Things were a little slower on the River last week, yet despite unsettled conditions we still managed to put 24 springers in the book. For the number of rods out, we are ticking over. The upper beats, above Aboyne, join the fray on Wednesday and I look forward to seeing how they fare.
It was dreadfully windy at times, particularly in the first part of the week. It was probably too windy to be outside, never mind going fishing. The wind swung about wildly at times and was difficult to predict. As an aside, it is worth reiterating that a pair of sunglasses and a hat are important pieces of safety equipment when hooks and tubes are whizzing about on days like that.
We begin this week with high water, but it will drop and clear nicely over the next few days
My friend Steve Wellard failed miserably during his visit to the river last week. Thankfully, he was accompanied by a couple of good anglers in Karen Hodgson and Jenny Cooper. Karen, fishing at Dess, kept an eye on the conditions and when the wind had dropped, albeit it briefly, she left the Dess cottage and promptly landed a 7lb fish from Rossachs on a Kinermony Killer conehead. Jenny, landed a nice fish of arounf 6lb from Glisters at Cairnton on a Park Shrimp conehead. Both fish were liced.
Park picked up a fish on Tuesday. Martin Gardiner did the business in the top of the Long Pool on the south bank. Lower Crathes and West Durris landed their four fish between Monday and Wednesday. Derek Wisemand had a cracker at 15lb, Jim Carson had one at 13lb and Neil McGowan had two at 9lb and 11lb. Crathes Castle picked up a brace on Friday afternoon at 9lb and 10lb. Speyside's Willie Roy, picked up Invery & Tilquhillie's only fish of the week, a 7lbr from the S Pool.
Upstream at Lower Blackhall and Kinneskie, David Graham had a 7lbr from Sheep Dip. His sparring partner Trevor Palmer had two. One of these was from Tony's Pool, which was created by Storm Frank. His other was from Hollybush. The fish were around 8lb and 7lb respectively. Ian Hutchinson from Banchory also had a fish from Sheep Dip. The Gold Willie Gunn was, unsurprisingly, the fly of choice for anglers and fish alike.
Sean McGarry was back on the river and added to his score with a fish of about 7lb from the Bend at Commonty, take on a Park Shrimp conehead. Ghillie Ian Fraser will be relishing the high water this week.
Glen Tanar ghillie, Craig Mcdonald landed a nice wee fish of around 6/7lb from Floating Bank at Ballogie on a Black and Yellow. Sean Stanton had one of 13lb from the Boat Pool at Carlogie on Thursday. On the other bank Chris Jefford, at Kincardine, Chris Jefford had a 14lbr. Mark Jones had a 12lbr from Lummels at Birse.
We begin the week with high water. It will drop back quickly enough and we will have good water levels this week.
Overhead conditions will be more favourable this week and we will have a mix of light cloud and sunny spells at the start of the week, turning wet with rain forecast next weekend. Air temperatures will reach a balmy 8c/46f.
Tackle and tactics remain the same as they have done since the start of the season. Floating bellies paired with a variety of tips and slow sinking or intermediate shooting heads are the main lines in use. Flies also remain the same and the gold Willie Gunn and Tosh are popular choices as is the Dee Monkey.