Monday, 13 June 2016

Tilbouries - River Dee

I had a day on the Tilbouries beat of the River Dee last Saturday and with the low water conditions and bright sunshine forecast, I wasn't holding out much hope for any success. I arrived at the beat around 8.30am to find the water levels sitting at 11" on the Park gauge. Tactics for the day would involve light tackle and small flies. My set up for the day was my 13ft Hardy Uniqua, 8/9 Rio Scandi floating shooting head and a 10ft intermediate polyleader with 8ft of 12lb clear maxima. My fly of choice was a #12 Arndilly Fancy dressed on a Loop double. After a coffee and a chat with Daniel Wright, the ghillie it was off down to fish the Tilbouries Run.
Looking down the Tilbouries Run about 9am.
A nice wee sea trout on my 5th cast of the morning. Taken on a #12 Arndilly Fancy.
Daniel and his rods had a good day in the Tilbouries Run the previous day where they landed three salmon and lost another as well as a sea trout. With the water levels low, the Run was as good a place to start as any. Not long after starting a couple of good, clean salmon made their presence known as did a good sea trout. Confidence immediately rose and no sooner had I started I lifted into a strong wee sea trout. Daniel soon had it in the net for me and it was quickly released to carry on it's journey. By this time we were all confident that we might just be in for a decent day of it.

Fishing down the Tilbouries Run.
Looking upstream to the shingle bar which runs the length of the Tilbouries Run.
By 11am the sun was high in the sky and the good cloud cover we had earlier on in the morning had now burnt off and there wasn't a cloud to be seen. Temperatures were rising quickly and the fish seemed to go down as we didn't see another splash. Daniel suggested we had another go in the Tilbouries Run but I was desperate for the toilet so I let Daniel fish whilst I watered the grass. As luck would have it, Whilst I was removing my waders to empty my bladder I had a shout from Daniel who was bent into a good fish! I couldn't believe it!! That's the last time I go for a pee and let the ghillie fish! I quickly got my waders fastened and grabbed the net and made my way down the bank to help Daniel out. The fish made some unstoppable runs but we eventually had it turned and I slid the net under a cracking fish of around 12lb. On closer inspection, the fish was covered in long tail sea lice and was clearly straight out the sea. Who says you can't catch salmon in low water and bright conditions. This salmon clearly hadn't read the books.
Looking downstream from the top of the Tilbouries Run
Here I am posing with a lovely 12lber covered in sea lice which was caught by ghillie, Daniel from the Tilbouries Run in the bright sunshine.
Lunch time was spent going over the morning's fishing. With the bright sun now beaming directly down onto all the pools there was no hurry to get back on the water. As I was only able to fish until 5pm I ventured out again just after the usual 2pm start time.
The well equipped fishing hut at Tilbouries.
The cosy interior of the Tilbouries hut.
Looking upstream from the front of the hut to the tail of the Island and into Cairnton.
I decided to give the Island Stream a run through after lunch just on the off chance any fish we spotted during the morning were running. The water was really low in this pool and you could see almost every stone on the river bed. I even sat and watched a greedy trout steadily rise to take flies off the surface. I quickly went through the pool before heading back down stream but unsurprisingly, I didn't get an offer.

Fishing down the Island. A couple of sea trout showing the in faster water here.
Looking upstream near the tail of the Island.
On my way down to the hut I spotted a nice sea trout rise in the Cairnton pool. I quickly made my way over to where it showed and on my first cast I hooked the fish. It was a lively fish and and it soon threw the hook which was disappointing. Still, it was good to get another bend in the rod especially given the conditions.
Looking downstream towards the Cairnton pool from the tail of the Island.

An old photo I had of the Cairnton Pool from July 2012 as I didn't take any pictures of the pool last week.
Tilbouries is home to one of the longest pools on the Dee named the Lawson Pool. The pool requires a bit of wading from the Tilbouries bank but it's easy to fish and can hold a lot of fish through out the season, especially during the cold, early months of the season and the back end. I didn't put a fly through it his time as we felt we would have had more chance getting a fish fishing the streamy runs glides in the pools below.

The mighty Lawson Pool. Again an old photo from July 2012 but it's just to show the size of the pool and give an idea of why it can be so productive.
Daniel and I fished through the Tilbouries Run and Alfred's Pot a couple of times during the afternoon but it was more in hope than expectation as the overhead conditions were bordering on tropical and coupled with low water the fish were taking shelter and not interested in any of our offerings. It was nice to meet Dee ghillies, Brian from Cairnton and Glen from Borrowston who had popped down to Tilbouries to speak with Daniel. I had not met either of them before and it was good to have a chat with them and to find out what has been happening on their beats further upstream. It was also good to hear stories of some nice fish being caught and pools holding fish. Long may it continue and fingers crossed the River Dee can have a good summer and finish the season on a high come the back end runs in September and October.

The beat has been very lightly fished in recent years and the catches don't really reflect the beat's potential. I'm sure if more rod took the chance of a day here then the numbers in the book would be much higher. It's reasonably priced and days at Tilbouries are available starting from £30 in the spring rising to £80 later on in the season. Days can be booked through the FishDee website or by contacting Daniel via their Facebook page - Tilbouries Fishing

No comments:

Post a comment