Sunday, 5 August 2012

A Week On The Dee At Kincardine

I am just back from fishing a week on the River Dee at Kincardine. This was a beat I had always wanted to fish and when the opportunity arose back in October, I decided to bite the bullet and book up.

On Monday, I arrived at the beat about 8.30am and was met by the very knowledgable and entertaining ghillie, John McGinley. I was to be fishing the week with 37 year beat veteran Dr Dai Jones. Good company and good craic certainley make the experience much more enjoyable. Dai was a pleasure to fish along side and his stories of years gone by made lunch times something to look forward to. Also fishing on the opposite bank were some well known guys from the Salmon Fishing Forum. I met them in the Potarch for a pint on a couple of occasions and also had my lunch with them on Wednesday. It was also a pleasure to meet them and good to put faces to the names. By all accounts, they had a really good week and sunk a few drams to go along with it!

On the Monday afternoon, I hooked a good fish in the Calm Pool. After playing it for a few minutes the line went solid. The fish had taken me round a rock and the line was stuck! I walked up and down the bank to try and release the line but it didn't budge. I give it slack line and still nothing. Eventually my leader gave way and the fish was gone! On inspection it had been rubbed against the rock and had freyed until it broke. Pity, because it was a nice looking fish and would have been a good start to the week. Little did I know that this would be the only action I would get until Thursday afternoon.

On the Thursday after a rise of 8" from the night before, I was fishing down the Village pool behind legendary Tay ghillie Tony Black. I looked on as he landed a couple of grilse and a sea trout in quick succession. I followed him down the pool but the only action I got was a brief encounter with a fish which was off as quick as it was on. The rise was finning off by evening and conditions would be good for the Friday. Their beat finished with 12 salmon and 2 sea trout.

I started my day in the Village pool on Friday morning and due to the bright sun I tackled up with a Rio AFS intermediate tip shooting head and attached was a 10ft slow sink polyleader. My friend Charlie had given me some flies for  my trip and I opted for the now named  Crathcade #10. As the name suggests, it's a cross between a Crathie and a Cascade. I fished my way down the pool and just as I got the the wall I hooked into a lively wee grilse. John arrived just in time to net a 4lb fish which had been in the river for a week or two. Bouyed by this I was feeling confident and was casting really well and suddenly the line went tight again! I lifted into a much stronger fish and it took off downstream like a train. As I kept the tension up, the fish managed to get rid of my fly and it was gone. I fished the rest of the day without and offer but at last I had something for the book. I have been hit hard by the sun and where my sunglasses have been, I'm now sporting a couple of panda eyes and a scorched head! It was worth it though.

On Saturday, which was my final day, again the conditions were bright and sunny. The water had dropped a good bit but was still slightly whiskey coloured. I stated in the Village pool again before the sun was faced downstream about 1pm. I went in where I stated yesterday and stuck with the same line set up but changed my fly to a #13 Cascade. At about 9.30am I lifted into a very strong fish. It lead me a merry dance around the pool and due to the high wall behind me, I had to hold my ground and try to bully the fish into my waiting net. After a very dogged fight I slid my net under a sparkling fresh fish about 10/11lbs. This made up for the blank start to the week and put a huge grin on my face. After a quick photo the fish went back to it's lie. I continued down the pool and almost where I lost the fish yesterday, I had another take. I lifted into a fish but like on Thursday, it was off as quick as it was on. I fished hard for my fish this week and when I called it a day about 7.30pm I headed off to the Potarch Hotel for a well earned shandy and burger with chips!

Here are some pictures from my week.
A view looking upstream into the Calm pool from the old Kincardine hut.
The Village Pool. A fish splashes in the centre of the picture. This is where I landed both my fish and lost two others.
Ghillie John McGinley releases my first fish of the week. A 4lb grilse which had been in the river a couple of weeks.

The fly now named the "Crathcade" which was tied my friend Charlie Robertson. The grlise was taken on this fly.

A spanking fresh fish about 10/11lbs comes to the net. This beauty was straight out the wrapper and took a #13 Cascade. A great way to end my week on the Dee at Kincardine. A lovely area of Royal Deeside.

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