Last Saturday I had a day on the Ballogie beat of the River Dee. The water was sitting at good height of 1ft 9in and with a recent drop in air and water temperatures the fish seemed to be a bit more eager to take a fly.
I was fortunate enough to land a nice wee fish of around 3lb in the morning. It was a slightly coloured hen fish which came at the Sunray Shadow twice before finally taking it. I initially thought it was a trout and hand lined the fish in. It wasn't until I got it on the bank that I realised it was a grilse!
In the afternoon I ventured up above the Potarch Bridge and fished the Sands and Slips pools. I had a couple of offers in the Sands which didn't stick and I also had an offer int he Slips which also didn't hook up. I was fishing a 7ips tip and a 14mm Pink Frnac N Snaelda and as it seemed to be what they wanted, I decided to have another run through both pools. I was about midway done the top slip I had a thumping take! It felt like a very hefty fish and it was towing me around the pool with ease! I knew it was a good sized fish but it wasn't until it leapt out of the water that I realised how big it actually was. I landed like someone had thrown a boulder into the pool! After a dogged battle of wills the fish was beginning to tire but just when I thought I had the job done it made a lunge for a sunken rock and the line went tight. I thought the fish was going to come off as I could not move it. I waded out of the water and down the bank to below the fish and thankfully the line freed and the fish took off across the pool back to where I had hooked it. Another few minutes of the fish going round in circles was enough to tire it further and I soon managed to get my hand round it's shovel like tail and the fish was finally mine.
I took a quick photo of the fish and a measurement of it;s length. It measured in at 94cm or 37". It had a huge girth but in my haste to get the fish back I didn't bother to measure this and I returned the fish to the water as soon as I could. It was booked at 19lb but whatever it weighed, it was a beast of a salmon and one I will remember for a while to come.
|A cracking hen salmon from the River Dee last week.|
|A small but lively grilse which hammered a Sunray Shadow.|
|A quick photo before release. What a slab of a fish!|
|Tail like shovel!|
|Back she goes to do her business. Should be plenty egg in this one!|