Caledonia Fly Co

Fishing Reports

(Last updated: Tuesday 28th October)

River Don Report - 28th October

Anglers have had to compete with some difficult fishing conditions in the past few weeks' strong winds, coloured water and leaves all put in an appearance which made things even more trying. Now with only a few days remaining of the salmon angling season many local anglers have already decided to pack their gear away. Usually the angler's car parks and laybys would be full but driving around the river today it was disappointing to see many beats empty of rods.

Apart from the odd decent day when the fish decided to come on the take it has been a poor end to what is normally a prime month for catches. Even when the river rose it soon became apparent that there were no large shoals of autumn fish waiting to enter the system. Although the lower beats reported seeing some small runs of fresh fish every other day moving up through the pools these fish quickly spread out and became lost in the beats upstream. As many beats were devoid of resident fish they simply kept on heading upriver to the spawning grounds.

Pools at Kildrummy and Glenkindie on the upper river are filling up with coloured fish and as is normal at this time of year proved uncatchable one day to providing good sport the next. Beats around Alford picked up the odd fish or two but again being in the right place was more important than fly choice. The occasional fresher one appeared in catches from Alford Council Beat and Castle Forbes but the bulk have been in their spawning colours. The majority have weighed between 4 and 8lbs but a few bigger coloured specimens have been taken with fish up to 26lbs from Kemnay ADAA beat. Anglers have been very conservation minded in such lean times and returned a high percentage of fish back to the river.

Anglers on the lower Don from Kintore downriver have also had to be content with limited sport,few days did produce some better catches of fresher fish to 18lbs mainly on the spinner when the water was bigger but overall returns will be well down on past years on most beats.

Positives for the year, well it was a decent spring run with catches of fresh quality fish present on the middle reaches from late March through till early May. Sea Trout catches were better than 2013 and the large downstream Salmon smolt migration was fantastic to see throughout the month of April. The quality of Brown Trout fishing still amazes many visiting anglers to Donside and specimen Trout over 5lbs have been landed from all over the catchment.
On the downside the Grilse run never materialised (we were not the only river) even after the August flood and the silver autumn fish that the Don is known for have also failed to arrive in any considerable amount.

Many thanks to all anglers local and visiting who have been in touch and sent in catch reports and photos throughout the year your help is greatly appreciated. If anyone requires any river information for next season please contact me at

Martin Webster
Don District Salmon Fishery Board

Fishing on the River Don
Well done Ralph Green - lovely spring landed last night on the Don at Inverurie - he lost one too 1 April 2014.

Fishing on the River Don
Fish On !!!

Fishing on the River Don
a 9lb fish on Breda in october

Fishing on the River Don
Another grilse one of four that day on Breda.

Fishing on the River Don

Fishing on the River Don

Fishing on the River Don

Fishing on the River Don

Season review

2013 Season Review

River Report 10th Oct

As we enter the last few weeks of the season the river has finally received a decent rise. The water rose nearly 2ft and is running very dirty today. At last the Don is back to a height more associated with this time of year. Last week's rainfall did little for the water levels; although most Scottish rivers received a decent rise the Don only had an inch of new water. Time was running out for salmon anglers on the middle and upper river but hopefully now this will provide some badly needed sport and push the fish that have been lying in the lower beats upriver. The phone has been ringing steadily today with anglers looking for fishing in the remaining weeks.

As was expected catches have been poor on the middle and upper beats over the past few weeks with just the odd coloured fish along with a few fresher Grilse being landed. Anglers are also reporting that there is very few resident fish occupying the pools, I personally think many fish have fallen back downriver into the deeper pools. The lower Don beats are not exactly hauling them out either although beats from Fintry downriver are managing a few daily, mainly Grilse from 4-7lbs along with a few bigger coloured fish which have come back on the take since the water temperature has fallen.

Finally can all anglers please be aware that there is a tagging programme being carried out at present. There has been a number of adult Salmon, Sea trout and Brown trout fitted with radio tracking transmitters. These fish are easily identified by an orange or yellow floy tag in the dorsal fin or alternatively with a blue inkjet spot mark on the belly and should be returned alive to the river. Posters will be erected in angler's car parks, fishing huts and shelters in the next few days with more information on this project.

Tight lines for the remainder of the season and please forward on any catches or photos to donfish2@btinternet

Martin Webster

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