Saturday, 6 April 2013

Aberdeen & District Angling Association Junior Day

The Aberdeen & District Angling Association held an open day on the Altries & Lower Drum beat of the River Dee. It was set up by my uncle Stuart Fleming and ghillie Kevin Fleming along with proprietor of the estate in order to encourage younger members to branch out into salmon fishing. With the aid of top casting instructors Jim Fearn and Ben Dixon, the young lads were soon inducted, tackled up and raring to go. Some of the lads were already keen fishers but had never caught salmon before and it was great to be able to help out and try to pass on tips or be on hand to offer advice when required.

The morning session started about 10am and the first fish of the day was soon landed. A lively wee sea trout kelt was netted which was caught by Matt. He soon followed this up by landing 2 more kelts of the same species and losing another. This sparked a bit of healthy competition between him and his pal Shaun.

I took a couple of the older lads down to a pool called Donal' Garth but apart for a hit on a toby which came to nothing, we didn't manage to connect with any fish. We went onto fish the Pike Hole and Greenbank without any joy either.

After a quality spread of bacon butties (expertly cooked by Benny), sandwiches, sweets and juice, we were back on the water. Kevin and Jim took a group of lads over the river on the boat and up to fish Alfred's Pot. Whist fishing the Pot one of them landed a salmon kelt which Jim netted and photographed for, I think his name was Conner? Apologies if I got the name wrong! Although a kelt, having never hooked a salmon before this made his day and you could see his delight in playing and landing the fish. This is exactly why the day was put on in the first place and these moments are never forgotten. They enthuse the youngsters to get out on the river fishing on a regular basis and hopefully onto become the next generation of anglers filling rods on the Dee and Don. Shortly before this, in the Hut Pool, another lad called Shaun hooked a big salmon kelt which after a good scrap was netted by the ghillie Kevin.

By the end of the days fishing, between 9 youngsters, 5 kelts were landed and many of them learned new techniques which will come in useful during their fishing careers. Even some of the adults were taught new things and how to cast double handed salmon rods! Overall, I think everyone left the beat eager to get out fishing again and hopefully keen to get out on the many miles of fishings the Aberdeen & District Angling Association has to offer.

Here are some pictures from today.

The group of youngsters and volunteers pose for a photo along with Jim Fearn (centre), Ben Dixon (far right) and ghillie, Kevin Fleming (5th in from right).

Kevin ferries Jim Fearn and a few of the lads back to the hut after fishing Alfred's Pot.
Back ashore to tell of catches from the other bank.
Looking downstream toward Maryculter House Hotel from the Highbank pool. I had a cast in here with the fly before heading off for lunch.
Looking upstream  into Donal' Garth from mid river. Stuart Fleming shows the lads where to cast in the Pike Hole.

Altries Hut Pool looking downstream. A lovely pool which fishes the fly very well and where Shaun landed his big salmon kelt.

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