Fishing The Fly Scotland Forum


Help with tactics for the River Don
« on: 08/11/2007 at 16:40 »
Hi :z16

We are 2 norwegians who have been fishing the river Don for brown trout years in a row, usually the last week in april. April is good for us because we can start the season a bit earliar than we can do at home.

We have been fishing the stretches by Glenkindie and in Monymusk.

To us the river is "a bit strange". We have seen heavy hatching, but only for 7-10 minutes around noon. Then we see some nice trouts rising and we have been able to catch a few as well.

However, last year we were a bit dissapointed since we only saw small fish, very small fish and we have not seen that the previous year. I had one nice one on a nymph, but he ran away.

What is really strange is when we fish the river all over, wading and so on without seeing or feeling the fish, suddenly during the hatching it is all over...

How do we get in contact with the nice brown trout when there is no hatching, the river is not deep where we are fishing and they have to be there... Or?

After last year we discussed going to another river, but we like the Don and we do believe the fish are there.... Somewhere, but how to get in contact?

Do you have any good answers?


Mike Barrio

Re: Help with tactics for the River Don
« Reply #1 on: 08/11/2007 at 17:22 »
Hi Rolf

Welcome to the forum :z16

I'm afraid I haven't had a chance to fish the river this year, so my advice would perhaps not be the best. I would normally try an upstream Hare's Ear nymph or spiders in such conditions.

Hopefully some of the other forum members will be willing to help out with some more ideas :z17

Best wishes
Mike Barrio


Re: Help with tactics for the River Don
« Reply #2 on: 08/11/2007 at 22:10 »
Hi Rolf

When using conventional down stream tactics I always put a thin bodied cochy bondhu on the dropper.

I think this is the best all round fly for the don.


Irvine Ross

Re: Help with tactics for the River Don
« Reply #3 on: 09/11/2007 at 17:32 »
Hello Rolf

I have been looking for answers to the Don trout for more than five years and I am still looking. I was also fishing near Glenkindie every Saturday in April this year and had some difficult days. It was not until the 12th of May that I saw a good hatch of olives lasting from about noon until 16:30. I did get two or three nice fish but not many.

If there is no hatch at all then I usually fail to catch, or even see, any trout. I know there are fish in the river but I suspect they are in their resting lies saving energy and waiting until there is more food available.

If there is a good hatch then the fish start rising and you can catch them on the dry fly. When there is only a slow hatch of a few flies at a time then the fish are often feeding on the rising pupa in mid water. At these time I find a lightly weighted spider can be successful. I often put an Endrick spider - -on the point and a Hare's ear and plover on the dropper. This works better for me than a weighted nymph but maybe that is because I am not very good a fishing nymphs.

So don't give up. I have just come to accept that the river can be difficult some days and easier the next. I still don't know why but I keep trying to find out.

Hope this helps


Sandy Nelson

Re: Help with tactics for the River Don New
« Reply #4 on: 10/11/2007 at 09:18 »
Hi Rolf

Velkomen til alle gruppe, (I think ???) I wasn't sure whether i was qualified to reply to this one, as despite all the best laid plans, i failed to get near the Don this season.
Between house hunting/moving/decorating and work i've had little chance to wet a line at all, except whilst on holiday elsewhere.

However Irvine is pretty much on the money, from what i could gather this year was a lot like last year and the best hatches started in May.
I found this a bit surprising as the weather in April was great so should have had the river jumping. I always find the Don responds best when a hatch is on and you can get at the fish with the dry fly or spiders, but yes the session doesn't last very long usually 1 or 2 bursts of 10-20mins at lunch time, although if you spend the afternoon prospecting in likely looking spots with a dry then you will catch fish.

Personally I tend to find a spot and sit and wait for the hatch to start, then its dries (greenwells or natural cdc spiders) The rest of the afternoon i'll prospect with either the same dry flies or I'll put on a hares ear spider or nymph on the point and a greenwells type wet or spider on the dropper and fish runs, riffles and features.Sometimes if you cover the water 4 or 5 times the fish comes up on the next drift.
Must confess i tend to fish upstream or across, very rarely downstream. This goes for April/May ,mind the rest of the year would be different. I Always carry a Grey partridge and Peacock tied slim and sparse when near the Don in a size 12-16 its possibly the best allround fly, all year, for me anyway.

The other thing worth trying is a Lure, something like a silver stoat/butcher (size eight), it can often produce some really cracking trout when there is little hatching, work the margins and edges of riffles.

You got me daydreaming now though :cool:



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