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Salmon and Sea Trout fishing on the River Dee

River Dee

The River Dee is home to Scotland’s best Spring Atlantic Salmon fishing, and also one of the Big Four salmon rivers in Scotland.  The quality of the salmon fishing combined with the beauty of the riverbanks makes fishing the River Dee a very special experience. As a river we have invested much time and effort in helping to maintain this state of affairs and are being rewarded with significant increases in numbers of salmon.  Whether you’re already a seasoned River Dee enthusiast, or are new to this part of the world, we’re sure you won’t be disappointed.

For the latest information on fish catches on Kincardine Beat - see this following link: Kincardine Beat

Highlights of 2011 season:

  • Five year average: 184 salmon/grilse and 68 sea trout
  • 1.25 miles left bank fishing with 10 pools
  • Maximum rods 3
  • 1 gillie, 2 huts
  • Price range £57 - £200 per rod day

Fishing Opportunities in 2014 book on-line (see note below)

Much of our fishing is let to returning tenants some of whom have been visiting the Dee for longer than any of us would like to admit. During early autumn we establish what fishing our loyal tenants wish to take next season and by November will write to all those on our contact list with the vacancies. Finally we put the still-vacant fishing onto the website for on-line booking.

Currently our expectation is that we shall have some availability in February & March and again in July and August.

Accommodation: There is a wide range of accommodation on offer: we can provide a self catered fully-furnished house very close to the beats, or for a truly fabulous break and if your group is 6 or more, make it a house party and stay at Kincardine Castle, taking advantage of everything we can offer. We can also provide a list of B&Bs or Hotels in the area

Location: Potarch to Kincardine O’Neil, 25 miles from Aberdeen

Length of Water: over 1 mile

Beat & Rods: 1 beat divided into 3 rods

Pools: 10 named pools

Wading: High Water: No, Low Water: Yes - Chest Waders – mixed wading but the difficult ground is not in fast-flowing water.

Restrictions: We observe the Dee District Salmon Fishery Board Conservation Code. All Salmon and Sea Trout are currently being returned to the river.

Fly Only: Yes - Single & Double Hooks preferred for easy release of fish

Ghillie: Yes - One ghillie covers a total of three rods. Extra ghillie(s) by prior arrangement.

Kincardine HutSeason: 1st February - 15th October (except Sundays) - Peak season - May/June - but see catch data. River fishes all season except very dry summers.

Equipment: Most people bring their own but we can hire out all fishing kit - just bring waterproofs. Prior notice required for hire.

Availability:Contact Us. Week long lets preferred but we have some availability for half-weeks and day lets.

Cost: From £310 - £1,200 per rod per week (VAT does not apply)

A quality environment: Due to constant management the riverbank is a very special place. Throughout the spring and summer there is an unending succession of wild flowers and other herbaceous plants.

Fishing Huts: Our new fishing hut was first used at the start of the 2012 season. This delightful cabin has a log stove, large windows overlooking the river and a large verandah. It also has a composting toilet. The old Kincardine Hut will remain available as a shelter.  

Recent good news about fishing on the Dee: In 1995, faced with a worrying decline in catches (a world-wide phenomenon), the Dee fishery managers initiated a dramatic action plan to protect stocks and aid their recovery. Catch-and-release was a first and obvious step followed by the buy-out of all the netting within the Dee Fishery District which was completed in 2000. In addition a continuous programme of habitat enhancement is protecting an increasing length of tributaries from damage from livestock and results are being measured already. (see the latest reports on management action by reading the newsletter and annual report on the Dee fishery website).

The first fruits of the catch-and-release exercise, which continues, were expected in 2001 and, coincidentally or not, catches have improved steadily since then. Our 5-year average, which dropped as low as 64 salmon in 2000 has recovered to over 170 salmon per annum – a 165% improvement. In that it takes some 6 years for the offspring of a released salmon to return to the Dee it is still early days in our efforts to restore the Dee's fishing. Nevertheless the Dee remains Scotland's and indeed the world’s greatest spring Atlantic salmon river. I have every expectation that this recovery will continue.

Sea-trout fishing on Kincardine Beat is, rod for rod, the best on the Dee. Our average catch is now 68.

We do expect fishers to observe catch-and-release and any fish that has to be killed because it has been injured must be given to the the beat owner. This has reduced angling mortality to well below 2%. Such a good performance is being emulated up and down the Dee and we are grateful for the co-operation of all those who are helping restore the Dee's salmon run. There is much to do and, with a large part of the salmon life-cycle being at sea and outwith our influence, the future does remain 'in the lap of the Gods'. Nevertheless we are proud to say that the Dee's anglers and fishery managers are playing their part to the full.

Lettings and Availability: Like most beats we have many 'regulars' who return to fish here annually at the same time each year. We start the procedure for letting the next season immediately the previous one closes.

By mid-November we have a pretty clear idea of the regular tenants' requirements and can start filling in any gaps. If you are not one of our regular fishing tenants it is helpful if you could let us know when you want to fish and how many rods. The greater the flexibility you can give us the greater chance we have of being able to fit you in. It is also useful to have details of your fishing experience including what rivers you and your party have fished on previously. By mid November we can start putting our available fishing on to our websites where, if you want, you can book on-line, alternatively contact us.

For Availability / on-line booking and recent catch record use this link: Kincardine Beat

Video: for a bit of fun have a look at the following short film of fishing on Kincardine Beat and on the other side of the river at Carlogie.