Tuesday, 28 August 2012

On The Dee At Middle Drum

Myself and Charlie had a day on the lovely Middle Drum beat of the River Dee. The water was a good height at 1' 7" on the beat gauge and carrying a nice whiskey colour. Middle Drum is a nice beat and I have fished here a good few times, mostly in the Spring time around March. It was fine to fish it later on in the year when the pools were filling up and running fish were to be seen almost the whole day.

We were allocated to fish the top part of the beat in the morning and I started in the Island Run and Charlie started in the Cairnton Pool. Apart from Charlie moving a salmon to his Sunray at the tail of the Cairnton, that was to be it. We swapped pools about 11.30am and I tied on a Black and White Sunray to my usual set up of a Float/Intermediate Tip AFS and a 10ft slow sink tip. I started at the top of the pool and within a few cast my fly was hammered by a fish! It was not a salmon but a wee finnock about a pound which took a shine to my fly. Between us that was to be all the action for the morning session but we had the Lawson Pool to come in the afternoon.

After a bit of lunch and a chinwag with ghillie Shane Christie we headed back onto the water to have a go at the Lawson. During lunch time there was torrential rain and the river quickly rose about an inch or so. Charlie set off down the pool and I went in at the top. Just as I got to the end of the concrete walkway, I hooked a salmon parr but as I was taking it in something bigger had a go at it!!! It grabbed the parr and as I kept reeling in the fish let go leaving me with a rather battered looking parr. I unhooked it and it seemed to swim off fine but I've never had that happen to me before. Not sure what method that would have came under if it was hooked and landed?

As I got to a good taking part of the pool just under the power lines I made a fairly square cast and began to use the figure of eight retrieve. Just as my #9 Ghillie Fly came round to the dangle it was drawn away in I lifted into a livley fish. It was a spanking fresh grilse about 4 or 5 pounds and it was cartwheeling all over the pool! It spent more time in the air than in the water. I played the fish for a couple of minutes and it made a few tearing runs and jumps. I thought the fish must have been well hooked and Shane was ready with the net but just as it was tiring and coming in, the fish threw my fly! I have no idea how the fly came out but as Shane and I looked on in disbelief we could only assume that all the acrobatics must have worked the fly loose. Who knows but that was to be the only action myself and Charlie were to encounter for the rest of the day. We packed up at dark and headed home wondering how we didn't catch anything as the Lawson pool especially was bouncing with fresh fish all day long. We must have seen about 200 or so during our day. That's fishing I suppose and it's another fish lost for me which, this season has been quite a few!

Here are some pictures from our day.

Island Run. Always a good chance of picking up a running fish in this pool. Tilbouries hut on the other bank.


Looking upstream from the Lawson to the tail of the Cairnton pool.

Lawson Pool. Just near where I hooked the grilse. Nice pool but we could have been done with another 6" on it. Still very good to fish a fly through though.

Fishing the Lawson. Charlie's dog Bracken searches out his stick and I fish down the huge Lawson Pool.

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