Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Breda - River Don

I booked a day through FishPal to fish the Breda beat of the River Don on Tuesday. The water height was sitting at around 5" on the gauge but the wind was howling and made fly fishing a bit challenging at times!

The beat had recorded some decent catches off the back of a rise in water last week and I was hopeful of getting a fish or two. But with the gale force winds, coupled with the water dropping away again, I left empty handed. There was a small, coloured cock fish landed first thing in the morning however, by the other rod fishing the beat. It was taken from Smith's Brae.

I fished the beat's most likely pools from top to bottom but Martin, the Don bailiff informed us that the best chance of a fish would be from the lower half of the beat as it fishes better in low water. The upper part of the beat has some nice pools which fished well including Whin Brae and the Tub but the fish were not playing ball on this occasion.

Breda is a beat I will look forward to returning to again in 2014 as I really enjoy fishing some of these short streamy pools which entice you into thinking that your line will tighten and be drawn away any minute!

Here are some pictures of the beat from Tuesday.

Rock Pool. I stared my day off in here. A cracking pool and there is a good spot below the summer house.

Saddler's Flats. A couple of fish showed at the tail of the pool just on the other side of the current.

Ghillie's Pool. Just a short wee stretch but fishes well. Lost a fish in here last year.

Smith's Brae. My favourite pool on the beat and seems to hold fish. Fishes well from top to tail.

The tail of Smith's Brae. A good lie off the big rock on the far bank.

Laird's. Good flow at the neck of the pool but didn't see anything showing here.

Flaskie. The upper most pool on the beat. A bit on the low side for here at 5" but fishes well in higher water.

Whin Brae. A good pool in all heights and a nice pool for swinging a fly through.

Tub. Looks a good holding pool and another pool ideal for the fly.

Saturday, 26 October 2013

18lb Salmon From Manar Today

As it was the last Saturday of the fishing season, I was kindly invited to fish the Manar beat of the River Don today. On this day each year the beat plays host to a celebration to mark the end of the salmon season. Plenty beer is to be had and there is enough meat cooked on the BBQ to feed an army! I always enjoy the good craic in the hut during the "Manar Shindig".

Charlie and I arrived at the beat around 8.30am and the beat gauge was reading 8" which was up an inch or two from the previous day. The water was a good colour and we were fairly confident there would be fish caught.

We fished all the likely pools in the morning along with a few other rods but apart from the odd fish showing the beat was very quiet. I decided to go the pool right at the top of the beat called the Ree Pot as it is only lightly fished due to the tree line bank. Not long after arriving at the pool there was a big fish showed in the fast run at the neck of the pool. Firstly, I covered it with a #10 Cascade but it showed no interest. I changed over to a #9 KS Shrimp and proceeded to cover the same lie but to no avail. As I was fishing down the pool, the big fish showed again in the same spot so I walked up through the trees and this time I went right up to the start of the run. I changed my fly again to a #11 Red Marauder Shrimp which is a fly I created a couple of weeks back for the Salmon Fishing Forum Tie of the Month competition. First cast and Bang! The fish took straight away. It immediately took off down stream and attempted to leave the pool. As I was underneath some trees and had nowhere to go, I just had to put the brakes on the fish. Doing this made the fish turn and it headed back up stream. The fish tried this same move several times whilst playing it but luckily it stayed in the pool. After a very dogged fight which lasted 15 minutes or so, I finally beeched the fish onto the reeds. I removed the fly from its mouth and found one of the hooks on my #11 Partridge Salar had snapped! I quickly measured the fish with nylon and took a few photographs. I gently lowered the coloured cock fish back in the river and it took off almost instantly. After all that, I needed a beer and headed up to the hut to meet Charlie. I finished my fishing for the day!

The rest of the day proved fruitless for all the rods fishing but as the beer started flowing and the burgers and sausages were devoured, this was soon forgotten. Today brings the curtain down on another season for most anglers on the Don and it's certainly not one that has set the heather on fire by any means. The Spring run was decent but as of the 1st June, it was like somebody flicked a switch and the fish stopped coming. This trend continued for most of the summer due to low water conditions until September when wee runs of fish crept up river. If you were in the right place at the right time, you caught them.

I have a couple of days left to fish as I'm on holiday but already looking forward to 2014.

Here are a few pictures from today.

Sheep Pool. A cracking pool and a very productive one at that.

Chapel Pool. The best pool on the beat catches wise and always holds a fish or two.

Upper Wood. My favourite pool on the beat. 

Looking upstream from the Upper Wood into the tail of the Sheep Pool.

Ree Pot. Where I landed my fish. Not the easiest pool to land a fish in.

A big coloured cock Salmon we estimated around 18lb after calculating it's measurements.

Back he goes to cause havoc on the redds but hopefully to pass on his genes to the next generation of salmon.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

A Good Day On The River Don Today

I was out on the River Don today with my Dad fishing the Aberdeen and District Angling Association water. My Dad and I managed to get a fish each and both of them came out of the same lie but two hours apart. We didn't see much evidence of fish in the pools but there was a very brief spell when a few fish were showing and this possibly stirred up resting fish.

The pools were very quiet considering the water rose mid week for the first time since May and I never seen a fin until around 11.00am. This is very unusual for the Don at this time of year but I did hear there was quite a decent run of fish went through on Friday which is encouraging. The water was carrying a wee tinge of colour but a nice peaty whiskey colour rather than dirty which I quite like.

My good friend Charlie Robertson also managed to get a fish today from the Manar beat of the Don. An 8lb cock fish gave him a good tussle before being landed. His fish took an Ally's Shrimp which is a great fly for peaty coloured water and a proven catcher of fish. Well done Charlie. Good to see Manar picking up a few fish again after the low water we've had all summer. The rain forecast will help this week too.

My Dad's first fish of the season. A nice fish around the 7lb mark.

Back she goes to continue her journey to the spawning grounds.

A quick picture for the scrap book. Here I am posing with a nice fresh fish about 6lb.

Safely returned to fight another day.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

3 Grilse From The Dee Today

I was out on the Aberdeen And District Angling Association beat of the Lower Dee at Garthdee this afternoon during my lunch hour and between 12noon and 1pm I landed 3 fish.

All three fish fell to a shrimp fly of my own tying which I have named the "Kitchen Sink Shrimp" as I only started using a few weeks ago when all else failed! It has now caught me 6 fish and as many lost in the last fortnight. It has all the colours of a back end fly and I shall continue to use it until the season ends and see how well it fairs.

The first fish was a slightly coloured Grilse around the 5lb mark. The second Grilse was also sporting a wee bit of colour and was around 4lbs. My third fish was the best of the bunch though and was a cracking fresh run Grilse about 6lbs, covered in long tailed sea lice. It was straight out the wrapper and I've never seen a fish with so much sea lice on it! A pure "Bar of Silver. "

I had never caught 3 salmon in a day before but to catch them all in the space of an hour was very pleasing. And to catch them all on a fly I designed myself made it even sweeter! All fish were released unharmed.

1. 5lb Grilse taken at the neck of the pool.

Ready for the off.

2. My second fish about 4lbs.

3. A cracking 6lb Grilse fresh off the tide.

Long tail sea lice cover the fish along it's back.

Lovely chrome colours and this one is off to the spawning grounds.