Tuesday, 6 March 2018

No Fishing! Beaten By The Weather

My annual three day trip to fish the River Dee at Ballogie was scuppered last week as the cold front brought in by the "Beast from the East" took it's toll. The river was full of grue (ice floes) and some areas of the Dee were completely frozen over. I had really hoped my Blog post from my trip to Ballogie this year would have been full of nice photos of fresh run, spring salmon but instead, it's just photos of snow and ice!
A stunning wintry scene at Potarch Bridge. Not what we wanted for our fishing though!
It wasn't just anglers on Deeside who suffered though. Large parts of the country ground to a complete stand still after the deep blanket of snow covered most of the UK. As I write this, the snow is still falling in the higher parts of the Dee valley and it looks as though there could be more frozen conditions coming to hinder anglers booked to fish the upper beats. 
The ice along the margins was around 6" thick in places!
Daytime temperatures in the Ballogie area of -8c with wind chill bringing that temperature down even further made travelling very difficult. The roads were impassible to all but the best 4x4 vehicles or tractors as snow drifts blowing off the fields reached some 6 or 7 feet high in places. Fishing was not going to happen anytime soon for us and we just had to sit tight hoping to 
Looking upstream from the Burn of Angels towards Potarch Bridge.
The tail of the Bridge Pool at Ballogie full of ice.
Friday did bring a slight improvement to the weather but the grue in the river wasn't going to shift anytime soon as temperatures struggled to get above -2c. Not sure what the water temperatures were but i'd be very surprised if the were any higher 31/32f at most. Access to our cottage was proving very difficult and after several failed attempts to drive along the access road, we gave up. The sobering thought of being stuck out in the middle of nowhere during the blizzards was enough to convince us to cut our losses and head for home. 
Looking downstream into Floating Bank at Ballogie. 
Looking upstream from the banks of the Dee at Kincardine.
I spent most of the day on Saturday gazing at the screen of my laptop as I sat watching the frozen River Dee flow past on the Potarch webcam. My thoughts soon turned to the success of the previous year's fishing before the realisation finally set in that it would be another year before we are back there again. There is a lot of fishing to be had between now and then though and I have plenty other days on the river to look forward to. Here's hoping the snow and ice has disappeared by then!
The Kincardine Boat Pool.
The fishing hut at Kincardine O'Neil looking across the Boat Pool.
Despite the disappointment of losing our fishing due to the bad weather, I can't really complain with conditions we have had these past 7 or 8 years. The chance of grue is just part and parcel of booking early season fishing. I remember losing about 9 days fishing in 2010 due to the weather conditions so at least it hasn't been so several as then. If the catches for this year reflect the excellent runs of salmon we had in 2010, the last real bad winter then this is only a small price to pay. I'd happily lose my fishing to see good numbers of fish caught up and down the river. We'll soon find out if that will be the case. Tight lines!


  1. Some serious weather Craig but as you say luck of the draw I suppose.....hoping for a slight improvement for the start of my 3 days there next Thursday ! Tight Lines !

    1. Hopefully the water and weather conditions will be in your favour Eamonn. Tight lines!

  2. We had the water but the weather as you know was Baltic Craig......I didn't realise you were just upstream on the Thursday..... must call to say hello next time ­čśŐ