Trout & Salmon (UK) - - Scotland -

THE DON is one of the best wild brown trout rivers in Scot­land. Every sea­son an­glers from all over Eu­rope travel to fish its pools, which is no sur­prise when you con­sider the im­pres­sive size of the spec­i­mens that are caught every year. It is not just a trout river, ei­ther: there are runs of salmon and sea-trout, too. For an­glers in the know, the Don is one of Scot­land’s fly-fish­ing jewels.


As with many rivers, the Don’s run of spring salmon is not quite what it was. How­ever, there is still the chance of a springer in the early months of the sea­son with the lower beats pro­vid­ing the best chance. The mid­dle of June usu­ally sees the ar­rival of the river’s grilse, which cause sport to hot up as they move quickly up into the mid­dle river. For the vis­it­ing salmon an­gler the river is per­haps best con­sid­ered for its run of au­tumn fish, which are no­tably large – fish weigh­ing in ex­cess of 20lb are caught reg­u­larly.


May usu­ally sees the first runs of sea-trout nose their way into the es­tu­ary and be­gin to move into the river. The lower and lower-mid­dle beats gen­er­ally of­fer the best chance of sport, though by June and July they may be en­coun­tered any­where. The tran­si­tion pe­ri­ods from dusk un­til dark­ness and again at first light are con­sid­ered to be the best times to fish for them.

Brown trout

The Don is a trout fish­er­man’s dream. Through­out its up­per reaches there are deep hold­ing pools, fast riffles and long glides. Is it any won­der that trout of 4lb, 5lb and even 6lb can be tempted out of its wa­ters? Be­ing lo­cated in the far north, the Don takes a lit­tle longer to warm up and get go­ing. The best time to visit is in May or June when hatches can be truly spec­tac­u­lar and large wild brown trout can be caught on dry-flies. Most of the fish­ing will be con­ducted at close range where ac­cu­racy and stealth are most im­por­tant. Some an­glers like to carry a sec­ond rod that al­lows them to fish with Stream­ers when dry-flies and nymphs prove un­pro­duc­tive. It is typ­i­cally the up­per beats that of­fer the best fish­ing – although browns can be found through­out the Don, pres­sure is heav­ier on the lower wa­ter, par­tic­u­larly as these are of­ten best for salmon fish­ing. Trout fish­ing is avail­able on most beats and more in­for­ma­tion about where to fish and who to con­tact is avail­able on the Fish­pal web­site: www.fish­pal.com

The Don is a beau­ti­ful river and its wa­ters are es­pe­cially revered for the high qual­ity of trout fish­ing on of­fer.

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