeside where you will receive a warm welcome.
Orvis Banchory
Orvis Banchory,2-8 Bridge Street, Banchory
2-8 Bridge Street, Banchory
01330 824319
Orvis have lead the way in sporting traditions for over 160 years. Everything you need for the great outdoors, from clothing to fishing accessories can be found in our Banchory store. Why not join us at one of our fly fishing sessions or our schools. 5% of all pre-tax profits go to conservation efforts worldwide. Visit our store between Mon-Sat 9-5.30 and Sun 10.30-4.30 and meet our friendly fishing associates Dave Stuart, Ben Dixon & Scott Macfarlane. www.Orvis.co.uk 01330 824319