Dee Fishing Report Week Ending 20 August 2016

August 22, 2016

Last week on the river was sluggish; thankfully, it wasn't caused by a lack of fish. There were fish in the river, one middle river proprietor told me one of his main pools was stuffed with fish, but they proved to be largely elusive. It was a similar story up and down the valley, with several ghillies reporting lots of obstinate fish, including the fresh ones. It's good to hear we have a head of fish in the river- catching them is another matter.

An unfortunate outbreak of summer weather didn't help matters in the early part of the week and while it may have been a boon for Deeside's many tourists, I prefer warm sunny days to be confined to Sundays only. It looks like we will have better conditions this week and the tourists will have to break out the cagoules when we get some welcome rain on Tuesday.

It was good to see Kingcausie get a few more fish. There has been a lot going on down there with the Western Peripheral Route construction so pleasing to see them get hold of a few. Kingcausie can be very productive in August and September.

There are plenty fish in the pools on the lower beats and fresh grilse among them, but they were obstinate.The lower river had a slow week with Park having the best of it just five fish. The Gaskell party had one at Altries, a fresh 6lbr. Craig Sneddon caught a fresh grilse, his first Dee fish, at Park. John Gilles, Dean McGowan, and Dave Andrew, also had fish there. Park have had a couple this morning, so let's hope the fish are more compliant this week.

Lower Crathes also toiled with just three fish, all to Richard Harris. Ian Scott had Crathes Castle's only fish. A drop in temperatures would be more than welcome at his point. This summer thing is dragging on a bit, is it not? The Feugh went up on Saturday, which affected the lower beats. Banchory had a lean time and the Feugh's untimely rise put the tin hat on it. There was one fish from the Feugh at Heughhead.

Cairnton and Middle Blackhall had three for the week. Lee Craig, visiting from the Carham beat on the Tweed had a fresh grilse from Rock Heads on a small Editor. Paul Wilmanski had a 10lbr and a grilse on a size 12 Stoat.

Woodend had a decent week. They had a long-standing Swedish tenant, who has fished the beat for thirty years, on the water last week. He landed nine for the week, plus a couple of sea trout.

Sluie, which is always good value, picked a credible five for the week. The pickings were slimmer at Ballogie and Carlogie, again plenty fish showing in the pools, but showing little inclination to take the fly. There were some good rods there, so if the fish had been on the take, they would have landed many more.

Dess proprietor, Jeremy Clayton got on the scorecard last week, as did Richard Pursglove. The ‘wee black flea' and Munro Killer, were the successful patterns.

Major Wyatt had three of Aboyne Castle's fish- a couple of these were fresh grilse taken on a small Stoat. There were also fresh fish in evidence at Dinnet and couple landed. A Danish visitor got one and lost a few more (and also managed one from Kincardine). Jason Walls had a fresh fish from Highburn on the Red Frances. Anthony Donnelly had a fish from 29, while Patrick Gray had a good fish from Pol Slachd.

John Gray's party all had fish at Cambus last week on a range of flies and tactics, from small Stoats to larger Red Frances fished deep.

Ian Murray's beats were lightly fished last week, especially earlier in the week. They picked up a couple at Monaltrie and one at Lower Invvercauld. Glen Muick, which isn't on FishDee, also continued to pick away. Successful flies were small Dee Sheep, Glen Muick Sheep and Arndilly Fancys fished on long leaders.


We will have better cloud cover than last week, although there will be sunny spells, with air temperatures reaching 21 degrees. Water temperatures have been in the 13-15 degrees range Wednesday looks to be bright and sunny all day. Water levels are okay, but we could do with a rise anytime now. The full floater and small hairwings such as the Silver Stoat, Crathie and Editor and Dee Sheep will be good choices as the water is clear. There are fish in the pools, but they have been hard to tempt, which is always a challenge. It may pay to change the menu and offer them a fly fished deep- a Frances may be just the trick. As ever, listen to your ghillie.

Tight lines. Ross Macdonald