Saturday, 7 July 2012

Early Start On The Don Pays Off

I was up early this morning and headed down to the River Don. It was running at about 1' 6" on the Parkhill gauge and a good colour. The river has been in great condition these last few weeks with good water and, apart from a few days, running quite clear.

I started off in the Manse about 6.30am. The water was just how I like it for this pool, lapping over a big stone off the bank so I was quietly confident. Apart from a few coloured fish showing nothing much was happening so after a fruitless run down through the pool with a #9 Flamethrower, I changed fly to a sunray shadow. I headed back to the top of the pool and just off the stone I spoke about earlier, my fly was grabbed! After a short but spirited fight, I landed a nice, fresh sea trout about 3lb. No sea lice present but it could have not been in much more than a few days. That was all I touched in the Manse so I strapped the rod on the car and headed across the river to fish the Streams from the South bank.

I arrived at the Streams car park about 10.30am after taking the long way round via Kintore. I kept the same set up that did the business in the Manse Pool, which consisted of a Mackenzie DTX G2 9/10 Floating Shooting Head, a 10ft slow sink tip, 6ft of 10lb Yo-zuri Hybrid and a plastic Sunray Shadow tube. About 5 minutes after starting just opposite the concrete hut, my sunray was hammered by a lively fish. After another short scrap, I netted a sea trout about 2lbs. Again, not sea liced, but it hadn't been in the river that long. After a quick photo I returned the fish and carried on down the pool but nothing doing.

I moved on downstream to fish the Cothal pool, which, at this height of water is a good holding pool when the fish have negociated the fast, streamy water from Fae-Me-Well. There is also a good lie off the North bank where I landed a coloured wee grilse last season. I concentrated the lower half of the pool and with-in a few cast my rod was about pulled out my hand! I couldn't believe it when a chunky wee brown trout about 1 3/4lbs broke the surface. What a hit it gave the sunray as it swung round past the lie. I quickly returned it back to the river and had another cast in the same place. Almost identical to the first fish, my sunray was taken by another greedy brown trout about the same weight as the last one. I fished on down to Fae-Me-Well but it is not really suited for fly fishng as the current comes back on itself and drags the fly down. I called it a day about 12.30 and headed home.

Here are some pictures from today.

A fresh run sea trout from the Manse Pool taken on a Sunray Shadow.
Another nice Sea-Trout from the Streams. Again taken on a Sunray Shadow.
The second of two Brown Trout also taken on Sunrays from the Cothal Pool.
The fly that served me well today. After buying this Guideline AWM 14' 9" 2 years ago, I have used it maybe twice, so today I gave it an outing. Matched up with a 9/10 42g Mackenzie G2 Shooting head, it cast with ease and was very impressive.  I'm going to be using this set up more often from now on!

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