The season starts on the 25th February but beats are encouraged not to open until the 1st April. The season ends on 31st October. Trout fishing begins on 15th March and ends on 6th October. As elsewhere in Scotland, there is no Sunday fishing for salmon or sea trout and there is currently no close season for coarse fish.
Spring, summer & autumn fishing
There is no real spring run on the Dee and, although some fish are counted before May on the river's fish counter, it tends to be towards the end of May/early June before salmon angling begins in earnest. The main run of fish available to anglers is in most years confined to July and there can be some large summer salmon of 10lb around this time.
Due to the water height regulation by the Galloway hydro scheme, the river isn't a hostage to spate conditions as the other Galloway rivers are. This means that salmon have the opportunity to be attracted in from the estuary by hydro generation activity and may run when other rivers are experiencing low water. The back end can be productive for both salmon and grilse, with some fish entering fresh run into the last week of the season.
The River Dee upstream of Bridge of Dee near Castle Douglas
Although sea trout numbers were not particularly high in the 1990s, numbers have improved especially on the beats below Glenlochar. The larger sea trout tend to enter the river during late May and early June, with smaller fish during July.