Thursday, 29 March 2018

Carlogie - River Dee

I had a day on the Carlogie beat of the River Dee last Saturday under the guidance of head ghillie, Sean Stanton. Carlogie has to be one of my favorite beats to fish purely down to the peace and seclusion of the pools and also the quality of the fish available in the right conditions. Carlogie is more notable as prolific low water beat but I much prefer it when the water is high and the fish are confined to just tow or three pools. On Saturday I was lucky enough to be there when conditions were near as perfect as I could have wished for.
A cracking fresh run River Dee springer about to be released back into the water. 
On arrival tot he beat in the morning, the Potarch Bridge gauge was reading 4ft 6in but running clear after a recent spate due to snow melt. Despite the presence of snow melt water, the water temperature had warmed up during the course of the week and was hovering around the magical 40f mark which seems to get fish running.
Looking upstream from the seat overlooking the Village Pool. 
As the water was on the medium to high side, I opted to set up with my 14ft 9in Guideline AWM matched up with a Guideline I/S1/S2 shooting head with a 10ft 7ips versi leader. My fly of chose initially was a 1 1/4" Black and Yellow conehead.
Fishing down the Village Pool during the morning session. 
I started my day off in the Boat and Village pools. These are both cracking high water pools and offer anglers a great chance of hooking a fish. My run through the Boat Pool proved fruitless but I did manage to land a big kelt from the Village Pool which I initially thought was a fresh fish the way it was running about all over the pool. Sadly it wasn't but at least I knew my tactics were working reasonably well.
Looking downstream from the bench at Pitslug. 
After fishing the Boat and Village Pools I made my way up river to have a cast in the Pitslug Pool. The Pitslug is another good high water pool on the beat and can be very productive at most heights of water too. Sean had pointed out the likely lie in the pool at this height of water and I had this fresh in my head as I made my way down the pool.
An underwater still of the Chartreuse Monkey in action. You can easily see why the Salmon love them!
Pitslug is a fairly deep pool and my I/S1/S2 line with the 7ips tip was fishing well. I had not ling started fishing down the pool when I let my fly swing a bit too far into the bank and it was snagged up. Try as I might, I just couldn't shift it and the leader eventually gave way taking my Black and Yellow tube fly with it. I attached a new bit of fluro carbon and decide now was a good time to try out a different fly. I opted for a 1" aluminium Chartreuse Monkey this time. I began fishing again and was soon down to the hot spot pointed out by Sean earlier in the day. I could have not had anymore than half a dozen casts when the line tore off across the stream. Exactly where Sean said there would be a fish lying! I firmly lifted into what felt like a very strong fish and held on tight. It pulled hard as it went back and forth across the pool but all the while staying deep. It just wasn't for showing itself. I was 99% sure it was a fresh fish but I decided to wait before calling Sean for back up as it was lunch time and I didn't want him to come all the way up just to net a big kelt.
Well worth the wait! Posing with a cracking fish from the River Dee.
After a struggling to subdue the fish in the heavy current I finally decide to give Sean a call. By now it was well into lunch time and Sean was sitting at home enjoying a sandwich. He called Ian Fraser, the ghillie from Commonty as he was close by and Ian arrived just in time to slip the net under a beautiful springer. He quickly weighed it in the net and it tipped the scales at 13lb. After a quick photo it was safely released back into the Dee to continue it's journey. What a fish to open my account with!
Back he goes. Doing my bit for Catch and Release. 
Ian and I sat for a while chatting on the bank but as it was only just 2pm, we thought I'd better give it another run through in case there was another fish lying around. My second run through the pool proved fruitless but after landing that fish I was more than happy to settle for just the one for my day.


Next up for me is a trip to Tayside and fingers crossed I can replicate my success on the Dee down there too.

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