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(Last updated: Monday 13th June)
River Don - 13th June
The past few weeks has been slow going with just the odd fresh salmon reported from the lower beats. Low water levels and bright overhead conditions meant few anglers were out targeting salmon during the day. The Don unfortunately missed the heavy downpours last week and at present still remains low and clear. There are rain showers forecast for this week but these are unlikely to have any effect and a decent rise is badly needed for the middle and upper river salmon anglers.
Evenings forays are proving more successful and the river is busy on certain stretches with anglers out after trout and seatrout. Grilse have started to trickle in and a few have been landed in the 3-4lb mark from the lower river, fresh run off the tide. Grilse will push upriver even in low water and can be great fun on the right balanced tackle. The usual fly patterns dressed sparsely like silver stoats, cascade and shrimp patterns in 10's and 12's will suffice.
Brown trout anglers are still landing some fantastic fish throughout the system, Kildrummy stretch is regularly reporting 2-3lb trout along with plenty smaller ones also being caught and the sport continues on downstream at Breda, Castle Forbes and down to Parkhill on the ADAA waters. Dry sedge patterns and nymphs are attracting the bigger specimens late on in the evening.
One issue of concern is that anglers have recently been catching and noticing quite a few brown trout from various beats with varying stages of disease around the head of the fish. This is most likely to be a bacterial infection which has increased with the sudden rise in water temperatures experienced over the past two weeks. Can any angler catching or seeing any fish with major skin abrasions please call 01330 830080 and report it to the Don Fishery Officer on duty. Fish caught in very poor condition will require to be kept alive for analysis these fish will be collected by the River Don staff.
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Angling season review 2015
It was a slow start to the salmon angling season with only 3 spring fish reported by the end of February. As expected salmon kelts were caught in the first few weeks but soon moved on down river leaving the pools empty. Throughout March small pockets of fish moved into the system and quickly spread out, salmon were landed from Parkhill up to Tillyfourie and by the end of the month numbers had increased to 18 with the biggest being reported at 15lbs. Although angling effort was low throughout the system the overall number of spring fish reported was well down on previous years.
April saw salmon catches drop away to just a few reported from various beats for the month. Although the lower beats were seeing runs of fish not many could be tempted. The middle river beats did better and catches picked up slightly as fish slowed after racing through. A 24lb fish from landed from Manar beat in May and was the heaviest springer landed over the period. Many beats saw anglers fishing mostly for brown trout and reports of decent catches were coming off the river. Kildrummy water fished very well as did Kintore, Monymusk and the ADAA beats around Parkhill. Well - conditioned trout up to an amazing 29inches were being reported caught. Daily hatches of Olives enticed trout to feed on the surface providing dry fly anglers with some excellent sport. During the last week of April salmon smolts could be seen going down over the weirs on the lower river, this continued into the middle of May before sightings tailed off. The excellent fishing for trout continued in to May with all sections of river fishing well. The odd sea trout was caught from the lower beats as the month drew to a close.
Seatrout numbers were up on the previous year and throughout the month of June they provided some much needed sport to beats from Inverurie down to the estuary.Anglers at Parkhill enjoyed some great evenings mostly with plump 2-3lb fish but a few bigger specimen fish were encountered the best reported at 8lbs. The main run of Grilse failed to appear on the coast and only a few were caught for the month. Summer salmon catches improved for the upper river beats as any new fish that came in on the higher than normal river levels.Any new fish entering continued to move quickly upriver and the upper Beats at Ardhuncart and Kildrummy began to see and catch fish most very fresh in condition. Late evening fishing for trout and sea trout was proving best for anglers out on the river.
Reported catches of grilse were again poor although in the first few weeks of Sept, numbers did improve and a few were landed from the ADAA beats, their overall condition this season was better with the majority landed around 4/6lb. Red vent was noticeable on most. The trout fishing tailed off as weather and water levels changed bringing colder spells over the catchment. Runs of sea trout tailed off and most landed were well coloured by mid August.
Fresh back end fish were landed from the lower beats at Grandhome and the ADAA beats for the month but not in the normal expected quantity. Small silver grilse were landed as far up as Alford but coloured salmon made up the majority of landings throughout the month. There were a few salmon reported over 20lbs in the last month the heaviest at 25lb from Kildrummy water. The spawning areas on the upper reaches began to see fish already cutting redds. Annual catch figures for salmon are still to be released but early indications are of another poor total.