Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Better than average!

                              Chris Adams with a stunner from Carlogie

Well thats the end of the first month of the season and it's turned out better than expected! Ballogie and Commonty have beaten their 5 year average and Carlogie has equalled it's 5 year average, pretty good considering we lost 7 days fishing to grue this month.

Commonty has had it's best February since Ballogie Estates started managing it, landing 13 for the month, it may not sound a lot but considering back in 2006 it had a 5 year average of only 46 fish for the whole season. Ballogie had 21 which equalled last years total for February and Carlogie had 7 for the month, which is 1 better than last year, Had we been able to fish everyday the catches for the month would have been far greater but we have no control over the weather!!

                       The first Spring fish caught out of the Ghillies pool

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

The future's bright!!

                                               Mattias and Tim

We have the privileged to have 2 students from Sweden working at the  Ballogie beats for the next 8 weeks, they are here to learn about what we do as Ghillies in Scotland. They are studying at Alvdalen college in a full time course to become a Salmon Fishing Guide, hopefully they will see how good the river Dee is in the spring.

Today produced more fish, however we seemed to lose more than we landed with 4 lost at Ballogie!!
Today it was Dr Patrick who scored with a 12lber from Commonty which also christened his new Scott Mackenzie rod!! Tony Black was also had a fish from Commonty, hooking it just before Dr Patrick hooked his. Carlogie had it's biggest fish so far with a 22lber caught in the Village pool, the photo of this fish will be posted tomorrow.

Monday, 27 February 2012

A good start to the week

                       Roar's second fish from the Bridge pool at Ballogie

Today saw a good head of fish throughout the Ballogie Beats, Commonty was first off the mark with a fish from the Garden pool followed by 2 from Ballogie and 1 from the Boat pool at Carlogie, then in the afternoon Tony Black took one from the Garden pool at Commonty and Ernie Hemmings got a cracker from the Top Gannnets weighing 16lbs.

              Tom Marshall with a Beauty from the Lower Inchbare at Ballogie

With rain this morning, hopefully the river will not drop any further but with a record day for air temperature set for tomorrow we may see the levels drop quickly as we approch the weekend.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Been a while!!

Sorry for not posting anything for over a week but I'm just too busy tying flies for orders!!

Week 7 was a good week for the Ballogie Beats producing 12 Springers of the 3 beats, Ballogie had 5, Carlogie had 3 and Commonty had 4.

                 David Macdonalds first of the season from the Top Gannets

This week however proved a lot tougher with only 6 fish from the 3 beats and all from Ballogie. High water along with record daytime temperatures ment that we saw many fish just running straight through the beats, I can't ever recall the water temperature being so warm in February, it peaked at 45f on thursday, needless to say we now have run out of snow melt and the river is now a "Spate river" I am already doing a rain dance as the river will now drop fast.

                 Roar Lindso returning a fish from the Bridge pool at Ballogie

Thursday, 16 February 2012

A Unique Opportunity!

A prime week has become available at Commonty! After a cancellation we can now offer week 22 - 28th May - 2nd June 2012 for 2 rods, the price for the week is £420 + VAT @ 20% per rod. To get on any beat in May on the Dee is almost impossible so grab this unique opportunity while you can. If you are interested, please contact me directly at 

                  Jean Marshall with a springer from the Boat pool, Carlogie

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Commonty strikes again!

                       Tom Marshall with a late one at the Boat Pool Carlogie

Just heard from Ian Fraser that his rods had 2 fish from the Garden pool today, both weighed in at 8lbs, Ballogie was also on the scoresheet with 1 at 12lbs from the Sands pool. Conditions were tough due to the high winds we have but with a 6" rise in water this morning we knew we had a good chance, I think high winds will effect us for most of the week but thankfully they are predominatly downstream!

                       Dr Patrick with one of a brace caught at Commonty

                            Caught on one of my Willie Gunn Snaelda's


Monday, 13 February 2012

Fish at last!

A cracking springer one of three caught on Ballogie on Saturday, this one came from Lower Inchbare and weighed in at 10lbs, another one at 12lb came out of the Bullworks and Kevin Fraser had a 10lber from a pool we are fishing this season to see what can be caught in it before deciding how much work we have to do to fish it properly, again the Willie Gunn Snaelda did the trick!

                                       Lee Hooke with a 13lb Rawner!

Today produced 3 fish from the beats, 2 from Ballogie and 1 from Carlogie. one fish from the Top Gannet at 8lb and one from the Lower Inchbare also 8lb, Carlogie's fish came from the Boat pool at last light and came in at 10lb.
Still seeing a few Rawners and Baggots with 4 Rawners in 2 days and 2 Baggots today

                            Mackenzie DTX 14ft with Cascade Snaelda

Friday, 10 February 2012


The river rose today and now all the grue and ice has disappeared!! Some of the ice was 9 inches thick!
I've put a small video of the ice floating off from Pitslug at Carlogie, it was huge!

Conditions were the best so far this season and it was only a matter of time when the first fish was landed. Commonty was first off the mark with a 10lber from Suicide followed by a 12lber from the Boat pool in the afternoon, both fish were caught by Dr Patrick Taylor, again my Willie Gunn Snaelda Conehead struck again. Ballogie also had a cracker, caught in the middle Gannet pool by Charles Lawson it was estimated at 24lb's after Charles had meausured it on his rod at 40", photos of all the fish will appear when they email them to me.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

A change in weather?

Hopefully by tomorrow we will have some sort of change in weather, the Grue is becomming a joke now and we know the salmon are just waiting to be caught!! We managed to fish on Monday but the river has been unfishable since, the next problem we may have is if we get rain tonight and the river rises all the ice that has formed along the banks will break up and come downstream!

On a brighter note we had a cracking fish on Monday from Carlogie in the Mill pool weighing in at 18lbs.

Last week we had a visit from Mike boyd who is a photographer for Trout and Salmon, he had a couple of days taking photos of the Ballogie beats for a forthcoming article. He managed to get all he needed before the grue arrived and took a great photo looking upsteam of the Potarch bridge at dusk. Click on the photo to enlarge it.

Friday, 3 February 2012

A day by the fire!

When you are greeted with a sight like this there's only one thing to do "Get the fire raging!".
This was at 8.30 this morning and always the optomist I told the fishers we may get an hour or two in the afternoon but as the morning went on it just got worse!

Even my enthusiasm started to go when this kept happening, I was expecting Polar Bears floating past on the ice! We waited till around 2.30 but there was no sign of the grue melting, with temperatures falling as I write I'm hoping that the weather forecast is right and we will get cloud cover and snow tonight but at the moment it is already -3C!!.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

More news from opening day!

                                          Opening day fish at Ballogie

A bit more news from the opening day for you to see. Recieved a couple of photos from Mark paterson with his Springer, it's great to see such quality fish in the system, most anglers will tell you that a typical Dee Springer has an average weight of 8lb but so far all the fish we've had have been double figures!

Today was a tough one due to the fact we had Grue in the water till about 11am, we we're still getting the old Salmon and seatrout kelt but once it warmed up we hit lots of kelts and also had a Baggot from the Sands pool at Ballogie.

Ken Reid presenting Charles Jeffrey with a box of flies tied by me for catching the biggest fish on opening day.

Today it was Carlogie who got off the mark with a great fish from the Village Pool weighing in at 18lbs, it was caught about 3.30pm just as the temperature started to change, by 4.00pm the rings had started to ice up on the rods then the reels froze as well so we had to call it a day, we are due a hard frost tonight with minimum temperatures down to around -6C so tomorrow will start with Grue in the river.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

And we're off!!!

                              Paul Whitehouse Addressing the crowd

Today was the opening day of the 2012 season on the River Dee, It was formally opened by Actor, Comedian, and Writer Paul Whitehouse who is a regular Dee Fisherman, incidently Paul not only caught his first fish on the Ballogie beats at Carlogie but he .also caught his first ever fish on the fly at Commonty. It was well attended with over 200 people joining in the celebrations.

                  Paul and myself toasting the new season with Dee Dram

The Beats had a great start, but Commonty had an even greater start, not only landing the first Springer off the river weighing 12lbs caught on one of my Willie Gunn Snaeldas but following it up later on with a second at 10lbs,  Ian Fraser was a very happy man!! This is the fourth year running that the Ballogie beats have caught the first fish of the river , long may it continue!

Ken Reid at Commonty presenting Graham Scott with his prize for the first fish caught.

Ballogie also scored with Mark Patterson getting a 14lber from the Bridge pool, this the second year running that Mark has had an opening day Springer.
Numerous Kelts were landed but certainly not as many as in past years due to the high water we've had, most of the Kelts have already migrated back to sea.With a cold upstream wind and low water this result was pretty good for the beats.