The Woodend beat of the famous River Dee is in the heart of Royal Deeside and is situated about 4 miles west of the popular small town of Banchory.
The beat, which fishes two rods, is just over a mile long on the north bank and consists of 11 named pools, including the Moral Pool described by John Ashley Cooper as one of the most famous pools on the Dee. The beat is accessible by car as there is a rough track which runs the full length. There is also a secure rod room in which to store fishing equipment.
Garden cottage has two twin rooms and is available with the fishing by separate arrangement. Please contact us for details or see our website. www.woodend.org.
Woodend is one of the Dee beats which can genuinely claim to fish in all water heights. The considerable fall of the river between the Garden and Boat Hole pools gives marvellous streamy water at low levels, and when the river rises then perhaps the Long pool, fished off the bank, is one of the most enjoyable casts on the River Dee. The famous Moral Pool fishes in all water heights and will have resident fish everyday of the season.
Sea Trout arrive in numbers usually from June onwards, the Moral pool holding considerable numbers, but all pools at Woodend hold stocks.
1.GARDEN POOL - Fishes at all heights. In low water the top of the pool and the tail are best, fishing right down to the Chestnut pool. In high water fish push up close to the bank and are eminently coverable.
2. CHESTNUT POOL - A short, low to medium water height pool. Fish just off the fast water at the top of the pool and then all across the middle and tail. The biggest problem with the Chestnut is keeping fish in the pool after a take, they usually head off downstream!
3. TANK POOL - A short pool for low water.
4. HOUSE POOL & 5. BLUE CHAIR - Medium to low water. Probably best considered as one pool. Classic Dee floating line fishing with easy wading and the chance of a fish all the way through. Not considered a holding pool but a good resting / pausing pool and therefore a good taking pool for salmon or sea trout.
6. FIR TREE - Low water. Difficult wading. A pool for the agile and determined!
7. BOAT HOLE- Medium to low water. There is always a good chance of a take in the Boat Hole. The difficult bit is fly presentation through the pool, with the main flow under one’s feet initially and then being split with large boulders just below the surface.
The best policy is to treat the top 40 yards of the pool as two separate locations, fishing both the inside flow and the quieter more even pull of the outside water with upstream mends to stop the fly dragging. Emphasis must be placed on the ‘outside water’ as this is where most takes occur. In lower water the stream dies on our bank but will still fish on the far side as it quickens to approach the Loop pool.
8. LOOP - All heights. In the Spring of 2005, large amounts of shingle were deposited on our side at the top of the Loop pool, greatly enhancing the fishing from being a relatively deep wade in order to achieve fishable water. It is now easily waded and the flow of water being constricted to the far bank pulls through much further. As the river rises, return closer to the bank until conditions dictate that the pool is best fished from the bank.
9. LONG POOL - Medium to high water. The Long pool is a continuation of the Loop, getting better as the water rises. In medium water the Long pool can be waded but it is deep with some large boulders to navigate. It is when the levels get to around 1 metre on the gauging station (by the ‘wires’) and the boulders on our side are submerged that the Long pool excels.
Fish run up our side in high water showing all the way down. Takes can come right up to the bank, most commonly only 7 or 8 yards out. The area above and below the "wires" is particularly productive when the fish are running.
10. THE MORAL -All heights. Justifiably described as one of the Dee’s best pools, a genuine holding pool which will always have resident fish (and stocks of Sea Trout from June onwards).
In low water fish the confluence of the various streams entering the pool at the bottom of the island, known as Bassett’s Hole. By wading out across the gravelbank, then working back, takes are most common quite close to the far bank where there is a reasonable flow.
The flow then picks up opposite the hut and provides superb fly fishing in low to medium water for the next 150 yards until the water spills out into the "Little Girnal" pool of the next beat on the far side. In medium to high water the Moral fishes all the way through with fish running up the left bank.
11. THE GIRNAL -Medium to high water. Worth a cast if you see fish entering the Moral as the Girnal provides resting / pausing opportunities in the middle of a long steep unbroken stretch of water after Lower Woodend.
The fishing at Woodend is full of character, no matter what the height of water; the pools are all quite different and offer interesting fishing with easy wading in most places, or from the bank depending on the height of the river.
There is a comfortable fishing hut overlooking the Moral pool towards the bottom of the beat which has a wood burning stove, gas ring and is fully equipped with plates, cutlery and glasses for picnics by the river (picnic lunches can be provided at some extra cost - contact: Miranda McHardy Email Us Tel: 01330 822367.