(Last Updated: Monday 09 May)
River Don - April Report
The past few weeks has seen a decent run of fish coming into the system, these fish took full advantage of the extra water earlier on last month and moved quickly up into the middle and upper river. Fish to 23lbs were landed and most beats are now off the mark for the season. However, over the past week river levels are now quickly dropping away and any new fish arriving off the coast are slowing up in the lower reaches from Kintore downstream. Anglers fishing on the ADAA beats are reporting seeing small runs of fish arriving off the tides and several pools are beginning to hold fish which will help slow these new arrivals. Earlier running fish are now well scattered throughout the upper river but will be difficult to temp on the warmer brighter days and clear water, it may be best fishing later in the evenings when conditions are more suitable for salmon angling.
Sea trout have begun to arrive, a few have already been landed off the lower beats up to 3lbs but a persistent chilly easterly breeze off the coast has put anglers off venturing out late on.
Brown trout anglers are reporting some good dry fly fishing across several beats with fish averaging over 1lb including the odd specimen fish to 6.5lbs being landed. Olive Uprights and Large Brook Duns have been getting the trout active around midday but be prepared to adapt tactics to get the best out of your day as hatches are sometimes short lived.
The odd hawthorn has started to appear on the middle beats and grannom will be next to appear on the list as the month moves on. Rain showers are forecast for the beginning of next week so will hopefully help freshen up the river.
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River Don - March Report
Over the past few week’s anglers had to contend with a mix of weather and water conditions. The early weeks of the month saw higher river levels dictate events and a few days fishing was lost due to combined snow melt and rain. Continual blustery conditions have also kept angling effort low on numerous beats and catches of spring salmon have remained low with only a handful of fresh fish reported off beats at Parkhill, Kintore and Kemnay waters. Despite their lack in numbers the condition of fish has been superb with barrel shaped specimens landed. Fresh fish have begun to arrive in the upper reaches, beats above Alford are seeing the odd springer and these should provide sport to visiting anglers over the coming weeks. Encouragingly on the ADAA beats salmon anglers have reported seeing small pockets of fish over the week moving through the pools and given more settled conditions we are hopeful for better sport in April.
The brown trout season started for most beats on the 15th, despite less-than-ideal overhead conditions the season has begun well. The cold wet weather did not help the dry fly enthusiasts but those fishing deeper in the water column with nymphs did better with fish up to 4lbs, the feedback from anglers is that the majority are in decent early season condition. The odd march brown and olive came off the water, but it was tough going over those early days to find a rising feeding fish. However, the following week saw a warmer weather pattern appear over the catchment, it almost felt like a proper summer had arrived early with daytime temperatures reaching 18c. The sun shone brightly and helped warm up the water encouraging a daily trickle of flies to the surface which in turn brought frantic activity from eager trout. Good sport on the dry fly was reported by anglers from Kildrummy on the upper reaches downstream to Fintray. These short spells of surface activity can be highly productive for the dry fly angler, hatches have been appearing around 12.30 and can last anything from 10 minutes to over an hour. The final days of March saw a return to a much colder spell of weather, a good layer of fresh snow appearing over the higher hills this morning has put an end to those anglers’ targeting trout on the dry fly, a change in tactics will be required over the coming days.