Saturday, 31 December 2011

A Walk Along The Lower Don

My friend Charlie and I went for a walk along the Lower Don yesterday morning. It was something to do during the Christmas holidays and we ended up walking a good few miles. We started up at the Sandy Bend pool at Lower Fintray and worked our way down to Cocker's pool. We then drove down to Grandholm as there was a tree that fell through the middle of their hut during the high winds last week! It was some size of tree and the hut is in a bit of a mess. Need some repair work done during the next few weeks to get it ready for the Spring. Still, plenty fire wood for the stove readily available. Seen about a dozen kelts splashing about on our walk and also a kestrel and a few buzzards. There were plenty of Goldeneye, Mergansers, Goosanders and some Cormerants on the river too. Glad im not a smolt or parr because it is some gauntlet to run trying to get by these! Good to get out and see the river in the winter time though and the walk broke up the day nicely. Here are some pics for our walk.
Some swans on the Eagle pool at Lower Fintray. We counted 14 swans in this pool yesterday.
Looking down the ADAA's famous Manse Pool. The water was a good height yesterday and running quite clear. Hopefully it's the same come February 11th.

Looking upstream towards the Cothal Pool from the top of Fae-Me-Well.
An upstream shot of the pool outside the hut that got hit by the fallen tree. Lovely looking piece of water. Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of the hut!
Just one of a number of weirs and obstacles that the Salmon and Sea trout have to contend with on their journey up the Don.
Downstream view from outside the hut.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Some Recent Flies Tied For Next Season

Been at the vice for a week or two now tying up some tubes for the Spring. Re-stocked up with Monkey Flies, Park Shrimps, Black & Yellows, Willie Gunns and a few Ghillie Flies I liked the look of from the Trout and Salmon Forum. Hopefully they will serve me well. Here are some pictures of my recent tying. Hope you like them.
The Monkey Fly. My take on the very successful fly on the Dee. I have tied these up in various sizes from 1 1/2" Copper to 1/2" Tungsten tubes. I have used Monkey Substitute from Foxy Tails for the wing on these. Hopefully do the trick come Februrary 11th on Park.
My take on the now world famous Park Shrimp tied by Ross MacDonald. This fly has been kind to me over the last few seasons and hopefully next year is no different. I have tied these on 1" copper and aluminium tubes as well as bottle tubes and crayfish eumer tubes with cone-heads.
The Black & Yellow tube fly. A must have for the Dee in Spring time. I have tied these on copper, brass and aluminium tube ranging from 2" down to 3/4". I have tied the hair on some in quarters unlike this version which is in halves. I'll shall try them both.
The Willie Gunn. I have also tied this fly in the same sizes and weights as the Black & Yellow. Another must have for Spring time. I have altered the mix of bucktail on some of my tyings just to suit water conditions ie more yellow/less black, more orange/less yellow etc. Some with gold bodies and some with the original black bodies, also my favourite copper tinsel body.. All anglers will have their own preference and all different variations have worked and will work again.
This fly was designed by Tony Black. an outstanding angler and Tay ghillie who catches tons of salmon. I got the tying from the Trout & Salmon forum and hope I have done it justice. I lost a fish on the Spey at Craigellachie in September on double version of this fly and with be giving the tube a good soaking this Spring.
These are the flies I recieved from a recent fly swap I took part in on the Trout & Salmon Forum. The flies were tied by ade, drpatrickt, ballingal512, gwelsher and yorkfisher. All these will be getting tried out during the Spring and look forward to hopefully reporting some success.


Saturday, 19 November 2011

End of Season Tackle Clearout

I have for sale on ebay the following items:

New: RIO Skagit 750gr
Used Once: Bill Drury 10/11 Impact Spey S1/S2
Used Once: Orvis Wonderline Floater 10/11
Used Once: Vision ACE 37g Floating Shooting head, comes with Guideline LRL Running line.
Used: Greys GRXi #7/8 reel with a Airflo Floating line and an Intermediate line. 3 Spools and brand new Snowbee 22lb trout backing. All in the original bag.
Used: Fladen Maxximus 10/11 Fly reel.Good condition with the usual cosmetic marks. Had a fish about 20lbs(38") this year on this reel and it coped no problem!

Anyone interested please feel free to bid!

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Final Day At Manar

Here are a few more pictures of Saturday past at Manar beat on the River Don. These photos were sent to me by Charlie Robertson so thanks for letting me use them.
Charlie and myself enjoying a beer outside the hut after flogging the water all day.

River Dee legend and expert salmon angler Eddie Allan.

A group photo of the guys tucking into food from the BBQ. There was a good few beers sunk too!

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Final Fling! Manar Beat River Don 30/10/11

With a big thanks to my friend Charlie and beat owner Ian, I was invited to a final outing of the season at Manar on the River Don. Conditions were near perfect and the water was sitting at 7" on the beat gauge. Charlie and I arrived about 7.30am to load up the hut with beer and meat for the BBQ which was to be held after our day. There was about 10 of us out for the last Saturday. The sun was coming up as I tackled up and I spotted a fish showing in the Sheep pool. I tied on my size 9 Dinnet Shrimp and headed up to cover the fish. After only my second cast I hooked into a fish! I shouted on Charlie that I was in and he began to make his way up with a net. Just when he was about half way there, the fish was off!!! That's been the story of my season. The tenth fish to have come un-done. Charlie headed up and fished down where I started. Soon after he hooked into a fish and had the same result. His 1/2" Silver Ally copper tube coming free from the fish. Nothing else for either of us the rest of the day but there was one angler who landed a coloured fish about 5lbs. An angler on the opposite bank also had a fish.We retired to the hut about 4.30pm and got stuck into about 20lbs of pork chops, burgers and sausages washed down with Scotland's finest......Tennant's Lager!!!
Charlie fishing the Sheep pool where we both connected with fish.
Darkness closing in on our final day of fishing 2011.
Looking upstream at the lovely Autumn colours on the bankside trees.
Making my way back downstream for the end of season BBQ.
I finished the season with 6 Salmon to 20lbs. It has been my best season to date and also landed my heaviest fish. Although I have lost 10 fish, a couple of which I could have netted if I had it with me, it's been enjoyable. I've added a few new beats to my list, fished the Spey, Deveron and caught my first fish at Park (third time of trying). Can't complain. Hopefully next year I can improve on my tally again and looking to have a day on the Tay for the first time too. Soon be Spring again, cannot wait!

Tight Lines


Trout and Salmon Forum Fly Swap

I have taken part in my first fly swap on the Trout and Salmon Forum. This is the 10 flies I have tied up for it. They are my own take on a fly called the Dinnet Shrimp. I have landed 1 fish and lost 4 on this fly since early October. Im going to tie up some tube versions for the Spring and give them a swim. Here are a few pics of the fly.
Group picture of all 10 flies.
A close up shot of the fly.
Below is the materials needed to tie this fly.

Tag : Oval Silver Tinsel.
Tail : Mixed Red and Yellow Bucktail with a few strands of Black.
Body : Silver Holographic Tinsel.
Rib : Oval Silver Tinsel.
Beard : Squirrel Tail Dyed Red.
Underwing : Golden Pheasant Tippet over Squirrel Tail Dyed Red.
Hackle : Black
Thread : Black

Thursday, 20 October 2011

River Don 20/10/11

After a welcome rise on the Don yesterday I headed out for a cast after my work tonight. The water had risen 6" or so over night and was carrying just a wee tinge of colour. I didn't get a touch until I was making my way back down river to head home. I hooked a fish just off a well known lie at the tail of the pool. After a short but spirited fight, I landed a coloured cock fish around the 5lb mark. I didn't see many fish tonight but a few fresh fish showed after clearing the weir. Earlier in the day from the same pool my Dad landed and returned a nice fish of about 12lbs. Here are some pictures of the fish from today. Roll on Saturday!
My 5lb grilse from the tail of Cothal Mill pool just above the weir at 5.10pm this evening. It's nice to finally land a fish this time as I've lost about 4 in the last month or so.
My Dad's fish estimated at about 12lb which took a worm. He was fortunate to land the fish as it was very lightly hooked in the scissors and when banked the hook fell out.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

River Don 18/10/11

My Dad was out fishing the Lower Don for a couple of hours this afternnon and landed a nice hen salmon around the 7lb mark. It was a wet and windy afternoon so hopefully the rain on the high ground will be enough to lift the river level a wee bit, just to freshen things up before the season ends. Apart from the odd spate, the Don has been hovering around the 7" for most of the year. Here is a picture of his fish just before being returned.
A fine reward for braving the wind and rain this afternoon.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Lower Dess - River Dee 08/10/2011

This Saturday, my friend Charlie Robertson was delighted to accept an invitation to fish as a guest on this beautiful area of Royal Deeside. With the weather pretty good and the water a good height , he managed to land a brace. Both his fish took a Silver Ally's tied on a 1/2" copper tube. This is a fly Charlie does really well with during summer and the back end. He landed a 15lb cock salmon from the Pitslug pool and a 9lb hen salmon from the Jock Rae pool. Well done to him and he has kindly sent me some pictures from his day.
Looking downstream toward the Mill from Rossach. This pool looks a lot different from when I fished it from the Carlogie side back in February when the water was about 6' higher.
Returning a 15lber from the above pool.
Looking upstream toward Pitslug. Charlie commented that it is one of, if not THE best pools he has ever cast a line.
A nice picture of the Mill and the water wheel.
Another classic looking bit of fly water on Royal Deeside.
A quick picture of a hen salmon from the Jock Rae pool.
One of the huts on the beat which like all fishing huts, has had many fishing stories told in them over the years.
My uncle, Stuart Fleming was also on the Dee this weekend and he manged to land a hat-trick of salmon at Tilbouries. He landed all fish with-in a 45 minute period. Another rod landed 6 for his day. Willie Banks, the beat owner and ghillie managed the other one. Sounds like Saturday was a good day to be on the Dee!

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Manar Beat - River Don 1/10/11

Here is a picture of a 6lb Hen Salmon from the Don at Manar. The fish took a size 10 Silver Ally's in the Upper Wood pool. It was caught by Charlie Robertson around 4.30pm yesterday. The fish was returned and swam away strongly. He commented on the really subtle take which he initially thought was a trout. Well Done.
A quick picture of Charlie's fish in the net before release.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

River Don Salmon 27/09/11

My dad was out for a few hours today on the River Don today. He was fishing the worm on the Upper Parkhill beat. At around 2.30pm he returned a coloured fish around the 7lb mark. The fish was caught on  the worm. He later said there was a hugh run of fish went through the pools about tea time. Here is a picture of his fish.
Quick photo of a cock Salmon before it's return.

Friday, 23 September 2011

River Deveron - Turriff Angling Association 23/09/2011

Was fishing the Turriff AA stretch of the River Deveron today with my friend Charlie. We arrived at the beat about 7.30am and met one of the local rods. He talked us through all the pools and explained where all the likely taking spots and lies were. During our day we met several of the local rods and would like to mention just how kind and helpful they all were. What a fine bunch of guys who went out their way to help and make you feel welcome. Now to the fishing.  We were informed that the gauge was steady and sitting at 6" which was a good height for the beat. We tackled up and headed to the top of the beat, Charlie went in at the Cairns pool and I fished the lovely looking Island Stream. Charlie saw a good few fish splashing in the Cairns and one that had been in a good while but was over 20lbs easily. Neither of us touched anything and we headed down to the Burnmoo pool and the Bridge pool. Again neither of us touched a thing but a local rod told us that high tide was at 9.20am and we should start seeing fish aroung 3-4 o'clock. After luch we fished the below the bridge which is double bank fishing. I started in the neck of the Worming Hole and Charlie started at the Wires Pool. What great water to fish the fly at 6" on the gauge. Once again nothing touched, which was becoming a regular theme! We did see 2 or 3 Grilse moving through but they didn't hang about. We packed up about 6.30pm wondering where all the fish were and how come during the end of September why we didn't see much either. The Deveron is famous for it's back end run but just typical, during our day out, the fish were not playing ball! Here is a few snaps of the beat.
The hand crafted sign in the car park.
Island Stream which is a nice bit of fly water. The banks through-out the beat were in tip top shape. Hats off to the Turriff AA who should be very proud of what they have here.
BurnMoo Pool which was more suitable for spinning due to the slow moving nature of it but we fished it through none the less.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Craigellachie Beat - River Spey 17/09/2011

Had a day here with my friend Charlie Robertson. We arrived at the main Hut around 8.20 to be greeted by the Upper beat's Ghillie, Chris. He informed us that during the night the river had risen about 9" and was very dark in colour. He suggested that Spring fishing tactics would be the order of the day. I started in the Broom Isle pool and Charlie started in the Garden Pool. I tackled up with a S1/S2 Vision Ace shooting head and a Rio 10' 5.6ips tip. I tied on a size 7 Green Arsed Ghillie which I had tied up the night before. About half way down the pool I got a really solid thump on the fly and the fish took a yard or two of line as I was slowly stripping my fly in. I clamped the line, lifted into the fish and nothing there! I then lost the fly round a big boulder and my confidence went with it! Charlie fished down through the Garden pool without a touch and he then headed up to the Broom Isle and I fished the Garden. Charlie had a pull on his 1" Park shrimp roughly where I did and I didn't touch anything in the Garden Pool.

After lunch we were to fish the bottom beat with Ghillie Dougie Ross. He showed us the water and taking spots, which were right in at our bank due to the high water. Charlie started at the Upper Slabs and I started in the Lower Slabs. Plenty of fish showing throught-out the pool and confidence was restored when I got a good pull on a 1" copper Red Francis. I fished down through the pool to finish just below the main hut but didn't touch anything else. Charlie fished on through with the same outcome. I then headed up to the top and changed fly to a 1" copper Blue and Orange tube. About a rod length out from where the boat is moored I got another pull but again didn't hook up. Frustrating but at least we knew there was fish there.

Once we said our fair well to Dougie at 5pm we fished through the Slabs again. Nothing doing so we headed down to the Bridge Pool. What a lovely cast! Would love to see it when the water was a perfect height because even with 2' on the gauge it was a pleasure to fish. There was a few fish showing just under the old Craigellachie bridge but 2 runs through each with various flies and sink tips we didn't touch anything. At 7.30pm we called it a day. No Salmon caught but a good day on a cracking beat, just a pity the water was on the high side as the Ghillie had told us "It was almost perfect yesterday". We headed into Aberlour to the Mashed Tun bar/restaurant for a pint or two and a homemade burger and chips.

Some pools like the Tunnels, Doo's Nest and Boat of Fiddich were just too high to fish. Didn't get any pictures of them but next time im there, hopefully in lower water, I will and maybe a fish from the River Spey too. We will be back next year!

Broom Isle Pool

Just out from the last bunch of reeds is where I got a good take from a fish but I didn't hook up.

Fishing down the Garden Pool with the MacAllan hut on the far bank. Even with a S3 shooting head and a 2" copper tube, the fly was stll speeding round this pool. Lovely cast.
Half Time - Heading to the Main Hut for lunch.
Fishing Upper Slabs. Had another take just off of the boat on a 1" Blue and Orange copper tube.

Full house at the main MacAllan hut at lunchtime.
Charlie Robertson fishing the tail of Lower Slabs.
The bridge pool and the old Craigellachie Bridge. Cracking fly water.
An upstream picture of the bridge. Wouldn't fancy falling in here. The water below the bridge circles like a whirl pool!

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Charlie Robertson's Day At Park South 30/08/11

My friend Charlie was out on the Dee at Park South yesterday and he has kindly sent me some pictures to put on my blog. The beat had 17 fish for their day. (Both Banks) North bank had 11 before lunch time!!! Here are some pictures of the day.
Gearing up for the day and discussing tactics with Bert the Ghillie.
A nice picture of Park House in the background.
Re-charging the batteries at lunch time.
Charlie with well known guide and author Ian Neale. His book "Shadows in the Stream" is well worth a read during the long close season months. Nice chapter about early season fishing on the Helmsdale.
Charlie with a spanking fresh Grilse covered in long tail sea lice from under the wires in the Durris Stream. His friend Eddie landed 3 and his other friend Mike had a brace. Between them they also connected with about a dozen other fish. Sounds like some outstanding fishing was to be had! Wish I was there!!!