I had my annual February day at the Park North beat on the River Dee today. Park was still to get off the mark for the 2015 season but confidence is always high when I fish here as catches can be prolific when it's on it's day. The water was sitting at 1ft 1in on the beat gauge and running crystal clear with the water temp hovering around 39f. My set up for the morning was my new 15ft Mackenzie shooting head rod, Mackenzie intermediate shooting head, 6ft 2.6ips tip and a 1" Maggie's Shrimp.
I arrived at the beat around 8.30am and was raring to go. After a good chat and a coffee with Keith Cromar, the head ghillie at Park, along with the other rods it was time to get going. I was drawn to fish Beat 4 in the morning and swap over with Paul who was fishing Beat 5. Keith suggested I start in the Durris Stream and come back up to fish the House Pool later so I made my down to the Durris and began working my way through the pool. I got about a third of the way down the pool when I thought I'd hooked the bottom. I gave the line a sharp pull and it didn't move so I did the same again but this time it it came undone. I pulled the line to begin my recast when it started moving out into the faster water. I had hooked a fish! After a very short and lethargic fight, I started to draw the fish into the bank. The fight couldn't have lasted much more than a minute or so. Just as the fish was nearing the bank the fly gave way. Thankfully, it was only a kelt but I was really surprised just how easy the fish gave up. I've never had a fish with such a lack of fight about it. It might have woken up as it got near the shingle, who knows, but it certainly didn't give that impression. I made my way back out into the river and fished on down the pool without another offer so I headed off up to the House Pool.
The House Pool is a nice stretch of water and I always enjoy fishing it, but this time, there was no sign of any fish willing to have a go at my fly so after a quick run through, I wound in and headed off down stream to fish Bakebare.
As I arrived at the Bakebare Pool, Paul had said he had hold of and lost 3 fish, the third he was sure was a springer. This was encouraging and I was eager to get started. I worked my way down Bakebare and just as the fly was coming into the slacker water near the lower part of the pool, a fish had a rug at my fly which sadly didn't stick. It was most probably a kelt anyway but at least it was a positive. I fished the rest of the pool without a touch and after a good chat with Paul and Sean we made our way back to the hut for lunch.
After fishing down the Bulwarks without an offer, I made my further down stream to have a go in the Lower Kirks before calling it a day. As good as it seemed to be fishing the fly, my efforts were unrewarded so I made my way back to the hut for a cup of coffee before heading home.
|The beat gauge reading 13".|
|Paul Pritchard and Sean McGarry.|
|Durris Stream. Lost a kelt in here during the morning.|
|Looking down stream in the House Pool.|
|Looking downstream in Bakebare.|
After lunch I was to fish Beat 1. I quite like Beat 1, especially the Silver Spoon pool which waslooking good at this height of water. I worked my way down the pool and with every cast I was hopeful of a take but nothing. Still, it was enjoyable to fish none the less. I fished my way down Park Inn covering the water well but without a touch. Keith had suggested that Bulwarks might be worth a shout at this height so I headed off down stream to have a cast in there.
|Silver Spoon. A nice wee bit of water at the top of Beat 1.|
|Looking downstream at Park Inn.|
|Fishing down the Bulwarks pool.|
|Lower Kirks. Another fine piece of water at Park.|
Despite our best efforts, we couldn't get Park's first springer of 2015 logged in the book. Apart from losing a kelt and Paul having hold of a few fishing during the morning session, that was it for the day. Fingers crossed Park score next week and get the ball rolling for their season. Hopefully there will be a lift in water soon which might just draw some fresh fish forward from the sea. I always enjoy fishing Park and today was no exception. Great pools for fly fishing and as I said before, you are just waiting for the line to tighten on every cast. I will look forward to my next visit.