The River Don

Aberdeenshire, Scotland

The River Don is well known for being a good salmon river, it also has a very good reputation for sea trout, but the reason why most anglers visit the river is to fish for it's cracking wild brown trout. The Don has some excellent fly water with plenty of fast flowing streamy runs and rocky pools.

You will also find some lovely glides and slow deep holding pools where the trout often rise freely in the evening to abundant fly life - but not always! It is a wonderful river to explore and with such a great variety of water and locations to fish, you are bound to find somewhere that will become your favourite stretch.

You will hopefully catch plenty of Brownies from six to twelve inches long and when the trout are in the humour and you get things right, a few larger ones from around one to three pounds. There are some huge brown trout specimens in the River Don, but believe me, these are not easily caught!

April and May are probably the best months for finding the larger fish, but June and July can still be very good if you fish early in the morning and well in to the evening. Take your time, get to know the river and use your favourite flies with confidence, all the popular ones will produce a fish or two in the right conditions. There are no special secrets to success.

With such a great variety of water, you can enjoy experimenting with dries, wets, spiders and nymphs. A small black fly will usually produce it's fair share of fish and anglers on the Don swear by the Greenwells. You'll find some really useful tips for River Don trout flies and tactics via the photo links on this page, courtesy of local angler Sandy Nelson - Thanks Sandy!

Our forum is also a great resource that goes back many years, look for the annual River Don threads in the Rivers & Lochs section. Have fun exploring the forum, and don't hesitate to join in our friendly discussions!

The River Don Brown Trout season opens on March 15th and closes on October 6th, although some variations to these dates have been introduced by individual beats. The River Don Salmon and Sea Trout season opens on February 11th and closes on October 31st.

The upper reaches of the river can produce superb brown trout sport in April and May, after which the fish become more tricky. I like the manageable fishing width of the upper river and "more tricky" can be good fun!

Local anglers will often concentrate their efforts on the middle and lower reaches of the river in June and July, when sport can be excellent, especially in the evening.

Fishing Clubs

What will it cost? ..... Day fishing permit prices can vary considerably on the River Don, fishing beats offering Brown Trout day permits in the region of £10 to £15 and Salmon/Trout day permits in the region of £15 to £30 are the beats where you will find local anglers fishing.

There are a number of fishing beats that offer day fishing permits costing quite a bit more than the above, these do not necessarily offer better quality fishing, or better maintained riverbanks ..... but it's always nice to explore new waters!

Useful Links

For more information and booking fishing beats on the River Don : FishPal Fish Don Website

For the River Don District Salmon Fishery Board and River Don Trust :

For hotel accommodation and booking fishing on the River Don Kildrummy Fishings : Kildrummy Inn Website

For more information and booking fishing on the River Don at Inverurie : Inverurie Angling Association

For more information and booking fishing on the River Don at Alford : Alford Angling Association

For more information and booking fishing on the River Don at Kemnay : Kemnay Angling Club

For more information and booking fishing on the River Don at Kintore : Kintore Angling Club

River Don Brown Trout