We enjoyed good fishing last week, with 66 springers landed. Friday was particularly good with 21 fish landed. A rising river on Saturday spoiled the party somewhat, but we managed six all the same. Angling pressure remains low and I can't help but think what the tally might have been with a full complement of rods.
Ghillie, Shane Christie was happy to tell me Middle Drum got off the mark with a 12lbr taken on the Dee Monkey. A couple of other smaller fish were lost.
Regular visitor, Charles Jeffrey and friends were back at Crathes Castle for a few days.
"Monday morning saw me catch the bonniest fish I've ever had from the Kashentroch at 18lbs. Whilst it certainly took off when I hooked, I never thought it was going to be that size. Phoned Brian while playing it and he came down to do his thing, and to see his face when he netted it was a picture. I managed another from the Sawmill on Wednesday afternoon of about 9lbs and I honestly thought it was a kelt until the net was under it. John Laurie had a sparkling 6lber on Tuesday, but my other two guests only managed kelts.
Drams were consumed!! We're back up in May for more of the same hopefully."
Lower Crathes got off to a flier on Monday, with five fish landed. Rod Davies had a brace at 9lbs and 10lbs, Rob Finnie had a 10lbr and Richard Smith had a wonderful fish of 18lbs. Mr Smith had another fish on Wednesday, this time a 10lbr. David Wall had five for his three days, the best a 17lbr. Pete Williams rounded things off with a 12lbr on Saturday.
Invery & Tilquhillie, burst into life on Thursday and Friday, with 11 fish in the book and a final score of 12 for the week. John Fyfe had another couple of fish at 9lb & 10lb, Kevin Pallet also had two (8lbs &12lbs), as did Iain Wilson (7lbs & 8lbs). Roy Speirs had a fish of about 6lb. Top rod was Andrew Wright of Finzean, who had five for his efforts, the best of which was 14lbs. Andrew's successful fly was a self-tied pink tube fly, later christened Lady Penelope. Well done Andrew!
Lower Blackhall and Kinneskie had one for the week, while Little Blackhall and Inchmarlo managed two.
Cairnton and Middle Blackhall has had a good start to the season and had another couple of fish last week. Gunnar Masson from Iceland landed his first Scottish salmon, a 9lbr from the Middle Ferroch on Monday morning on a Monkey. John Webb landed a liced fish in the Malt Steep on Tuesday on a Willie Gunn.
Woodend has been ticking over nicely this season. Whenever there has been sustained effort, fish are caught. Andrew Goodenough continued his good start to the season with another two from the beat. Ger Mclean hooked his fish on his second cast in the Moral Pool. Fishing partner John Fraser also landed on from the Moral. Both fish were taken on Black and Yellows. Across the river, Chris McHugh had a lovely fish at the delightful Upper Blackhall.
Commonty had a couple as did Borrowston. Kincardine had five fish; Charlie Limond had the first of these, an 8lbr on Monday and Rupert Holden had a brace.
Ballogie, ticked over with six for the week, including fish for Jim Fisher. Carlogie, which has only had a light angling pressure on it produced two.
Paul Devlin picked up a fish at Dess and John Fyfe had another, this time at Aboyne Water. David Phillips had a peach of a 17lbr from Jocky Fyfe at Craigendinnie.
Retired ghillie, Davie Goodfellow landed an 8lbr from the Barron at Waterside and Ferrar. Sandy Lawton had a 12lbr from the Haugh at Deecastle.
River levels are good and the tides are high, so no reason why we can't continue our good form this week. Overhead conditions remain mild- up to 11c/51f. We will have a mix of sunshine and cloud, and the wind will be largely from the west up to 10mph-15mph. All in all, conditions look good and hopefully, the wind behaves for a change.
With water temperatures creeping above 4c/40f on a regular basis we will see some changes in tactics. Last week Kincardine enjoyed success with s10 doubles fished near the surface. So while it's, probably premature to put away the tube flies and sinking gear, it might be worth thinking of fishing higher in the water column. Dee Monkeys, Willie Gunns and Tosh will remain in vogue, perhaps scaled down as the water drops.
As ever, listen to your ghillie!
Tight lines. Ross Macdonald email@example.com