Sunday, 19 August 2012

River Don Produces The Goods Again

I was out and about on the River Don yesterday and started off at the Manse Pool. This pool is on the ADAA beat at Lower Fintray. The water was a bit too high for this pool but I was encouraged to see a few fish moving through. After fishing down the length of the pool without a touch I headed off to fish further upstream to the Kemnay beat. This is a fantastic high water beat and will produce fish from top to bottom if conditions are right. I fished the School and Upper Chapel pools without seeing or touching anything which, given the conditions I thought I might have seen some fish moving in these pools. Whilst fishing the Upper Chapel, I received a call from my friend Charlie who was fishing a few beats below at Manar. He asked if I fancied popping down to have a cast as the beat had no day rods on. I jumped at the chance and strapped the rod to my car and set off.

I arrived at the beat around 3pm and Charlie informed me that he had landed a sea-liced Grilse about 6lb from the Chapel Pool. The fish took a 1/2" Silver Ally tube fished on a 10ft fast sink tip. The beat gauge was reading 1' 5" when I arrived and had the river had dropped from 1' 9" in the morning. During the afternoon, all the pools were basking in bright sunshine so we lightly fished a few of them more in hope than expectation. We were just waiting for 6.30pm or so when the sun moved off the Upper and Lower Wood pools. After a cold tin of beer at the hut we set off down river to fish the now shaded Upper Wood. I went in first and not long after starting there appeared to be a run of fish move into the pool. Casting to a good lie on the far bank produced a very subtle take which initially I thought was a trout or parr. The fish soon woke up and a few minutes later a very small Grilse was netted. It was about 2lb and had been the victum of an attack for a predator of some kind. The fish took a #9 Kinermony Killer fish off a Rio AFS Intermediate tip and a 10ft slow sink polyleader. We both fished through the pool without another touch and set off for the Chapel pool.

Charlie went into the Chapel pool first and fished it through with a Cascade and I followed him down with the same set up as before. I was nearly finished the pool when there was an almighty thump on my fly. A good fish took off like a steam train taking about 10 yards of line in the process before I even realised it was hooked!!! I lifted into the fish and felt the weight. Fish on! This was a good fish but a few seconds later, in a burst of surface splashing, the fish came off! Nothing I could have done but always a sickner when one comes off. I covered the lie with several more casts but it was not to be. Charlie, who was fishing down the pool again covered the lie and something grabbed his fly but didn't hook itself. Pity because I think it would have been a good fish if either of us had landed it. We packed up around 8.45pm and headed home to refect on another good day on the Don at Manar. Here are some pictures from yesterday.

Charlie's 6lb sea liced Grilse from the Chapel Pool at Manar around 11.30am.

Upper Wood Pool. Charlie took this picture of me a few minutes before I landed a Grilse just above the fast water.

A skinny wee Grilse which took a #9 Kinermony Killer. Notice the damage to the fish. It also had a hole in it's back possibly caused by a Heron or diving bird of some kind. It looked to be still quite raw but hopefully it won't cause it too much harm.
You can see the wound on te fish to the left of the picture. It had been in the wars and deserved to be given the chance to spawn and preserve the stocks for the River Don. This hardy fish is a fighter and hopefully it will go and reach the spawning grounds.

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