History of the Dee
The Dee has a deserved reputation as one of the world's great salmon rivers. Since the 17th century, anglers have been sport fishing on the river for its famous run of salmon. Victorian salmon anglers enjoyed some of the finest fishing in the Dee's angling history and their innovative approach to fishing tackle design is still reflected in tackle today. In the early 1920’s the forerunner of modern floating salmon fishing was invented at Cairnton by AHE Wood from Cairnton when his revolutionary greased line technique was developed. The principles discovered then are used globally by salmon anglers as the main technique for fly fishing today.
The River Dee's spring salmon fishing is of international renown, having high numbers caught compared with some other rivers in Scotland. Commencing on the 1st February, the best spring fishing is to be had in the lower and a few of the middle-lower beats which open that month, with the remaining beats opening on 1st March.
Given good water conditions fish can run upstream quickly to the upper beats during March and by April/May the main body of spring fish will be passing through the middle beats into the upper river. Water height and temperature can play a big part in the movement of fish at any time of the season but especially in the spring when snow and/or rain in the western catchment can quickly influence water conditions.
Summer fishing on the Dee
The Dee's summer salmon and grilse are the most abundant of the river's fish stocks and provide excellent sport for local and visiting anglers. In late June and into July, we expect to see grilse arriving, generally in good numbers. In fact grilse numbers caught by rod and line have increased steadily over the past three decades. Local coastal netting concerns have been bought out by the Dee Board, promoting conservation and benefiting the rod fishery.
Summer salmon will also be entering the river and provide excellent opportunities for anglers. It is during May that we usually expect to see runs of sea trout arriving. They provide excellent opportunities for anglers, many of whom choose to fish through the night for these elusive and hard fighting fish.
Autumn runs of salmon, which start in August and are in full swing in September, providing excellent and productive fishing for anglers on the Dee in all sections of the river. This period of the season is blessed with the presence of sea trout, grilse, summer and autumn runs of salmon, providing anglers with marvellous opportunities in all sections of the river, particularly the lower beats.
How to book fishing
The main source of fishing availability can be found at the website www.fishdee.co.uk which is the comprehensive website for the River Dee providing all information about fishing for salmon and trout and attracts 2 million visitors to the website. The website has over 40 beats that provide fishing to let online. There are weekly reports and prospects provided, as well as daily catch returns, and current weather and river conditions including a web camera.
Heughhead Fishing can also be booked directly here: http://www.fishpal.com/Scotland/Dee/Heughhead/
Fishing tackle and waders can be obtained for hire from Orvis in Banchory.