Saturday, 17 May 2014

Kildrummy Water - River Don

I had booked a day on the Kildrummy beat of the River Don for last Saturday but I ended up having to work so I rescheduled it for today. The water was on the low side for the beat to fish well but I had never fished Kildrummy before and I was looking forward to it. The river levels were sitting just above summer lows at around 1inch on the gauge. I was armed with my 13ft Hardy Uniqua, full floating line and small doubles from size 10s to 15s.

I arrived at the delightfully charming Kildrummy Inn just after 8am to receive my permit from hotel owner David Littlewood. He gave me a very helpful beat map and talked me through the pool where I'd most likely encounter a salmon. He also informed me that I would be fishing in good company today in the form of Trout & Salmon magazine columnist and brown trout guru, Paul Procter.

I opted to start above the lower bridge in the Willows Pool and Brux Pot. These were two deeper pools and had the possibility of holding fish in the low water. I fished on through both pools without a touch s o I headed up to the hut and fished the Crooked Pot. Again, another deeper pool but not sign of any salmon, just plenty of trout rising down at the tail. I did have a fling with the dry fly rod but couldn't tempt any of them.

After studying the beat map, I decided to had up river and fish the Bulwarks and Joiners Pools. The Bulwarks pool was my favourite pool on the beat . It was a deep gorge like pool which was very deep and a likely place for salmon to hold up in whilst the river was low. I fished on down the pool without a touch and with the same result in Joiners. I headed back down river to the bridge car park for some lunch and to plan out my afternoon.

After lunch I fished the pools below the lower bridge . These included Dukestone Dykes, Knowehead Pool and Muckie Saugh. All the flow on these pools were on the far bank but the river at Kildrummy is easy to cover and these all fished the fly nicely but sadly, there was still no sign of any salmon in the pools so I made my way back to the car and headed off back to the hut where I deceided I would walk up river to fish through the top pools of the right bank. The pools in this stretch were called Burn End, Upper Clochter, Lower Clochter and a few wee runs that didn't have names. I fished down through these pools without a touch from a salmon but I did get hold of a couple of greedy brown trout which took a liking to my #11 KS Shrimp. That was to be the only action of the day and I left the beat around 5.30pm just as the wind was beginning to get stronger which was making casting quite tricky.

I was very impressed with some of the fly water that Kildrummy has to offer, it's just a pity there was no water today as I think the pools would be much better suited for salmon fishing with at least another 9" - 12" on the gauge. Still, good to be out on a new beat to me and it was good to fish the Upper Don for the first time too. The scenery around Donside is beautiful and I saw plenty wildlife today too. Hares were running about in the fields, Roe deer roamed, the call of the Curlew rang out along the river banks along with Pheasants and Oyster Catchers. I will be back again some time in the near future when the water levels are a bit higher but until then, here are some picture of the Kildrummy Fishings.

The Kildrummy Inn. Well worth a visit for lunch or an evening meal.
The bar at the Kildrummy Inn which is full of character.
Willows Pool. A deep pool which looked as though it might hold salmon.
Brux Pot. A nice streamy pool with a good flow for fishing the fly.
The Kildrummy beat Hut. Wouldn't look out of place on some of the bigger salmon rivers.
The Boat Pool. Looking downstream towards the lower bridge.
A no named pool above the Boat Pool. Was a bit shallow in here.
Bulwarks. My favourite pool on the beat. A lovely, deep pool which carves it's way through the shelf rock below the surface.
Joiners Pool. Not really enough water on here for it to fish well but plenty trout rising just off the far bank opposite the tree.
Another no named run just below Joiners.
Below the Bridge. This pool is called Dukestone Dykes.
Knowehead Pool. Very similar to Dulestone Dykes. All the flow runs down the deeper channel on the far bank. Could easily pick up fish in here.
Muckie Saugh Pool looking downstream to the beat limit.
Burn End. The top Pool on the right bank above the Kildrummy hut.
Upper Clochter. Again, will probably fish much better with a few more inches on the gauge.
Lower Clochter.
Neck of Crooked Pot looking downstream towards the beat hut.
A greedy wee brown trout from Crooked Pot. Not much sport on a 13ft rod!
A stunning wee brown trout from Upper Clochter. The photo doesn't really show just how golden this fish was.

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