February 05, 2018

The 2018 season got underway on 1 February. The opening ceremony was again held in a windy Banchory, courtesy of Alistair Thomson of Banchory Fishings and with hospitality from the amazing team at Banchory Lodge Hotel. Trout and Salmon Editor, Andrew Flitcroft, was joined by over 300 people as he offered a toast to the river before making the first cast.

It wasn't too long before news arrived of the first fish of the season. Terje Haranagen landed an 8lbr from the Hut Pool at Lower Woodend on a Gold Willie Gunn. Brother Morten got in on the act with a similar fish later in the day.

Park, managed a fish from each bank. The fish of the week has to be Joe Sinclair's 19lbr from the Durris Stream on Friday. Crathes Castle was also off the mark during the morning with a 6lbr from Pantoch. Lower Crathes and Invery and Tilquhillie made great starts with three apiece for the three days. Lower Blackhall and Kinneskie picked up a fish and Little Blackhall and Inchmarlo had two, including a lovely 14lbr for Graham Ritchie on a Posh Tosh.

Cairnton and Middle Blackhall got off to a flying start with fish of 15lb and 16 lb for Mark Melville, Head Ghillie at Delfur from Glisters and Nick Armstead from the Grey Mare.

Upstream, Commonty had an opening day fish, a 5lbr landed by Kevin Fraser. Across the river, Andrew McHardy had a fine 10lbr from the Long Pool on a Park Shrimp and there was a fish taken at Sluie. Carlogie, not to be outdone, also picked up a fish.

All in all it was a good few days to be on the river and dust off the excesses of the long winter months. If you want to come and join us on the river to look for the ultimate prize of a Dee springer then please have a look at the availability on the recently updated FishDee website.


The weather will be fairly benign for the time of year, with air temperatures hovering around 3 to 4 degrees Celsius, although we may face some frosts overnight. Water temperatures are similarly cold. The wind is from the west and won't present much of a problem.

The water has dropped so a floating belly combined with long sink tips will be a popular choice. Everyone has their own preference and a mix of Scandi style and Skagit style lines will predominate. As for sinking lines intermediates and s1/s2 type lines should suffice.

Flies are as ever at this time of year, include Black and Yellow and gold Willie Gunn. Tie these up in copper and aluminium in sizes from 3/4" to 1 1/2" and larger. The Dee Monkey tied on a bottle with a long wispy wing and swung deep and slow is another very popular tactic.

In the meantime have a look at our Latest Availability and book your spring fishing today!

Tight Lines

Ross Macdonald

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