I was lucky enough to get another day on the fantastic Invery beat of the River Dee last Friday. The water was sitting around 1ft 4in on the beat gauge and with news of a few fish about the day before, I couldn't wait to get going. My set up for the day was my trusty 13ft Hardy Uniqua rod, an AFS floating shooting head and a 6ft intermediate tip.
I arrived at the beat around 8.15am and was greeted by the ghillie, Karl who introduced me to the other rods who were over from Norway and Sweden. Karl informed me that I would be fishing over on the opposite bank and pointed out the most likely spots to concentrate my efforts on. As I had never fished the water from that side of the beat before I decided to start at the top and fish my way down through the pools.
The first pool I was to fish was the Signal Pool. This is the upper most pool on the beat and no sooner had I started a few fish showed just opposite where I was standing. I covered them several times but I couldn't temp one to take my fly. I did however, hook a small trout which took a liking to my #10 Kitchen Sink fly. Apart from a few parr I didn't touch anything else so it was on to the next pool.
The next pool down is the Station Stream. Like a majority of the pools on the beat, this fishes the fly very well and is a pleasure to fish from either bank. As temping as it looked though, I didn't see nor touch a fish as I fished the pool. I'm sure there would have been fish in the pool but the bright sun and a cloudless sky wasn't helping and this maybe put them down.
Karl suggested giving the Kirk Pot a go since I was passing so that's just what I did. The Kirk Pot is a short but deep pool which looked like it could harbour a fish or two. On this occasion it wasn't giving up it's bounty so it was on to the next pool.
I made my way down to the Holly Bush and Karl had told me to really give this pool a good go as there were fish hooked in here the day before. Unfortunately, they weren't landed but it was a good sign and I was eager to get in there. I waded out up at the neck of the pool to the broken water that Karl had pointed out and fished my way down the pool. As inviting as it looked though, the fish had other ideas and I fished through the pool without a touch.
Fishing down most of the likely spots in the morning proved to be fruitless apart from a small brown trout and several salmon parr. It was good to see plenty parr about down the margins which will hopefully bode well for the future. Given the current crash to fish stocks in the river, a healthy juvenile population is always a welcome sight. The lack of fish returning to the Dee is very worrying though. Juvenile fish are leaving the river in good numbers but once they are out into the North Sea who knows what's happening to them. The ever growing population of dolphins and seals ambushing the returning fish is, in my opinion a major factor in the decline of fish returning to the Dee. The narrow harbour entrance is perfect for these creatures to get their fill of salmon without much effort at all. Anyway, it was back over the river for some lunch down in the floating bank hut.
After a very entertaining lunch with Karl and the fellow rods, it was back to business so Paul and I made our way up to fish the top beat but from the opposite bank this time. I was to follow Paul down so we started at the top and fished our way down through all the pools just like I did in the morning. First up was the Signal Pool but, by this time the wind had really whipped up and it was raining quite heavily. In between showers, the good old Scottish midge was out in force and I think I spent more time fending these little buggers off than concentrating on the fishing! As a result, I fished down through the pool without an offer.
Paul and I fished our way down through all the pools without so much as a pull but we were encouraged to see a few fish showing. Especially in the Greenbank where a good run of sea trout appeared to be moving through the beat. Try as we might though it just wasn't our day. Paul decided to call it a day but I went downstream to give Floating Bank a going over.
I always really enjoy fishing the Floating Bank whether it's from the Crathes bank or from the Tilquillie side. It's just a cracking pool to fish and there were a few fishing showing up near the rocks at the neck of the pool. I covered them several times but to no avail. I called it a day around 6.30pm and headed home to treat my midge bites!
|Ghillie, Karl Revel and Paul Pritchard outside the hut.|
|Signal Pool looking into the Station Stream.|
|A stunning view looking upstream from the path which runs along the banks of the Dee.|
|Looking upstream from the Station Stream.|
|Looking upstream into the Kirk Pot.|
|Wading down the Holly Bush.|
|The S Pool. I didn't fish this pool but I just went down to take a photo.|
|The Hut at Invery.|
|Looking upstream in the Killing Hatch with some welcome cloud cover.|
|The Floating Bank. A lovely cast and there were a few fish showing in here too.|