Sunday, 21 October 2012

Where Is The Back End Run This Season?

I was out and about on the Middle Don at the Aberdeen Angling Association's Kemnay beat and later on down river at Manar. I fished from 11am-3pm at Kemnay and during that time I had heard of 3 coloured salmon landed but all earlier that morning. The water was in near perfect condition and carrying a nice peaty colour. Apart from a pull at my Kinermony Killer in the Upper Chapel and a swirl at my Sunray in the tail of the Dooker, I hardly seen any signs of fish present in the pools. Very unusual given the quality of the water we've had recently.

I received a call from Charlie asking if I fancied having a cast at Manar as there were no day tickets sold. Kemnay was really busy with several anglers in each pool so I strapped the rods on my motor and headed off downstream. We fished the Sheep Pool and Upper Wood Pools before heading down to the productive Chapel Pool. We both fish through it twice without a touch so we headed off back to the hut for a cold beer before fishing down the Sheep again. As we sat at the bench outside the hut, there was a big coloured fish showed half way down the pool. I changed my fly to a Swallow tied on a 25mm  brass bottle tube and made my way down to where the fish showed. I was casting quite square and retrieving the fly at a steady pace just to give the fly some movement as it is quite slow near the tail of the pool. A few cast later just as my fly came round onto the dangle, it was taken by a fish. It thrashed about on the surface before letting my fly go just as quickly as it grabbed it. I didn't see the fish but it was not the big one that showed earlier. Still, a bit of excitement on an otherwise frustrating day on the river.

That was about all the action we had for our afternoon so we packed up and headed home about 6.30pm just as darkness was closing in. We both spoke about the Don on the way home and were in agreement that there is very little sign of a back end run of salmon so far. All fish we've heard getting caught have been coloured. With the water we've had this past fortnight or so, Manar at this time of year at would usually have fresh fish entering the pools almost on a daily basis. Not so this year though. Given the great catches of July and August, could the back end run arrived early or will it arrive when the season has finished? Either way, the lack of fish this Autumn, especially for a back-end river like the Don is poor to say the least. One week of the season left so hopefully some arrive during that time to give anglers some sport to end their season.

Charlie fishing the Sheep Pool on the last day of the season 2011.

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