Thursday, 26 September 2013

Tilbouries - River Dee

Back in January, I booked a days fishing at Tilbouries through the Aberdeen District Angling Association. September seemed miles away back then and I certainly never foreseen the lack of water we'd get this year. The beat is usually bouncing with both fresh and coloured fish at this time of year. I say usually, because due to the well documented and prolonged dry spell the East coast of Scotland has had to endure this year, most of the pools have very little in the way of fish holding in them.

As always, I arrived at the beat eager to get going and Willie Banks suggested I try the top end of the beat for a start and work my way down to the hut. I started off fishing the Island stream but apart from a handful of parr, I touched nothing so I headed off down to fish Alfred's Pot. One of the rods fishing the pool before me had a fish about 7lb which was encouraging so I tied on a wee #13 Black Francis and not long after starting I got a good pull. I have no idea why the fish never hooked itself as it nearly pulled the rod out of my hand! Again, apart from a few parr I landed nothing.

After lunch I fished down through the Island again with just parr and a brown trout for my efforts so I headed off back down to Alfred's Pot. I entered the pool at the neck and begun fishing, as you do, with a short line and gradually lengthening with every cast. After half a dozen or so casts, I had a good solid take and lifted into a fish. As I set the hook, the fish gave a couple of strong head shakes and this caused the hook hold to come loose and the fish was off. I decided then to change fly and put on a wee #13 Yellow Crathie. This fly has been doing very well further down river on the ADAA stretch of the Dee so I'd thought I'd give it a swim here too. About 20 yards down the pool from where I lost the fish, I cast out and I had another solid take just as the fly came hard into the bank. As the water is very deep on the Tilbouries side of the pool, the fish tend sit in the deeper water and are easily covered. I lifted into a strong wee fish and after a few minutes and several runs later, I drew the fish into the waiting net. Not a fresh fish but a fish none-the-less and a very welcome one. I returned the fish and the rod fishing above me was into a fish almost straight away. I wound in and went to assist the angler. After a good fight in the fast water I slid the net under a nice, reasonably fresh fish about 6lbs. I fished on down the pool without another touch and decided to call it a day about 6pm.

It's always nice to land a fish and considering the low water conditions,  3 salmon were landed today which is not a bad tally at all.

First pool of the day. Looking down the Island Stream.

Looking upstream from the tail of the Island.

Looking upstream from Alfred's Pot towards the Tilbouries Run.

Looking downstream in Alfred's Pot. Always holds fish in a medium/low water.

Looking upstream towards the hut from Larches. This pool is called Cairnton.

My wee 4lb Grilse from Alfred's Pot taken on a #13 Yellow Crathie.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Wester Elchies - River Spey

I was fishing the River Spey on Saturday at the beautiful Wester Elchies beat. The river level was a bit on the low side and was sitting at 3" on the beat gauge. The pools were very quiet compared with this time last year but most of the rivers on the East Coast of Scotland are in the same boat.

I was only able to fish until lunchtime as I had to be in Glasgow for the evening but I didn't miss anything in the afternoon by the sound of things. I did however, have hold of a lovely fresh sea trout about 1 1/2lbs in the Delagyle pool but as I was attempting to beach it, it came off! Not long after I hooked a finnock which also threw the hook and that was the last action of my day. Both fish took a Sunray Shadow stripped as quickly as I could manage.

Nothing caught this time but as always, it's great to be out on Speyside and I look forward to returning in the Spring of 2014.

Here are a few pictures of the beat.

Delene. I started off my day in this pool. Lovely cast and a pool where you expect the line to be drawn away almost every cast.

Looking downstream to Pol Ma Cree from the seat on the bank of Delene.

Pol Ma Cree. One of my favourite pools on the beat. One or two fish showed in the tail of the pool but I couldn't temp any of them.

The tail of Pol Ma Cree. Just a stunning piece of river to fish.

Delagyle. I have a habit of losing fish in this pool! I lost a Springer last April and lost a nice wee sea trout this time too. Another classic fly pool and one where you expect fish from neck to tail.
The usual Lunch Hut discussions about tactics, fish and such like. A good place to enjoy the craic and get to know your fellow fishermen.

Rhynd. A lovely pool with some horrendous wading further down. I didn't fish this pool but I couldn't pass it without taking a quick photo from the lay-by.

Looking across Aberlour from the top of the hill heading down towards Wester Elchies. A cracking view and a great spot to take pictures.

Friday, 20 September 2013

Couple Of Grilse From The River Dee Today

I was out for a couple of hours fishing the Banchory Devenick beat of the Lower Dee. This beat is fished by the Aberdeen District Angling Association and has been fishing really well of late. I managed to land a couple of wee grilse, one of which was a coloured fish about 5lb using a #11 Silver Stoat's tail and the second fish which weighed about 3lb, fell to a #13 Black Francis. The 3lb fish was a fresh fish which couldn't have been in the river long at all. No sea liced present but a bar of silver. Unfortunately, as I was taking a scale sample the fish wriggled loose from my grip and swam off so I didn't get a photograph. I will publish the results of the scale samples as soon as I get them.

Young angler, Conner Milne (9), who is going to be an expert Salmon angler come time, landed his first Salmon on the fly this afternoon. It weighed about 5lb and was covered in Long Tailed Sea Lice. As you can imaging, he was chuffed to pieces and so was his proud father. First of many I'd imagine. Well Done!

My coloured Grilse ready to be returned.

Young Conner playing his fish.

Safely in the net! Conner's first Salmon on the fly. Well Done!
A good fish landed by Bill Cook using a wee #11 Munro Killer.

Bill's second fish of the day using the same fly.

Monday, 16 September 2013

10lb Hen Salmon From The River Don Today

Had a cast for an hour or so after work tonight and landed this Hen Salmon around the 10lb mark from the River Don. It was howling a gale and I wasn't expecting much but I was delighted to get a take and land the fish. As like Saturday, I was using my Kitchen Sink shrimp pattern and this time it was a #9 Salar double that did the business. The successful tactics were the same as Saturday; floating AFS Shooting Head and 5ft Intermediate tip. The Parkhill gauge was sitting around the 2" mark.

Fish on!

A quick photo before sending her on her way.

Back into the River Don and heading to the spawning grounds further upstream.

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Grilse From The River Don Today

Well finally, after a long wait since my last one, I caught this sea liced Grilse from the Lower Don this morning. I hooked it just a few minutes after starting and with the river down to it's bare bones, I was not really expecting to see much never mind catch one so it was very welcome. The Parkhill gauge was reading just 1" and the river bed was covered in slimy algae/weed. The fish put up a spirited fight and after a few pictures it was returned back to the river.

The fish took a pattern I created last year. My dad named it the Kitchen Sink but I never really got round to using it. It's loosely based upon the Junction Shrimp and this is the first fish I have landed using it although I did lose a couple of good fish on the Dee last Thursday using the same fly. I did a Blog post on the fly last October and the dressing for the fly can be found HERE.

5lb River Don Grilse.

Sea lice present around gill plates.

Safely returned to the river.