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(Last updated: Monday 20th July)
River Don Report - 20th July
The fishing has gone a little flat in the past couple of weeks; this is possibly due to the lack of anglers venturing out when there is a strong chance of lightning appearing. Heavy weather has hung over the catchment of late causing some prolonged spells of thunder and lightning.
Runs of fresh sea trout which had provided great sport throughout June have slowly dried up with only the odd clean one now being reported from the lower river. The majority of sea trout being landed now from Kintore up to Kemnay are darkening up and are best returned to the river. A couple of sudden water rises raised expectations but anglers reported a lot of heavy sediment in the water which lasted for a few days and this never does any favours for fishing. A few days seen the lower river resemble oxtail soup and remained unfishable. Keepers on the upper reaches reported large area's of peat bank loss which explained the poor condition.
Landings of grilse and summer salmon have continued to be slow through- out the system with just an unexpected sealiced fish appearing here and there out of the blue. Of the few landed all have been in good condition between 4- 6lb and well fed. No need to panic just yet but they are obviously not in the bay in any numbers or they would have run in off that last decent rise. With reports of better catches now appearing from rivers further north the next few weeks should tell.
Brown trout continue to provide good sport mainly still in the evenings with sedge patterns working well lately.
Booking have been steady for the up coming back end months so it's advisable for anglers wishing to get their preferred dates to book shortly. If any visiting angler requires any information on River Don beats or accommodation please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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.