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Home => Rivers and Lochs => Topic started by: Don Fishery Board on March 15, 2019, 13:54:26 PM

Title: River Don Trout Event
Post by: Don Fishery Board on March 15, 2019, 13:54:26 PM

Participate in the first Trout Fishing Event taking place on the River Don this spring. The River Don Fishery Board are hosting the event involving eight beats throughout the catchment. Starting date 8th April through till 3rd June trout anglers will be given an opportunity to fish one day on each different beat per week and experience the quality of wild brown trout fishing that the river has to offer. No charge will occur to participate although anglers will be permitted to comply with certain consents.

Places are limited to eight so anglers wishing to take part should in the first instance email their interest to participate along with name and contact details by 21st March. A ballot will then take place whereupon those successfully chosen will be notified and given further details.

Contact: Martin Webster

Title: Re: River Don Trout Event
Post by: Sandy Nelson on March 15, 2019, 16:05:49 PM
Sounds like great fun Martin,
You have an email  :z16


Title: Re: River Don Trout Event
Post by: Dave Robb on March 16, 2019, 00:32:55 AM

Email sent.
Title: Re: River Don Trout Event
Post by: Ali Mcewan on March 17, 2019, 09:32:59 AM
Do I get a free place for the advertising photo  :X2
Title: Re: River Don Trout Event
Post by: Don Fishery Board on March 22, 2019, 08:46:57 AM
Many thanks to all the anglers who submitted an interest for the upcoming Trout Event. We received a great response but unfortunately only 8 places were available.
Anglers successfully drawn will be notified later today with further details.

Title: Re: River Don Trout Event
Post by: Hamish Young on March 24, 2019, 08:14:43 AM
If a forum member si one of them, it would be an interesting topic to follow - hint  :z18
Title: Re: River Don Trout Event
Post by: Ali Mcewan on March 24, 2019, 20:30:24 PM
Il get it started after the first day, unless sandy or liam beat me too it 🎣
Title: Re: River Don Trout Event
Post by: Don Fishery Board on April 07, 2019, 17:07:38 PM
River Don Trout Event - week commencing 8th April

I just want to wish the eight participating anglers all the very best for the opening week on their allocated beats.
Fingers crossed the river settles and weather improves. I plan to post updates weekly once I have received feedback from the anglers fishing.
Any issues or queries whist your out fishing please give me a call.

Martin Webster
Title: Re: River Don Trout Event
Post by: Iain Cameron on April 09, 2019, 08:39:06 AM
Thanks Martin,
I’m planning to be Out tomorrow, if the river keeps dropping
Title: Re: River Don Trout Event
Post by: Don Fishery Board on April 12, 2019, 13:57:18 PM
Don Event Anglers

All those who wish to post photos and feedback from their day can you please now use this topic page to do so.
It just helps keeps all Don Event stuff together.

Many thanks
Title: Re: River Don Trout Event
Post by: Sandy Nelson on April 12, 2019, 14:00:18 PM
So the first day out for me on the Don fishing event.

I did wonder if it was starting the way it was meant to go on :z7


So i was at Cottown and Bellabeg.
However i found my way to the river, and what a lovely looking beat it is.

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Lots of water to cover, but i did the whole beat from top to bottom

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And then from bottom to top  :z7

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The water temperature was just 7 degrees and she was carrying a little colour, but despite this there were plenty flies coming off from midday onwards

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Not a rising fish to be seen, so it was a day spent nymphing and searching out the likely looking spots, eventually i was rewarded with a quick pull and the result was this lovely little fella

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once he was returned i plonked the nymph back in the same spot and the immediatley met with a solid resistance that then ran towards me, so i had no idea what i'd hooked until i got the line back on the reel and then it took off :z16
So after a really good scrap and negotiating an overhanging bush, i got him onto the shallows and he posed for some pictures while he recovered.

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Cracking looking fish, with deep gold belly and big spots

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Big teeth in there too

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Its a funny old game this fishing lark, a whole day spent wandering and searching the water and then 2 fish in 2 casts from the same spot.
So a new beat for me ticked off, some awesome bits to go back and fish again, including a 50 yd bit of the best looking trout water i think i've ever seen.
Proper dryfly water, if only the conditions had been a bit better, but who am i to complain :z12 i had a great day and it was worth the hike just to see that fish.

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Title: Re: River Don Trout Event
Post by: Iain Cameron on April 12, 2019, 15:09:44 PM
Grandhome, W/c 8 April, 2019

I fished the Grandhome beat on Wednesday as part of the Don 8 Event. The water was still  rather coloured, and higher and therefore deeper & faster than I would have liked.There's a LOT of water - 3 miles or so - but I covered a fair bit of ground. [/size]Saw one rising trout around 1pm. Caught it. So my success rate was 100%.... Half-heartedly nymphed for a bit, but was mostly happy to wander in the sun and have a good old look around. LIke clockwork, a good hatch of LDOs from midday onwards, not many MBs in evidence, though in truth I was wandering a lot and perhaps not as attentive as I could have been Some big old trout there, as the salmon anglers related... Anyone fishing there in the next week or two, while the water stubbornly refuses to drop, would do well to pack a streamer or two...  It's an interesting stretch; lots of deep, dramatic plunges. Would like to return at lower water levels as I suspect there's a lot more sport to be had. cheersiain[/color]
Title: Re: River Don Trout Event
Post by: Scott Cumming on April 12, 2019, 17:39:33 PM
Yesterday I fished Fetternear on the Don 8 event.

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Water still very cold and carrying some colour. Had the dry fly rod set up in optimism but very few trout surfaced despite the steady trickle of flies.

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So the day was spent nymphing, plenty of small trout in the morning with a couple of bigger ones in the afternoon.

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Title: Re: River Don Trout Event
Post by: Liam Stephen on April 15, 2019, 20:11:42 PM
Kemany AC is a cracking stretch! I just wish it wasn't so windy and some flies were hatching. Still I messed about with nymphs and streamers. Hoping for some dry fly action this weekend.

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Title: Re: River Don Trout Event
Post by: James Middleton on April 15, 2019, 21:23:06 PM
I started the event at Castle Forbes on Saturday, was cold, bright and very windy. Had a cracking day on a lovely stretch of river catching some beautiful fish.
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👍   :z18
Title: Re: River Don Trout Event
Post by: James Middleton on April 15, 2019, 21:24:33 PM
Sorry about the photos, not sure why they've rotated
Title: Re: River Don Trout Event
Post by: Mike Barrio on April 15, 2019, 21:25:55 PM
Mobile phone?
Title: Re: River Don Trout Event
Post by: James Middleton on April 15, 2019, 21:28:09 PM
Title: Re: River Don Trout Event
Post by: Mike Barrio on April 15, 2019, 21:51:41 PM
Not sure how you get a mobile pic downloaded properly ...... maybe some of the other forum members know  :z8
Title: Re: River Don Trout Event
Post by: Sandy Nelson on April 16, 2019, 11:27:11 AM
Not sure, but I do know if you go into the gallery by clicking on your photo you can then rotate through 270 degrees and save and it should change in the page after a refresh, if not then you can redo the link with the rotated picture. The fact that you need to rotate them by 270 degrees infers to me that the software automatically rotated them 90 degrees on upload, why? Who knows :z8
But changing them in the gallery does work, I’ve had to do it a few times  :z16

Title: Re: River Don Trout Event
Post by: Don Fishery Board on April 16, 2019, 15:57:12 PM
River Don Trout Event
April / May 2019

The beats participating in the first ever Don Trout Event. Cottown/Bellabeg, Alford AA, South Waterside,Castle Forbes Estate, Kemnay AC, Fetternear, Kemnay Beat 3, Inverurie AA, Kintore AC, ADAA and Grandhome Estate.
I'd like to thank all the proprietors for kindly donating fishing days to the event and also to Mike Barrio for allowing us promote and post updates throughout the event on his website. 

Week 1 Report
River levels remained on the high side for the lower beats, coupled with blustery easterly winds made for less than ideal conditions throughout the first week. Water temps hovered around a cool 7 and 8c. However the majority of the participating anglers landed brown trout over all the beats from 8 inches up to a fantastic 4lb Don specimen of a fish. Nymphs, wets and streamers patterns all worked best. Despite fly life appearing on the surface, mainly Large Dark Olives and some March Browns the trout have still not switched on up top and very few fish were landed on dries. All the trout reported were in excellent order for the time of year so have obviously been getting plenty feeding off the bottom.
Again a mixed bag of weather for the week ahead but river levels are falling and clearing so hopefully some dry fly action ahead.

Many thanks to all anglers who have posted on the event page its been a great start.

Nearly all participating beats are available to book through FishPal website where further details can be found on each fishery. or please check out our Facebook page @riverdonscotland

Martin Webster
Title: Re: River Don Trout Event
Post by: Sandy Nelson on April 17, 2019, 19:48:31 PM
Had my day out on Castle Forbes today.

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Took Glass and Grass for the day out, one for the nymph and one for the dry, not often i carry 2 rods, but it was an experiment as i was rather excited about being on Forbes after all these years.

So it was an interesting day with Hatches on the go from 11am right through till 4pm, Olives and March browns at different points.
However there were only a handful of rising fish, i measured the water temp and it was still just 9 degrees, But the PTN started things off quite well

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Some nice water for it though, although you can just imagine the rising fish.

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There was the odd rising fish in the fast water, but nothing spectacular, though they were keen for the CDC spider

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Lots of superb water to explore, although it seemed the nymph was a better option.

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I did manage to find one cracking fish sweeping a Vee at the tail of a pool, i didn't know he was a cracker until he took the fly, but all hell broke loose as he snaffled a CDC spider and proceeded to jump around all over the place, unfortunately he managed to wrap  the tippet round his nose and then he came in quite quickly, i should have guessed what would happen next, as i put the net in the weeds as usual to unhook the fish, i had to unwrap the tippet from round his nose, the second he was free, he took off like a rocket and before i knew it was back in the river, but what a lovely fish and this time on the Dry :z12

Next one was a bit smaller, but i managed a picture :X1

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Still i wandered the whole beat and managed a few fish from each run, i saw a pair of Kingfishers a couple of deer and 4 Salmon moved in 4 different pools, A great day, with the best conditions so far for one of my days out.

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Title: Re: River Don Trout Event
Post by: Scott Cumming on April 22, 2019, 00:31:06 AM

I’d been looking forward to this one, a new beat for me and it did not disappoint, what a cracking beat!

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Weather was perfect, mild, overcast with sunny intervals.

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Before fishing I walked most of the beat to familiarize myself with the pools, there were plenty nooks and crannies to explore

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I started off with the nymph and got into my first Cottown trout mid morning and a nice fish it was too...

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I then fished the pool above and hooked into a similar sized fish, it bolted down into the white water below and the inevitable happened :X1

There were a few LDOs starting to appear but no fish rising. I continued fishing the nymph and landed my next bar of gold around 12.30...

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Around 1pm there was a decent hatch but still no sign of any fish surfacing, the water is still very cold.

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When the sun came out and the fishing slowed up there were still plenty to watch...

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It wasn't long before the sun dipped and I caught a couple of smaller fish mid afternoon then finished the day on a high with another cracker...

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Title: Re: River Don Trout Event
Post by: Iain Cameron on April 23, 2019, 09:03:10 AM
Wk 2, Fetternear

Well, Fetternear would be a new beat to me, although as an ADAA member, I've seen it from the opposite bank of the ADAA Kemnay beat. So I was interested to see if the grass was greener on the other side...

I arrived a little later than ideal on Saturday morning, and, parking at the footbridge, found a couple already setting up for a BBQ... Saturday of course was the day where the sun shone high & bright, my least favourite conditions for trouting.

The run under the bridge is lovely:

Being a perverse, stubborn bugger, I'm sticking to dry fly... this proved to be perverse indeed, as despite a few wee trout popping around 11, 1130, there was not much else to target.

I wandered up and down to get a feel for the beat:


Conditions underfoot were decent enough, down at lower ends of the beat anyway. Chatted to a couple of friendly, regular salmon anglers who talked about some of the big trout they've seen, both targetted and when salmon fishing.

I watched a pleasant display by the Fetternear floaters for a while:


Ah, but what aboot the troot? Well, I blanked on the dry. There, shameful, but true.

I found one decent rising trout, in a slack pocket on the far bank. And I sat and watched for waaaaaaay to long. It would pop its head up occasionally, maybe every 10 mins or so. I gambled on a decent hatch from 1pm or so, and waited... and waited... and had a sandwich... stuck my hand in a pile of nettles for diversion... then waited some more... and then out came the sun. And the trout.... I had a few chucks at it, groin deep and slightly too close to floating away for comfort. Lost a flee (and some patience) in a bush behind me. Tried again, got a drift of maybe 3 seconds but nada!

ah well.  Basically, there was very little fly life on that beat on the bits I was watching. I'd been watching other parts of don when out, and seen plenty of flies, so I was a little disappointed.  Still, as always, great to be out on a new beat and to wander about and see some new spots

Better luck this coming week for me? Couldnae be much worse.. I might yet have to dig out some tungsten...


Title: Re: River Don Trout Event
Post by: Don Fishery Board on April 23, 2019, 13:38:17 PM
 Don Trout Event

Week 2 summary
The early part of last week saw some decent trout fishing conditions however as the week went on we saw a dramatic change in the weather. Over the weekend temperatures throughout Donside maxed at 23c, the sun split the sky thus making for less than ideal weather for fishing. Consequently the trout kept their heads well down during the daytime and became choosy as Don trout can.  Anglers were made to work hard to get a result but those who persevered managed to land a few trout over 1lb, a few excellent conditioned trout in the 3-4lb bracket were also taken by a couple of seasoned anglers.
River levels continued to drop away letting anglers explore more of the pools and deeper runs. The river continues to drop away and is currently running clear. Nymph patterns  still currently working best on all beats. As last week the trout seem still less enthusiastic about any surface action  despite hatching Large Dark Olives and March Brown's appearing from 11.30 till 4pm on a few beats. Now as the river warms up we may see more action on the surface with dries.
Anglers reported fresh salmon being seen in a few of the participating beats, a couple were lost after latching onto Goldhead nymphs.
The Salmon Smolt run or hatch as Sandy puts it is now appearing and those on the river today have reported hooking many on the small flies so please keep the flies barbless to minimise damage.

Nearly all participating beats are available to book through FishPal website where further details can be found on each fishery. or please join us on our Facebook page @riverdonscotland

Thanks again to all those who share their day on the page some great photos being taken showcasing the River Don.   
Martin Webster
Title: Re: River Don Trout Event
Post by: Sandy Nelson on April 27, 2019, 17:38:46 PM
South Waterside for me this week.
Went out this morning, in the mist and the rain and was very hopeful that the conditions might just go in my favour.

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Wandered the whole beat and stopped to have a fish in the runs as i went down. Nymphing it as the morning was only just begun.

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Some awesome bits of water to explore and pockets to pick

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As the day went on, there were still no flies showing, or rising fish, but i stuck with the nymphs

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Picking pockets is particularly fun, if a wee bit energetic, but on a dull day it kept me warm

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I did find one run with quite a few fish in it and one was particularly impressive, until i decided that my drag was set a bit low and adjusted it mid fight, unfortunately i over wound it and the next run had me parted with my prize (which i fancy could have well been a PB :cry) As you can imagine the air turned a wee bit blue and i was gutted, so it was time for tea and biscuits, a sure fire cure for the sulks :X2

After 20mins i decided that as there wera few fish coming out of the run, i would go through it again. Would you believe the luck i hit another cracking fish, so was a bit more careful this time and after an epic battle i got him in the net.

Best one so far this season and one of my best on the fly :z12

So the Day had its ups and downs, but i think my consolation prize  made my day very memorable, in such a beautiful part of the world, does it get much better..... even if the flies didn't show and i never saw a decent risning fish.

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So a great beat, with some awesome fish, brilliant fun.

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Title: Re: River Don Trout Event
Post by: Mike Barrio on April 27, 2019, 18:54:32 PM
Looks like some great water Sandy :z16
Title: Re: River Don Trout Event
Post by: Scott Cumming on April 27, 2019, 21:44:28 PM
It was Grandhome for me on Friday.

With bright sunshine and strong upstream winds it was always going to be a difficult day and the water was a tad cloudy after the overnight rain. I made the best of my day covering a fair amount of the 3miles of water.

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There are  interesting pools along the beat, some trickier than others to fish. I had fish out of most pools but nothing of any note.

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The beat is well maintained with a cracking wee bothy. It was good to catch up with the Grandhome regulars :z16

Title: Re: River Don Trout Event
Post by: Sandy Nelson on April 29, 2019, 17:12:53 PM
So due to other commitments, i had only today to get out for my Day on Kemnay Beat 3.

A beautiful day, but perhaps a bit on the bright side, however first thing in the morning the conditions were a we bit better.

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Lots of lovely water to work a nymph through and despite being pestered by lots of smolts and small brownies, persevering through the runs and going a touch deeper seemed to help.

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I spent a good bit of time wandering up and down the beat and fished through some cracking runs, However i did mange to fall in for the second time this year, bloody slippery rocks, even with the my stick i took a good dunking, Fortunatley quick drying clothes and a warm day helped make it less uncomfortable. I didn't have to wait long to forget all about it :z13

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My luck seems to be holding out and i did manage to hook into this beautiful bad boy
Loads of spots and a golden belly

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As the day ran on there were plenty flies coming off, but i couldn't find any consistent risers, just the odd oncer here and there, But i did see some tourists moving in 3 of the pools, so plenty fish still coming through the system. However i headed back to base for a Cuppa.

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Still no rising fish, so i worked a couple more runs, had a few more small ones, but nothing to rival the one from the morning.
So i spent the afternoon watching and hoping and generally enjoying a peaceful setting and a lovely stretch of water

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I think Beat 3 is a syndicate, but you can access the same water from the other bank as its the Fetternear beat. Well worth a trip and i think there a few stonkers hiding in some of those lovely runs. :z18


Title: Re: River Don Trout Event
Post by: Don Fishery Board on May 03, 2019, 10:11:02 AM
Don Trout Event
Week 3 summary

It was another mixed bag of weather conditions over Donside last week. Anglers fished all participating beats with varying success landing trout from 8 inch up to a thumping 5lbs. Interestingly one specimen trout was recaptured having been landed by the same angler from the same pool way back in 2016. Nymphs and wet spider patterns accounted for the majority of trout with just a few taken on the dries. The dreaded Easterly breeze hung around for the week and quickly put an end to any hatching activity although the short lived spells still failed to attract the bigger fish up on the surface.

Salmon smolts migrating downriver were thick in some pools and anglers were forced to fish their fly deeper to avoid them. As can often happen on the Don a couple of "silver tourists" latched onto trout flies and gave some variety in sport for a couple of the anglers. Now into May the river is still running at a nice height for trout angling, if the weather settles sport should pick up again over the week ahead.

Nearly all participating beats are available to book through FishPal website where further details can be found on
each fishery. or follow  our Facebook page The River Don @riverdonscotland

Martin Webster

Title: Re: River Don Trout Event
Post by: James Middleton on May 03, 2019, 13:03:10 PM
I was lucky enough to catch this lovely salmon in week 3 at Fetternear 👍
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Title: Re: River Don Trout Event
Post by: Sandy Nelson on May 08, 2019, 19:38:56 PM
Kemany AC water for me this week

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Something of a nostalgia trip for me, as this was the first beat of the Don i fished when we moved back to Scotland Back in 1985.

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So i was transported back to my youth as i wandered banks long remembered , Some parts still the same as i recall ( i last fished it in 1988) but others had changed quite a bit, some cracking looking bits and some lovely deep runs that must be home to a few crackers.

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8 Degree water temp, 7 degree air temp, the wind and the rain all made the day somewhat miserable and by lunchtime i had not even had a sniff of a fish, still it was a gamble based the thought that tomorrow, the water falling today ,may just colour things up  so better that i get wet while the river was fishable.

After lunch i finally manged to winkle out a wee fish or two

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But definatley wee...... :z7 So much wandering about to keep warm. Moody skies all day.

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When i got down really deep, I did get one or 2 slightly better ones, but nothing of any real note.

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So a tough day on superb water, with a lot of really great looking dryfly runs, just no flies or fish to be seen.
Cold, miserable but inspired to return on a better day to find a few of those lurkers.

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So looks like i've left my luck lying around somewhere, very careless of me :X1
If anyone finds it, please return for a healthy reward  :z4 :z4 :z4 :z4

Title: Re: River Don Trout Event
Post by: Don Fishery Board on May 09, 2019, 12:47:31 PM
Don Trout Event - Week 4 summary

The changeable weather pattern continues to affect the trout fishing up and down the system. Presently its a case of picking the more promising looking day and taking your chance. A break in the weather has seen short lived hatches of LDO's appear but overall anglers are still awaiting for a prolonged spell of surface activity. River temperatures remain cold, 8c recorded yesterday on Kemnay waters. There were a few decent sized trout around 2lbs landed last week with the best a cracking trout at 23inch however the majority landed were half pounder's. The Salmon smolt run which has seen encouraging numbers moving downstream over the past few weeks is now starting to tail off. Nymphs and wet patterns in 12's and 14's continue to attract the bulk of the trout to the net again another week of very limited dry fly sport reported by anglers.
A rise in water levels overnight has scuppered trout fishing for today but next weeks forecast looks warmer and more promising. Still a few weeks remaining of the event so please keep sending in your reports and photos, feedback from the beats involved has been positive so keep up your efforts and continue to showcase the River Don.

For more information and permit availability on the River Don beats available follow link or follow the

Martin Webster
Title: Re: River Don Trout Event
Post by: Scott Cumming on May 13, 2019, 16:00:52 PM
It was Kemnay 3 for me on Saturday

When I arrived the water was coloured and cold, it looked like I was in for a tough day (got that bit wrong). Fishing through some nice pools an hour went by before I started picking up small fish on the nymph.
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The water started clearing and the fishing began to improve connecting with bigger fish just after 10am

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and some more around Midday

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I walked the beat for a while in search of rising fish but there was very little showing despite a decent hatch of Olive Uprights and Grannoms

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Things livened up again mid afternoon with several nice fish including an acrobatic tourist. I latched onto a large Salmon for a minute but I shook it off or maybe it shook me off  :X1

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So a great day on a great beat, a day to remember!

Title: Re: River Don Trout Event
Post by: Hamish Young on May 13, 2019, 16:04:17 PM
Top effort Scott, top effort  :z14 :z16
Title: Re: River Don Trout Event
Post by: Mike Barrio on May 13, 2019, 16:50:39 PM
Great stuff Scott  :z16
Title: Re: River Don Trout Event
Post by: Iain Cameron on May 13, 2019, 17:48:44 PM
A bit late due to a hectic work and personal life, here's a couple of updates from me from previous weeks

Cottown & Bellabeg
A lovely stretch of the upper Don. Narrow, with a series of riffles and a couple of interesting glides. Access is easy; I parked at the footbridge on the south side, roughly halfway along this short beat. From there, you can stroll along the road to the bottom of the beat, then work up along the river bank.
Going underfoot is mostly decent; you can see where work has been done to trim trees away from the path, and that’s much appreciated.
It was a cool, overcast day with little wind. In what should have been great conditions, the fishing was slow. I nymphed a few riffles without any joy, though later in the day as my nymphs rose in the water downstream of me, I connected with a decent, golden trout in the 2lb rage that leapt free of the water and hook in one movement.
A decent olive hatch caught my interest at 145pm. In anticipation, I’d been waiting at lovely little slow pool on a bend, a couple of hundred metres downstream of the bridge. Shoulda been perfect… but not a trout to be seen.
I literally found one rising trout all day - at the end of the longest glide on this stretch. He was spooky in shallow water, and I had to rest him and come back to him a couple of times. Incredibly, this trout rose off an on between 1-4pm, but was the only trout I spotted. ANd spooked, eventually putting him down. Ah well.
A lovely wee beat, with surprisingly little surface action, but a peaceful place for a wander with your rod!

Castle Forbes
So this was a new water to me, and I arrived on a warm enough morning with light winds. Strolling to the bottom of the beat, I remember saying “surely there’s a chance of decent trout today”.  “Ha”, Shirley replied, “You’ve jinxed that…”. 
Some lovely pools; tumbling necks given long enough to flatten out before tailing into the next run. Having walked to the bottom marker, I settled down to watch and wait some likely spots for rising trouts. Plenty of hawthorns on the wing, and quite a few large upwings; probably too late to be March Browns, so maybe Large Brook Duns. That size of flee anyway. 
And.... nothing rose. And nothing continued to rise. The story of my Don 8 event so far - tons of patience and river-scanning, and nothing to be seen. Stubborn optimism kept me going; there had to be something moving soon. Naw!  I did hike up the Keig Bridge, and finally saw a rising trout that I completely failed to interest.
Heavens opened at 4pm or so, by which time me and the dug had just started back to the car, so we got wet but not soaked.
I liked this beat, and would love to see it when its on as there’s a lot of lovely, trouty water. On my mental hitlist for a return visit.
Title: Re: River Don Trout Event
Post by: Iain Cameron on May 13, 2019, 17:49:44 PM
Slightly more up to date; I was at South Waterside on Friday 10 May

South Waterside
Another beat that i had not fished before, though I had walked some of it previously. Parking is conveniently available at top, bottom and near to the top. I parked at the Roads depot, about ¾ up the beat, from where it’s a quick hop over the stile to the river bank. Handy, as I later needed to return for warmer clothing.
My Don 8 Event luck continues to evade. I arrived in a storm of hailstones…sheesh! 10th May, i thought we were past the winter! And got to the river to find that it was coloured and running up a little after some overnight rain. Sigh….
I strolled to the top of the beat, at Bridge of Alford, and even though the water was brown, you could see the potential of some lovely straights. ABout-turned, and hoofed it to the bottom end, at Montgarrie bridge. ABout 20-25 min walk, or less, so it’s a fine size beat for covering in a day.
I settled there at a likely spot, and, spotted a rise. Not just any old rise, but a decent fish that was feeding in a foam line tight to the bank. Now there was a real mix of insects in the soup: gnats, hawthorns, some olives, some sedges and the very occasional larger upwing (brook dun?). This trout took some olives, and some other offerings from the surface film that I couldn’t see.  I waded into position, having to go mid-stream to get a cast owing to overhanging trees near to the bank.
Cold? It was bloody freezing mate!!! Fish wasn;t showing often, and I had to stand for 10 mins or so til he rose. Had a go, covered him well enough, then landed a heavy cast. Doh! I waited a bit, but no show, so I retired to the bank, sat down, and he rose again… right! Back into the river.  Same as before, except this time I was shivering with the cold (only had my leggings on under waders, and the water was really cold). Returned to car to get layered up, long winter trousers, and suitably thawed out returned to the trout, and tempted him on a simple black gnat pattern after a couple of refusals on olive emergers. Weighed in at 2 and a quarter; a decent enough trout that just about justified near-hypothermia!
Saw two other rising trout that were showing regularly enough for a cast, and caught them (one at a pound, one at 8 oz or so).
A great wee stretch of water, also on my mental wishlist for return visits; just the same old story of rising trout nowhere to be seen!
Title: Re: River Don Trout Event
Post by: Don Fishery Board on May 17, 2019, 15:14:47 PM
Don Trout Event - Week 5 summary

The first few days of last week saw the poor weather continue over Donside, however brighter days were to arrive, from Thursday on wards a spell of high pressure increased air and water temperature considerably much to the delight of trout anglers. Thankfully the dreaded easterly winds also changed direction. Anglers began to immediately see better hatches and reported fly life coming off the water over all participating beats. Grannom were seen in huge clouds Hawthorns, Olive Uprights and a few Yellow Sallys also put in a show. The bright over head conditions kept the trout down but as soon as some cloud cover appeared they soon swiched on and were up on the top feeding. Reported catches have fallen over the past couple of weeks as the trout become fussier and conditions become more testing in the low clear water however there are still some decent ones being landed with one angler having 11 fish over 2lbs, 5 were 3lb plus and 2 were over 4lbs all for his day, exceptional fishing. A few Sea trout are also now appearing in the beats and a couple around 3lb latched onto nymphs. If the warm spell of weather continues it could possibly be worth an evening venture out over the coming week. River bank growth has taken off so take extra care when walking the river banks.

For more info and permit availability on the River Don beats available follow link

Martin Webster
Title: Re: River Don Trout Event
Post by: Sandy Nelson on May 18, 2019, 19:38:51 PM
I finally got out to fish my Don 8 event on the Inverurie burgh water today. Home ground for me, so no pressure then  :z6

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We ended up in Edinburgh on friday for the night, so it kinda screwed up my plans, But  i got home at half 12 and headed straight down the river.

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Weather, wet and dull and i was hopeful. Didn't see much in the way of fish until 3pm Then the flies started. There were Olive uprights, Small dark olives, Grannom, Yellow Mays and Some iron blues hatching off. So what to do......

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Nymphing through some of my favourite bits produced a few fish in the 10-12" range again then i latched onto one a good bit better hiding in a pocket behind a rock. It was a strong fish, but had a fair size scar on the top of his nose, looks similar to what we often see this time of the year.

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I spent a good while watching a good fish that was picking off the odd fly at the tail of a pool, in the classic "V" 20 mins later no joy, so i wandered off. I picked up a few on the CDC spider as i wandered about,

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I decided to go back to the fish and see if it was still there.
He was still there, in a very difficult lie, but moving around quite a lot. I tried most of my dries to try and match his preferred food, 30 mins later it turned out it was the Iron Blues he was picking off and my favourite little Klink style Iron blue got snaffled when he moved out into a slightly better spot for me to present over. Cracking fish , chuffed to bits on the Dry and the Bamboo, the only way to make it count...

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So thoroughly enjoyed my afternoon and i fancy the evening might actually fish quite well too, although i'm now knackered and fancy a dram instead. The water was just starting to cloud up a little. So hopefully it doesn't blow for the guys out tomorrow

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Definatley one of the best beats on the whole river and very much underrated :z16

Title: Re: River Don Trout Event
Post by: Scott Cumming on May 22, 2019, 09:00:03 AM
It was Kemnay Association for me on Saturday.

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It was a dreich morning, cold upstream wind with light rain, heavier at times. It was another day for subsurface tactics.
I connected with a few smaller fish on the nymph before the best of the day just after lunch :z16

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The weather did lift mid afternoon but the water started taking on some colour. There were various flies hatching but very little rising, nothing worth casting at.

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So it was my first time at Kemnay AC, there is a a good variety of water with faster sections for the nymph and some lovely glides for the dry. I expect there will be some cracking evening rises in the coming weeks, certainly worth a revisit :z16

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Title: Re: River Don Trout Event
Post by: Don Fishery Board on May 24, 2019, 15:48:12 PM
Don Trout Event - Week 6 summary

As we enter the last few weeks of the Trout event again the weather played a big factor in the fortunes of those participating. Whilst out fishing on the better days anglers were reporting seeing plenty of fly life on the water, Grannom, Small Dark Olives, Hawthorns and some Iron Blues also put in an appearance. Surface activity was happening in short spells and it was a case of being ready and prepared with a 2 rods set up. Catches were hard to come by and only a few over the 3lb mark were landed falling to PT nymphs and spider patterns. Klinkhammer fly did well for those fishing dry on the surface.

Week 7 Update
The river rose throughout this Tuesday and coloured up very quickly making it testing Trout fishing conditions especially on the lower participating beats below Kemnay. Those yet to fish their day may dare i say it do well on streamer patterns for a bit of sport today and tomorrow. Not a tactic for the purist trout angler but a method that can produce some big Trout on the Don and suitable for high coloured water conditions. Fingers crossed for next week but looking at the forecast we may well see another rise early on in the week.

For more information on the River including permits for many of the Don beats check out the FishPal website or have a look at the River Don Facebook page
The River Don @riverdonscotland

Martin Webster
Title: Re: River Don Trout Event
Post by: Scott Cumming on May 27, 2019, 11:55:01 AM
It was Inverurie Burgh for me on Saturday

It’s been almost 40 years since I first went fishing with my Dad at Inverurie. A bubble float, a greenwell and black spider was my go to tactics back then :wink

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With the river running chocolate midweek I tied up some marabou creations as a back up plan, but thankfully they weren’t required as the river was clearing and had turned to an export colour by Saturday.

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I covered a lot of water in the morning fishing all the likely runs with the nymph, connecting with a few small fish. There were various upwings hatching back of 11 with some trout starting to surface. A size 16 DHE picked off a few trout, but was refused more often than not.

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I dropped down to a size 18 emerger which was taken with confidence by every fish I cast to. The dry fly fishing was superb for the next hour.

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I was hoping the weather would hold out into the evening but it started to deteriote mid afternoon and decided to call it a day around 4pm

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So a great beat with plenty of water to fish, which brought back some fond memories. I don’t think another 40 years will pass before fishing it again!

Title: Re: River Don Trout Event
Post by: Don Fishery Board on June 06, 2019, 17:21:33 PM
Don Trout Event – Week 7 & 8 summary

Unfortunately, the ongoing wet weather put a dampener on the final two weeks of the event. Water levels remained on the high side with a lot of sediment evident flowing downstream. Those anglers participating chopped and changed their days to try and suit some better conditions but only a couple successfully fished. There were spells of activity on the river when the trout switched on and were happily feeding on the surface or just below. Flurries of hatching Olives, Iron Blue Duns and Yellow Mays were witnessed especially around the Alford and Inverurie beats. Catches reported varied from a few 6-8inch trout to one angler finding a spell of rising fish and landing plenty around the 1lb and a few over 2lb. A few tried venturing out in the evening’s, but the trout have not switched fully on yet and only a few above 1lb were landed on Sedge patterns.
The final week (8) continued in the same vain, heavy downpours falling all over the catchment coloured the river up and only one brave soul reported a return for his day out. A thumping trout of 5lb 3oz was his best landed for the day, a cracking trout to end his and the event. It was a disappointing end to what has been an enjoyable and worthy event.

Event Summary

Firstly, from myself I’d like to thank all the participating anglers who kindly took time and sent in weekly reports along with some great photos of the beats involved but more importantly of the Brown Trout that live in the River Don, some fantastic specimens were landed over the weeks. We really do have a valuable resource that needs to be protected and developed further so that future generations of anglers can experience the same quality of Trout.

The event was planned and organised to help promote the river and highlight the Trout fishing available throughout Donside to both local and new visiting anglers. Most of those involved were already keen Don anglers but many had never fished on a few of the beats and this event gave them the opportunity to try and broaden their experience of the river. In return the Fishery Board and beat proprietors have gained additional information on their fishing’s, receive unbiased feedback on their fishery and collate excellent photos which will be used to further promote the Brown Trout fishing over the coming months and seasons. I think this has certainly been achieved over the eight weeks, from feedback received from participating anglers we now have a better knowledge of some of the less well - known beats on the river and what they can produce as a Trout fishery much to the surprise of a few.

By use of social media bookings have increased on beats that were rarely fished before and word has spread among local anglers of their successful days on new beats fished. I’m sure if the cold and windy weather throughout April had changed catches would’ve been even better but a few figures regarding catches worthy of a mention, there were plenty of 1lb fish landed throughout all beats which was encouraging as in the past few years this size of Trout has been low on population all over the system. There were 4 Trout landed over 5lbs, 4 over 4lbs, 14 over 3lbs and 22 over 2lbs along with 2 Salmon to 12lb and 2 fresh Sea Trout just for good measure. The impressive Salmon Smolt run was witnessed by all anglers fishing from mid - April into May many were forced to stop and move pool as every cast kept producing another. 

Unfortunately, the dry fly fishing never really materialized, the poor hatches of March Brown’s throughout April was disappointing and subsequently around 90% of the Trout landed throughout the event were taken on nymph patterns fished at various depths.

All the Trout landed were in great condition even in early April plump fish were evident from all upper and lower beats a sure sign that they are feeding throughout the milder winter’s and early spring months we are now regularly seeing. A few anglers mentioned a need for more Don beats to allow Sunday fishing for Trout and for the season to begin earlier on all Don beats from the 15th of March. Discussions have already been had with a few beats regarding the response from anglers.   

So that’s it all over I wish you all the best for the rest of the season and please keep sending in your reports, catches and photos from your days out on the Don.

Martin Webster
Title: Re: River Don Trout Event
Post by: Scott Cumming on June 06, 2019, 23:56:34 PM
It’s been a great event Martin -  enjoyed every minute. 4 out of the 8 beats I’d never fished before. I’ll  be exploring a lot more of the Don in the future...  :z16

Title: Re: River Don Trout Event
Post by: Sandy Nelson on June 07, 2019, 09:44:03 AM
I’ll echo that

It’s been a great event to be a part of. Thank you all very much for the opportunity  :z18


Title: Re: River Don Trout Event
Post by: Scott Cumming on June 07, 2019, 12:01:58 PM
It was Castle Forbes for my last day of the Don 8 event.

With heavy rain the day before I made an early start in an attempt to beat the rising water.

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Unfortunately the water was coloured and looked like it was already rising so I just had to make the most of it, mind you with scenery like this I can think of worse ways to spend a day… :z16

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This was my first time at Forbes, the dirty water made it difficult to see how deep the pools were so it was a bit of guess work trying to find the fish. Using nymphs with various coloured heads I worked my way up the pools. I connected with my first trout around 8:30 tucked tight into my own bank.

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There is a lot of water to cover so I fished through the pools quickly.

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I connected with another fish in the margins, but this one was a good bit bigger…

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A deep solid lump :z16

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I had another small one 10 mins after and that was it for the day.

So another cracking beat, I was well chuffed to catch another biggie in rising, coloured water. A great way to end a great event  :z16

Scott C