Friday, 20 November 2015

Flies For The Spring

It's that time of year again when my attention turns to re-stocking the tube fly boxes in preparation for the early spring fishing. I would mostly use tube flies of various sizes and weights depending on conditions but occasionally I'd give an Akroyd tied on a large single hook a swim.

I tend to keep the number of patterns I carry to a minimum just to reduce the temptation to chop and change flies all the time through out the day. Here are a selection of my go to patterns which see most action.
An old Dee favourite - The Akroyd
Gold Willie Gunns and Black & Yellows. You won't go far wrong with these in the Spring months.
Park Shrimp. All the colours associated with spring fishing. Deadly wee fly.
Maggie's Shrimp. Probably my favourite fly to use in the Spring.
Black & Chartreuse and Willie Gunn Franc N Snaeldas.
Drowned Mouse. This is a new addition to my box for next year but by no means a new pattern.

Friday, 13 November 2015

Redd Counting On The River Dee

I spent the day on the Upper Dee yesterday with bailiff Mark Walker on one his redd counts to monitor the spawning activity in the Dee catchment. The river had been quite high at the beginning of the week after some heavy rain and due to the high water a majority of the redds we would encounter would be fresh ones. The river was dropping away for us yesterday though and new redds we came across were pin pointed by Mark using a GPS device. This gives the bailiffs and biologists a better idea of where the spawing occurs and it's a good reference to look back on from previous seasons as to where spawning activity usually takes place.

Two freshly cut salmon redds side by side.
Ideal spawning habitiat on a tributary of the Dee near Braemar.
Good spawning in the upper catchment of the Dee
A lovely view of the river and surrounding hills near Balmoral Castle.

A cock fish sitting on a redd awaiting the arrival of another hen fish to do the business with.
A salmon kelt which make easy meals for the Otters.
Another otter kill. Hopefully this fish had done it's job.
An old bridge over a tributary of the upper Dee near Braemar.
Despite the poorest angling season on record on the River Dee the redd counts have been encouraging and we certainly saw decent numbers in various locations yesterday as well as a decent number of fish present. This bodes well and hopefully the next generation of fish make it back to the river in four or five years time.

To find out more info about what happens on the River Dee through out the season follow the link and browse their informative website and publications. The River Dee

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Scale Sample Results

Over the course of the season I have been collecting scales where ever possible from fish I have landed on both the River Dee and Don. I received the reading back today from River Don bailiff, Martin Webster.

The first fish was this 11lb salmon caught on the River Don at Manar on the 1st August. The scale reading came back as follows: 2 sea winter salmon. Smolted after 2 years with good growth rings each year.

The second scale to be read came from another fresh fish caught on the 19th August from the Lower Don at Fintray. The scale read: Grilse. Smotled after 2 years and spent 1 year feeding at sea.

Next up was a 15lb hen salmon caught on the Lower Don at Fintray on 7th October. This fish had been in a week or two but otherwise in very good condition. Her scale read: Salmon. Smolted after 2 years and spent 2 years feeding at sea before returning to the river.

Next up was a fresh run 5lber caught on the River Dee at Ballogie on 14th October from the Bridge Pool. The scale read: Grilse. Smotled after 2 years and spent 1 year feeding at sea.

The 7lb fresh run fish was caught from the River Don at Lower Fintray on the 15th October and was covered in sea lice. The scale from this fish read: Grilse. Smolted after 2 years in river and spent 1 year feeding at sea.

There was also another scale which I submitted for reading. This was a fish I had foul hooked by accident in late August. I fly must have came across it's back as it fish round as there was one solitary scale on the point of my fly when I checked it. I sent the scale off and Martin was undecided on the reading of the scale and has sent it away for further analysis and a second opinion. I'll report the reading back as soon as I get it as the scale was very large and I had the feeling it was quite a big fish! Hopefully that will be the case when the reading comes back and I'll look forward to seeing the result..

Monday, 9 November 2015

River Dee Auction 2015

The River Dee Auction has gone live as of today and there are some fantastic lots up for grape including fishing on some of the prime River Dee beats, salmon flies tied by some top fly tiers (I was delighted to donate a box of 12 of my Kitchen Sink Shrimp) alcoholic beverages, art and much, much more.

Follow the link below to view the catalogue and register to vote if anything takes your fancy. All proceeds go towards the river which is a very good cause if you like salmon fishing or just Royal Deeside in general.

River Dee Auction 2015

To find out more about the River Dee and what happens on the river and catchment follow this link.

The River Dee