The brown trout fishing on the River Don is covered throughout its length by a Protection Order. For further details of the protection order click here Day tickets are available to the visiting angler at various outlets for certain sections of the river.
The River Don rises in the eastern edges of the Cairngorms, approximately 6 miles north of Corgaff and the upper reaches meander through low, rolling hills and sheep farming country. The water is crystal clear and contains traces of lime which supports the exceptional ecology of this famous Scottish river, possibly the finest brown trout river in Scotland.
This is not a large river but one blessed with perfect trout-lying water sustained, by various, sizeable burns. Over a mile long stretch of the upper river you would expect to find four or five deep holding pools together with equal numbers of fast flowing riffles and long, shallow sketches. You don't have to travel more than 50 metres to find fish holding water.
As the river travels towards Alford it triples in volume and width but retains much of the same character. Here the farming is rich in both cereal and animal stock. The water quality is excellent and still clear with little suspended silt; ideal for both wet and dry fly fishing. For administration purposes the Don is divided roughly into an upper and lower section just east of Alford.
From here the river flows in a less meandering pattern through some of the best farming in Aberdeenshire. The middle section over the next 15 miles in and around Monymusk contain some of the largest brown trout. Fish of up to 4lbs are not uncommon and larger fish (up to 6 or 8lbs) are caught from time to time, although they are not easy to land using light fly tackle.
Fishing pressure is a little greater on the lower river where Kintore and Inverurie Associations lease stretches of the water. In the five or six miles before Aberdeen, the river becomes a little slower, with some suspended material and less clarity. The fishing remains excellent although interest is equally concentrated on salmon.
The brown trout fishing season is from 15th March to 6th October, although many proprietors and associations don't start until 1st April. Anglers should check out the arrangements for the particular sections of water they wish to fish.
Trout anglers should also be aware that this is a salmon river. The salmon season runs from 11th February to 31st October.
The Don and District Salmon Board have their own rules and recommendations and these should be carefully noted.
A typical Don Brown Trout.
Mossat Trout Fishery
Lochter Trout Fishery