(Last updated: Monday 8th June)
River Don Report - 8th June
The past few weeks has seen this year's Sea Trout making an appearance. The lower beats from Fintry down river are currently having the best of the sport although Inverurie and Kemnay beats are now also producing a few. The condition of this year's Sea Trout has been remarked upon by anglers, plump well fed fish the biggest landed so far has been at 6lbs. Late evening sport has been hard going due to the cooler temperature and prevailing gusty winds. Fishing between 7-9pm seems to be paying dividends at the moment. Some big browns have been appearing in the last hour of daylight and the quality of fish being landed is superb, they have really fed on well in the past couple of months and are in top fighting condition. A good few have been in the 5-6lb range. Anglers have been losing a lot of big trout due to being broken so its advisable come up a size or two in breaking strain.
Salmon catches remain low with just the odd fresh fish being reported from the lower and middle river. Any new fish coming in are quickly spread out and it's really a case of going through the motions and hoping
for the best. A mix of older and fresher fish are in the
upper river a few have been landed by Trout anglers on small flies. Local Salmon anglers are putting in the hours on the river bank but success stories are thin on the ground. Grilse are being seen around Parkhill so at least that's a positive. A few beats are still to record their first Salmon whilst others are nearing double figures. We remain positive our share will arrive.
The main Salmon smolt run appears to be finished, in the past couple of weeks Sea Trout smolts have been appearing these are normally a few weeks later moving than the Salmon.
River levels remain on the low side which will suit the lower beats best at the moment although Sea Trout and Grilse will move upriver on darkness. The weather forecast for the week looks set to see temperatures climb, this should help kick start the evening fishing.
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2014 Season Review
February – March
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.
June – July
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.
August – September
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.