Lousy weather continues to hamper us on Deeside. The low water, bright sunshine, wind and a chill in the air conspire against us to make for challenging conditions- but that's fishing. We have bigger tides now, but I would have liked a bigger push of water to entice the fish to run. Some will, of course, and the lower water will favour the lower beats, looking for a fish sneaking through. Ardoe and Murtle got off the mark, picking up just such a fish.
We finished on forty-six, spread out from the bottom river at Ardoe up to Crathie, which got off the mark with a few last week, also losing a real thumper at the net.
Lower Crathes and West Durris picked up nine. The beat fishes best with a bit more water, but the rods worked hard and had a particularly good day on Friday, with six fresh fish. Stephen Paterson had a lovely liced fish of around 15lb on Thursday from Kelpie. Jim Coates had a brace from the Mill Pool on a small Red Frances tube on Friday and Stuart Yeats had a liced fish from Balbridie on Friday and is smarting from the loss of a much bigger fish in the Bridge Pool, but better to have loved and lost and all that. Stuart tells me he saw quite a few fish running on Friday. Danish visitors Messrs Iversen and Neilsen shared five for their short visit.
Mattias Helde and Jonas Runnberg brought another Fiskebloggen party to the river last week. The guys worked hard and managed fish at Crathes Castle, Birse and Dess. It's great to have these guys on the river, they fish hard!!
Invery and Tilquhillie had four last week. Colin Harvey made his usual contribution with a couple of nice fish, a 6lbr from Pantoch and a 14lbr from the Old Kiln. Dee regular Erik Cullen added another to his scorecard with a liced 9lbr, also from the Old Kiln. Another Dee regular Emmanuel Fargnoli, from Switzerland, had a 9lbr from Floating Bank. Banchory's fish was landed by 80-year-old Eddie Bisset.
Klaus Henrikson and Hovard Bollo each had a 7lbr at Lower Blackhall and Kinneskie, both on Sunrays from Winnie Brae and Sandy Haven. George Goodchild showed the low water was no impediment, by landing a fish from the Upper Roe Pot and Little Blackhall and Inchmarlo.
Cairnton and Middle Blackhall picked up a couple. Andrew Legge had a liced 7lb fish from the Cottage and Paul Devlin landed a 10lbr, also again from the Cottage on Saturday.
Commonty had a couple, one John Jordan in the streamy water between the Boat Pool and the Garden. Three fish were landed at Ballogie, including one for Andy Whiteman.
Kincardine had four including a lovely fresh fish for Louisa Holden, on a size 12 Silver Stoat. Niklas Erdhage had Birse's fish and another member of the Fiskebloggen party had a 17lbr at Dess.
The upper beats managed a few. Ian Mackenzie had a superb 16lbr from the Waterside Pool and Waterside and Ferrar and another similar sized fish was landed at Lower Invercauld. Dinnet also had one, while Crathie had three. Mike Hendry had a 12lbr from Maclaren's, there was an 8lbr from Painter and John Fyfe had a 13lbr from Suspension.
Conditions are challenging. We have low water and there is still a chill in the air, so our anglers will have to work hard for their fish this week. Air temperatures will be as high as 13c/ 55f and the wind will be up to 15mph/ 7m/s and will come from the west. There will be some rain, but it doesn't look as though there will be enough to make a difference to water levels. We have big tides, so hopefully fish enter the river off the back of those.
With the river, low and clear it's time to think about stealth. Small flies such as the Silver Stoat and Crathie will be worth a cast on the full floater. Give the small fly a chance before trying Monkeys and Sunrays.
As ever, listen to your ghillie!