THE DEE enjoyed an excellent salmon season in 2017, but like on most Scottish rivers, the 2018 season has been one anglers would rather forget. It would be reckless to base its form on the basis of 2018’s catches and therefore it is reasonable to assume things will improve significantly next year. The Dee still deserves its place in the top four salmon rivers in Scotland.
The Dee is recognised as one of the best rivers to fish the fly for salmon. There are many famous beats and storied pools where the fly swings perfectly in the flow. Should we experience a cold winter then the early-season salmon fishing on the lower and lowermiddle beats may be some of the best to be had anywhere in the UK. Day tickets at this time of year start from £52 a day, plus VAT. If you want to give yourself the best chance of a fish, then late-spring and summer is the time to book your fishing. The Dee’s grilse and summer salmon are the most abundant of the river’s stocks and can be caught in good numbers all the way through to the end of July. The autumn run begins in August and continues throughout September, providing excellent end-of-season sport for visiting rods. In late summer and early autumn beats lower down the river, such as Tilbouries, can often give the visiting angler a good chance of a fish. If you’ve never fished the Dee before it really is worth doing. If ever a river was made for fly-fishing then the Dee would be it. The Dee Board has worked hard in recent years to help the river improve by buying out the coastal nets and initiating a smolt-tracking programme to establish evidence of mortality. The results suggest a higher than expected in-river mortality.
Although it is most famous as one of the major salmon rivers of Scotland, the Dee also has a very good run of sea-trout. Fish arrive in numbers during May, continuing through June and into July. They can be caught during the day on small black flies or targeted at night, which often offers the best chance of success.
The River Dee is a salmon fly-fisherman’s dream with countless pools where the line swings round perfectly.