Scotland in Early April - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-04-2018, 08:23 PM Thread Starter
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Scotland in Early April

I am new to Spey Pages (I am fishing buddies with Sinktip). We (a group of six) have planned a trip to Scotland from March 29-April 9, 2019. Our plan is to visit Northern Scotland and a few of us would love to fish one of the famed rivers for salmon for a couple of days. We are looking for a lodge hopefully situated on one of the rivers that could provide guided fishing service and allow our non-fishing friends to use the the lodge as a base for site seeing. I am not sure whether that would be possible, but I thought it might be a great way to visit the area while still permitting an opportunity to fish. Do you have any suggestions? Thank you! 82 Coug.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-04-2018, 10:08 PM
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Iím Sinktip and I donít know you!

Just kidding, Jim is a great guy. Just wish I was going with him to Scotland.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-05-2018, 12:25 AM
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I was in Scotland in 2017 to play at the World Pipe Band Championships, and wasn't going across the pond without my fishing kit. After the competition in Glasgow, we made our way to Ballater, just west of Aberdeen, to which the river Dee flows.

We stayed in the most charming B&B called Morven Lodge. It's within the town of Ballater, which lies just east of Braemar where the Queen resides. Phil and Helen Tosh, the owners of Morven Lodge, are fantastic! Helen will prepare the most delicious breakfast for you, and Phil has some great stories to tell over a wee dram. They're both very fun people with whom to become acquainted. You can easily see the entire town of Ballater on an afternoon's stroll.

Keith Cromar was the ghillie on the Park beat that I fished one day. Nice salmon rolling in the river, only one of with which I was able to briefly connect. Keith is a wonderful guide, not pushy, and after showing you to your beat will retreat to take care of other work. He'll come and get you when it's time to move to another portion of the beat.

The Park beat of the Dee is beautifully maintained. Certainly not manicured, but by no means left unattended. Anyone would have a great time fishing there.

Go to for river info and permits.
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"No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it is not the same river, and he is not the same man".--Heraclitus
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-06-2018, 01:18 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you Bob! Great information.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-06-2018, 11:07 AM
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Good afternoon.

At that time, and that being your first time in Scotland, try the the mid-"Royal"-Dee.

Good scenery, great fly fishing water. The perfect mid-size river, or just a little more than that.

Book online with FishPal Scotland.

Unfortunately not that good as a Springer river as it was since 1950 till, well, ...

A fish every two days, if you are lucky!

From Banchory till Aboyne.

One day in Cairnton is a must. Good fly water, perfect timing, but the heritage, in terms of fly fishing for salmon, is second to none.


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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-06-2018, 10:57 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you Paulo!
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-18-2018, 10:05 AM
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Budget depending, I'd suggest having a look at Glen Tanar, also on the Dee. The accommodation is excellent and there are activities on the estate for non-fishers. The fishing beats have a mix of low and high water pools, which is handy at an unpredictable time of year.

You could also consider the Spey, which had a reasonable spring this year. (Nothing is as good as was in the old days, so I'm told.) There are some self-catering cottages around Grantown-on-Spey and you can fish the association water there for a reasonable price, or you've got the more famous beats of Castle Grant immediately below Grantown for more exclusivity.

Another, lesser-known river worthy of some consideration is the Findhorn. Absolutely stunning scenery there.

Park on the Dee is definitely one of the more consistent beats, so I'd echo that recommendation too. There are fishing hotels around Banchory for a different kind of accommodation option depending on what you're after there.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-19-2018, 02:11 PM Thread Starter
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Excellent information. Thank you!
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-20-2018, 05:43 AM
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82coug, at the moment there's a serious downturn in Scottish Salmon(well the whole UK to tell the truth),you need to be aware of that in your expectations.
This however means some long term tenants have walked away from previous dead mans shoes beats and you will have good chance of excellent availability.
Dee is indeed a good river, very picturesque and with your kit you'll cope just fine.
Park and Barlogie/Carlogie are very good, but you may well struggle to get availability as they will be in demand.At that time of year you may well be subject to low temperatures and higher water levels so still be in big flee/sunk line territory.This doesn't mean Skagit n tips, you'll be far better with a Scandi presentation approach.Dee is relatively shallow, raking about on the bottom will only result in lost flee's and an elevated temper.Light sink tips and maybe intermediates could be needed.Also the weather will be unpredictable, you could well get a scorcher and shirt sleeves or freezing snowy weather so bring clothes to suit!.
Now here's a tip, look for a beat called Sluie on Fish Dee,its a small intimate beat for two rods, it's in the right place geographically and its all easily read and sorted out.There's a very good hut but no ghille(or guide) and you can drive right to the hut.Move on it soon as possible as it will be open for bookings pretty soon.As it's small it tends to get overlooked.Thing with the Dee is many beats run right alongside the A 93 a major road that can spoil the ambience for some with the road noise.3 beats that won't have that problem are Birse just downstream at Aboyne and Dinnet and Deecastle slightly upstream of Aboyne,it's maybe a tadge early for them, but they have the scenery,history and some of the best and most famous Dee pools going, they will be popular though!,but worth the experience completely.
When you get sorted, get in touch and i'll help you all I can.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-13-2018, 09:02 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you so much Yorkie. We are still sorting everything out, but should have plans firmed up soon. I will PM you soon.
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