The Dee is, primarily, a fly fishing river, although spinning is permitted from the start of the season, if unfavourable fly fishing conditions prevail and subject to the individual beats discretion, until 15th April.
The Dee Conservation Code, issued by the 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 stripping lures.
The most commonly used on the river are double-handed fly rods, and the sizes range from 15 or 16 foot rods in the early spring down to 12 footers in the height of summer when fine and far off are the tactics for catching fish and stealth is required. Fly rods should have their joints taped up to ensure they don't work loose during your day's fishing as the joints can snap due to casting stresses being applied when least expected.
If your quarry is sea trout during the evening or small grilse then it's appropriate to bring along single-handed fly rods of 9-11 feet in length rated for a 7-9 weight fly line.
Reels and Lines
Large arbour type reels are popular with anglers these days with various fly lines attached to 150 metres of backing line. The popular fly lines can be, for example, full 'Spey' lines, multi-tip lines or various shooting heads that are interchangeable and can be carried in the angler's jacket pocket. Popular fly line manufacturers include Rio, Guideline, Hardy, Loop, Monteith, Snowbee and Carron which produce products that are ideally suited for fishing the Dee.
Flies to bring
Depending on the time of year, you'll see 3-inch tube flies (copper or brass) being used until the water warms to over 6 degrees centigrade. Therefater, the size gets smaller and lighter until the water reaches 10 degrees centigrade when small, lightly dressed flies that are fished close to the surface are used.
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, Willie Gunn, Cascade, Tosh, Ally's Shrimp, to name but a few. Variants such as cone heads, Czech nymph and micro tubes can be utilised to good effect depending on the conditions. The popular Scandanavian flies this year have been the Monkey Fly and Sunray Shadow, allied with the Icelandic patterns such as the red and black Frances, while Dee Sheep are surefire takers on the river.
Always heed your ghillie's advice as he knows his beat and its trends better than anyone. Keep an eye on the recent catches and prospects pages on this site for up to the minute information.
Ken Reid fishing at Aboyne Castle
|Tackle shops/tackle hire|
2-8 Bridge St,
|Ladies and mens country clothing, casual and outdoor wear. Shooting and fishing accessories, rods, reels, flies, waders. Fine gifts. Tackle hire & repair service available.|
|Bill Bains Fishing Tackle|
|At Bains fishing tackle you will find knowledgeable, friendly, helpful staff, open from 9 am - 5.30 pm|
|George Strachan ltd|
|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.|