Dee Fishing Report WE 26 May 2018

May 28, 2018

We begin the week in the grip of bright blue skies and blazing sunshine. Its lots of fun for non-fishers, but for the rest of us it's a bit of pain. We all like a bit of sunshine, but I prefer mine on Sundays. Accordingly, much fishing on the River has been early and late- the sensible choice. Evening fishing has been mixed- on cloudless days when the sun goes off the water the temperature drops like a stone.

Conditions didn't help last week and we finished on forty-seven fish. A few of the ghillies report seeing pods of fish moving through their beats throughout the week, but that they have been elusive.

Tilbouries is one beat which likes the water to drop back a bit and Daniel Wright was pleased to report a nice bight fish from the Junction Pool. Up at Park, Gavin Thompson had a smashing 8lbr from the Long Pool. Lower Crathes picked up one for the week. The low water works against the beat, but the ever-reliable Sarah Gray picked up a 14lbr. The surprising thing was she didn't catch it on her favourite, the Alastair- the fish took a Red Frances.

I was pleased to catch up with Terry Paton, who has taken on the ghillie job at Cairnton and Middle Blackhall. Terry started his career on the Dee as a 17-year-old and after a few years as under ghillie at Bywell on the Tyne has returned to his home river. I am sure everyone reading this wishes him well. They had three on the beat last week. Top rod was Mike Richardson who landed three fish to 7lb. One of the fish had long-tailed sea-lice and was caught on a small monkey with an intermediate tip.

Ballogie picked up three fish and Carlogie had five. Andrew Harris had two of Carlogie's and Brian McAllister fished well to get three. Dess had three one of which went to Roy McGlone and one to David Littlewood.

Aboyne Castle had two. Peter Abraham had a 9lbr from Tanar Mouth on Tuesday morning and Harvey Norman landed a fresh fish of about 12lb, again from Tanar Mouth at last light on Wednesday.

Harvey Norman's party also fished at Waterside and Ferrar where they picked up another couple one taken early and one taken late on Silver Stoats.

Dinnet and Deecastle shared three. Roy Coleman had one of those from Pol Slachd on the Dinnet bank. Berni Barnett had an 8lbr from Top Bobby on Deecastle.

Cambus landed four. Mark Adams had one from Kate. Richard Moffat had one from Clarach, as did Johnny Booth. Jim Cheer had a fine 11lbr from Peter Og.

Ian Murray saw fish moving through Monaltrie and Lower Invercauld last week, but they proved difficult to tempt until Saturday when three were landed. Ian's other fishing at Glen Muick produced four, including a first for Ewan McCulloch. The flies ranged from size 14 to a 1" tube. Ian was also at pains to remind everyone to take care in the sunshine: plenty suntan lotion and lots of fluids to keep dehydration at arm's length.

Birkhall picked up their first of the year. Gordon Tait had two fish from Abergeldie, both of which were in the 5 to 6lb class. Mark Fairbanks Smith had Balmoral's fish on a Sunray.

Crathie had the best of it with nine. James Longsden had a brace on Monday at 8lb and 10lb. Robert Morton also had a brace, his on Tuesday, with fish of 7lb and 9lb. Mrs Forbes Cable had one of 8lb. All of these were caught in the morning where the shade was best. The other fish, 7lb, 9lb, 12lb and 16lb were taken in the evening. The Silver Stoat and the Crathie in 12 and 14 did the damage.


The week has started without a cloud in the sky, great news for everyone but us fishers! Of course, its par for course at this time of year. I love May and June, it's the best part of the year for me. If possible, I would suggest you drop the 9-5 approach to fishing and fish very early and very late. There is something very satisfying about landing a fish at dusk.

Air temperatures are likely to top 23 degrees. Cloud cover will be at a premium, today aside, the forecast suggests reasonable cover, which will be a big help.

Commando tactics will be the order of the day. In these conditions, a considered and stealthy approach could be the key factor; as Ian Murray often says, lots of fish are lost before a fly is cast. A floating line and long leader, paired with a small Silver Stoat or Crathie will be a good starting point. Give the small fly an extended go, but always be prepared to ring the changes. A Sunray or Frances could be a good plan B.

As ever, listen to your ghillie.

Tight Lines

Ross Macdonald

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