Autumn on the River Dee

Was able to have a cast the other week for a few days on the Dee at Park. There was a good rise in river levels which got fish on the go , alas it was a bit murky so sport was slow on the first day. I was pleased to get a fresh grilse and hoped for better sport the following 2 days. The next day was a bit better as fish were nipping the fly and I hooked 4 but only landed one. I felt conditions were going to be spot on for the last day.

Saturday dawned and I left for the river with my buddy Jim Coates from Whyte and Mackay, a super fisherman who fishes hard. I had drawn beat 4 which we knew contained a lot of fish. I had received a phone call the night before from a Ghillie advising me of a run of small new Grilse. As we travelled I was hopeful and Jim was upping the ante by winding me up. Comments like "Now Reidy there's no excuses for not getting a few this morning!" and "If you don't get a few you are going to get so much stick at lunchtime."
A nice autumn salmon from Park
I tackled up with my 15 ft G. Loomis Stinger and Rio AFS shooting head with intermediate tip. I attached a size 11 Park Shrimp which was tied by Ross Macdonald - a fly I have a lot of confidence with after getting 26 salmon on one day the previous summer in Russia. I fished down the Durris stream and after 10 minutes landed a tide liced 5lb grilse. I hoped the first of a few. I carried on for another hour down the stream without an offer. The fish were there but were not interested it seemed and I could imagine the stick I would get at lunchtime. Across from me were Harry and Paul Whitehouse who are regular tenants. I though I should change tactics so decided to put on a monkey fly, fish it square and use a slow retrieve. I flicked the fly across the stream and started using a figure of eight retrieve. I felt the line tighten and as I kept retrieving the rod bent into a fish.The fish bucked on the surface and I let it take line and run. It fought well for 10 minutes and I was pleased to land a 12 lb fish. By the time I had fished 300 yards down to Redwell through the Jetties I had landed another 3 salmon and a sea trout and lost 3 more. Five salmon and a sea trout in the morning was great sport and I was happy I would avoid a ribbing at lunchtime. As it was it was Jim who had surprisingly blanked in the morning and he had to eat humble pie. Come to think of it he was so gutted he couldn't eat until he got a fish. He did in fact catch four salmon in the afternoon to my two salmon so we were really happy to have had 11 salmon and a sea trout for our day. When conditions are right on the Dee it is great to be there.

For more info on fishing the River Dee for Salmon check out Fishdee.