4lbs+ 'steelhead' caught in tidal waters by member of ADAA.
A 10lb hen fish caught and released by Alister McIntyre.
The first two weeks of the month saw steady numbers of salmon being caught over the entire river system. A lot of anglers have been turning their attention to the sea trout, which has been excellent throughout
the entire month, especially for the ADAA waters that have had the most fishing effort, which in turn has paid dividends on their catch figures, which are well up on the previous year.
On the Grandhome estate the catches for the month has also been exceptionally good for salmon and sea trout. The catch returns from proprietors will now be filtering into the board over the coming weeks and it
will be interesting to see what the final tally is for the spring months.
Hopefully anglers will have given their returns to the proprietors.
Most beats are still doing well for the brown trout, but the largest trout I have heard caught for the month was on the Kildrummy fishing on the top reaches of the river system. A fish of 8lb was caught by a
visiting angler from France, he had the fish on for 20 minutes got it into the side many times before it kept running again, then eventually it broke free and won the day. I think the next time he fishes the
Don he won't use a 4lb nylon line, he will be using one that's a little bit stronger.
A lot of beats all over the system now return their trout to the river in the hope that at the next visit they will be a bit larger.
The fishing on Donside has continued to be excellent last month, for all species, The Don really is an excellent mixed fishery.
It has been a superb season to date, with the best spring run in many years, and now in late July we still have the best of the Dons salmon fishing still to come, hopefully we will have a strong grilse and
autumn run to look forward to.
The sea trout run has been exceptional, best in many years. These lively summer fish are back in abundance on Donside, with fish getting caught throughout the system. The ADAA waters on the lower system and
council fishing's in the middle have performed particularly well, with the ADAA waters landing over 150 sea trout for the month!. Not only are they back in excellent numbers, but also the size and quality of the
fish has been exceptional.
I have heard of a number of 6lb fish taken, and the average would appear to be around 3-4lbs. Kenny Riddle had a cracker of 6lb from Upper Fintray early in the month whilst fishing one of the ADAA regular
competitions, I understand that it did not count towards the competition as it was a Sunday brown trout competition. This must be the only times someone is disappointed to catch a 6lb brown trout.
The brown trout fishing has also been very good this season. Though we are entering a slower period for trout fishing on Donside, we have seen some excellent trout caught. Fish of over 6lbs have been taken,
with fish of 3 and 4lbs being almost regular this season. Ronnie Watt had a 6lb trout whilst fishing the Houghton beat, taken on a small stoat tail. Surprisingly the fish was taken in only a couple of inches of
water, barely enough to cover its back.
A few rainbows have also been taken in the last month, both in the lower rivers ADAA waters. This is a bit of a worry as we do not know where they have come from, and these fish are large and aggressive
predators. One was caught at Parkhill and another one in the tidal waters at Netherdon, this one was witnessed by Martin Webster, the rivers deputy superintendant. Healthy debate has taken place as to whether
this is a rainbow, a blue or even a steelhead, as it was taken in tidal waters. No scales were taken so we may never know but certainly the rivers board and trust are watching the rainbow situation with
Jim Kerr, river superintendant tells me that Grilse are now entering the system in numbers, though some larger fish are still being taken and I hear of salmon to 20lbs being taken. Mr Sandison had a fine though
coloured 16lb summer fish at Lower Parkhill, taken on a small spinner the fish was returned to continue its journey. Ian McPherson had an excellent day late in the month, with 4 fish from Parkhill. Given water
the grilse and autumn run should start continue and build in numbers from now, and hopefully the under fished Don waters will see some angling effort from now, and catches will raise considerably.
Though we enjoyed the best spring fishing in many years the Don remains an autumn river. The Don really is a day ticket river and availability is excellent, as usual the river is being lightly fished. As we
move into August these fisheries will all be entering the best fishing of the season, as the salmon numbers build up daily. The wild brown trout are also expected to be caught in increased numbers as the season comes to an end. It is often as the season closes that we see some of the very large brown trout being caught, and I hope we again see a double-figure wild brownie taken this season.