Sunday, 24 February 2013

A tough week

                                                             A completely frozen Franc N Snaelda

It's not the best of weeks with only 3 fish caught on the Ballogie beats, just 1 off each beat! The river temperature is the biggest problem, at only 34c the fish are not moving up through the river at any speed and as the water keeps dropping the fish are more likely to stay in the lower beats when they come in from the sea.

                                                                Another good fish from the Bridge pool!

We need a change in weather to stand a chance of drawing fish out from the sea, looking at the forcast we will see a slight rise in daytime temperatures which could result in some snow melt. With a full moon nearly here we should see some high spring tides and this may bring fresh fish into the river. I hope!!!


Thursday, 21 February 2013

Nae Fish!!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                           An elusive Dee Springer!! Yes this is what one looks like!!! 15lbs of solid silver caught on a Franc N Snaelda by Craig Macdonald.

To say it's a struggle to get a fish this week is an understatement! You only have to look at Fishdee's catches to now there aren't many fish in the system. However we never give up and just keep hoping we run into a pod of fish moving up, this happened yesterday and we hooked 3 Springers at Ballogie but only landed 1!! We lost a good fish in the Slips pool when the fish decided to go around the big rocks at the start of the pool and took the shooting head and all the running line with it, all we got back was some very frayed backing and an empty wallet!

                                                         A long line over the Ghillies pool at Ballogie

Commonty managed a fish today from the Ripples pool, the 10lb fish was landed by local angler Gavin Ramsey. Ballogie and Carlogie saw action from Kelts and another Baggot from Carlogie.
With a stiff SE wind the conditions are far from perfect and with nightime temperatures set to tumble we may see the first serious grue of the year, I only hope we can hang on to the cloud cover which should help keep the temperature up.


Sunday, 17 February 2013

The last cast!!!

After a really tough week on the river it pays to keep positive and never give up! We had almost finished on Saturday and packed away some of the rods when Dennis decided to set up his son's rod and try out his Skagit line. Just as we were heading to the bridge pool we saw kelts leaping all over the place! I said "That's a fresh fish just arrived in the pool and it's stirring up the kelts, just go and cast to it". Dennis waded out and began to fish, 3 casts later we were rewarded with a cracking spring salmon! This was literally the last cast of the week and it was great to finish on a high note.

Waiting Patiently!
With such mild temperatures we are expecting some high water due to snow melt at the start of next week. Hopefully this will bring in some much needed new fish. The water temperature is rising and it is possible we could have over 40f  on Monday but looking at the weather forecast for the end of next week it is looking like we could get another cold blast from Europe.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Extreme (ly Bloody Cold) Fishing!!

                                                 You don't have to be mad to fish in February! But it helps!!

Conditions this week have been good up to today! This morning we arrived at the river to find an icy Easterly wind blasting upstream, then it started to snow and then we had horizontal snow and then we had driving horizontal snow and then it got steadily WORSE!! The air temperature never rose above 0.5c and with the wind chill felt more like -10!!  Fair to say that the rods put in a great performance today braving the elements but to no avail, only Kelts for all their efforts!

A good fish from Ballogie
The weather forecasters are predicting the snow will ease overnight and turn to rain leaving a warm westerly wind and temperatures of 7-8 degrees, this could mean a big melt and high water for Friday and Saturday.
Ready to go Back!


Sunday, 10 February 2013

Double figures!

Lee Hooke with a nice fish from Lower Inchbare, Ballogie
We've had a great week at Ballogie with a total catch of 7 springers finishing off with 3 on Saturday, 3 out of the 4 rods caught a fish! We are seeing more and more fish in the pools and the conditions have been perfect for us.
Kevin Fraser with a cracker from Commonty, caught in the Garden pool
The total catch this week for the 3 beats was 10 Salmon, Commnty had 2 and Carlogie only had 1 but it was all action with lots of kelts being caught, over 20  kelts just on Saturday from Carlogie. What is interesting is just how many cock kelts we are catching! It was always a rare sight to see a cock kelt but we've had 5 this week including 1 over 20lbs in the Bullworks pool. 
Tom Marshall playing another fish, Tom had a great 3 days at Ballogie, landing 3 Springers.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

1 a Day!!

                                                         Duncan Egan with his first springer at Ballogie

With the river dropping we are starting to be able to fish the pools properly, the flies are getting down to the fish and we a being rewarded with some great fish!

                             The view looking down to the Garden pool at Commonty from the Junction stream

With the season only 6 days old we've managed to average 1 a day at Ballogie including 2 today for Tom Marshall both caught in the Bridge pool this afternoon. This is a good average for February and if we can keep the river at a reasonable level then we should see a better than average start to the Season.


Tuesday, 5 February 2013


                                                                                                                                                                                Ken Reid presenting Gareth Headland with my box of Franc N Snaelda's for the biggest salmon caught on opening day.

We've started of pretty well so far considering the conditions we've had, the opening 2 days saw 2 from Ballogie and 1 from Carlogie. Commonty got off the mark yesterday with a fish of 9lbs caught on a Willie Gunn Franc N Snaelda from the Boat pool, the river was sitting at 4ft 6" in the morning which is a great height for Commonty.

                                                       Ken Reid playing a Kelt in the Boat pool at Carlogie.

Today saw water temperatures at 34f in the river, which is the coldest it's been for a long time, Grue appeared when we went up to Alans pool at Carlogie this morning, so conditions were hard as the fish were reluctant to move because the water was so cold, but as you know persistence is the name of the game in February and this afternoon Jim Sullivan was rewarded with a 12lb fish from the floating bank at Ballogie

Friday, 1 February 2013

Opening day ceremony 2013

                                                        The crowd assembles for the start of the ceremony

                                                        Alistair Hume, Ian Scott, Mark Bilsby and myself

                                                                       Alistair Hume toasting the Dee

                                          Me being interviewed by the BBC, Colin White, for Reporting Scotland

                                                                             The First Cast of 2013

Unfortunately, Alistair didn't manage to catch a springer on the first cast but we did catch a spring salmon from Ballogie, at about the same time the ceremony was happening! It was a 9lb spring salmon caught by Steven Moir from Lower Inchbare. I'm afraid it was just kelts from Carlogie and Commonty but we're only on Day One........!

Thanks to my lovely wife, Tracey, for the taking the photos while I was occupied.