Caledonia Fly Co

Fishing Reports

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(Last updated: Wednesday 19th August)

River Don Report - 19th August

Despite some heavy downpours in the past few weeks the river has not risen a great deal but has ran very dirty for a day or two afterwards. Today after yesterday's persistent rain the Don is flowing very coloured and pretty much unfishable but is on the rise throughout the system. Hopefully we will receive more than a few inches of new water to keep levels topped up.

Catches have been slow all over with salmon and grilse only landed in small numbers, however at least all areas are reporting some sport be it limited. The upper beats down to the lower tidal areas are now getting a fish or two mostly fresh grilse. A few small grilse have also been appearing around the 2 lb mark many sporting swollen red vents. Sealiced fish are being reported as far upriver around the Alford area so they are not hanging about in the lower beats some older versions are also being caught. The lack of salmon anglers seen fishing in the past couple of weeks on the middle/upper Don could be missing out with fish running this hard, they have to slow down eventually!

Apart from a few fresh run Sea trout being landed from the Cruives beat down to the tidal area the majority now being landed are well coloured up and soft in the belly. The nights are already drawing in and with the past few late evenings turning much colder anglers after brown trout are experiencing more activity in the afternoons into early evening. The ADAA beats have again fished well for trout despite less than ideal river conditions at times fish have been up on the surface feeding hard for short spells. Trout up to 4lbs have been caught on CDC emerger and sedge patterns.

If any anglers require more scale packets or have been lucky enough to get some samples for reading then please get in contact with me at

Any news, catch reports or photos are always welcome.

Martin Webster

Fishing on the River Don
A cracking summer grilse from the river in late July

Fishing on the River Don
A traditional Don brownie.

Fishing on the River Don
24lb River Don Salmon landed and returned from the middle reaches last week. The fish was 40inch long and very deep.

Fishing on the River Don
Mark Whitmarsh pictured with Trout of 2.25lb & 3.5lbs Both caught on Kildrummy waters which is reporting some excellent sport at present. Mark also lost another trout estimated at 4lbs. Other trout averaging 1.5lbs being reported daily,most being landed on dries, nymphs and spider patterns.

Fishing on the River Don

Season review

2014 Season Review

The first few weeks of the Salmon season say small runs of fresh fish entering the system, these fish quickly spread out due to the high water levels and above average water
temperatures. Angling effort was low on many areas which reflected in the catches but Beats around the Inverurie area picked away with fresh well-conditioned springer's being landed by local and visiting rods. The Lower beats were seeing fish moving through the pools but catching them proved difficult. By mid-March fresh salmon were being landed above Alford.

The Brown Trout season got under way for most beats and with weather conditions reasonable some excellent early dry fly fishing was had throughout the river. Trout varying in size from 3/4lb up to 7lb were landed as LDO and March Browns hatched for short spells around lunchtime bringing fish up onto the surface. Salmon anglers were having a harder time as numbers of fresh fish running the river slowed down. As we moved into May Salmon were being seen on the upper river beats but went off the take quickly. The first of the years Sea Trout were landed in April from the lower river beats at Parkhill and Grandhome. River levels began to fall away with only the odd shower of rain falling over the catchment. The Smolt migration was a highlight with hundreds being witnessed daily in the smolt trap at Alford. This continued from early April right through into the middle of May.

Long hot summer days meant anglers were limited to early morning and late evening sessions. Catches of Sea Trout were up on the previous year with some decent sized fish around 5-6lb being landed amongst the normal 2lb fish, most being caught on the fly in the evenings. Brown Trout continued to provide good sport, with some fantastic catches on the fly being reported off the ADAA waters and Kildrummy beats. The odd fresh Salmon was landed off the lower beats around Parkhill but Grilse were few and far between. The river was low and ran very clear, rain was desperately needed by the upper beats to get salmon anglers back out onto the river.

The long awaited rise in river levels finally came and produced a couple of week's action with fish up to 26lbs being landed. A few Grilse came in and moved quickly upstream giving sport to anglers around Alford, but these new fresh runners soon dried up. The odd resident fish lying in the deeper pools at Kintore and Fintry came back on the take as the water temperature dropped away come late September. The upper beats at Kildrummy and Semeil started to see their pools hold fish as they moved upstream into the spawning areas. A mix of clean and coloured fish they provided some long awaited sport to visiting anglers. The lower river continued to struggle with only small numbers of fresh fish appearing off the tides. A decent amount of Sea Trout was still being landed throughout the system which bodes well for future years.

Normally the busiest month on Donside but with Salmon catches remaining low many anglers decided to only fish for a few hours each day and many beats were lightly fished. There was a slight improvement as the month went on with sealiced fish being landed in better numbers from Grandhome upriver to Kintore beats. A few large 20lb coloured fish were landed in the
upper river and a kelt was even caught on the 9th. Weather conditions were very changeable with river changing every few days which seemed to unsettle the fish. Falling leaves also became a nuisance on the last week. Most beats returns for migratory fish were well down and Salmon anglers were glad to see the last day of the season.

Martin Webster

To read the reports from March through to July, click here.