When to fish for salmon

Length of season

The salmon angling season on the Don commences on the 11th February and closes on the 31st October.

Brown trout fishing season officially starts on the 15th March but the majority of river beats begin brown trout angling on the 1st April ending on the 1st September.

Spring salmon

2005 offered the best spring run of salmon for ten years. All River Don beats reported an upturn in the numbers of spring salmon being seen and a significant increase in the rod catch. Prior to this season, there had been a decline in the runs of spring salmon for a number of years, hence the conservation measures were introduced.

Summer salmon

From the middle of June grilse usually enter the river in large numbers, eagerly taking to fly. If water levels are favourable the grilse move quickly upstream to the middle river beats from Alford to Kildrummy.

The summer months can be joy to the fly angler in pursuit of the sea trout especially during the hours from dusk to darkness and at first light.

Autumn salmon

Don autumn salmon are present in the river system from the middle of August onwards. The back end salmon can be heavy fish weighing from 20+ lbs. If the river runs high the autumn salmon move upstream to the waters of Alford and beyond when the river is in flood.

Summer wild brown trout

From the month of May onwards throughout the summer months, fly fishing for brown trout, wet or dry, is a sport all of its own. Anglers come from far and wide to pit their skills against some of the craftiest and most exciting wild brown trout to be found anywhere in Europe. Trout weighing from 4 lbs to 8 lbs are not unusual on the Don, with occasional fish reaching 10 lbs and more.

A summer Don trout.