(Last updated: Friday 13th March)
River Don Report - 13th March
The past couple of weeks have produced difficult fishing conditions all over the catchment. Cold blustery winds some reaching gale force have persisted making fly fishing near impossible and dangerous at times.
Those beats that allow saw most anglers out spinning with Devon's and Toby's.
Catches of salmon have picked up slightly with another six spring fish being landed to add to Februarys three. Parkhill, Inverurie, Manar and Kemnay beat's all reported fish caught. There are obviously small pockets of fish coming in and moving through the lower beats as anglers have been reporting seeing fish. They are slowing and stopping in the middle reaches at present. Reports have been of small fish around 5/6lbs but all newly run with a couple still carrying lice. The odd kelt is still around mainly from Kintore downriver.
The river is up today on the upper beats due to heavy rain yesterday and running slightly coloured but still fishable. There is plenty of fishing available on various beats throughout the river, a few will also open for Brown Trout fishing next week but check permit rules before starting. There has been the odd small hatch appearing but as yet I have not seen any surface feeding.
Any news, catch reports or photos are most welcome, please send to firstname.lastname@example.org
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.