Wednesday, 13 August 2014


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Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Dinnet Beats Update- 3rd week of June

Following last weeks catches I hoped for more of the same with an increase of sea trout numbers. Starting with the river at 6" and slightly warmer at 58 degrees once again conditions were favourable. Fishing a falling river on Monday and Tuesday one would have expected some success although we blanked surprisingly so. Not many fish were seen over this period although Terry Webster did come into contact into a very fresh lively springer in high burn on the Monday morning that took a small monkey fly, whizzing down the pool and doubling back the fish leaped and threw the hook.

Laurel Meyers a visiting American student that was staying with me set the ball rolling with a sea trout from Bruich. Picking up a fly rod for the first time and succeeding in casting playing and landing a fish at night is no easy task so very well done Laurel!!!

Wednesday thankfully bought some catches with a 5lb grilse from red brae landed by Colin Esby and a sea trout in Ministers caught by Sebastian Orrel-Jones. Sea trout continued to be caught on the Thursday with 6 more landed between the Wednesday evening Thursday day.

I was ecstatic when walking down to Trochie pool I found retuning rod Quintin Webster's new rod bent double into a fish. Quentin has had some bad luck when fishing Dinnet over the years, when he told me he was still yet to catch and land a salmon last year we both tried really hard to break the duck. I recall he hooked and played a good fish in Trochie the year before, but due to a reel malfunction the fish snapped off. This year after a shopping trip at Farlows he was fully equipped with a Guideline reaction 14' 9/10#  rod and hardy perfect reel together with a brand new Rio AFS Line.  A set up that really suits Quentin and perfect for the Dee at this time of year. We approached Trochie to try and rein act last years tussle yet failed. I said "go and try Bruich with a fast sink tip and size 10 cascade and try Trochie again when you have done that". After running some other rods around I returned to see him into a fish and together we landed and savoured the moment of a first ever salmon.

We finished the week with 6 salmon and 10 Sea Trout.
Quentin Webster first salmon

A Clarke with a fish from Cobbles
Laurel Meyers into her first fish on the fly
Laurel's prize Sea Trout

Dinnet Beats Update - Mid June

On the 9th of June regular returning rods arrived at Dinnet faced with a river of great condition, after a rise on the Sunday the river fell down to 10" and cooled down to 54 degrees, holding still a little peat stain after the rise we all hoped to see some new fish on the beat. Sea Trout numbers last week began to improve and I would expect to start seeing these numbers increase over the next few weeks.

Dick Bradshaw got off to a great start with a very fresh springer of 10lb landed by 10:30am from the neck of Bruich on a size 10 cascade. Mike Noble unfortunately lost a couple of grilse in Logie and three sea trout were landed in 29 and Crawnee. A wet evening brought another little rise and although fishing to our best efforts on the Tuesday we saw no fish landed and a couple lost. Sat at 11" by Wednesday we tried fishing sink tips, floaters and varying the fly range. Mike noble stealthily fished high burn on a short line hanging the fly on the edge of the current in high burn and was rewarded with a lovely 9lber.  This approach often proves to be effective where you first fish down the pool not wading on a short line fishing the near by water before you wade in and cover the whole pool. Robin also managed to catch a grilse in Lower Slached.

By Thursday the river dropped down to 7" a perfect fishing height for the beat and the water had become the clearest we had seen yet this week. Fishing small flies we caught 4 sea trout and a two salmon. Geoff Featherstone fished very carefully through red brae with small flies to no avail, whereby he tried a sink tip and size 6 willie gun which was scoffed down by a stunning 12lber.
Geoff with his fish that had to be killed.

Friday evening brought torrentail rain and the river rose extremely rapidly peaking over 3.5' however by Saturday morning we were sitting at 1'11" although coloured water we still had a reasonable chance of catching a salmon and a very good chance at the Sea Trout as they will always seem to active during a spate. Geoff Stainton proved this when he landed a cracking 4lb sea trout in cobbles on a red devil tube fly and another sea trout in 29.

We finished the week with 10 salmon and 11 sea trout, which is a very similar figure we have been seeing over the last couple of weeks. This years salmon catches on Dinnet are very similar to the catches last year  although much more evenly balanced throughout May and June.

Successful flies this week have been cascades, crathies, silver stoats, munro killers, red frances and muddlers for the sea trout in the evenings. Often trying much larger patterns fished a little deeper can get a response from fish that are not willing to come up to the fly.

Monday, 23 June 2014

Dinnet beats update - Beggining of June

Monday began slowly with an attractive height of 1" and warm water at 57 degrees small flies and floating lines should be the preferred tactics this week. Welsh angler Simon Jones is no stranger to the Dee and set to with his small flies tied on a two fly cast and 18' leader began the week with a grilse of 5 lb from the glide. By Tuesday Simon continued to catch with fish landed in red brae and high burn and Regular Dee angler Gordon Tait started off with a fish from red brae from the Dinnet bank. John Jones invited his daughter to fish for the week and he diligently Ghillied her on the beat and netted two sea trout on the Tuesday evening for her. Gordon and I headed to Long Cast from the dinnet bank which is now opened up and a lovely piece of water when the river is low , and landed a lively sea trout from the head of the pool. Gordon has been fortunate to land some big dee fish this year following his 20lber in red brae this April he managed a cracking 17lb salmon from red brae on the Wednesday evening  this week. Wednesday night bought some heavy rain fall and  Thursday morning we were met with a big dirty river which peaked at 3'6". Salmon fishing was tough in these conditions however the sea trout remained active and over the next two days we managed to land 5 sea trout. The river dropped as quick as it came up and by Friday we were back in our main productive pools and some salmon rewarded out efforts. Steve Mulligan landed a stunning 12lber from Pol Slachd and John Jones ghillied his daughter's Lucy her first Dinnet salmon of 4lbs from Pol Bar. We finished with 10 salmon and 13 sea trout. Again river conditions mid week were unstable and our rods all fished hard changed tactics and were rewarded when the salmon were here.

Sunset on the Dee
Simon Jones sea trout fishing

Sunset on Morven

Dinnet beats update

The final week of May started with promising conditions with river heights at 6" and 53 degrees still holding some peat stain from a wee rise on Sunday Charles Hill and party began full of optimism. Andrew Markland set the ball rolling with a cracking 12lb salmon from Logie Pool taken right in the tail from the north bank on a home tied tiny size 14 dee sheep. By Tuesday the river continued to drop down to 1" but the peat stain became more concentrated and even with great efforts we failed to continue catching. Wednesday bought another rise of water peaking at 11" and temperatures rising to 57 degrees which appeared to bring in a run of fish. By mid week Charles Hill landed a stunning 11lb salmon in the evening in Logie, Andrew winkled another from Red Brae of 5lb and I was lucky to get a 12lber from Pol Slachd in the evening. Wendy and David had a great first three days of the week although fish less it was a pleasure to teach them fly casting and fishing and watch them progress and learn throughout there time here. Nigel Lammas caught a very fresh springer from Logie on the Thursday morning and Andrew caught the first salmon of the season from the Glide.

Charles Hill's daughters shared a rod for the later three days with dad and took to Flyfishing extremely well casting fantastic loops and showing lots of enthusiasm. Jenny hooked her first ever salmon in red brae from the north bank on the Thursday all on her own the fish proceeded to fight diligently and amongst all the slippy wading and acrobatic fighting it managed to drop off, next time I feel the fish won't be so lucky. 

Friday proved to be a better fishing day sitting at 5" and a much better colour to the river we managed another 4 salmon including a lovely fish from the glide from the north bank caught by Robert Markland.

Throughout the week there were occasional sea trout caught totaling 5. Successful flies were dee sheep, willie guns, cascades and mini collie dogs in fast pools like Trochie. It certainly was not a prolific week for May but our rods diligently fished hard and finished with a respectable tally. 

Next week was our best week of the season last year so it will be interesting to see what happens this season.
 The Team at Sandy Bay Hut
David Taylor fishing Logie

Jane Hill fishing Red Brae

Wendy Taylor learning to cast



Nigel Lammas into a fish in Logie

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Dinnet Beats Update - Third week of May

The week ending 24th of May once again produced a respectable result here it Dinnet. Finishing the week with 12 Salmon most of our rods were rewarded with a tussle from a Dee Springer although there certainly was not an abundance of Salmon in the pools. It appears that we have lost the majority of our residents on the beat as all the fish that were encountered were very fresh and they also seemed to be moving through the beat fairly quickly.  Fortunately Logie pool held several residents and remained at a great height throughout the week and produced the majority of salmon for the week.

Conditions throughout the week were just fine, maybe a little bright on some afternoons but as a whole favorable for salmon fishing. Starting the week at 7" almost all the pools were were at a good fishing height and water temperatures remaining between 50 and 54 degrees produced wonderful conditions for fishing small flies on floating lines.

Monday began with a blank day and little was seen on the beat however Lowrie Hickman started things off with a sparkling fish from Logie of 6lb's on Tuesday. Colin Espie added to the tally with the first fish from Top Bobby this season on an inch of black at night. On Wednesday a fish of 12lb was landed from Pol Slachd and Thursday bought another springer from Logie. A slow start to the week however things picked up on Friday with 3 fish landed in Logie and a cracking 13lb fish from Red Brae caught by French angler Bernard. By Saturday the river height dropped to 2" and it is uncanny how those low water pools begin the fish and the fish do start lying up there at suitable heights. We landed the first fish from Trochie and High Burn along with two more from Logie and Pol Slachd. 

Successful patterns were silver stoats, crathies, munro killers and some home tied patterns in sizes 11 to 14. 

I really hope the river picks up as June draws closer and we start to see Grilse runs and Sea Trout running the river, time will tell.

Friday, 30 May 2014

Dinnet Beats Update - Lairds Cast-

Well the second week of May has always been the Lairds week and often a very productive week here at Dinnet and Deecastle. This year even with very good river conditions it proved to be a difficult week however most rods were rewarded with much effort and perseverance. The week started off very well but it appeared that we lost quite a lot of fish on the Monday night and we only saw a slow trickle of fish throughout the week thereafter.

River conditions were perfect all week starting at 11" and dropped down to 6" by the end of the week. Temperatures began at 52 degrees but dropped down to 49 mid week and peaked again at 52 on the Saturday. A perfect height for all the main pools and classic conditions for floating lines and small flies fished slowly on top.

Monday Ian Scott began the week with a cracking 9lber from Logie Pool and David Conroy followed close behind with a 10lb sparkling fish from Pol Slachd. Finishing the first day with 4 fish recorded spirits were high and they improved again when the Dinnet Estate Laird Edward Humphrey skillfully landed a very feisty fish of 9lb from Pol Baw at 10pm on the Monday evening. Unfortunately the fish on the beat proceeded to continue upstream and left us very quiet for the next two days. Marcus Humphrey broke the quiet spell with a 10lb fresh fish from Pol Slachd on the Thursday and Colin Somerville kept things rolling with a sealiced beauty from Red Brae on the following day.

Saturday we had great celebrations after I was fortunate enough to instruct and ghillie Amanda Kavanagh's first ever Salmon which she caught and played extremely well in Red Brae. It is a great part of the job being able to share moments like these and I am convinced Amanda will continue to catch salmon in Scotland. We finished the week with 10 fish which for May is disappointing however in tough times those fish are remembered and very well deserved.

Successful tactics were fishing full floating lines and small flies patterns like the crathie, silver stoats, ghillie flies and munro killers in sizes 8 to 12.
Amanda Kavanagh fish on

First Fish!! Well done!!

Edward Humphrey with a feisty
evening springer